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Well the year is off to a good start for me. After almost quitting this blog altogether less than a month ago, I am feeling great about my new direction here.

Since committing to this project, I have a new outlook on my everyday life. I am consciously making decisions based on my goals as well as my rules to live by (in the sidebar). I’m also thrilled with the level of interaction I’ve received so far and think this will only get better for everyone if more and more people get involved.

Changes and Feedback

When I started this project, I changed a number of things on my blog. I wanted to rebrand it to become more positive and to indicate a new chapter in my life.

The first thing visitors used to see was a miserable office worker photo, which represented “the grind” of a shitty job. As you can see, I’ve replaced with a big ?. I also changed my tagline from “One man’s journey to quit his job, succeed online, and live with passion” to “Join the movement, take action, and change your life in 2012“.

I’ve also made changes to my header tabs, About Page, Resources page, and sidebar widgets. My idea was to create a new and better experience for my readers.

The ? I chose for my header image represents the unknown. I put it there as a way to signify uncertainly, change, and being open to new possibilities. (You got all that from just a question mark, didn’t you?). But I’d like to change it to something more concrete. Something that will identify my brand with ease and stand out in an online world of average.

I’ve said this before, but this project will only be successful with the help and support of my community. I have asked you all to share your ideas, thoughts, and goals with me here and would love your suggestions on choosing a new header image.

The image has to convey change, action, and growth and I want it to be unique. I’m open to all ideas and even pitches to design the image. So if you have any thoughts at all about this, please leave them in the comments. I’d like to choose a new image within the next few weeks and I appreciate your help…

I would also love to hear your thoughts on my tagline. Does it resonate with you? Is it clear what I’m doing? Is it bold enough? Again, I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

I was actually going to keep this post short and sweet and end it here, but I recently received a comment from a reader who decided to share his personal story with us. It’s clear by his words that he is stuck and needs a change and his story is remarkably similar to mine. I can feel his pain and really appreciate his willingness to open up and put his neck out there.

Below is the entire comment and I know he would greatly appreciate any feedback, thoughts, or helpful advice you may have for him.

One Man’s Grind

I started reading Steve’s blog about a month ago and was amazed how his story reminds me of my own life. So in the spirit of the Year of the Grind, I’m going to attempt to get out of my comfort zone and put myself out there and call bullshit on myself too.

I’m 33 years old, married to my best friend, have two beautiful children, have a pretty good job with good salary. From an exterior perspective, everything indicates that I’m leading a quite happy and successful life. But I am not happy. I’ve lost sight of how to even be happy and have lost balance in my life.

If I were asked to give an answer as to why, I would say it is my current job. I hate it and it is not fulfilling to me. After 11 years building my career and generally getting to a point of success, I know this is not what I wanted. I have never asked the question, “What do I really want to do with my life?”

2011 was a pretty tough year for me. After three sudden deaths in my family, the premature birth of my son (he is happy and healthy now, thank God) and a pretty challenging and stressful year at my job; 2011 is the year that learned that I have to gain some perspective on my life. My job has often been a distraction to the other more important things in my life (especially family). I work my ass off. I need to let go of the fear/stress/worry and realize that I can only do the best I can. If that’s not enough for any employer, well…..they can just show me the door.

2012 is the year where I need to work on myself and start to get to a place where I can say I’m not in a Grind. To me, the “Grind” is a point where your mind becomes essentially broken. Like a muscle that is not exercised and becomes weak, my mind has become unable to shake itself out of its rut or depression. To fix that muscle it takes a huge undertaking with a rigorous workout regimen.

So for starters, my first goal of the year is to actually make goals! I need to fix my mind. To do that, I need to take time to step back, regroup and begin working on myself.

My goals for the year are still a work in progress but to put some of them out there:

  • FIX MY MIND!! And find balance again…
  • Return to my former passion of running. Start up a regular running schedule. Sign up for the Broad Street Run in Philly this year (in May) and make it a yearly tradition again
  • Learn to learn. Read at least one book a month every month
  • Disconnect when I’m not at work meaning, when I’m with my family, I’M WITH MY FAMILY! I have spent too much time being distracted by the job that I have lost some quality time with them (I actually missed my daughter’s 2nd birthday and will always feel horrible about that). This is effective immediately
  • Learn to create. I have always enjoyed writing and photography and will start creating a portfolio on an ongoing basis
  • Realize that there’s a world outside of my bullshit. Find time to be more charitable. I have a son that is a preemie and I have never done anything for March of Dimes…that’s kind of embarrassing and shameful

I think what Steve has going here is really special. It’s great to see a community of people come together like this and share some honest feedback. To me, that doesn’t happen very often in life. I’m happy to be part of it (even if only in a small way) and invite you all to share your honest feedback with me.

All the best to you all!

-Joe

Help…

I realize that I’ve asked you spend your time sharing your thoughts about my site as well as on feedback for Joe’s story. If you’ve been following my blog closely then you care about what’s going on here and know how important all of your comments are to me.

So please take a few minutes and share your thoughts here. Thanks so much….

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