As a mentor coach Des Walsh was no stranger to connecting with people and helping people connect with others. However, when Des stepped into the world of blogs he found that his own network of colleagues and friends took on a global focus with more opportunities than he could ever imagine.
Blogger Story Teller: Des Walsh, Thinking Home Business
I’m a business coach and blogging evangelist. I live in Australia, in a beach culture + tourist + hi-tech industry location known as the Gold Coast. In a former life as a senior public sector executive, I was responsible for national and state-level programs in education policy, cultural development and major event planning. For the past eighteen years I’ve been a consultant and mentor coach.
I discovered blogging, courtesy of project management expert Hal Macomber - at a coaching conference in San Mateo, California. Hal’s topic was, as I recall ‘become an e-celebrity with a blog’ or close enough to that. Which sounded good to me, particularly as I was very keen to promote my coaching capabilities internationally. Anyway, I futzed around for several months, trying in my non-techie way to figure out what blogging tools to use, what to write etc. You name the blogging platform, I probably used it or tried to.
Then I did a course with another coach, Andy Wibbels and with his help developed a Typepad blog, the original Thinking Home Business blog. I later switched to the Blogware platform, via the reseller/support company BlogHarbor, which gave me more functionality and more practical support, then and now, than I’d found elsewhere.
The Thinking Home Business blog actually started tangentially to my main aim of promoting my coaching services, and basically as a means of sharing information and ideas between home-based professionals and maybe developing a bit of a business specialty in that field. But over time, and in response to reader feedback and statistics about subjects of interest, the blog has increasingly focused on social media, especially blogging, and online social networking, although I occasionally post stuff about home based business.
In parallel to my interest in blogging, and being a keen networker, I got quite involved in online social networking, especially through the professional online networking service, LinkedIn. That led in turn to my connecting the two interests of networking and blogging by starting the LinkedIn Bloggers group on Yahoo! Groups. There are now over 550 members – a diverse mixture from newbies and maybes to very experienced, ‘A-list’ bloggers. I have a great team of co-moderators and I think I can say confidently that a number of people find it a really helpful forum.
Also, at the instigation of the wonderful Paul Chaney of Radiant Marketing Group fame and now VP of Marketing for Blogging Systems I was fortunate enough to join the distinguished group of blogging pros as a contributor to Business Blog Consulting.
Blogging hasn’t completely taken over my life (although my family and close friends might disagree) and I maintain my business coaching practice. And after some prompting from several coaching colleagues, I’ve developed a range of information and coaching products for would-be business bloggers, including my 7 Step Business Blog e-book, a series of teleclasses and audio-visual, step by step aids to blogging. I also get to speak about business blogging at local and national conferences, which I love.
I’m so fortunate to have discovered blogging. I never dreamed of what a trip it could be, and is. Blogging has given me a wider network of colleagues and friends, a new set of tools to help business owners, new business opportunities and a way of promoting my services more effectively (which was how it all started). It’s also got me writing more regularly: and as a direct outcome of my blogging activities, I am now the author of one book as above and the co-author of another, LinkedIn for Recruiting, which I wrote with fellow blogger Bill Vick of Dallas, Texas.
In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists. - Eric Hoffer, American Philosopher