Welcome to th final article from the series about my first year of blogging as a business. In this article I will outline the personal benefits of having a personal development blog as a main business. If you came here directly, you may want to have a look at the other articles:
By far the most important and visible benefit of having a blog as a business was self discipline. I actually had to write content, to promote the blog and to make sure I find ways to make money out of it. And I had to do this persistently for more than one year. I didn’t have anyone to call in if I was sick, I couldn’t postpone posting an article because I was bored or depressed, I had no one to promote the blog for me. No employees to blame if something went wrong, no excuses.
This is a tremendous self-discipline booster. I’ve always been a self-discipline freak and, as you may guess, running a business for more than 10 years requires a lot of commitment and dedication. But this was different. When I had the business I was competing most of the time with my competition. As a blogger I was competing with myself. I had to find ways to keep myself motivated and to constantly improve the blog. Of course, the main benefit of having a personal development blog is that you can transform virtually every experience into a blog post. As long as you learn something from it, of course.
The second benefit is related to my blogging skills. If I read some of the articles I wrote one year ago I can hardly believe I was the one who wrote them. And yet, I was the one who wrote them. Keeping a blog consistently from more than one year proved to be a fantastic tool for sharpening my skills. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still pretty far from what I want to be, but I am far more than I used to be.
And so, it wasn’t any surprise at all when I started to receive, in the last few weeks, a lot of requests for writing for other blogs. For some of them I did guest posts, but others are asking me to write as a paid blogger. I couldn’t even imagine one year ago that I would be in such a position. And yet, I am in such a position now. There is no other way to become better at something than doing it unceasingly.
During the last year I interacted with more people than in my last 3 years as a business owner. Yes, that’s true. I think I interacted on a constant basis with more than 100 people. And that would be only the close circle. Beyond that circle there are at least 1000 people which whom I interact every now and then. Of course, those interactions are taking place in the social media or directly on my blog. As a comparison, when I had the business I didn’t interact with more than 30 people on a daily basis, and that was when I had pretty hectic and busy days.
Now that’s a fantastic social skills booster. Even if the interaction is not taking place in the real world, it still challenges your core social expertise and resources. Even if you time box your social interactions, grouping them together in chunks like Twitter or Facebook, you still have to get through those interactions. Not to mention the fact that some of them are leading to real life interaction, like the first Steve Pavlina workshop I am attending in Vegas these days.
One of the things that got strengthened this year was my capacity to set up goals. Again, I didn’t have any serious issues with that, but not having serious issues with something doesn’t mean it cannot be improved. This is exactly what happened with my goal setting capacity. Blogging has the advantage to give you a very fast feed-back. If you do something bad, you’ll know it very fast and you will be able to take measures.
In time, this back and forth game of setting goals and adjusting them to reality somehow crossed the blogging territory limits into other areas of my life. I can be better now at setting up goals in other areas, like fitness or eating or traveling. There is this subtle learning that occurs when you’re applying self-discipline to a specific area of your life for more than one year. This knowledge and intuition took me from writing only 15 posts per month up to creating huge lists posts (both in terms of length and popularity) like 100 Ways To Live A Better Life.
Well, that’s one of the things I should celebrate. Goal achievement, although highly praised in any personal development course, is heavily underrated in real life situations. Everybody teaches you how to achieve your goals, but no one tells you what happens after that. It’s a celebration, people, that’s what happens after you achieve your goals. I had one successful year of blogging as a business and I’m really proud of it.
Goal achievement could be a really dry and boring process if you don’t put a little bit of joy in it. If you don’t take the time to be happy about what you’ve done you could as well be a robot. Precise, exact but soulless. After one year of blogging, a year filled with a lot of challenges, difficulties and successes, all I can say is I’m really happy about that. It went really well and although during this series – and most of the time during the last year – I’ve blogged about my experiences, the real reason behind creating a successful personal development blog is not me.
It’s you. Thank you. 🙂