Barking Up The Right Tree

Listen if you like!


Do you remember your parents teaching you this lesson when you were growing up?

“You are a direct reflection of who you hang out with.”

They may have tried to instill this lesson in you if you started hanging out with the “wrong” crowd, if you know what I mean.

Or they may have wanted to engrain it in your brain to help you make good choices when choosing your childhood friends and your circle of influence later in life.

This same lesson is true in the internet marketing industry.

The people you associate with and align yourself with are very important.  In order to be successful, you need to be barking up the right tree.  In other words, you need to hang out with people who will support you, promote you, and be in alignment with your morals, standards, and values.

My mentor, Jessica Swanson, is just such a person.

I knew, without a doubt, that I was barking up the right tree when I met Jessica via Twitter over three years ago.  For starters, I resonated with her style and her marketing message right out of the gate since “Shoestring Marketing” is the platform I’ve built my business on!

When I began purposefully and intently observing how she conducted business and how she carried herself in conversations online, I had a strong gut level instinct that she was going to be very instrumental in my success as a small business owner and online marketer.

Jessica is classy, savvy, super knowledgeable, authentic, engaging, and one of the kindest people you’ll ever want to meet.  She fits my definition of a true professional.

So who are you hanging out with these days?  Who is it that’s supporting you, promoting your talents, and helping you to realize the success you deserve?


  • And I can speak for everyone you’ve mentioned, Danielle, in saying our lives have been enriched from your friendship and all the valuable knowledge you share!

    Thanks for being YOU.

  • So true Melanie! We are judged by the people we hang out with and who we make relationships with. I think I was doing pretty good when I met people like you and the Michele and Michelle and Dani and some of the other great bloggers I’ve found lately!

  • Melanie, have you heard this saying?

    “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” — Jim Rohn

    That’s why it’s so important to:

    1. Have a (business) mentor

    2. Have friends who aren’t poor, aren’t reckless, and are happy

    3. Have someone you can talk to who will be honest and tell you when a bad idea is a bad idea, but also encourage you

    It sounds like you found yourself a pretty good mentor. No one can do it alone.

    • Way cool to see you here, Robert!

      All three of your suggestions are absolutely paramount. And nothing is more relevant than authenticity and honesty – so it’s critical that you find a business mentor that will “tell you when a bad idea is bad”, as you’ve stated.

      We may be “solo” professionals but we cannot build a successful business “solo”!

      When I made the pledge to visit your blog every day during the 30-day challenge, I thought it might start feeling like a “chore”. But instead, I’m happy to get my email reminder from you every day and I find myself SPRINTING over to see what you’ve posted! 🙂

      Let’s Write On,

  • Hi Melanie, What a great post to remind us how important other people are in our lives. Working from home can be isolating but with online friends, such as you, everything is better. I’m loving being a part of your world, as well as the Blog 30 world, which brought us together.
    .-= Deb Augur´s last blog ..Setup Your Twitter Profile Properly =-.

    • Ditto, kiddo! I feel the exact same way, Deb. I can honestly say that no other event or workshop or ANYTHING compares to the experiences I’m having in the blogging challenge/s!

      I treasure the opportunity and the joy of connecting with you (forever!),

  • TheHighRoad

    @MelanieKissell great post Melanie. I’m really enjoying the option to listen as well as read it.

    • Thank you, Vernon, from the bottom of my (midlife crisis) heart! 🙂

      Let’s Write On!