So, you've had a Facebook personal profile for 1 year, you have a Twitter account, Google email, blog that you haven't updated in 6 months.

You spend at least an hour a day on the internet, email, Facebook and Twitter.

You read blogs, you follow Twitter Tweets you love, you know what Mashable is.  You might even retweet sometimes.

You watch your colleagues, friends, family or even people who got fired from your last company make something of themselves online. They are starting businesses, writing books, speaking and having fun! They are taking time off on Friday afternoon just because.

You make up excuses why you can't ever be like them.  They have more time, they are smarter, they have more experience with computers.

Or are you believing the Social Media 101 guides that are 100 pages long.  Have you convinced yourself that you need to have a PHD in social media to Tweet?

I have a hint for you… get over it! Don't believe everything you see, hear and read in social media.  Chances are the so called “gurus” are no smarter than you.

So what's different you ask? They are engaging? They are not afraid.  They are talking to people just like in real life.

Yes, they may do it in 140 characters…but once you get the hang of it you might appreciate the fact that it's only 140 characters.

If you are a back seat driver, lurker, wanna be, reader or whatever you want to call it…. I have one question for you.. WHY!?

Why not pull yourself up to your keyboard? Put your fingers on the keys and start TALKING!  Yes, not typing but talking.

Social media is about conversation.  The ONLY way you will ever see success from social media is to ENGAGE.

Don't be shy. There are millions out there who are also shy.  Chances are you'll soon be friends with them.  Once you start talking, tweeting and having fun you'll find yourself having a blast with friends you never met.  Yet, sometimes you know them better than the neighbor next door who never talks or comes outside.

11 tips to start engaging:

1. Just do it! Don't be afraid.

2. Be real, be authentic, be you! The people who are succeeding in social media are putting themselves out there in an authentic way.

3. Set up social media profiles that are not connected with your company. This helps many who are worried about the risk it could have in your real job.

4. Understand it is NOT JUST A FAD! Social media isn't going away. You haven't missed the bus, the boat or the train. It is where the industry is going. Either get on the bus now or eventually you will get left behind.

5. Get over the fact that you can't 100% separate personal from professional online. Bottom line if you have an issue with authenticity, multiple identities or personalities in real life, you can't expect them to disappear just because you go online. Use social media as an opportunity to work on those issues. Build new relationships and make them real!

6. Setup a Facebook personal Fan page.  You can see mine at  Fan pages are excellent to help you separate your personal family status updates, photos or whatever else you want to keep personal from your business profile and network.

7. Start asking questions. If you don't know what to say, ask someone.  Send a tweet to your favorite social media, business or industry expert. Ask them what suggestions they have for whatever it is that is keeping you from getting engaged.

8. Share: chances are if you have a pulse, can see, read or write in English, French or Twitter talk you have things to say people want to hear.  You will be amazed how many people will read, understand, talk and engage with you when you start sharing.

9. It is not life threatening. You are not going to get fired, blow up your computer or hurt your dog if you lose a Twitter follower.  Heck when I first started tweeting I had approx. 100 followers. I tweeted one tweet about God one day and literally lost almost 50 of them.  Did I care? Heck no, if people don't like me for who I am then they go read someone else's tweets, blogs or posts.  Being authentic has worked for me!

10. Don't let your last mean boss define who you are today. Who cares if you were laid off, fired, your last boss told you that you were worthless or only did mediocre work… you know he's wrong so get out there and show the world what you're made of.  Starting your own brand, business and social media presence has only one boss and that is you! Why are you holding yourself back?

11. Have fun! Just like I always say… be nutty… be real and have fun! If you can't have fun with a Tweet, Twitter, Facebook, Squidoo, Tumblr then what can you have fun with?

Please share if this post impacted you.  Tweet it to your shy friends. If the items above resonate with you.. do something about it! Stand on your fruitbox and be positive! With faith you CAN and will move those mountains holding you back!

Go get-r-done!

And TWEET me when you do! I'd love to be your friend, your pal and an inspiration that keeps you going and pats you on the back when you are able to pay it forward to someone just like you someday!