When I first started blogging, I didn't think I had much to offer the world. I didn't think people would listen to what I had to say. I didn't think I could become a business person. I didn't think that I was disciplined. I also didn't think I could create something out of nothing.
As much as people say they want to achieve a new career, fame, money, freebies, etc. I find that those things pale in comparison to the more abstract things I've gotten over the last five year since I started blogging. My feelings about myself and the world are very different today than my blogging journey began. Most of all there is an internal belief that I can accomplish what I set my mind to. I'm resourceful, creative and dedicated. And that didn't come overnight.
It takes discipline to blog, to show up every day, but more than showing up every day, I have to show up and think of what needs to be done. When you start a blog, no one tells you what to write about, how often, what has to happen that day, how many people you need to reach out to and if you need to reach out to them. There may be many manuals on how to blog, but there is no one enforcing you to read them, or telling you that you have to do anything.
This means that bloggers have to build their own structure. They need to have the self-motivated discipline to not only show up everyday, but to think of what to do, and that has to come from within. Self-motivation is a desire to accomplish something, and luckily blogs enable you to keep a record of your disciplined actions. What did you post about, how did you promote it? Who did you meet that day? It starts out small, but blogging enables you to create something from nothing, and once you realize you can do that, the possibilities are endless.
Confidence is something that I lack in spades. Over the years, I've relished in self-doubt, coddled it, loved it because I found it endearing, maybe even humble? But the fact of the matter is, self-doubt has a purpose, but it needs to be kept in check as much as confidence does. Over the years, I've doubted my abilities, which is fine in itself, but my self-doubt has caused me to give other people more credit than they deserve. People that may not have had my level of experience, but had the confidence I did not have.
Thinking to myself, “I couldn't be a business person, I need to get someone to handle my business.” has done me more harm than good. When I look at what I've done over the years, evidence tells another story. I had the vision to start the blogs, I have the experience of building a community, and I had the vision to create a product for my blogs and had the passion to run things myself for years. Learning how to keep going even after failure, keep trying new things until you succeed. Those are invaluable to becoming a good business person.
Anyone who has been blogging for a number of years will tell you that, the blogging business teaches you how to hustle. It teaches you how to pull a rabbit out of your hat even when you have find free yarn from somewhere and knit your own hat. It teaches you how to build mutually beneficial relationships, how to find partnerships, how to make something magical happen with very little resources. I started the IFB Conference with $1000 and was living in a small village in Germany at the time. Pulling together an event in New York from so far away really called on a lot creativity and resourcefulness. Something that would never have occurred to me if I didn't even bother to try.
The ability to try, fail and try again:
The Coveted wasn't my first blog. IFB wasn't my first business. Over the years I've tried to do many things, and failed most of the time. It's not easy to pick back up after failing, but once you get used to failure and keep trying, you'll see that success and failure come hand in hand. Things don't always work out, things have a habit of falling apart out of nowhere, but with blogging you have the ability to pick up and start again.
When I look back on things, everything that didn't work out, no matter how much it hurt at the time only made way for something better. Every single time.
That's my experience with what blogging taught me over the years. What was the most valuable thing that you learned from your experience blogging?
Photo by Nando Alvarez