Talk about finding inspiration when you’re not expecting it. I was checking out my man Iceman Baldy’s blog where he had a super short post I’m truncating titled Blogging Inspiration; trust me, the title’s much longer. Anyway, on this particular short post he has a video from a young man named Lamar Tyler, only about 4 1/2 minutes long, and that’s where the true inspiration comes from.
Lamar basically breaks it down in saying that it’s not easy if you want to have a successful blog. It takes time, time you might have to give to it when you’re tired, when you’re not in the mood, or when you just want it all to go away. You put in the time so that you will be successful, you will be able to quit your day job, and you will be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Goodness, all that in 4 1/2 minutes? You must watch this video! And of course let the Iceman know I sent you.
Obviously this is a principle that applies to more than blogging, but it’s kind of a good one. When I did my 10-hour experiment a week ago, I stated that it was only an experiment and that I’d probably go back to putting in a lot of time on the computer again. I figure that I really want this blog to be the best, and I also remember writing and saying that people have to be ready to pay the price for any real success in this world. Goodness, I remember that post also linked to someone else, Jacqueline Gates, who had a video pretty much saying the same thing.
When we feel put upon or depressed, when things aren’t quite going our way, that’s the time to really dig deep. Take your time to be depressed a bit, then decide that you’re going to rechannel your energies into being responsible for your own life. Think about the steps you’ll have to take to get where you want to be, then take your best shot at it. As it pertains to blogging, just do it. Don’t put off writing your articles because you don’t think they’re good; write them, continue writing them, and you’ll see yourself getting better. You might already be good but not so confident in your abilities. Go ahead, put it out there, Git R Done (yeah, I stole that from Larry the Cable Guy)!
I had a pretty good week this past week. The week before I felt like I was leaving way too many things to chance, so I thought it was time to regain a bit of perspective. After all, one doesn’t just fall into success; no matter what it is, you have to work it, and it works better if you have a plan of some kind.
So I worked out a plan based on a marketing plan I’d put together for 2011, things I want to do to earn the bulk of my cash for the year. I’ll do other things hopefully but you have to start with something. The next step was putting together a monthly plan of attack, which I started at the beginning of the month. In doing that, you also have to put together a portion of three types of things; things you want to do daily, things you want to accomplish during the week, and things you can to complete for the month.
After that I decided I needed to plan my time daily as well. So I did, and I got to everything I wanted to do that I planned for. This coming week is going to be kind of a mess since it’s Thanksgiving week and I’ll be out of town for a couple of days, but that’s okay because the plan helps me be prepared to have most everything done before I leave; whew!
As Snoopy shows, I got a lot of things checked off my list. See, I’ve been asked in the past how I get to so many things, and how I can find the time to write so many blog posts. When I plan my time, when I have plans of attack, I’m very good at it all because I don’t have to think about it. Everything’s written down in some fashion, or logged somewhere, like in my computer calendar associated with my Palm; that’s my alarm system, as well as my cell phone (remember, the stupid alarm on my Palm doesn’t work anymore). And I make sure to plan breaks and meal times as well. And weekends… I don’t plan those, but if I stick with my plan, then weekends are mine to work on my other projects, or just to try to relax a little bit; I don’t do that often.
So, I plan my blogging time, both for myself and some clients. When I’ve got other contracts to work on then I plan that time as well. I need to readjust my plan some because I’ve been thinking about trying the Chris Brogan thing and writing at least two posts a week in the coming year; kind of hard to do with multiple blogs though, but who knows right?
Are you planning for your success, or are you just waiting for it to happen? Maybe you need a planner; look at the cover below.
First, I hope everyone who’s celebrating whichever holiday you believe in has a good one.
I have two friends I’d like to talk a little bit about today. Both are very successful people, both are millionaires a few times over.
My one friend is a really interesting case. He has a Ph.D. in Nursing. He owns a hotel, two restaurants, two buildings, two houses in the same city, another house in Mexico, and two other businesses. He might have another house somewhere; I’ve never asked. He works hard and he plays hard. He travels all over the country and lives in hotels most of the time. When he goes on vacation, it’s not to resort cities like Cozumel for relaxation. He vacations hard; he takes 3 week trips and goes to places like the jungles of Costa Rica and Vietnam, or rides rickety trains like the Orient Express into places like Mongolia and many of the former USSR countries. He’s a very engaging guy, very knowledgeable, but sometimes doesn’t know how to turn it off and just relax and talk about other things.
My other friend is actually more interesting, if that’s possible. She was born in another country whose name is no longer known by most people, and came to America with little money and a couple of little kids. She’s had two businesses that made her wealthy, and is now in real estate, where, despite all the troubles the industry had last year, she actually made out very well and had a multimillion dollar year. She has houses in multiple states as well, and is another person who puts in tons of hours working. She also pays for a life coach, very big dollars, who she talks to every day because he holds her accountable for everything she does. And for the most part her work day, every day, runs from 6AM to 9PM.
These two people are driven, that’s for sure. I like both of them; I just don’t know that I could be like both of them. Sure, I want to be rich, but I also kind of want to do it on my own terms. I don’t mind hard work, but I’ve found that, after many years of working a lot of hours for others, that I need a bit more work/life balance. Both of these people are exhilarated by what they do, but I have to tell you the truth; just thinking about it makes me tired.
It begs the question I asked in the title; how far are you willing to go to be successful? In a weird way, I guess I should talk. I’ve been working for myself since 2001, and there are days when I put in 18 hours on the computer. In January and February of 2009, I was working on a project that consumed 20 hours a day, and in one stretch I didn’t go to bed for two days, trying to complete the project on time. I got paid well for that, but I knew that wasn’t a pace I’d ever be able to keep up for long periods of time.
At the same time, there are also some major compromises that one sometimes has to give up to be that kind of successful. I’m not one who genuflects well; I need the same kind of respect that I’m giving, or else I’m out of there. After all, I’m an incorporated business; I’m legitimately the CEO of my company, which has multiple divisions. No, I’m nowhere close to millionaire status, but by title and by having given my own version of sweat and blood to the cause, I feel that I’m at least the equal of anyone else I meet, financial background notwithstanding.
Now to you; how do you answer this question on this Sunday that’s so special for so many, while also being the 42nd year of the assassination of Dr. King?
I’ve often said that you can get inspiration for writing blog posts from anywhere. In this case, I got the inspiration for this post from a blog called One Cool Site Blogging Tips (not to be confused with Sire’s blog tracking site Cool Blog Links, and this post titled Is Your Blog A Failure Or A Success? The conversation on that post wasn’t quite what I thought it was going to be based on the title, yet it made me want to throw the question out to everyone else, so it did its job.
How does one decide to measure success? I think that’s the most important question for everyone to answer for themselves. It all depends on the reason you continue to write your blog. I say that because I started this blog for a much different reason than why I write it now, and as those parameters have changed, so have my expectations for it.
My original reason for creating this blog was so I could say whatever I wanted to say without worrying about being filtered or worried about how it might impact my business. I also had high hopes that I would make some money from it. So, when I first started writing it, half of the posts were geared towards talking about something that I thought I’d make money from, and the other half talking about some things that were on my mind, though not necessarily personal.
At some point, the blog focus changed to talking about affiliate programs, blogging, and writing for the most part. That was fun to a degree, but there wasn’t anything personal in it. Well, I have my writing style, so I guess that was personal, but I almost never talked about anything I was feeling, never taking a real stand on anything, just doing reviews. The thing is, to do a legitimate review takes some time to investigate, and, well, like everyone else I needed to make money, thus I was draining the bank account while doing a lot of that stuff.
Then in September, I changed once more. I decided I was going to start talking about a few more personal issues, more of my beliefs and the like, while still keeping up with some of what I’d talked about in the past. Though I’d still like to make money with this blog, the focus definitely moved from that direction a long time ago. I still put up products and the like, just in case someone has an interest, but mainly I just like to write, share my thoughts, and see how others respond.
So, based on all of that, how successful do I view this blog, which certainly can’t be called a niche blog? Overall I think it’s a fairly successful blog for what it is. I’m certainly not at guru status when it comes to internet sales, but I think I have a nice loyal group of folks I get to interact with here and there. And it’s changed a lot; the people I was talking to a lot between the middle of 2008 through the middle of 2009 has drastically changed. Many of those folks either stopped blogging or their priorities changed.
New folks have come along, in higher numbers yet, and that’s pretty neat. And I know when people comment here, they’re not doing it just to get a link onto a popular blog that offers them nothing except an opportunity to maybe steer people to their blogs by kissing up to the owner of the blog, who most of the time doesn’t even see their responses. Oops, let’s not get into that discussion again! 🙂
Yes, I think this blog is a success, and I’m happy with it. What say you about your blog?
Many of you know that I love playing poker. I’ve talked about it a few times here. I talked about it when I was in Reno last year around this time. I talked about it when I talked about the psychology of gambling. I talked about it when I wrote about my first big poker tournament this summer. And I talked about it when I talked about joining the affiliate program for Pokerstars.
I think about poker often. I don’t go to the casino as often as I have in the past, mainly because my income is a little lower than it was, so I have to pick and choose when I can go. I’ve also learned a couple of things about my game, which is odd and strange, and in a way, can relate to blogging. I’d like to share 5 things that seem to tie poker and blogging together, at least for me.
1. When I’m tired, I don’t play poker or blog all that well. I think that when I blog when I’m very tired, my articles aren’t all that good. Some might think they are, but I don’t feel much for them. Only when I’m tired does blogging feel like a chore. The same actually goes for poker. When I’m tired I really don’t want to be there, but sometimes I stay because it’s late in the evening and I also don’t feel like having to get up from the table if I don’t have to. I lose money when I play tired, and I’ve often wondered if I lose readers when I blog tired.
2. I actually have times when I blog and play poker very well. Most of you know that, unless I’m doing a research post, I write my blog posts fairly quickly. My mind is clear in what I want to say, and I can produce some pretty good posts, if I say so myself. The same goes for poker. Oddly enough, if I tell myself that I’m going to the casino during the day and I’m only staying 3 hours, I almost always come home ahead. There’s something about being focused on a goal that works really well, no matter what it is. The same also goes for chess, which Sire and I play through email. When I’m focused, I see the board 5 moves ahead in my mind and I play very well; I just need to write down those moves when I’m in the zone. 🙂
3. I love poker and blogging because of the camaraderie. When I play poker, I’m not only there to try to win. I love talking to people, and many times, I’m sitting at a table with all new people, which seems strange for as many times as I’ve gone over the years. Every table has a different vibe, but there’s always someone who wants to talk. and when I do get to play with people I know, it enhances the day even more. Knowing the dealers brings at least some stability to the process.
When I blog, I know most of the people who are coming to make a comment. When new people come, I know it’s a new opportunity to make a connection with a new friend. Every post brings a new perspective from someone, whether I know them or not. I have a great time with it, and it’s one of the reasons why I love blogging.
4. I understand poker, and I also understand blogging very well. I may not always make money when I play poker, but I really understand all the nuances of the game. I know when to bluff and I know when to go all in. I know how to stick around and wait for a good hand. I know how to pace myself based on the time limit I’ve set for myself. And I know when I’ve devoted too much time to it, even if I don’t always listen to myself.
The same goes for blogging. I really do understand blogging a lot. I know how to craft posts. I actually do know the process for putting together posts that have a lot of keywords and linkbait associated with them; I just choose not to do it. I could blog all day; I write for other people’s blogs here and there, and if my entire life was just writing blogs and I could make a full time living from it, life would be sweet. I like to think I know how to engage people. Sure, I might not make a lot of money at it, at least right now, which is like not winning all the time at poker, but I know some things, and I’m going to hopefully apply many of them over this next year.
5. I have fun playing poker, just like I have fun blogging. Fun is what it’s all about after all. Poker is my favorite offline activity; blogging is my favorite online activity. With each, I meet new people all the time that are engaging. I get to hear and read other people’s stories and words. I get to participate in the process. I sometimes make money, which is never a bad thing. If I didn’t have both poker and blogging, I don’t know that my life would have much enjoyment in it. Well, okay, my wife and I have a lot of fun, but you know what I mean. 🙂
Both of these things really are passions of mine. I don’t have a lot of passions, but these two are enough for me. What are your passions, things that you enjoy, that you know very well, that you could probably do better at but don’t because that’s not the most important thing to you? And, do you really enjoy blogging as much as I do? I’d love to hear about it.