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Julien Smith: “Your Environment is Everything”

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julien smith When I was in college, I was very interested in learning about nature versus nurture (i.e. the debate about what is more important: your innate abilities/genetics or your environment/experiences). It was the first time I had stepped outside of my secure, rural community to meet people from all over the world. It was uncomfortable and exciting at the same time.

Nature versus nurture was a topic brought up in my Psychology 101 class, and I began looking at my own life through more refined glasses. What I realized is that certain beliefs and personality traits that I thought were just “who I am” (nature), were more likely a result of the environment in which I was raised (nurture).

Writes Julien Smith, in a blog post on In Over Your Head,

Where you live is not trivial– at all. Your environment is everything for you. It shapes you. It’s made you who you are, from the people you spend time with to the very streets you are driving in and walking on every day.

This can be both good and bad. For example, I consider myself to have an extremely strong work ethic, and I attribute that to the fact that I grew up in a rural farming community where everyone had to work hard just to make ends meet. There, you won’t find a tolerance for laziness. But I also am extremely hard on myself when I  face any kind of failure, large or small, because where I grew up, failure in your career meant no food on the table.

So what does this have to do with content creation or your online business?

I believe, that the same way your physical environment can effect how you interact with the world and what level of success you achieve, so do our virtual environments. As Julien writes, where you live is not trivial, and because we “live” online these days, we need to broaden our horizons a bit to include your online presence in this idea.

Think about the people in your closest circle. Think about the websites you visit the most. Think about the online communities where you choose to interact, and the online communities where you consider yourself a member. Think about how your own content reflects the online environment where you live. Think about how you can step out of this cycle and build new relationships or simply just find refreshing places to hang out online, at least occasionally.

It’s about growth, and about ensuring that you surround yourself with an environment, both online and off, that is aligned with your personal and professional goals.

See Julien Live on the NMX Stage (And Download a Free Session Featuring Him!)

We’re happy to be welcoming Julien to the keynote stage at NMX 2014. If you missed our recent keynoter announcement, you can check it out in full here.

To go along with this announcement, we’re giving away past sessions featuring our keynoters, including Julien. Download these sessions now while they’re still available!

Allison Boyer freelance writer and content marketing consultant. She also runs the food blog The PinterTest Kitchen with her mom and sister. You can follow her shenanigans on Twitter (@allison_boyer) or contact her at allisonmboyer@gmail.com.


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