I was not going to leave Singapore until I had met my blogger friend and the queen of personal excellence herself, Celestine Chua but between us, I was simply delighted that successful and busy as she is, she generously made time to meet with me – the little blogger from North America! – for lunch!
Celes is the founder, writer and living example of The Personal Excellence Blog, a space so rich with content, ideas, and creative approaches to personal development that you have only to glance at a few articles before you find yourself making a few self-improvement plans on the fly! With over 11,000 followers in under two years and the much-deserved accolades and recognition media and professional bloggers, I see Celes as a role model for not just a successful blogger and entrepreneur but also one who practices what she preaches as was so evident from our meeting.
Even before meeting her, I knew all of this about Celes. What I did not know and wished to find out was the nature of the personality, attitude, and character of the person behind the blog, something – I believe – only a face-to-face meeting affords us even in this world of virtual everything! And yes, you can pick up an inordinate amount of information by a simple meeting. Over time, a blogger’s success is directly proportional to their true character; a good character, while essential, is not enough for success but a poor or mediocre one is certain to sour any amount of success, sooner or later.
For me, making this distinction has always mattered and Celes more than delighted me on this account. She is generous, kind, professional, funny, candid, and passionate about helping her readers. She also makes for extremely fun and educational company! In our bloggers rendez-vous, we ran the gamut of many topics, from my travels to her story on how and why she started her blog, from how I met the lucky husband to her dating adventures in a bustling melting-pot that is Singapore today. We tossed around blogging strategies, lessons we have learned, aspirations for our blogs and our readers, and created a beautiful bond in just two hours.
~ Why to Seek a Face-to-Face Meeting ~
In today’s insanely virtual world, it is entirely possible to develop great relationships without ever meeting the people with whom we interact and work. No argument there. My argument is this: Even though I am hopelessly in love with technology and live many hours in the virtual world, I can say without a shadow of a doubt, there is not – and never will be – a true substitute for a face-to-face meeting so if chance presents the opportunity, grab it! This could be a blogger friend with whom you already have a special connection, or other professional contacts in your world – your clients, your customers, your boss!
When you meet someone for the first time, you instantly know a multitude of nuances and eccentricities only visible to the naked eye in person. You have a window into their personality and character and they a window into yours. The smile, the gestures, the eye contact, the body language, those are only reserved for when we meet another human being and interact with them live. The art of holding a conversation with those with whom we have exchanged some 100 emails is still something to cherish and behold. The pleasure of making that face-to-face meeting and hearing a person’s voice first hand and sharing a meal or a drink over casual conversation is the stuff relationships are made of. Seize them if you ever have an opportunity for even one meeting in person is enough to change the course of a relationship forever.
~ Preparing for Blogworld and Meeting Other Bloggers ~
My rendez-vous with Celes was a very first for meeting a new blogger in-person and luck would have it, I intend meeting many, many more bloggers this week when I go to Blogworld for the first time!
Blogworld Expo, or “Blogoplooza” as Andy Brock has been referring to it for months, takes place mid-October in Las Vegas (where else!). It is the ultimate gathering of world-wide bloggers with amazing opportunities to listen to superb key-note speakers, attend workshops and conferences, and meet and greet in person. In fact, as of today, I am honored to be in such good company among other attendees here, thanks to Jason Houck’s brilliantly updated attendee list!
For best strategies on getting the most out of Blogworld, Darren Rouse’s recent post hits on all cylinders! If that’s not enough, Annabel Candy (who may be the only one more excited than me in going to Blogworld!) gives us the emotional run-down on how to handle Blogworld butterflies! As for me, here are my true intentions in attending Blogworld 2010.
Be completely present among people who share my passion for blogging.
Help at least one new blogger find his or her way around.
Introduce at least one new blogger to another more experienced one.
Meet at least one person who challenges me to set higher goals for Prolific Living.
Immerse in technology and learn at least 10 new solid strategies to incorporate here.
Pick up at least one practical approach to avoiding distractions and staying focused when writing.
Learn at least a dozen new techie geeky tricks and then share them with all my readers.
Do my best not to go into Toastmaster mode and silently evaluate all the speakers.
Meet and have my photo taken with at least one popular blogger (I can’t help it, I dig celebrities!).
Watch to see how other bloggers interact, work, meet and blog.
Listen and learn from the professional bloggers, the gurus, the ones!
Be the image and the voice for Prolific Living.
Bring back awesome photos of Las Vegas Blogworld to share with readers.
Inspire at least one person to want to live a more prolific life.
Make at least two unforgettable memories and a dozen new friends.
What shall I report back on?
In this post, I wanted to share with you the true value from meeting others in person. Love to hear your thoughts on whether I am being a sentimental old-fashioned girl or whether there is still a place for a conversation, a meeting of the minds and a cup of tea! As for Blogworld, first if you are going, let me know as I’d love to meet you. If not, what would you have me report back? What lessons, information, ideas, and answers would you like me to look for? Share your thoughts! The Blogworld update will be posted on Tuesday, October 19th so stay tuned!