Awesome Website Extravaganza – My Story

I know that when I first thought about setting up a blog and a website and such, it was a somewhat intimidating challenge.  It turned out that setting up the mechanics of it is rather easy (with WordPress) but the hard part is figuring out what to say, and to who, and how to approach it.

Erin [118/365]
Creative Commons License photo credit: turbojoe (away)

This is a key point that my friend Catherine Caine understands.  She created the Awesome Website Extravaganza, it’s the easiest way I’ve seen to go from 0 to an awesome website without the added searching and flailing around that most of us go through.  And I would suggest that it may be even more useful for people who already have a website, but aren’t quite satisfied with what it does for them (like me.)

I’m not going to go into all the specifics of the program – you can click here to read it yourself.(edit – sorry, the AWE has closed.)

There are some things that Catherine has done here that I think are particularly brilliant.  The first one is that she has worked very hard to include everything we need to know to move forward on a given topic and nothing extra.  This focus is extremely helpful.

The material is also broken up into bite size bits – 1 topic, 1 module – and within each module several short videos.

I’m writing this having only completed one module, the first one, on finding your right people.

But I’m so excited that I didn’t want to wait.  In fact, this is going to be the first of a series of posts about the AWE.  Of course I’m not going to be repeating all the introductory stuff, but just talking about my experience in the journey.

Let me first say that:

I didn’t think that the AWE was for me.

I have a website, and I’ve got the tech stuff under control, and I’ve got a good handle on the rest.  And I had considered buying individual modules (which are available separately).  Fortunately, I didn’t have to do that.  Catherine asked me to create the “how to” part of the audio module (which I’m having a great time doing) and part of the deal is that I got in to the course.

So I started the first module, mostly to see how they worked and see what Catherine had made.  Let me be clear here:

I didn’t think I needed this!

I’ve been doing lots of work around my right people, and how to be myself online.  I really thought I had it handeld, and there wasn’t going to be much for me to learn here.

Boy was I wrong.

I hadn’t realized how nebulous some of my thoughts about finding my right people really were.  Catherine lead me into her world with the videos, and a number of important things about finding my right people catalyzed in my brain.  It’s not the kind of stuff I can explain without going on and on, so I’ll spare you… but let me just say that it’s been super useful.

Then it got better.

I opened the worksheet for the module, and I have to say that I was kind of intimidated by it at first – it was like 5 pages of questions (with big spaces for answers – but it still intimidated me…)  I hemmed and hawed for a couple of days, and tried to convince myself that I didin’t need to do it.  But I’m so glad that I did.  So I finally opened the worksheet again this evening.  It took me about 20 minutes to do, but it was 20 minutes of being in total flow.  The questions, guidance and examples made it easy for me, which was kind of a shock.  These sort of things are often really hard for me, but this time it wasn’t.

And the result was amazing – it was a total gelling of all the stuff that’s been floating around in my head about who my right people are.  I was able to define and more importantly, feel who my right people are with a level of clarity and precision that was, well, awesome.

I hadn’t realized that I had some stuckness around this issue, but now that it’s gone, it’s so clear to me that it was there.  I feel amazing from doing this.

Ok, here comes the disclaimer

Yes, I’m an affiliate for this program.  And if you join, you will be too.  Everyone who joins the AWE is an instant affiliate, which is really cool, because if you react like I did, you’re going to want to share it.

I’m writing this because I’m just so excited about what this one module has done for my brain, that I can’t wait to see what happens as I continue!!

Why I think you need this even if you have a website.

Remember what I said earlier, I really didn’t expect to get anything useful out of this module.  I thought I had it handled.  But I was wrong, I gained so much perspective and clarity that I know is going to make an incredible difference for what I’m doing online.  I suspect that many of you would have the same experience.  So even if you know all the tech stuff, and don’t need those modules, join for the ones you do need.

Check out the website.  See if it resonates for you.  I think it will.  And I hope to see you in the AWE forums.

EDIT – Sorry to say that the AWE has closed, but I highly encourage you to vist Catherine’s new site – Http://

The most passionate guy on the Internet?

Before the release of his new book Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion, I had heard of Garry Vaynerchuk as the host of Wine Library TV, but I really didn’t know anything about him. Understand, I don’t drink wine, not for any moral reason, I just never got into it.

car being crushed by monster truck
With a title like "Crush It" I couldn't resist

In any case, I started to hear lots of positive thoughts about this new book, so I went and downloaded the audio book. Audio books are my preferred way of reading almost everything, but in this case I strongly recommend you get the audio book even if that’s not normally your preference. I will get to why I say that in a minute.

This book is about passion. Of course the subtitle tells us that it’s about making money from our passion, but more importantly, it’s about how living from your passion is the way to be happy. Gary himself as the ultimate example of this. I found his passion both enjoyable and contagious, now some will say that he’s over the top, and he is over the top. The thing is, this is the real Gary. I have no doubt about it in my mind, it’s who he is. He talks about this in the book, and how important it is to be genuine to you are and your own style.

The book is really about how to create a brand around yourself, who you really are and your passion, mostly using social media. This is illustrated very well by Gary’s own story, and examples from other people who have been successful. As I read this last sentence, I realize that “creating a brand around yourself” can sound like something a used car salesman would do. This couldn’t be further from the truth. What Gary teaches is all about real honesty with yourself, and with everyone you relate with. It’s about being genuine at the deepest level.

So, why do I recommend the audio book rather than the print version?

When Gary went to record this book, he was so passionate and so into what he’s talking  about that he couldn’t stay on the script. For me, many places where he riffs off of what is in the printed text are some of the best parts of the audio book, it gives you everything that’s in the printed book plus bonus insights.

For me though, the single best part of this book, particularly the audio book, is the power with which Gary’s passion comes through. I found this really inspirational, it was really helpful to me at a time that I was a little bit down about what I was doing online. Now as I say, Gary style is over-the-top and this will bother some people. But, it’s who he is and though it took me a little while to get into it, I ended up really loving it and loving him.

So, if this sounds appealing, check out Garry Vaynerchuk’s Crush It, either in audio or print.

What do you think about Garry, and Crush It?  I’d love to hear in the comments.

Note that the Amazon links in this post are affiliate links, and I get a tiny commission from Amazon if you decide to buy through one of them.