I’d been attending user groups, reading blogs, and basically lurking in the background of the SQL Community for quite a while. When I lived in St. Louis, Missouri, I told myself “when I relocate to the East Coast I’ll jump into the community.” My logic, flawed as it was, was that I’d need to start doing the dreaded “networking” thing – something that comes naturally to very few of us – and a fresh start would make that easier.
Fast forward to mid 2010, not long after I had relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina (an adventure for my husband & I had planned for many years). As a consultant with Mariner, I received an e-mail from Wayne Snyder (MSBICentral | LinkedIn) titled “What you can do to better your career!” In it, Wayne discussed some things we could do to be more visible as a leader within the SQL and BI Community, such as writing and presenting.
More than being just a cheerleader, Wayne’s e-mail said: I will help you. Let me repeat that: Wayne offered to help with advice, discussions, review of materials, mentorship, making connections in the industry, etc.
And help he did. For the next few months, 5 of us met every other Friday for lunch to discuss our progress. We learned a lot, and we gave each other confidence to just do it.
In the last 16 months:
- Blog. My SQLChick blog currently has about 3,000 unique visitors a month. For a little fish in the pond like me, I’m pleased with the growth & the feedback that it’s useful to others.
- Presentations. I’ve spoken at 3 SQL Saturdays, a Code Camp, a SharePoint User Group, and 2 SQL User Groups.
- Articles. I’ve authored two articles.
The biggest thing that was impressed upon me was that I don’t have to wait until that “magic” point in the future when I think “Okay, now I know enough – I can start blogging & speaking without anyone thinking I’m a fraud.” Don’t get me wrong, those thoughts creep in, but having a group of supporters being led by Wayne sure helped me overcome the fear of just getting started.
So, a huge thanks to Wayne for believing in me – and everyone else who has encouraged me along the way. I will pay the favor back to someone in the #SQLFamily one day.