Fireworks and celebration

Two months ago, I started a course with Inbound Marketing University. This is a course on the new methods in marketing as our world changes. The more I read on this, the more intriguing it was to me. Business doesn’t work like it used to. The things that worked in the past to get people to come to you and even buy from you just don’t work as well as they used to. Starting with finding the book “Tribes” by Seth Godin, an entirely new world opened up for me. Those of you who have followed along in this journey with me know I became a bit obsessed about the Squidoo site and learning how to build great lenses that provide meaningful content. Somewhere in all of that learning, I found the Hubspot website and learned about this course.

The course is intense, particularly for someone who hasn’t done much of this kind of thing before. My world has always been filled with acronyms for things, but now the acronyms were all unfamiliar. So studying became a way of life as I tried to learn a new language of SEO, B2B, B2C, and much more. My vocabulary changed to things like links, and back links, and Google ranking, and how do you get that page rank up? It was a huge lesson in social media and how the word “social” doesn’t mean just having fun. The value of social media to create communities and grow businesses is huge. I think there have been days during this time when my family wondered who I really was and what happened to the person they have always known. I know there were times when my husband has wondered if he would ever see our bedroom the same again as I piled all of my books on the bed at night to read and study. Yet, I had a goal. I wanted to understand this stuff. I wanted to “get it” enough to use what I learned to make a difference, to have knowledge of value to offer to others. I also really wanted to get the certification offered through this course. Some days, my brain was on overload and I wondered if I could ever pass the test. This was, after all, a world unfamiliar to me. Give me a test on medical terminology any day and I can ace that! But this was new. I did 15 hours of webinars, read a lot of material, a few books, and then sat for the exam. And then I waited. And waited. It’s been a long time since my last credentialing exam and I had forgotten how agonizing that wait can be.

The exam results were released yesterday at 5:00. I sat at my computer and watched for them. Nothing. No email, not one. My brother sat on the phone with me, waiting. I just rambled, finally telling him I was trying to just keep him on the phone until I got the results. And yet, they did not come. I checked spam filters, and I waited. When I signed off for the evening last night, still no email, I sent a note asking about the results and how I could go about checking on it.

This morning, I saw a post saying that there indeed was a glitch (don’t you love technology?!) and we could check our profiles which would also show results if we passed. With a bit of trepidation, I went to my profile. Would it be there?

It is! I passed! I am now officially a “certified inbound marketing professional!” You can see the badge here next to this post. I am truly excited to have reached this milestone!

So why share this? Is it just a way to do a little self-bragging? Actually, no. When I think about what this really means for me, and for you, I think it means that we have to step out of our boxes and learn something new. It is so easy to get stuck in a world of only doing what we know, what is familiar, and in doing that, only staying within our groups that are familiar and comfortable. The world as we know it is changing, every single day, and if we don’t step outside of those old familiar boxes, it just might pass us by. I don’t want that to happen and hope you don’t either!

So, here’s my question for the day. What is something you have wondered about but are afraid to try? How can you step out of your box today and do something unique and different? And what’s stopping you?! Do it now!

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