Alex Blom invited me to be #8 in his new Follow Friday series. I have been virtually connected with him since sometime in his teens. I really can't answer the question he asks about how we met. But, the entire time I have remained rather in awe of this young innovator and professional's approach to the world of opportunity that awaits all of us if we choose to accept the challenge. He started with a $200 investment that grew by 9,000% in 12 months and by 19 had started and sold four businesses.

Alex, who is Australian, now resides in Toronto, a city I became quite fond of last year during my trip to Recruitfest 2009. He is someone you'll definitely want to connect with and keep a pulse on... Where exactly he's going is a good guess.. but he is clearly going somewhere. I'm delighted he has become one of my longtime tried and true connections and to follow his journey.

I really appreciate the opportunity he gave me to be his Follow Friday feature this week. In thinking what the heck I should write about, it occurred to me to share the journey I myself undertook this year.

Here's the repost from Alex's blog:

Karla and I have known eachother for too long. In all honesty I cant remember where we met (Karla, can you?) but I do remember it was around 7-8 years ago, on a social network everybody has since forgotten about, back when I was running one of my earlier companies. Ive watched her transition from a kick ass hr professional to a conference goer, intern marker, business leader and now public servant.Karla has been perhaps one of the most supportive people out there, not just to me but to my network (in a practical way, shes edited resumes for many friends), so let me hand her over and try to give her some payback:

It is so wonderfully giving of Alex to feature contacts and friends on his blog. Its a great way to optimize the use of blog space and help promote others at the same time, a lesson we can all learn from.

In November of last year, sitting around reflecting on the past, looking into the future and feeling fortunate that my own career was in very good order, I decided I was going to make a whopper of a goal for 2010 that would challenge me to be a public servant without having to run for office. I mean a year of seriously selfless devotion to use my skills for the benefit of those who found themselves unemployed for one year no holds barred.

On December 28, 2009 I published a post on my blog that laid it out there 2010 is All About You! Most of the way through Q3 2010, I have to say its been a wild ride. I have met people I might not have, helped others I surely wouldnt have known needed help, and tasked myself to accomplish things I wouldnt have otherwise done. And, I am not done yet, I still have two-plus months to go.

My list of accomplishments is confidential; Im not looking for credit. This challenge was a personal one with multiple tangible and intangible wonderful rewards that has been as good for me as it has been for anyone I have lent expertise or a hand to. Im looking forward to the end of the year to reflect on what I want to achieve in 2011, how Ill go about it and why I should do it (also to get back to sleeping more hours at night).

Im recommending that you too start to think of what you are made of, what your real core values are, your weaknesses and strengths, and put them to the test in challenging waters in 2011 not only for your own benefit but to help make the lives of others just a little better.

You will not regret this trust me.

Have you ever challenged yourself and stuck it out to the end? What did you learn about yourself?


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