What I Learned From Pinterest

I originally wrote this April 2012. You will be able to tell because of the discussion of Pinterest. This was originally written as a newsletter.

Hi Everyone,

"Fall down 7 times, get up 8." That saying has kept me going many times and through so much.  I thought of it as I began this Newsletter.

I want to share what I learned from the founder of Pinterest and what it has to do with you. It's a story of hope and change. 

This time last year my newsletter had a suggestion that if you are suffering in the clutches of a narcissist it helps to take time for yourself and do something fun. I suggested you check out the then brand new  Pinterest.  I said it was free and a good place to lose yourself after dealing with a narcissist.

What I didn't tell you was that Paul, the CEO and co-founder, was living at my house at the time.  

I had no idea then and neither did Paul, that Pinterest was going to become more popular than Google+ and become a social media darling and make headlines as the fastest growing internet site - ever. It has more traffic than Twitter and Facebook did at this time in their history.

Today Pinterest is front page news.But it wasn't always this way.

And I know that if you are miserable from being beaten down or feeling defeated or verbally abused, it wasn't always this way for you. I know how many have gone from fully functioning to overwhelmed and discouraged and on the verge of giving up.

In our ordinary lives that no one tweets about or otherwise takes notice of, we go through Big Changes.Just as I watched Paul go from hoping to get venture capital to becoming the biggest thing in social media in 6 months, the one thing in common to all of us is Change Happens.

Sometimes the change is from great to horrid but so is its opposite.

I get emails every day about terrible situations and if you have read my book on divorce you know I have been through a few myself during the divorce years. Here's the takeaway for all of us -  Life is full of surprises and change is the constant.

When I met Paul he was living and working in the same small building trying to make a go of Pinterest, the company he and Ben co-founded. He needed a place to stay while the venture capitalists looked at his work space. That's how he got to be in a spare bedroom in my house. 3 months later he had $27 million in the bank and soon he has the world "pinning". A new word has been invented. There's a life change for you. 

With funding Paul moved into a place of his own. 2 weeks ago his life changed again as he left Pinterest to become Entrepreneur in Residence at the VC firm that funded him. 

Most of us are not going to become as famous as Paul or Pinterest but Paul never saw it coming and you may not either. As much as your narcissist changed your life, it can change again. For the better.

Do not give up. Do not think, "This is all there is." or "I'll never make it, I am so discouraged." You do not know what perseverance and time will bring. Here's a lesson from Paul - ask for what you need.  He looked at my website, my 23 year old was standing there too, and he said, "Ask for the sale above the fold." My son didn't know what above the fold meant (think newspaper, folded) but I did. Paul was saying, "If you want something, ask for it. Be noticed." 

In translating this to your life do not hide your light under a bushel. Nor the demands and abuse of a narcissist.  Do not hide your needs there either. You've got a narcissist?  You've also got friends or strangers who can become friends. When I had 0 money for an attorney I called authors of books on divorce, friends of friends, tax attorneys, anyone I could think of. I put an ad on Craigslist (and the one man who answered became my consulting attorney and helped me enormously). 

I did everything I could think of to get help. And help I got. I cobbled together a divorce team and won at trial and in the Court of Appeals.

My life now is nothing like what it was when I wrote DIVORCE: The Real Truth and Hidden Dangers: Surviving Deception, Betrayal and Narcissism. I could never have see what the future would bring and how good life could be again. 

Go lose yourself on Pinterest.com or whatever you need to feel good. And if you want my take on what can be transformative, how to make some sense when nothing seems to, you can get my book, Power Guide for Women, A Little Guide for Big Girls at Power Guide For Women(also on Kindle, iTunes and the Nook). 

Life changes us and we change life. And that can be good. Be good to yourself and watch the changes.

Ann Bradley

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