Cheers, To One Year

Cheers to One Year

One year ago, to the day, I sat in front of my computer screen, just as I am this morning. Except for, I was almost paralyzed. Questioning whether I should go through with it. I’d worked on that article for weeks. Start. Stop. Start. Stop. Start. My lizard brain was winning the mental tug-o-war.

Sure, I’d been writing the newsletter consistently for five or six years. And even more aggressively for the full year prior. It’s not like I’d been in the witness protection program, but this was a different animal.

Anytime you expose yourself to critique, in public forum — particularly in a medium where the feedback can be almost instantaneous — it’s unnerving.

I dreaded the “unsubscribe button,” which is actually quite comical since I, myself, am the king of the email unsubscribe.

Or worse yet, I feared that I might hear ‘crickets.’ I know how much email I receive on a daily basis and how, even the longer form stuff that I have every intention of reading often gets buried under a dog pile of the stuff that seems far more urgent in nature. And yet, rarely is.

See that’s just it though, I never want my content and correspondence to be lumped into the “junk mail category.”

But the clock was ticking . . . tick, tock, tick, tock.

After the 25th, an email entitled, An Open Letter of Thanks, On my Birthday, wouldn’t make much sense, now would it? Finally I threw caution to the wind, said Screw It, closed my eyes and queued it up to >> send.

You want to know something even funnier? Last Friday March 25th — on my birthday — I purposely scheduled that email to be sent out during the middle of the day, knowing I already planned on going to see a movie.

In other words, I didn’t want to sit there, phone in hand, hitting refresh to see who’d read the email and what the response might be.

It’s crazy how, the stuff that we find most important to us in life, is the stuff we are always so quick to judge. Ourselves. Based on fear and a false sense of perspective as to how others might judge us — when we bear our ‘true selves’ to the world.

It’s crazy how, the stuff that we find most important to us in life, is the stuff we are always so quick to judge. Ourselves. Based on fear and a false sense of perspective as to how others might judge us — when we bear our ‘true selves’ to the world.

That’s where it all started though, 364 days ago. From there, one email turned into 2 and into 5, 10, and today marks number 50 in the past 12 months. Only two weeks missed, for holidays.

Only a couple unsubscribes too. Quite the opposite really. The “list” has grown significantly in the past 12 months. Added a couple new subscribers to this morning’s email, in fact.

Turns out my fears well completely unfounded. And the response, to say the least, has been humbling. Just as it was to my first email last March 25th, as The comments rolled in …

This is truly inspiring Ryan . . .

Can’t express how impressed I am of you sharing this . . .

God bless and happy birthday old man . . .

Thanks for sharing . . .

I put the Tony Robbins quote on my Motivation Wall . . .

And each week since, your feedback and your commentary buoys my spirits. Some weeks is just one or two comments. Other times it’s five or ten. No matter the number, I cherish them all and I want to say thank you for your audience. Thank you for allowing me to bear my true self.

Thank you for giving me the forum to Practice Out Loud.

Last year I wrote: “You know, they say that we drastically overestimate what we can accomplish in one day, one week or even one month. But we significantly undervalue how much we can achieve in a full year. I’m not 100 percent sure who they are but I can tell you that I never believed them until I lived the year from 35 to 36.”

This year, I’m going to echo the same sentiments. The past twelve months haven’t been all cupcakes and rainbows. Then again, where would the fun be in that? I’m proud to say that it’s been a year of continued growth, and a fine one at that.

I’m excited to see what the next 12 months will hold.

Cheers!

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Ryan France

Ryan France is a native of Austin Texas, father of two, super-early riser, avid reader, admitted podcast junkie & bulletproof coffee addict. In a past life, France was an aspiring professional baseball player. Today, Ryan is an entrepreneur, author and relentless innovator of the real estate industry. Read more on the "Who is Ryan?" page.