Can’t keep a secret

October 6th, 2004 by Steve Pavlina

Today I learned that someone posted a link to this site at the Indie Gamer Forums. So welcome, Indie Gamer visitors.

I only started developing this site on October 1st, so I haven’t even officially launched it yet. It was only this afternoon that I finished making the CSS style sheet for the site, but aside from this blog, there’s still no real content yet. I put up a very quick and dirty version a few days ago because I was doing a phone interview last week and mentioned this soon-to-exist site in the interview. The interviewer assured me that the article wouldn’t be posted for at least a week or so, so I told her it would be OK to include a link to this site in the article, since I knew I’d have the site at least launched by then. But of course Murphy had a say in all this, and the article with the link was online about 48 hours after I hung up the phone… before there was even a site here.

I scrambled to get something online just so the visitors from that article wouldn’t get a 404 error, but the one link from that article eventually led to someone mentioning this site in their blog, which led to more people knowing about it, and then the Indie Gamer mention… all before the site was ready for public viewing. I wasn’t going to officially announce the site until I had some actual content, at least a new article or two. Oh well… too late now. :)

I should at least explain what this site is going to be about. Although the home page currently features the new book I’m writing on software self-publishing, my plans for this site have nothing to do with software or computer games. I just put up the book sign-up list here temporarily, but I’ll eventually offload the book stuff to its own site. This site, however, is going to be purely about personal development. It will be something of an expansion of the personal productivity and motivation articles I wrote in the Dexterity Articles Section. After more than five years of writing articles, I’ve found that the personal development ones (as opposed to the software, marketing, or business articles) have been the most popular and have benefited people the most, based on all the feedback I’ve received about them. Some of these articles have been linked up to the point that they generate quite a bit of traffic. A Google search I just did on overcoming procrastination even lists one of my articles in the top 10.

So if you don’t have much interest in reading about personal development, time management, getting organized, setting and achieving goals, and similar topics, then you probably won’t be interested in this site. Personal development has been a major interest of mine for more than a decade. I’ve read literally hundreds of such books and listened to many hundreds of hours of audio programs, not to mention attending a number of seminars. So this site is my newest expression of my deep interest in personal growth.

In addition to using this site as an outlet for my writing, I’m also working on my public speaking skills, since I want to eventually expand into professional speaking. But before that happens, I need to overcome two obstacles. First, I need to develop a sufficient quantity of unique material. So I’ll be starting with some free articles and blog entries to get a feel for my strengths in that area and to get feedback to learn if/how people are actually applying the ideas. And secondly, I need to develop my skills as a speaker. To work on that subgoal, four months ago I joined Toastmasters International. My local club is called Starmasters and meets in Northwest Las Vegas. In fact, I have a club meeting tonight, which will focus on impromptu speaking. There are more than 10,000 individual Toastmasters clubs and 200,000 members worldwide. I’ve already improved a great deal thanks to all the outstanding feedback. In August I attended Toastmasters’ 2004 International Conference in Reno, which was a lot of fun, and I met other members from around the world. This Fall I also participated in Toastmasters’ annual humorous speech contest and won first place in my club and then first place again in my area (my area is 5 clubs). So on October 23, I go on to compete in the division contest (my division is 5 areas, or roughly half of Las Vegas), which will be held at the California Hotel in downtown Vegas.

It’s pretty strange running a software business during the day and then in the evening putting on a suit and getting up in front of an audience to make people laugh. Mild-mannered software developer by day… amateur comedian by night. :) I’m really enjoying the variety though, and I love the challenge of it.


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