Life Lesson #1 be resourceful
In life when we can’t do something we typically find a way anyhow. Jar stuck? Tap it with a knife to loosen it (come on, even my grandmother knows that one), Want green grass? Ask the neighbor with the perfect lawn!
The same is true with your blog; you have more tools at your disposal now that anyone else has ever had at any other time in history. Google alone gives you a massive advantage when it comes to your blog. If there is something you “can’t” do, do it anyway. You’d be surprised how often I find things I can’t do, only to need them done, so end up doing them anyway.
If you tell yourself you “can’t do something” chances are you’re not going to try very hard at attempting it. If on the other hand you realize that you are resourceful enough to accomplish anything you set your mind to, you’ll be amazed at what gets done.
You may not have the skills needed to program a tool you need for your business, but I’m willing to bet that if you think about it long enough and hard enough you can figure out a way to find someone who can. It may be as simple as paying a programmer, to as convoluted as tracking one down and cleaning his or her pool for a year in exchange for it.
Life Lesson #2 simplify
For some reason those of us living life outside of third world countries seem to feel the need to continually remind ourselves of just how good we have it. We have IPods, and IPhones, computers, and TV’s, and of course if you’ve got the TV, you need the cable or satellite, and of course then you need the DVD player, and let’s not forget the WII, and on and on. We have cars and houses so much other life enriching “stuff” but if you’re not careful before you know it your life can spiral into chaos and confusion and instead of feeling “richer” you feel overwhelmed, in debt, or just too damn busy to enjoy it.
Your blog is no different. There are so many components to blogging, and hundreds of “experts” telling you why you need to use this one, or that one in your business. Trust me if you try and do everything, you’ll suck at almost all of them. Pick the one’s you love of feel the strongest about, and run with them until they are almost effortless. Then add on a couple more. If you’re an authority on Twitter chances are your business will survive without Pinterest for the time being.
This brings me to the next lesson.
Life Lesson #3 stop comparing yourself to others
I think a huge part of the previous issue is people go out and see blogs like Problogger.net or MichaelHyatt.com and think “well if these guys are doing podcasts, and blogs, and webinars, and have product lineups, and can post daily, and email marketing….and on and on!” I’m getting tired just typing it and I could have gone on for a couple more pages easily.
What you may not realize is that these blogs may have started out like yours; they have evolved into something much different. They have teams in place that look after the various components within their business to enable them to have all those features, products, etc. that you’re seeing.
While you’d be a fool not to try and model the success these guys have it will end up hurting your business if you try and take on everything that it takes an entire professional team to do. Like the last lesson showed it’s better to focus in on a few key areas and then do those with excellence!
Life Lesson #4 do something you love to do
I’m sure we all have something in our lives that we absolutely love, and are filled with passion about. Whenever the topic comes up (and we often bring it up ourselves) around other people, or at parties, we get all loud, and excited and can’t seem to shut up! Try incorporating that into your blog. Trust me, if you’re excited about it there are others out there who share your passion, and enthusiasm for it. These people will naturally gravitate to your site, and make it a part of their lives in order to fuel their own passion and excitement.
A blog topic is only the beginning, if you’re passionate about blogging (as I am) then you’ll love writing about it, love learning about it, and love sharing that with others, but there are so many other areas underneath that you can delve into. Perhaps blog traffic is your passion and you create a forum on your blog where members can discuss the various traffic generation techniques they’ve used, and which ones are working VS. not working.
The more you love what you do, the more energy you’ll expend on it and in the end the more worthwhile it will end up becoming.
Life Lesson #5 pay attention
In life things often happen so slowly that we don’t always see the changes taking place until it’s too late! They say (I have no idea who “they” are) that if you put a frog into boiling water it will jump out. (Who wouldn’t?) But if you put that same frog into warm water, and slowly increase the temperature over an extended timeframe he’ll sit there until he boils to death.
Most people who find themselves in debt, or overweight, or what have you didn’t arrive there overnight! It was a slow process over time and was because the area in question wasn’t getting the attention it needed until things started to get crucial for them. By then it’s much harder to turn around.
Just like in life, we have our areas when it comes to blogging that can easily be overlooked, or neglected. There is an easy way to solve the issue, by simply placing some checks and balances in place. We have plenty of tracking and analytics programs that do the heavy lifting for us, but it’s up to us to pay attention, and track those metrics. If they aren’t moving in the direction you’d like you’d better put some action plans in place to change it before it gets to that crucial stage.
Life Lesson #6 make mistakes, make lots of mistakes
When we were kids we had no fear of making mistakes, we’d try things over and over even at the risk of doing ourselves grievous bodily harm. (Thinking of a jump I once tried for an entire day until I broke my bike in half)
When we became older we stopped trying things because we were afraid of making mistakes. We didn’t want to look foolish in front of other people so instead of trying we did our token effort and bowed out. (Now I’m thinking about my karaoke experience LOL)
We all fail its part of life. Don’t worry that something you tried on your blog didn’t work out the way you thought it would, you may have just learned one more way that wouldn’t work and you’re closer to your goal. If you’d like to make a video to post on YouTube but don’t want to look silly, do it anyway. If it doesn’t work, make another one. As long as you follow life lesson #10 you’ll eventually get it!
Life Lesson #7 fail fast
If you follow #6 and make mistakes this one is an important component to it. If you don’t master it you may not get the chance to make more than the one mistake. Fail Fast! We tend to focus an awful lot of energy on things that didn’t work out, more so at times than we spent on trying to make them work in the first place.
If something doesn’t work out, learn from it and move on. Don’t dwell on it, don’t spend time stressing out about the fact that you failed. Instead take all that time and energy and put it toward finding a solution to the problem.
They say it’s not about falling, but about getting back up again. I say, fall and jump the heck back up and get back into action!
Life Lesson #8 help others often
Depending on where you live (big city) you may have noticed that we don’t really pay attention to each other (actually we all people watch surreptitiously) and avoid interactions more often than not for one reason or another. Despite this strange propensity for being anonymous (next time you get on a crowded elevator notice how many people seem dazzled by those little numbers over the door), we love it when someone helps us, or we have the opportunity to help them. It can be as simple as holding a door, or carrying someone’s bags for them. Whatever it is we feel better for having done it.
Blogging is hard work, and filled with about a zillion challenges. We overcome those challenges usually by ourselves (using the information others have freely shared) but from time to time someone comes to our rescue. Try remembering how that felt, and then make sure you’re doing the same for someone else.
The more we help each other, the further we’ll all push each other towards succeeding!
Life Lesson #9 Surround yourself with people who inspire and push you
They say that in life if you take your three closest friends and divide your income by three you’ll have a very close approximation of you actual income. We tend to surround ourselves with people just like us!
If you’re looking to grow, and stretch your abilities you need to surround yourself with people who are not only capable of stretching you, but who also live for it.
If you want to perform at a higher level in any sport or arena in life you need people to play against that are challenging for you otherwise you’ll never need to grow or stretch yourself. The same is true in blogging. If you’re ok with posting once monthly and earning hosting fee’s each month then it probably doesn’t matter which blogging friends you surround yourself with, but if you’re looking to take it to a whole new level then I’d suggest looking around to see who’s already there.
Life Lesson #10 never Give up!
When we first started out in life things were a little rough for us. We couldn’t walk, couldn’t feed or dress ourselves, and we were entirely dependent on the assistance of strangers. Fortunately for many of us those strangers turned into parents, and then into friends and friends and parents who wouldn’t even think of letting us give up.
I’m sure I failed to walk many times when I was younger, but with some coaching and a bit of effort I kept at it and eventually walked just like the majority of the kids around me. I’m sure my life would be quite different if I’d simply been allowed to stop trying.
Blogging is no different, only the people around you now are likely busy with lives of their own so it’s up to you to remember the lesson you learned early on. Don’t give up! I find that by surrounding myself with other bloggers who are continually stretching the boundaries of what their blogs can do I am inspired to create and do more with my own.