Tomorrow marks the end of the fourth month since I started this website and blog. It means that I have been pursuing my passion for one-third of a year. When it is put that way, I know that it doesn’t sound like a lot when you say it out loud: I have had more than 70 four month periods in my life, been there done that. But it does sort of feel like a big deal to me. When we hit five months we will be in 2017, and that opens a whole new can of worms. So I decided I would take some time and look back at the four months that have passed, and pick out the biggest three lessons that I have learned.
Consistency is key. I think this is might be the biggest lesson of all, and the one most applicable to life outside of my blog. Consistency makes sure that I have a schedule to stick to, and it means that people have something to look forward to. But it also means that fans and those who read my words know that I am invested in it, that I am willing to repay their views and time with effort and commitment. Consistency shows that I am worth it to them. And it shows. In the very few times that I have had to miss one of my scheduled days, I can see the dip in traffic and interactions. Even worse, I feel a tad disappointed in myself. I feel like I have been successful in keeping consistent though, and hope to continue that into the new year!
Good is better than perfect. I remember reading this in a book about intrapreneurship – that is the act of bringing an entrepreneurial mindset into an established workplace. It emphasized the two main ideas, at least to me. The first is fail hard, fail fast. That means that you should think of an idea and test it. If it fails, improve and test again. It will never be perfect, but you will learn a lot more from its shortcomings than you would from sitting in a room, thinking for hours on end. In this day and age, it is so inexpensive and relatively easy to get a first, second, or tenth concept of something, that you can afford (in more ways than one) to fail. The second idea is directly related to blogs, and ties into my first takeaway of this initial four months: Don’t try and be perfect. I truly want my blogs to be the best they can be, but that would mean obsessing over each and every post for weeks on end. It would also undoubtedly result in work that, while genuine, would sound less organic. I have had to accept the fact that not every single blog will be a Mona Lisa of words, but that is something that contributes to who I am, too. I have also found, surprisingly, that the blogs I thought were great have been less popular, while those that I thought weren’t as great have been some of the most popular content I have written! You do, however, have to keep in mind that “good is better than perfect” applies to things like blogs, YouTube videos, etc. that appear on a consistent basis. Things like novels, apps, and physical products should be worked on to the point of perfection, before they are released.
It is not all about you. Well, it is not all about me. When it comes to the content of the blog posts, it is about how I feel, what I have done, what I want to do. A whole lot of me. But, in reality, that is just a fraction of the equation. This experience has been more about what people want to read, what they find interesting, and what resonates with them. On top of that, I would not be successful if it wasn’t for the interactions I have with people. The Coffeehouse series, getting tips and tricks, even just general support. It all adds up and my foray into blogging and writing would not be anywhere close to where it is today. When people say that you should “give what you want to get”, they are being pretty selfish. In reality, you should give tenfold of what you want in return before you should even come close to expecting something from others.
So that is it! My big three lessons that I have picked up so far, though I still have more to come, I’m sure! I have already grown so much from four months, I can’t even begin to imagine where I will be after six months or even a year. And to everyone who has come with me so far, you’re the reason I keep doing this. Genuinely, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.