That’s been the question running around in my head of a few months now! It’s a question that is not easily answered, especially when everyone does and likes different things. For the most part the blog is just a day-by-day list of things to do, and it’s rare that I plan ahead but I have to admit that living in Dufferin County I did plan one day ahead :). The Video is at the bottom of the post today!
I’m still having a hard time believing it? Today is Day 365! Yes, this is the 365th day in a row I’ve written a blog post about my community, Orangeville, ON. I’ve shared parks, trails, events, activities, restaurants (some of which have since my post about them have now been featured on TV), coffee houses, venues, waterfalls and countless other amazing things, even a school bus that serves burgers. In short, it’s been an amazing year. The business owners I’ve met. The wonderful people who call Orangeville and Dufferin County home. The people who used to live here and are enjoying reminiscing about Orangeville. Those who are considering moving here. Everyone is awesome.
There have been many days this past year when I’ve wondered how I’d feel when I reached day 365 here at dufferincountyrealestateguide.com. When I began this project, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect and, deep down, I doubted whether I’d be able to do it. But the people I met along the way who shared their stories and their time nudged me kindly along each day. And I look back with a great sense of gratitude for the many new friends that I’ve found and some awesome places I have found.
Now that day 365 has arrived, many of you have asked me, what happens next? I have a lot of plans for this website, but there is one thing that comes first.
I need to take some time to really thank my wife and my family for allowing room in our lives for this massive project. My waking priority (after helping my clients sell or buy a home their home) each day this past year has been finding something in Orangeville and Duffeirn County to write about. It has taken away from our time spent together, more than I imagined it would. But, there’s no doubt, it has all been worth it. For me, the reward is measured, not by money, but by something much more meaningful. In my business and in my personal life, we don’t measure life by the breaths we take but by the relationships we share.
Why I Did It
I started writing the dufferincountyrealestateguide.com because I wanted to create something useful for our community and to help my clients that have moved to the area. I’m excited by the power and reach that is possible with a hyper-local blog fueled by thriving social networks, such as facebook, Twitter and You Tube. The content I added to this site each day has caused a steady increase in traffic over the past year, but more importantly I’ve seen an increase in the emails I receive thanking me for pointing out things to do in our AWESOME community.
Since May 12th, 2011, we’ve had almost 29,000 visits to dufferincountyrealestateguide.com and almost 60,000 page views. Since Feb of this year, we’ve started to see our numbers grow to over 3,000 visits each month. I feel pretty good about the data, given this website is so purposefully specific to Orangeville and Dufferin County.
I also believe this unique type of local exposure will allow me to better serve my real estate clients here in Orangeville. I seem to have established a dynamic place online where people come daily to seek information about our community.
What I Learned
For starters, I’ve learned that there are WAY MORE THAN 365 THINGS to do in Orangeville and Dufferin County. At the beginning, I was worried that I’d run out of things to write about so I saved a few of my favorites until I got closer to the end. But to be quite honest, I could easily continue writing daily blog posts with all of the great people, businesses and events coming up in Orangeville. For that reason, I do plan to continue writing regular posts at dufferincountyrealestateguide.com but not everyday 😉
I did some research the other day and found that it takes 21 days to develop a habit. That’s 21 days of going to the gym every day or exercising in some way every day, 21 days blogging, 21 days to eat healthily, 21 days of doing, 21 days of anything.
When you want to start a habit, don’t tell yourself you are doing it for life, tell yourself (your conscious brain) that you are going to try it for 21 days. It’s funny when I look back on the year that was, my thought was if only I could get though the day and find one thing :). I guess it’s now become a life style for me.
One of the things that I also know now is that, if you want to reach a goal, YOU WILL if you share it with the world around you. Knowing that there are expectations of you is a very powerful motivator. Somewhere in my past, I acquired the personally of a self starter, a motivator, coach and a go-getter attitude. I started out on May 12, 2011 really not knowing where this was all going to lead to. By now you know that I’m not journalist and my grammar is not the best. Living with dyslexia can sometime be issue but I look at as a challenge 🙂 It’s hasn’t stopped stop me from completing my goals. Having goals and dreams have allowed me to overcome a number of personal challenges like I just mentioned! I only know one thing and that’s, setting a goal and then making it happen. Yes, you’ll have your ups and downs but if you keep you eyes firmly on your goals and learn from your mistakes then you will succeed. The only difference between someone that thinks they can do something and someone that doesn’t is FAITH! I have all the faith in the world that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. You will find people along the way that will beat you down with their negativity, tell you it cannot be done, tell you that this place sucks and that everyone should moved away.
I say the best place in the world is the place you are currently in! If you don’t like it, change it 🙂
Yes, Dufferin County is missing a few things such as a bowling ally (the Nintendo WII did that in), an indoor kids playground, a place to play laser tag (we had one…), vegetarian restaurant, outdoor pool, pick your own berries farm, and a good night club for dancing so that people in their twenty’s don’t have to drive to Toronto for a great night shaking it ;). I’m sure that there are more but that’s just a few. So, if your complaining that there is nothing to do….be part of a solution and not part of the problem. Just look at the Jazz and Blues event, that is run by volunteers and how about FOODSTOCK. I was just one of eighteen people that helped bring FOODSTOCK to life and we did this with NO money. 28,000 people came and had a awesome time…Just sayin!
People I have Helped
I’ve had the opportunity to not only help encourage locals to “Get Out, Explore & Enjoy Our Community” but I’ve been able to help lots of small business owners set up and tweak their facebook pages. I’ve also had the opportunity to share my experiences locally and nationally. I’ve taught classes, had an article written about me in the news paper, been on panels and loved sharing what I’ve done with the Dufferin County Real Estate Guide and the Facebook page 365 Things To Do In Orangeville, ON.
What Comes Next
So, thank you all so much for joining me this past year. I look forward to getting to know many of you in person in the months ahead. And, if you enjoy reading this blog, THERE IS ONE THING that you could do to help me. If you or someone you know needs a good Realtor, please call me at 519-215-0107 so we can discuss how you can introduce them to me. I’m always an email or a phone call away, firstname.lastname@example.org and if you see me around town make sure to say Hi 🙂
In the meantime, I promised I’d be sharing something special for day 365. Well, here it is. It’s a one day adventure in Orangeville and Dufferin County. These are places and people I won’t soon forget.
As I write this last sentence, I’m listening to a song that sums up how I’m feeling right now, and it’s AMAZING.
After the last year of blogging I feel like a tour guide, but I guess that’s part of my job description while showing homes to my clients :). I decided that today’s assignment, should I decide to accept it, involved one day, 3 towns, 5 townships and a whole lot of fun :).
Starting at Nifty Nook at 7:30am in Mono. I know It’s early, but the blue sky promises a glorious summer day. Perfect for showing off the best the Dufferin County has to offer. I stretch my Headwaters tourism map on the table the night before but thought I would just kinda wing it instead. But my route will include: Mono, Orangeville, Hockley Village, Grand Valley, Shelburne, Horning Mills, Melanchton, and Mulmur.
After breakfast I get into my fuel-efficient Matrix. As I head west on Broadway, I decide that Mochaberrys would be perfect for a quick coffee then I can checkout the farmers market.
I like Orangeville’s historic storefronts and all the great local business along Broadway. Not many people know this but the founders of Orangeville named our main street after the Broadway in New York and then numbered the avenues and streets on Orangeville’s north side.
After loading up on some some produce and bread from the market I leave town and head north on hwy 10, then turn down Hockley road. I thought a trip to the Hockley General Store would be a great place to stop before hiking at Mono Cliffs.
After a refreshing hike around the village and mono cliffs enjoying the fresh air and warm sun. I seem to have worked up a hunger…I’m so happy it’s lunch time, so off I go to Philadelphia Kitchen. It’s just one of my favorite places to eat and everyone is so friendly.
2:00pm already…WOW! Time is flying, so I pack up my things and head over to the Luther marsh for some R&R time. Along the way I realize that lots of people want to know more about the wind turbines so afterwards I’ll drive though the Melanchton wind farm.
Getting closer to Shelburne, I parked and but can’t decide where to go next. So I check out Jelly’s Cafe and Bakery for a piece of the best chocolate cake around….then…. go next door to Soaring Heart and get the best frozen yogurt around!
Back in the car, looking for something else to do I think of the Horning Mills waterfalls I had been to last August. So up hwy 124 I go. While driving I think back on of all of my past clients and the places I have been been to during the last 365 days…Life is GOOD 🙂
After the waterfall I think that a drive in Mulmur might be in order…The views are awesome and the back roads are even better…It’s time to get lost in the back woods :). There are great hiking trials on the Bruce and even a cool new Pub called Terra Nova Public house (that’s a new place that I will blog about later) that seats 40 inside and an additional 30 outside. Now if you look really hard you might find the “Flintstone House” and the old power station.
It’s almost 6pm….I’m Jones’in for a Chocolate shake and Champs is only 10 minutes away. Sweet! Time to hurry 🙂
What to do for Dinner..Hmm! Ruby Pier Steak and Oyster Pub, is one of my new favourites, and after a day like today…fresh oysters and hand-cut steak is on the bill.
Having enjoyed my meal and feeling very satisfied, I had choice to make. Go home or……..
I went with the OR…..
Turning on to 5th sideroad in Mulmur I noticed I was on Borrowed Time. I only had a few minutes or I would miss it!
Welcome to Orangeville and Dufferin County
Categories: Things To See And Do