This is the 2nd year that Treasury Café has been in existence at Thanksgiving time. While regular readers know that while I might mention a personal experience here and there, for the most part I focus on topic and try hard to deliver useful, informative, and empowering content .
However, in keeping with the tradition started last year, for today we make an exception with respect to topic, though our content objectives remain the same.
For Those Who May Not Know
In the US, the fourth Thursday in November is called Thanksgiving, and it is one of the national holidays. Wikipedia can explain its history better than I, but essentially its roots are in harvest festivals that many cultures hold.
Nowadays it is a holiday where families get together, often traveling in order to do so (in many US airports the busiest travel day is today), eat a large meal, watch football, and in general just hang out together.
I like Thanksgiving because of the low-key nature of it. Unlike other holidays, stores do not have rows and rows of merchandise to sell, and there is not the same advertising blitz that occurs. You might find that grocery stores play it up a bit, stocking up on turkeys, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie along with other things, but that’s about it. It’s all about the people.
A Time For Gratitude
The primary emotion of Thanksgiving is gratitude. During the hustle and bustle of everyday life, we often get caught up in the pressures of too-long to-do lists, the various frustrations that arise and need to be dealt with, etc.
However, after taking a deep breath or two, and focusing our attention on higher order matters, we often realize that despite all that stuff going on we actually have a lot to be grateful for. It is important to remember this, as it keeps us humble and open to what the world has to offer.
This is no less true with respect to Treasury Café. Please allow me to tell you all about it.
Inside the Mind of a Blogger
A new blogger’s primary fear is that we will write it and no one will come. Writing that first post takes a lot of time, effort and thought, for several reasons. First, we haven’t done it before, so it is more conscious. Second, we don’t entirely know what we are doing, so it involves a lot of concentration (think babies walking for the first time). Third, there is the technology aspect, which is all new as well.
So once the “Publish” button is hit, we kick back for a second and go “ahhh, I did it”. That gratifying feeling lasts all of about two seconds, and is then swiftly replaced by a nagging question – “Is anyone going to read this?”
All of a sudden we are no longer in control. Some of us might call friends, or post on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. But the ball has been passed, it is in the potential reader’s power at that point. We are at the mercy of the audience.
One of the most comforting things to a blogger, then, is to find out real people in real places are reading what we have posted. There’s someone out there!
Comments Hall of Fame
The most noticeable way this occurs is when someone leaves a comment on your blog. This not only lets you know someone has read it, you also get to take the blog topic to a new level because there is another perspective now in the mix!
For this reason, my sincere appreciation goes out to the following:
Mandy Kilinskis (@ImAmandaJulius, http://www.qualitylogoproducts.com/blog/) and I got to know each other via comments on someone else’s blog. Ironically, it was after that we realized that we were both in the Chicago Most Valuable Blogger contest, which her Quality Logo site won. I don’t feel too bad about that, since they have something like 10 zillion people who write posts for that, and when they are not writing posts all 10 zillion comment on the other’s posts. Given that I am only 1, that’s the breaks of being an independent blog. Being a good sport about it, she has stopped by on several occasions to put in her 2 cents.
Samuel Dergel (@DergelCFO, http://blog.dergelcfo.com/) and I connected after I relentlessly commented on his each and every blog post for a month or more, and he decided that if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em and came over to Treasury Café to give me a dose of my own medicine. While he hasn’t found that great CFO job for me, he certainly is successful in matching the right talent with the right company when it comes to the executive suite.
Samantha Gluck (@texascopywriter, http://www.freelancewritingdreams.com/) and I first met each other on Twitter, and after trading re-tweets and mentions I made my way to her blog and she made her way to mine for a little comment exchange. This is the classic maneuver that all those social media advisors keep telling you to do – build blog traffic and relationships by commenting on other people’s blogs. In this case it worked (I will tell you more often than not it does not work). However, in our exchange I got the better end of the deal, because Samantha is a real live actual writer, and so my comments section benefits from her excellent craftsmanship.
Scott Pezza (@scottpezza, http://blogs.aberdeen.com/author/scott-pezza/) came to Treasury Café during the enormously popular Cash Conversion Cycle and Working Capital Series of posts. As his focus at the time was payments and the order to cash cycle, this was no accident, but rather a result of his resourcefulness and expertise in the ways of social media and the internet in general. He discussed his own research findings in the comments, thus making that post particularly enlightening.
Rachel Kaberon (@rkaberon, http://undimed.wordpress.com/) is someone I met at a monthly discussion group sponsored by my school’s alumni association. She has got to be one of the most intellectually curious people I have ever met and is someone who is continuously learning more and more, soaking it all up like a sponge. Hopefully her head does not explode from all the knowledge contained within! She is a great source for interesting perspectives and has a knack for finding the perfect reading material to incite a passionate discussion.
Mark McCarthy (http://www.linkedin.com/in/markmccarthy) is a real, live, actual Treasury person (from the bank side) and also someone I first met in person and only thereafter engaged over the social media platforms. He is an innovative thinker and is interested in driving change within his and his client’s organizations. This is not the easiest thing to do from the banking side of things, so we know that Mark does not shy away from a challenge.
Sudhir Saran Singh (@sss_stratandops, http://www.stratandops.com/) and I met via a Twitter discussion I was having with someone else and from there started following each other. I then happened to write the “In Search of the Talent Equation”, which is a topic right up his alley, as he has expertise in the HR world. In fact, in his comment he shared his own firm’s version of the talent equation, adding valuable additional information to that topic.
Denisha Lacey (http://www.linkedin.com/in/denishalacey) and I met through her Treasury Café comments, and from there we have connected on other networks. She is an up and comer with a lot of fire in her belly and a desire to continue learning, improving and growing. For these reasons, there are probably no limits to what her future holds and the leadership roles she will fulfill in that future. Good luck on the CTP!
Brett Bauer (@DoubleB72) is someone I have known for over a decade, and whether or not that qualifies as pre-dating the social media age it certainly pre-dates my active involvement. He knows a ton of things about sports and tons more about beer, wine and spirits, as that is his profession. A true relationship sales and marketing pro! I would not be surprised to find a blog by Brett sometime in the future.
Faye Oney’s (@FayeinCbus, http://www.fayeoney.com/ ) main line of work is social media management, and as you all know mine is finance and strategy, so there is something “social-media symbolic” to the fact that we met via the geocaching hash tag of all things! Since then we have expanded the engagement, which obviously includes the occasional blog comment from time to time. Her blog is a great resource for pointers on using the various Social Media channels (Linked In, Twitter, etc.) as well as interesting perspectives on other business and life-in—general topics.
Barbara Swafford (@BSwafford, http://bloggingwithoutablog.com/) has a blog site that is a shining example of community creation within the blog space. Her blog is in my RSS Reader and within hours it will have 20+ comments on it – simply amazing. Unfortunately, simply reading her blog does not make the “secret sauce” to getting that kind of engagement, but us mere mortals can only keep trying!
Also thanks to:
Henry Wong (http://www.blog.henrywong.info/),
Nitin Khandkar (http://www.blogger.com/profile/15897436021743894003),
Sherlock Best (http://www.granted.com/browse-jobs/cat-Finance-jobs.html),
Pat McNally (http://valuations.blackmankallick.com/),
Mike Hewitt and
By this time next year perhaps we will know each other better and I can write a paragraph about you too!
Finally, the first blog comment after last Thanksgiving was from maddie, who was my first real social media friend. Here is what I said about her last year, when talking about my “firsts”:
“My first E-mail dialogue was with maddie. However, to say that she was my first blog-generated e-mail correspondence really does her a disservice, because no matter what happens - in all the rest of my life - I will always have a special place in my heart for maddie.
I ran into maddie by way of another blog. Through that blog, she reached out to me with the wisdom and advice of someone who has “been there, done that” and really took me “under her wing”. maddie is really the first one, and to some extent the only one, who provided the “somebody believes in me” feeling with respect to Treasury Café. And I tell you what, during the first couple months of blogging, you need that feeling! Thank you, maddie!”
Unfortunately for me, maddie dropped out of social media right after her post-Thanksgiving comment on Treasury Café. Her blog site won’t even pull up anymore (yet I cannot bear to take it off my blogroll!), there are no tweets since late November, no emails… I miss her.
Shout Out Hall of Fame
The other big way for a blogger to know that others are reading is when people mention your blog in their blog, or in other social media settings. This has the added touch of attracting new readers to your site, who might come back in the future and/or leave comments.
For this reason, my sincere appreciation goes out to the following:
Wally Bock (@WallyBock, http://blog.threestarleadership.com/ , http://writingabookwithwally.com/ ) is someone who connected with me after I commented on his blog. He has had a longtime focus on leadership which I covered here on Treasury Café in “A Life’s Worth of Leadership Lessons”. Since a lot of the posts we cover here are about case studies of statistical distributions and financial strategies, replete with formulas, spreadsheet images and R output, mentioning Treasury Café would not seem to be a particular fit for his topic areas. However, on occasion we do cover issues with respect to managing the team, or being a valued partner, or working within the organization, and these have often been included in his “Midweek Look at the Independent Business Blogs” posts every Wednesday. Always willing to accept a challenge, he also found a way to work the Working Capital series into his Zero Draft blog about writing.
Rene Michau (@renemichau, http://cashinsight.blogspot.com ) , from ANZ Bank, found me very early on in the life of Treasury Café. He was the first blogsite “member” and the first to include Treasury Café on a blogroll (which is yet another way of saying, “I read this and you should too”). He will often include Treasury Café posts in his newspaper ( http://paper.li/renemichau/cashinsight ). You may have noticed that most of the connections I have made were through blog comments and Twitter, but early on Rene found me “out of the blue” somehow and thought I was worth staying in touch with.
Stephen Gill (@sjgill, http://stephenjgill.typepad.com/ ) picked up the “5 Reasons NOT to use the Olympics for Business Lessons” Treasury Café post as a perfect segue into a post he was writing which covered the reasons and motivations underlying why people look to sports for analogies.
Thank you for reading this blog! One of the things that I have been most proud is the fact that Treasury Café has been read on every continent except Antartica (if you know someone there, please get them to visit!). It is amazing to me that we can reach out anywhere in the world, form connections and work together like we can these days.
I am very grateful for your visit, and the fact that you come back. I am very lucky to have you and to be living in these times.
· What are you grateful for today?
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