One year ago, I published my first blog post. I wouldn’t be here today without you, my awesome readers. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for reading, commenting, and sharing. I’ve learned so much during the last year and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed interacting with you.
I believe that we were put on this earth to contribute and be fulfilled. We’re here to learn and give and transform. As we go through this process, it’s important to stop and reflect. To think about the lessons we’ve learned and to take those lessons and create a life we’re proud of.
As I stop and reflect, I’m amazed at how much I’ve learned during this last year. Not just about writing, building websites, branding, and marketing. But lessons about finding the courage to start and the perseverance to keep going. My hope is that these lessons will inspire you to launch something great and let you know what to expect along the way.
7 Priceless Lessons Learned During My First Year Blogging
Stop learning. Stop planning. Start doing.
You might suck at first. The quicker you start, the quicker you get over the suck.The quicker you start, the quicker you get over the suck. Click To Tweet
I wanted to launch this thing for three years before I actually did. My advice to you is if there’s something you’ve always wanted to do, take one small step and start today. You can’t learn and grow until you actually start, so just start already!
2. Embrace Change
Before I launched, I put a lot of thought into the message I wanted to share. I spent weeks coming up with the perfect name for that message. Both the message and the name have changed. Ironically, that message was change.
I chose to change my message because even though change is important, change itself doesn’t motivate people. Change is scary and full of unknowns. The freedom that comes from change is what makes it worth it.The freedom that comes from change is what makes it worth it. Click To Tweet
Think about what your life would be like if you had the same worldview that you had when you were 18 years old. Where would you be if you spent the last 20 years refusing to change and transform? The same is true of our work. As we learn better we can do better.As we learn better we can do better. Click To Tweet
3. You Can’t Please Everyone
I don’t care what people think. But I care what people think. Am I the only one who has this struggle?
I’m confident that the messages I share are life changing. I don’t write about theories. I write about personal experiences. When I’m creating, part of me thinks, if you don’t like it, too bad. But then the other part of me thinks, I hope I don’t offend anyone.
The truth is that you can’t please everyone. And why would you want to?
Instead of trying to please everyone, perhaps we should please our number one fan. Ourselves! You can’t control how anyone responds to your work, so make sure that you like it first.
4. Be Authentically You
The most difficult part of all of this was learning to be authentic and vulnerable. To some readers, I imagine I still come off as a bit guarded. Trust me when I say that I’ve come a long way. As an INTJ, feelings, emotions, and vulnerability are not things I express naturally.
The Germanic/Scandinavian Minnesota culture I was raised in is the other factor in my reserved nature. We are taught not to impose, not to make a fuss of ourselves, to not ask for help but to offer assistance, not to accept gifts and to give back more than you receive.
Before I launched, I wrote a month’s worth of posts and shared them with my husband, Jer. He said, “They’re good, but impersonal. People want to get to know you, not theory. Why do you read the blogs you read? Is it for the information or because of the people?” Crap! This INTJ Minnesotan hadn’t considered that.
While I learned to share authentically with the World Wide Web, It took seven months before I shared any posts on my personal Facebook page. I’m becoming more open, but it’s still hard to make a fuss of myself. I’m grateful for this experience and the growth it has brought me, but perhaps someone could have warned me. 😉
5. Take More Risks
Take more risks, more often. It’s easy to take the safe route. But the world doesn’t need to hear more about the safe route.
I know that most people don’t want to hear how we feel about debt. It’s difficult to share ideas that most people will reject. Take that as a sign they need to be shared. Most people will ignore it, reject it, or make excuses, but a few people will embrace it. And those few are the ones that matter.It’s difficult to share ideas that people will reject - that's a sign you must share them. Click To Tweet
Never stop experimenting. There’s no right way or wrong way to share your ideas. At the end of the day, it comes down to value and action.
6. Play the Long Game
Thinking about how today’s actions will affect your life 20 years from now is not always easy. Especially if there’s chocolate cake involved. But what brings you pleasure today doesn’t always get you where you want to be long-term.
This is true in all areas of our lives, our health, careers, and finances. It all compounds like interest. You can cash it in and spend it all today. Or you can make tiny deposits that grow over time.
I can try to get as much as I can right now. Or I can choose to build trust and relationships over the long-term. In my experience, the latter pays much bigger dividends. In everything you do, always play the long game.
7. Enjoy the Journey
I’ve learned that if I don’t enjoy something, it’s not worth doing. And if I enjoy something, I should do it more. Please don’t confuse this with the YOLO slogans of today’s youth. No matter what you do in life, there will be aspects you don’t enjoy.
What I’m saying is that if you find something you love, you should do as much of it as you can. The moments when we’re fully engaged, doing what we love, are the moments we create great change.The moments when we’re fully engaged, doing what we love, are the moments we create great change. Click To Tweet
It’s just as important to recognize when you no longer enjoy something. If it feels like a burden it might be time to quit or take a break. By sticking with it, you could be missing out on the next adventure that’s waiting to begin.
The last year has been quite the adventure filled with priceless lessons. Lessons that I’ve been blessed to have the opportunity to share with you. If I could only share one lesson, it would be to START! Whatever you’ve always wanted to do, start taking steps in that direction today. A year from now you’ll be grateful you did.
Whatever you want to do, START! A year from now you’ll be grateful you did. Click To Tweet
What important lessons have you learned by starting something new?
Share in the comments below.