Earlier this week, I got my Yakezie Black Belt. Kudos to Sam the Financial Samurai for founding such a great personal finance blog network (Yakezie) and for creating the belts of honor system that rewards points for forum posts. After 11 months and 1200 points later, I received the highest belt of honor possible. Sam may need to add higher degrees of black belt because of all the lively discussion we have on the forums.
Black Belt Role Models
Here are the black belts before me who were great blog role models. Although they all have their own personalities and niches, they all provide excellent content, have great communities, and are super passionate about their blogs. If you don’t read them now, please stop by and you’ll know instantly what I’m talking about.
Out With The Old, In With The New
Recently, you all got a taste of how I mentally beat myself up. In Steve Jobs Resigns, Why I Hated Apple, one commenter said “Brutal” while another commenter mentioned Milan Kundera who is described as humorous, skeptical, and fundamentally pessimistic. Half I was flattered, but the other half wanted change. Why you may ask? Since most of my Milan Kundera type posts are aimed at me, that means I am pessimistic about myself. I’m sure it makes for an entertaining read, but I am my own worst enemy. I am holding myself back from being the best me I can be!
Initial Dejection, Final Motivation
When I got my Yakezie Red Belt (600 points), I was happy at my accomplishment. Visiting the Yakezie Personal Finance Blog Network page, I couldn’t help but look at all the black belts before me. I started comparing myself. Is this Keeping Up With the Jones, blog style? I was outclassed in every category. Who do I think I am? What business do I have being mentioned in the same breath of such great company? What am I trying to prove? Why continue? You would look odd being a Yakezie Black Belt with such less than stellar stats! I was momentarily dejected. Momentarily that is…
Finally, a switch clicked. My years of beating myself up like the albino in the Da Vinci Code disappeared. I figuratively turned my glass of water upside down and made it half full. I altered my mindset and attacked my new goal with fire. Visitors, page views, advertisers, rankings are all out of my control. Why not focus on the things I can control? “I would be the lowest ranking Yakezie Black Belt and be damm proud of it!” Kudos to all Yakezie members for their high-powered, thought provoking forum posts. With such great content from my peers, I could not just skate by with hundreds of “Nice post!” comments. We had many great discussions and on a variety of interesting topics. It has been a very fulfilling, personal growth experience for me, and I hope for others as well. Last, but not least, thanks to Miss T at Prairie Eco-Thrifter for pushing me to produce high quality content and starting off the Happy Dance congratulations. Just like a Hollywood script, it is now my turn to congratulate her. Today, Prairie Eco-Thrifter is a Yakezie Black Belt, too!