“You can’t knock the hustle.”
— Jay-Z, “Can’t Knock the Hustle” Reasonable Doubt (1996)
It’s been a long time, I know. Here on the other side of the screen, the hustle is real, filling my schedule with so much that the blog became a sad afterthought for a while. Seeing your numbers drop is frustrating when you know you could keep it all going if only you had more time, but we need to keep realistic. You can’t force the words out. You can’t expect to mine gold from within when your soul’s worn out. Even when the gravy train’s speeding along and everything’s going amazing, you can’t buy into your own hype — because it’ll bring your house of cards tumbling down, leaving you emptier than you started, needing to rediscover to get back on that horse.
April’s underway and everyone’s dusting the cobwebs off, getting ready to take advantage of the little good weather we get each year. Bloggers in particular get chomping at the bit as brands look to increase their real-world visibility since influencers aren’t trapped in their homes anymore. 2015 got me started early — January and February came laden with more experiences and opportunities than I’d ever expected, but March really drove the point home that I’m going to need to handle the blog with a level of professionalism I’m not used to, learning how to continue evolving while keeping my message firmly in mind — a balance I think most too readily let slip through their fingers.
But let me do better than just talk about it and show you what went down in the month that kept me from the blog, feeling like a sign of things to come.
I’m no football fan, but I knew damn well that Justin was, so — and pardon the pun (or don’t; I’m still going to say it, though!) — I knew it was game time.
Friendship is the Right Fuel for Action
There’s a difference between a stranger asking me to retweet something on Twitter and a friend asking me to do it. I follow a lot of people, and more follow me. I’ll retweet or favourite a tweet if I come across something interesting or amusing, and think nothing of it afterwards — Twitter moves at a ridiculous speed, after all!
But as a good friend of mine was asking me to do it… …well, I guess I went at it like a rabid dog with a bone!
— all while constantly monitoring Justin‘s competition.
When it comes to your friends and the spoils of victory, ain’t no fun if the homies get none!
Why My Homies Mean the World to Me
What may have been more important to me than anything else in 2012 was transitioning some “Twitter friends” to actual friends through creating TeamTrolling — a group brought together over the simple premise of having a solid group to dine with.
You can’t have too many people, because finding good restaurants that accommodate large groups is next to impossible, and the dynamic changes completely if you have too few. So, Justin brought 8 of us together, and the rest is history. These guys make me laugh. They make me think. They make me happy to go outside of my regular stomping grounds to have a good time!
One thing that you’ll know about me if you really get to know me is that I’m the type of guy to give the shirt off of my back to a friend if they need it. The experiences I have and the relationships I keep are far more important to me than material wealth. Than a reputation. Really, more than just about anything else the world could throw at me.
So if a friend needs help, I’m there, and I’ll do everything in my power to see them succeed!
TeamTrolling for the Win!!!
In the end, our efforts did exactly what we wanted them to, with Justin almost doubling the number of retweets gotten by Graham, the first runner-up: