Since moving to New York, I have been tested as never before, mostly in ways that have made me question just how capable I am of well, anything. Life is a “DIY” experience here, and as tough as it can be, it's also infinitely rewarding.
I know those who don't live here are quick to dismiss people's obsession with this city, and often tire of reading about how crazy it is, or how fun it is or how all the successful people are here – and on and on. Personally, I have found that it is the craziest and most fun place I have lived, and I have never met so many successful and driven people in one place.
But, what I've learned since moving here is more about striking out on your own wherever you are, than it is about this specific city. I've learned a lot of hard lessons here, and a lot of truths about “the real world,” that also apply to achieving success in blogging. It always comes back to that on IFB, after all!
1. You know nothing, about anything. No really, you don't. That realization will inevitably be thrown in your face like a cream pie – so just be ready. There will always be someone who knows more than you do, and you always have something to learn. Be willing to be taught. The minute you close your mind or stop striving for growth – you're finished.
2. But, you know a lot more than you think you do. When you're put to the test, and when it really counts, you'll find that you're capable of amazing things. Things you didn't know were possible – but they are. Just wait and see – you'll prove yourself in ways you never dreamed you could.
3. The only person you're accountable for is yourself. You cannot control what other people do, and trying will only drive you insane. Encourage people, sell yourself, be persuasive and be irresistable – but don't blame yourself for the choices of others.
4. The only person you can always, always count on? Also yourself. I hate to sound negative, but prepare to be let down. It happens, and it's okay. Invest the most dependance and trust in the person most likely to succeed – you. Do your thing and look out for number one – because trust me, everyone has their best interests in mind, too.
5. People can help you. Ask for it, and let them. Here's the flip side of lesson #4 – everyone who has achieved anything in New York City has done so because of the trust and help of someone else. There is an attitude here of paying it forward, and as soon as you allow people to share what they can with you, and help you, you'll be amazed. Never, ever be afraid to ask for help, it's human nature for us to support each other.
6. Get over it. Dwelling is the worst. Stewing in your failures and sulking in the difficulties you have faced will help you achieve exactly nothing. If you're embarrassed, if you're ashamed, feeling guilty – whatever – trust that no one is thinking about it as much as you are. Move on! The next great thing is waiting for you in the future, so leave the past where it is.
7. You are capable of doing all the things you thought were too difficult at first. Whether it's finding a job in the industry of your dreams or teaching yourself HTML coding – you can do it. Buckle down, put in ridiculous amounts of effort and see the results appear before your eyes. Will you get it the first time around? Or the second? Maybe not – but if you want something, really want it – I promise you can do it, get it, make it, achieve it, live it.
8. High quality work should be the standard, not the exceptional achievement. Patting yourself on the back for a job “well done” is just not good enough these days. Be better than well done. Be extraordinary, everyday. Hold yourself to a continuously high standard, higher than your peers, and you'll shine like The North Star – exceptionally bright every night.
9. Internet relationships can become the most wonderful off-line friendships. Cultivate a network for yourself online and bring those relationships out from behind the digital screen whenever you can. It's a glorious treat when your Internet friends are just as hilarious and smart in real life.
10. Just do it. No excuses, no apologies, no hesitation. With everything, everyday, make it happen as only you can.