A few of you may have caught a recent twitter I posted celebrating the fact that I'd finally reached 250K gold. (I also talked about it a bit on Podcast Episode 015 (around 2:11).) Like many of you out there reaching certain milestones grants us to the opportunity to write about our experiences and have them posted on WarcraftEcon's Hall of Fame.
I took advantage of this chance myself yesterday and did my Hall of Fame interview and got it sent off to WarcraftEcon. Writing my 250K interview gave me a chance to reflect back on some of the things that helped me get to 250K but also on some of the feelings I've had inside as a gold-blogger and the stigma that I thought existed in the community for those who hadn't "made it" so to speak due to never having reached an "important" gold milestone.
After the jump I discuss what my thoughts and feelings are on the topic of the importance of milestones as well as my advice for those who may be struggling with thoughts of inadequacy.
While I won't spoil my Warcraft Econ interview I did want to share one question that I feel really sums up what I considered to be the reason I was reluctant to discuss my gold totals with anyone.
Q: Do many people know you have this amount of gold?
A: Not on my server. I generally don't talk to anyone on my server about my gold. As far as outside the game I haven't made my gold totals public up until this point. I think part of it was feeling inadequate as I saw readers of my blog and other bloggers reaching much higher gold milestones than myself. As someone who blogs about making gold I guess I felt a bit of pressure to "prove myself" by having some huge amount of gold. I have since gotten over my initial trepidation about talking about my gold totals. While I don't think I'll worry bringing it up again (at least not until I feel I've reached another significant milestone) at least I don't feel ashamed or defensive anymore when someone asks me how much gold I have.
In this answer to the WarcraftEcon question I bring up that I've let certain people's opinions in the community of what a "gold blogger" should be affect me. In my life I've always been one who likes to think what other people say doesn't affect me and that I'm a happy person no matter what. As much as I like to tell myself this the truth is that we are all affected by what others say.
When someone we respect tells us that they value our opinion less because we haven't reached a certain gold value it hurts. As much as they try to play it off and say "it's not a big deal" it obviously is or they wouldn't be saying that they respect those who have made XX amount of gold over others who haven't. It's pretty clear they they believe gold totals are important.
But I don't want to get sidetracked. What I want to tell everyone here today is that it doesn't matter how much gold you have. Gold milestones are nice sign posts along our gold-making journeys. They are nice to use as bookmarks to say "I remember whey I hit XX gold." But they don't make you a better or worse gold-maker. They don't validate (or invalidate) your opinions or ideas about gold-making.
We celebrate gold-making milestones here at Power Word: Gold. (See Community Gold-Making Milestones.) We love sharing in the celebration and joy that reaching your own gold making milestones can bring. We will never however value anyone's opinion less if you've never reached some massive gold total. No one should ever feel bad about themselves because they feel that they are not "living up" to what they think others expect of them.
In the past I've been guilty of this. While I am a very private person (I don't generally give out my server or character names for example) I can see that looking back I let others (who did know my gold totals) make me feel ashamed of the fact I didn't have as much gold as they did. I regret that.
Gold making is a journey not a destination. As long as you're enjoying yourself making gold in World of Warcraft please don't be like me and let someone else's expectations of "success" make you feel inadequate or small. You are fantastic simply because you are you. Your opinions, ideas and experiences matter just as much as anyone else's. Don't ever let someone make you feel different.
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