December 20, 2014: A few days ago, I was in Barnes and Nobles killing some time. I had been looking at some books about successful people (and what makes them successful) and moved on to the autobiographies when a man approached me, asking me if I had read one of the books I had just looked at. I told him I hadn’t read the book but it looked interesting. Apparently, I just became his new best friend. He found a willing listener and he proceeded to tell me all kinds of things that people should know, but probably don’t think much about.
I was actually rather struck by the conversation because everything he was saying applied to things I want to do online with a website. For instance, he mentioned that most people can’t decide what they are most passionate about. They think they are passionate about this or that, until they have to do the work, realize it’s not easy to do, then give up. He doesn’t think they are very passionate about that subject then.
Instantly, my brain started thinking about this website, TheWaterSkier. I’ve owned this site for several years. When I first launched back in 2010, I was so ecstatic to finally have a presence online and the ability to talk about a subject I really, really enjoy. Within a few months, I had my first comments and thought, hooray, I am figuring out how to do this! However shortly after, I ran into problems with spammers on the site, leaving stupid comments that weren’t relevant and most likely from “bots” and not real people. Every day I was getting an email from my site telling me I had a new comment, but when I went to check it out, it was just a link to “buy watches on this site” or, sigh “Viagra”. Apparently, the bots of the internet found my site and decided to go to town with spam.
I decided to pull the plug and kill the site until I had more time to come back and write about the topics I know the most about. I went out to learn more about building a website that would help me prevent this sort of spam in the future and truly create a fun place for 1) waterskiers to read about my adventures and 2) share their own commentary based off my articles.
Unfortunately for me, I actually enjoy several things besides waterskiing and those other topics distracted me from this site for a longer period of time than I anticipated. I spent time on SlenderSafari, my weight loss podcast, for over a year. I was trying to figure out how to build out AdoptACuddle, a website devoted to helping stray animals find homes (which I never built, other than a couple of articles). Then TheHorsePlace, all things related to horses and PrettyCowgirl, my website for women who like western clothing and want help finding new things to wear. And because I thought TheWaterSkier was such a great idea, I created TheLakeToys and TheWakeBoarder and realized I was spread too thin and not accomplishing a single thing. (Apparently this is common problem amongst business bloggers who really want to have a presence online – we are scattered-brained at times).
For the past 6 months, I’ve been soul searching and thinking about what matters to me, what am I REALLY passionate about? What captures my attention at a moments notice and distracts me from the rest of life? What takes the priority in all of my likes? I think that’s why the conversation that this stranger was having with me, really struck a chord in me. I felt like in some ways he was saying “Shey, you love water skiing, why don’t you follow your passion and start writing about what you love?” (Turns out he is a writer and has 5 or 6 eBooks he’s trying to get published. He’s a retired marine and has lots of great ideas that should be shared).
Now I’m back on TheWaterSkier and working diligently on my site, trying to update my old content and create many more posts that reflect my life on a lake. Sometimes it’s adventures from my past at the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. Other times, it will be about my ski club or just about my family and our daily fun when we take our boat to a local lake and ski after work.
I’m constantly looking at videos and images that I admire and I hope to share my thoughts about what I see from time to time. Along with waterskiing, I love our boat. It’s an older Mastercraft Prostar but I’m very happy with it and I will be talking about boat maintenance and repairs, as well as a few tricks I’ve learned pulling skiers.
If you noticed the picture of me for this post (see above), you will see I have a pink and white towel in my lap, wearing a sweatshirt hoodie and my wet hair is in my face. That picture was taken while we were doing some testing on our boat Memorial day weekend at Pomona Lake in Kansas. It was cold and rainy, but the smile on my face shows that I’m loving what we’re doing! I love the lake, I love the water and I love water skiing! (Apparently I love it enough to want to waterski on New Year’s Day, in a ripped up dry suit, no less!)
I hope my site inspires you to keep skiing and love the lake as much as I do and I hope my passion shows through to you!!