Who Makes YOU Better?

Jimmy Chips - My Downfall

As much as it pains me to admit it, every single time I reach for a bag of potato chips (which I love), or a piece of chocolate, or a ding dong cookie, an image of that annoying Joyce Cherrier and her perfect abs pops into my head. That doesn’t mean I don’t buy the chips, eat the chocolate and hide the cookies from my kids. Au contraire. It does, however, mean that my friendship with Joyce and her admirably devoted to fitness and nutrition self makes me stop and think about the consequences of eating yet another piece of crap. And, as much as it pains me to say, never mind write, it probably does make me eat less. And, loathe as I am to admit it, I even subscribe to and actually read her doggone healthy blog, which makes me at least FEEL more buff, even if I’m not.

Joyce makes me better.

And when I’m writing a blog post, whenever I feel like mailing it in, I stop and think of my friend, Erika Napoletano, the infamous Head Redhead at Redheadwriting. She’s a magician with words and crafts them in a way that always inspires me. Whatever there is to say, whomever it is saying it, Erika can and does do it so very eloquently. And I’m not just talking about her say anything persona. It’s about so much more than that. She’s an incredible writer, knows more about writing for maximum SEO than I can ever hope to, is an amazingly adept researcher and has a way of wrangling the written word that’s better than just about anything I’ve seen. I’m in awe. She also taught me to pay myself first. And it’s a mantra that I repeat to myself, and anyone else who will listen, on a daily basis. That means regularly remembering to do things for yourself – like write a blog post, or optimize your site for search, or anything else that impacts your business or your life – every single day. Before you take care of everyone else. Because if you don’t’ take care of yourself, who else is going to do it?

Erika makes me better.

And when I’m thinking about who I want to be when I grow up, if I ever grow up, I think of Liz Strauss. She’s so dead on smart that it almost takes my breath away. She forces me to ask tough questions and never just be satisfied with the quick and easy answer. Liz dives deep into the middle of just about everything and doesn’t ever settle until she’s found the answer she’s looking for. The one that makes sense. And when I’m with her or talking on the phone with her or just thinking about her, I find myself wanting to be sure and think things all the way through. The way that Liz would. I love the way she pulls people together and supports them, whether it’s through her blog, SOBCon, her SOB awards and directory and a myriad of other things. And she pushes them (even when they don’t think they want to be pushed) and pulls more out of them than they thought they had to give. She manages to magically create a feeling of community out of even the most mundane experiences, before anyone even realizes what’s happening. She’s a teacher, a mentor, a strategist, a connector, a facilitator, a brilliant thought leader and all of those terrific qualities are wrapped up in just about the nicest person ever. With whipped cream and a cherry on top.

Liz makes me better.

That’s me. There are more. But this is my start. What about you? Who makes you better? Won’t you tell me who they are and why? I’d love to know who inspires you. Then I’ll stalk them my own self!

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  • Shelly Kramer

    LOL – you are such a doll, Debbie. And thank you! What a lovely compliment – I am beyond honored!

  • Shelly Kramer

    I agree, Lin. Joyce is all that – and a bag of chips. Love her to pieces. And you’re pretty doggone inspirational your own self, girlie!

  • Shelly Kramer

    Lotay is AWESOME, Leo. I agree with you completely. I was fortunate enough to meet him at the #140Conf in LA this past year and he’s really a terrific guy. Thanks for sharing!!!

  • Shelly Kramer

    OMG, Joyce IS the best – and inspirational beyond belief. Danielle is a great friend and so amazingly humble – she will be thrilled to read this comment, and I will be sure and pass it along to her. Thanks so much, Francis, for sharing!

  • Shelly Kramer

    Hey Maribel,

    Welcome! I love all your stories of inspiration – and you remind me about how much my children and family inspire me, too. What great thoughts you shared – I do so appreciate it.

  • http://www.thisinspires.me Francis Anderson

    I love Joyce!! Her blogs are always educational to me and I am getting fit one video at a time!! If I think writing my husband @andersonrob is my editor and always giving me ideas!! I also love people that are always on the go @DanielleSmithtv is great!! <my blog is on inspirational people from the past…have too many of them!!> Great blog Shelly!!

  • Leo

    I love reading @Lotay's tweets and interacting with him. He's one of the truly amazing people I have met who makes those around him better, just by knowing him. He cares about people and he is devoting a significant part of his life to helping others. His tweets are always kind, compassionate and respectful. I wish I were more like this man. He makes all of his friends better.

  • http://blogomomma.com blogomomma

    I too love Joyce Cherrier – she is all that AND your bag a chips! Joyce is genuine, legitimate, committed and realistic. I admire her passion and it motivates me; those DARN abs! Gah!

    * high five* commadre – you inspire!

  • http://twitter.com/Maribel_Rivera Maribel Rivera

    I just happened across your blog and found it refreshing. I've been reading more and more as of late about networking and looking for role models. In thinking of my inspirations, I will say my Aunt & Uncle inspired me to be a good parent by the time they spent with their children and attention they gave them in every aspect of school and sports and life. My boyfriend inspires me daily because although I want to eat cookies (chocolate chip) every night, he won't join me. Instead, he wakes with the first rays of light and heads to the gym. Lastly, my children inspire me. They inspire me to a better mother, a better person, a better friend because I know that if I want them to be the best they can be I must show them the best of me. I improve myself, evolve into another person to inspire them to be great men. Thank you Shelly for sharing this. I look forward to more of your blogs.

  • http://production-side.com/ Debbie

    Okay, don't take this the creepy-stalker way, but you, Shelly, make me better. I am inspired by your honesty, your bravery, your leadership, your way with words, and your humor. Go, Shelly, go! :)

  • http://stores.ebay.com/ModelSupplies ModelSupplies

    OMG~!! I KNEW you were going to say @JoyceCherrier ~!!! Me, too~!!! I need to connect with her further because I have LOTS of work to do~!!! She does already have that little voice instilled in me, too =) Great post, Shelly~!!!

    x0x
    Anita @ModelSupplies

  • ShellyKramer

    Thanks Anita. She's amazing, our lovely friend Joyce. I do so heart her. We
    are lucky to know her, for sure :)

  • http://themarketingmark.blogspot.com MarkSherrick

    To be honest, EVERYONE makes me better. There hasn't been a person I have met and spent an appreciable amount of time with that I haven't learned something from. Of course, many of them are teaching me what NOT to do, but IMHO, that's just as important. I don't want to make a list, because I would leave someone positive out, or perhaps offend someone who doesn't know they taught me what NOT to do, but if any contacts me privately, I'd be glad to talk, or if you read my blog, there's a follow friday list of great people.

  • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Caring-Creates-/228986840568 Sally G.

    I love the heart and spirit in this post. I'm a big believer in “don't bring flowers to my grave when I'm dead – let me know you appreciated my presence while I'm still here”. So many people remain unaware of the many positive ways they affect others throughout their lives; simple ways like an unexpected compliment or a door held open when your arms are full, or a beautiful published tribute that alerts others to your wonder and existence.

    Like Mark – everyone makes me better. If I had to narrow that down – I'd say Children make me better. All children, not just my own ~ though my own have been significant contributors to my personal growth and Self healing. Children, before adults dismantle them, are pure potential, courage-in-motion, curiosity-in-action, singers-dancers-scientists-angels all wrapped up in one glorious package. Children make me better ~ and if they catch you stalking them, they'll turn it into a magnificent adventure game that you'll never want to leave.

    Beautiful post Shelly. Thank you …

  • http://swingtrading.bravehost.com Swing Trading

    Interesting post. I have stumbled and twittered this for my friends. Hope others fnd it as interesting as I did.

  • mmangen

    Who makes me better?

    @TommyTRC is my role model for patience – I honestly don't think I've met a more patient person in my entire life.

    You and @KatJaib are always the people I saw I wanna be when I grow up – you both have a way with words that continues to inspire me to find my own “written voice”.

    Kat is also a constant reminder to me that not only can I not be everything to everyone but I must stop and take care of myself (though I really haven't grasped that concept very well yet).

    My son makes me better in many ways and is the driving force behind me getting out of bed each morning.

    And another special Twitter friend has shown me that I can want and deserve much more than I've ever asked for when I decide to join the “dating” world again.

    There are so many people that have impacted my life and made me better. Thank you, for being one of them!

  • ShellyKramer

    I love Joyce, too, Francis. She's become a very good friend in a short period of time. And I do so love to give her a hard time :)

    Danielle is also a doll and I'm going to be with her next week at SOBCon – she makes every day brighter, that's for sure.

    Thanks so much for reading and making the time to comment!

  • ShellyKramer

    Hi Leo,

    I, too, love @lotay – he's a terrific guy and always inspirational.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • ShellyKramer

    Thanks Lin,

    Joyce IS all that and a bag of chips – you're spot on there. Even though I loathe those abs that she incessantly flaunts (haha).

    High Fiving you back, sistah!

  • ShellyKramer

    Well I'm so glad you happened upon us, Maribel. And thanks for the reminder about children. Like you, mine inspire me on a daily basis. How lucky we both are!!!

    Thanks so much for the read – and for taking the time to share your thoughts.

  • ShellyKramer

    Creepy-stalkeresque … I love it! And what a compliment, Debbie. I'm smiling from ear to ear. Thank you so much. And thanks for always managing to be a bright spot in every day!

  • ShellyKramer

    Hi Sal. I love the “don't bring flowers to my grave when I'm dead” sentiment – what a good reminder that is – for all of us.

    And I agree with you and Mark – absolutely everyone makes me better. And every day that happens in a completely different way. It's one of the things that makes life so amazing, too.

    I agree with you about children and how much they enrich our lives. I revel at the marvelosity (yup, I made that up) that is manifested in my 4 on a daily basis and never forget how blessed I am to have them.

    Thanks for coming by – and for sharing your billiance.

  • ShellyKramer

    Thanks el mucho! Glad you enjoyed

  • ShellyKramer

    Great thoughts, Mark. As usual. I completely agree – everyone makes me better, too. Even people I don't want to be anything like :)

  • http://www.redheadwriting.com The Redhead

    Aww, well thanks, lovey! Appreciate the mention and it's always great to know that someone feels you have an impact on who they are and what they do :) YOU make ME better every time we speak, email or Skype. Your friendship and professional relationship is invaluable to me. MUAH!

  • http://twitter.com/joycecherrier Joyce Cherrier

    I'm so honored SK to be an annoyance to you. You don't even know how much joy that brings me. And I so love @hipcop @modelsupplies & @blogommomma and appreciate their encouraging words. There are so many people that make me better, you being one of them, and I love how we all can bring something to share to the table. What's so cool is that it's never ending, since social media opens the door to so many relationships that we would have otherwise missed out on. Like meeting you! Now I have Erika & Liz to add to my list. Even though I follow them on twitter, I'm REALLY going to follow them now! Thanks again Shelly for always being a great role model for me. Now put the chips down.. *handing you a celery stick*.

  • http://www.vongehrconsulting.com/ Erroin Martin

    I am happy to know that Joyce does not stop you from reaching for those chips!

  • http://twitter.com/nelsonmelle nelsonmelle

    Writers like you make me better. I am finding a real sisterhood of writers who truly want their fellow female writers to be the very best they can be. The connections made in the comment sections of articles like this one are some of the very best and most helpful I have found. So, thanks.

  • http://twitter.com/lizscherer Liz Scherer

    Love this post Shelly. I find that my circle, which grows bigger daily, makes me better, makes me smarter and makes me think harder. However, the one person who truly makes me better is Wendy S. I feel fortunate to call her my close friend, my sister-in-law, my boss and my colleague. Doesn't get much better than that.

  • Mike Korner

    @Sally_G: “Don't bring flowers to my grave when I'm dead – let me know you appreciated my presence while I'm still here”. Life is far too short not to tell people how you feel. Your comment made me better today. Thank you for that.

    Shelly: Awesome article. Who makes me better? People who write thought-provoking articles. Like this one. So, thank you!

  • ShellyKramer

    I knew you'd have something healthy to say, JC. And the nicest thing about writing this blog post is seeing, firsthand, just how beloved you are! Mwah to you, my amazing Twitmiga.

  • ShellyKramer

    All this sappy crap has gotta stop, Red. Heart ya back. Damn glad to call you friend. Always :) )

  • ShellyKramer

    No she does not, Erroin. Much to the chagrin of my derriere. I just cover up all the mirrors, though, and no one is the wiser :)

  • ShellyKramer

    Thanks Liz. I feel the same way about your sassy SIL and, because of her, I met you! Double bonus points! Am so glad you enjoyed – looking forward to collaborating together in the future – for sure.

  • ShellyKramer

    Thanks sweets. There is very much a community in the various social media realms – comprised of amazing women AND men, and I'm glad you're seeing that first hand! Pretty terrific, isn't it?

    Thanks for the read – and for making time to comment. It is most appreciated.

  • ShellyKramer

    Thanks Michelle, for sharing your thoughts and your kind words. They are both appreciated more than you know. And I agree – both @KatJaib and @TommyTRC are amazing folks whom I am also fortunate to know. And you, well you save my butt on so many occasions that it's impossible to count, with your organized brain and your efficiency. You, my dear, most definitely are on the list of people who make me better – that's for sure.

    And kids, well they just make the world go 'round. Every single day. Thanks for the reminder. And for everything else. You rock!!

  • ShellyKramer

    You are welcome, Mike – and that @sally_g is pretty awesomesauce, isn't she? Thanks for stopping by!

  • mmangen

    I knew you knew Tommy but wasn't sure if you were connected to Kat – looks as though I didn't give you anyone new to stalk! :-) LOL

    And your kind words….you totally made me smile….thank you so much! What a bonus for commenting on this post today. And an unexpected one at that!

  • tommytrc

    OH WOW! My ears are ringing… I had no idea what good vibes were being sent over here. I have no patience for this kinda stuff LOL j/k. This is like a love fest that I must get in on… THANKS for the kind words all. Knowing and talking to real people on the phone is one way to solidify social media friendships and I am such a better person for associating with great gals like you you and Michelle. Too bad she is moving and then I'll have to shun her forever!

  • mmangen

    Tommy – it is a big love fest and you are in the middle of it!

    I'm honored to be able to call you my friend as well and thank goodness for Twitter. I remember when you were this Twitter Idol in my eyes…now you are a friend (and still a Twitter Idol).

    Shun me when I move to FL? Would you and your family like to come visit some winter when it's -100 below in WI? Who will you call then?

  • ShellyKramer

    Oh don't get a swelled head, Tommy. We don't like you THAT much (haha) (jk). We're all pretty fortunate to have such a great community of friends. I know that I pinch myself regularly just because it's so awesome it's almost unbelievable.

    Think of MM moving as an opportunity to have someplace to visit the next time you go to Florida. I know I do. Maybe I should tell HER that! On second thought, I'll wait until she gets there.

  • dianaadams

    I love this post Ms. Shelly!!!! Two things… first, the hilarious relationship between you and Joyce Cherrier on Twitter is priceless. Secondly, now I want a ding dong. =) Amazing, insightful, well-written post, as always. Thank you.

  • http://abbyandizzysmom.blogspot.com Erin

    YOU make me better, ShellyKramer. I'm so lucky to know you IRL. You've taught me everything I know. You put up with my shit. You are patient and brilliant and kind and darling.

    My kids make me better, too. And my husband (sometimes).

    I loved this post. I have just “met” Joyce and didn't realize she was a NOLA gal. I am just barely getting to know the Redhead.

    But I know you. And for know that matters most to me.

  • tommytrc

    I'm pretty sure MM is just moving to spite us all in N.E. Wisconsin; We fall for her, then she moves away. Florida is one lucky place to have her. Now we just need VAinparadise to move to Wi…

  • ShellyKramer

    OMG, now you're gonna make me cry, you big, cinnamon roll toting dork. I've
    taught you nothing, but reveled in your friendship. I've been the recipient
    of all your kindness and generous acts, gotten to share the joys of raising
    twins together and all the insanity that that brings, and watch you grow
    into one of the best moms I've ever seen.

    In sum, I'm the lucky one, chica.

    Your kids are amazing. So is your husband (they all have their issues, you
    know). And they have no idea (yet) how blessed they all are to have you as
    the cornerstone of their lives.

    You make me better, too, Erin. You make everyone lucky enough to be around
    you better. And don't you ever forget it.

    Or I will kick you. Hard.

    Mwah.

  • ShellyKramer

    Let's see, WI v. FL. Hmmmmmmm. Which would I pick??????
    She's the smart one. MM rules.

  • ShellyKramer

    LOL. Thanks Diana. She haunts my every move, that stalker @JoyceCherrier. I
    can't shake her. No matter how hard I try. I suppose it might be because I'm
    just so irresistible. That, and I'm always putting crap in my mouth that I
    shouldn't. Oh wait, that didn't come out right.

    Thank you, my friend. As always. A compliment from you is a treasure.

  • http://twitter.com/mckra1g mckra1g

    This is great stuff, and it's even more powerful because you took action to share it. We each have our invisible Jiminy Crickets, but they are rarely acknowledged, especially publicly.

    How wonderful that you took the time to shine the spotlight on some wonderful people. FWIW, when I know that I'm setting the bar for someone else, I take the time to elevate my game even that much farther.

    Best & see you in Chicago @ SOBCon. So stoked!

    M.

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