Cleaning Up My Plate

Written by: Christopher Sell

Primary Source: The Wednesday Wake Up


Clean up your plate! 

That was what my grandma said to me all the time when I was eating a meal at her house. As a young kid, I remember visiting my grandparents for a weekend. I’d get excited about the prospects of eating homemade ice cream — my grandma would churn the ice cream right in front of me in the kitchen — and dining on delicate treats like homemade cookies and candy that my parents typically frowned upon. During those weekends, I felt like a clandestine agent on a mission to get spoiled unbeknownst to mom and dad’s watchful eye. For the most part, I was successful.

But before I could treat myself to that delicious ice cream or sugar-infused candy, my grandma was adamant that I finish my meal first. I frequently met her insistence with resilient opposition. Even as a kid, I had what we’ll call a “selective palette” so there was a 50% chance I wouldn’t like the meal she was serving. If it was mashed potatoes and steak, I was all in. If it happened to be “canned meat” or some kind of obscure vegetable, I usually resisted. No hard feelings…I was just picky.

But my grandma didn’t really care. She had a gift for playing the role of stubborn enforcer. I wasn’t going to get any ice cream until I finished my meal. She made sure I cleaned up my plate before I moved on to dessert.

I’m not sure if she was trying to teach me a life lesson, but I suppose she did.

You should finish what you’re doing now before you move on to the next.

For the last three years, I think I was still chewing on my meal. I had started a blog without a clear vision or mission. I hadn’t identified the brand. I wasn’t sure of what I ought to be writing about, so the scope of the topics about which I wrote seemed to wander aimlessly from week to week.

About six months ago, however, I realized that other people seemed to like reading my weekly musings, despite my topic wandering and lack of a vision. In order to follow through on my goal of making this site an effective forum for inspiring each other to become better leaders and better people, I need to make some serious changes. To make my vision a reality, I needed to transform The Wednesday Wake Up.

Six months later, I think I’ve finally finished my meal.

I’m proud to share with all of you the brand new site for The Wednesday Wake Up. What kind of improvements have been made? Quite a few, actually. They include:

  • A new domain: (no more obnoxiously long domains with “” in it)
  • A self-hosted website with an entirely new theme brought to you by Elegant Themes
  • Social media channels for The Wednesday Wake Up across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even Google+
  • A guest blog post series for others looking to write their own wake ups about leadership and life
  • Monthly and bi-weekly series focused on select topics like parenthood and leaders focused on making Michigan better
  • Podcasting to create audio versions of every Wednesday post to allow for readers to listen rather than read their weekly wake up
  • Clearly defined topics: leadership, self-improvement, career development, parenthood, and relationships

You’ll also notice that we finally have a logo for The Wednesday Wake Up, thanks to the talent and hard work of David Warren, a graphic designer and artist based out of Georgia. It was a pleasure working with him over the summer, and I’m very grateful for his ability to capture my vision for this site in artistic form. You’ll notice he is a sponsor of this site; those looking to learn more about Warren David Design can find him on Facebook. Kim Brock, a super talented photographer in the local Lansing community, is also a sponsor of this site. You can learn more about Kim Brock Photography at her company website.

Although the look and feel of the site has changed dramatically, the format will remain similar going forward. Readers can still count on a weekly post from me on Wednesdays. Guest blog posts via the [my] Wake Up series will be featured biweekly on Mondays or Fridays. And there are one or two monthly projects that I’m working on as well. Consequently, readers can expect on average, two posts a week.

For those interested in staying engaged with the new site, be sure to connect with us on social media. And you’ll definitely want to subscribe by entering your e-mail address on the top right of the homepage. This will ensure you get all new posts sent directly to your inbox the moment they’re published to the new blog.

Thanks so much for your patience while I worked hard to completely transform The Wednesday Wake Up these last few months. The community we’ve built over the years is fantastic, and I’m looking forward to waking up on Wednesdays with many of you going forward as we motivate and inspire each other to become better leaders, better professionals, better friends, and better people. It’s a lofty goal, but I like our chances of succeeding.

I’ve cleaned up my plate; it’s time to move on to the good stuff.

I think my grandma would be proud.

To listen to an audio version of this post, click the link below.

Cleaning Up My Plate 

The following two tabs change content below.
My name is Christopher Sell and I'm an educator in higher education. At my core, I'm passionate about creating synergy and connecting people to opportunity. I place tremendous focus on collaboration, strategic planning, forward-thinking, and teamwork in any professional environment. As an alumnus of Western Michigan University (WMU) and Michigan State University (MSU), I'm equally committed to leveraging relationships with industry and students/graduates to retain & attract talent in the state of Michigan and contribute to the economic revitalization of the "Mitten State" that I love so much. Needless to say, I'm a big fan of the Pure Michigan campaign.

Latest posts by Christopher Sell (see all)