I have so much to share but I really needed to come here today to talk about one thing and save the rest for another day. A memory and a milestone!
Today, May 30, I was reminded on Facebook of a moment that took place 3 years ago. It was a compilation of events that eventually landed me in a happy place doing what I love and treasure as my J-O-B today.
To understand though, I need to back up a bit.
In the fall of 2012, I was struggling with the physical aspects of getting older, a disease I did not know I had and the realization that I did not enjoy being a glorified babysitter.
I was “teaching” after school art classes to 12 children ages 5-12 in my livingroom once a week. I loved the concept. I enjoyed that these kids were getting the “arts” in a time when the arts were being removed from their schooling. I was actually considering opening up the class to more than one day a week!
The kids came immediately after school. If you know what that is like then you know we needed a snack ready for them when they arrived. I learned that the first week! So week two I am ready with snacks and we had their attention! It was awesome!
Then after several weeks of doing this and dealing with some parents who just wanted one more minute without little Johnny or another few hours to get rid of their dear sweet Jane, I realized I was not doing something I loved. I was babysitting for people who cared so little about the arts their children were getting that they left their art work and could care less about ever picking it up! I still have those pieces by the way.
I was also coming to the realization that my right hand could no longer function properly and in the middle of preparing for an upcoming class I lost full use of my right hand! I went to the doctor again, and this time he insisted on surgery.
So – we prepared.
I quit the after school program, and we began to pack up all of my crafty space. We decided if I was not going to do classes anymore, why should it take up the main floor of our home. So we moved it all to the basement. In the basement we stacked boxes and as I cried my husband felt sorry for me and said – well you can still have a space here. While I watched and held my own miserable hand – he created a space for me that was big, bright and full of my goodies.
I had surgery and then in January of 2013 while recovering from surgery, I saw a button on my YouTube channel. It said GO LIVE! I pressed it and it said I needed a webcam. I bought one that day and the rest is history…almost!
At that time, hangouts were BRAND SPANKING NEW! I did not even know I was using them at the time I hit that
LIVE button. I did not know for months as I used that tool that it was a tool I was using! Then as I made adjustments to my schedule, struggled with other personal issues in my home and struggled to find peace by reaching through the webcam to a world far far away, I found one day my blue GO LIVE button was GONE!
I panicked. I reached out to use Ustream. I retreated and licked my wounds.
I then did research and I found this dude. This amazing guy named Ronnie Bincer who was appropriately named, The Hangout Helper. I sent him an email and at that time I had less than 70 subscribers on my YouTube channel. I figured I was not big enough for a guy like him to help. I took the chance.
He helped me to understand the tool I was using, how to get set up properly and some tips to grow my audience. Honestly, he did more than all of that though, he helped me to grow as a person! He had truly become a good friend and because of meeting him, I have met some AMAZING people since then and I am blessed to call them all GREAT FRIENDS!
So here we are today, 3 years after my blue button went away and I learned all about Hangouts on Google and this little place I love to call my virtual front porch, Google Plus. I love it here!
Today we have a Community on G+ called the Kraafters Kommunity which has nearly 400 very active members. We have over 4,000 subscribers on our YouTube channel. My own personal profile on G+ has over 5,000 followers and I have several featured collections that have a following of double, triple, and even quadruple that!
I have done over 300 live videos! I have done nearly 100 edited videos! I have experienced having a retail store, a design team and all that entails. I have a group of believers who support me and my growth, MY PATREONS – who right now ensure I have a monthly income to continue the exploration of my art and how best to bring it the audience that loves to watch it!
I have made some friendships all over the world I never would have been able to do without the internet. I have been a part of some incredible collaborations, and worked with some of the smartest people on the planet. I have sat in on meetings that I still can not believe I was privy to. I have been able to see technology used in ways it was not intended for. Developed use cases for why it should be created and used this way… and so much more!!!!
I have been blessed!
Well, Google Hangouts AND – my own drive to not give up!
So there is The Milestone.
Not the “following” which honestly, is not that big.
Not all the “accomplishments” because many of those were failures to be honest.
No, no, it isn’t any of that. No – the milestone is realizing today – 3 years ago – I could have given up.
I could have quit and pouted. (well I did do that, but I did not stay in that for long) I could have been a quitter but I chose to be a fighter and persevere and NOT GIVE UP!
Thank you for being here – through it all, or just joining in on the journey now. THANK YOU! From the bottom of my heart!!!
Here we mark the beginning of a NEW JOURNEY as well. We want to do so much more with the technology, my family wants to be involved more and we want to make this whole gig mobile and bring it to YOU!
The next adventure will surely be just as exciting as the last 3 years if not even more so! So hang on tight and let’s ride this train together!!!
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