The journey to starting a blog can be loaded with emotions and obstacles. It can also be one of the most exciting ventures you ever decide to undertake. It is about constant learning, times of feast and famine when it comes to ideas, and the thrill of being in control of your own future. What I have learned is all the ups and downs are totally worth it.
When I Grow Up
If I am really honest, I have to say it took me a long time to decide exactly what I wanted to do with my life. A really long time. I was pretty typical as a teenager in that I had a few different things I wanted to be when I "grew up". A child defense attorney. A marine biologist. A bank teller. For one reason or another, those plans did not pan out. Probably for the best. Regardless, depending on what I was interested in at the time would be reflected in my answer to that one question that loomed more menacingly every year as I inched closer to graduation.
I basically rode that trend right into my 30's. I had built a career in the medical field, and I was really good at it. But it wasn't what I wanted to be doing. I did not enjoy it at all. It was a paycheck. When my youngest daughter came along, we decided it made more sense for me to stay home. I was thrilled I would not be in an office that made me miserable anymore. Then I thought, this may be an opportunity to finally get to do something I am passionate about.
The only thing that has remained a constant passion within me is to create and to inspire and help others, but I never thought those interests could ever support the lifestyle I wanted to have. I certainly did not want to be a "starving artist". Starting a blog was never even on my radar. Heck when I was in high school, the internet was the newest technology out there. Blogs had not even entered the scene yet.
Enter the world of blogs
A couple years ago, my eyes were opened to the world of blogging. I was intrigued and knew it was what I wanted to do in some capacity. It checked off all of my boxes...
- Work from home
- Be my own boss
- Make money
- Be creative
- Help & inspire others
So why not start a blog right away?
A few reasons...
- Never the right timing
- Not enough time
- Lack of knowledge
- Stuck in research mode
- So much to do!
Let's solve the "problems"
As with any problem, if you want to make it through to the other side and achieve what you have set out to do, eventually you have to solve it. So I set out to take on the massive list of "problems" I had with starting a blog. One at a time.
1. Never the right time
Everyone has heard the saying "timing is everything". While there are situations that this is absolutely true...crossing a busy intersection, planting a garden, buying a house...I firmly believe there are situations when the phrase "there's no time like the present" is much more relevant. After all, is it ever going to be just the right time to start a diet, quit smoking, or teach your kids good morals?
I say anything that is going to have a positive impact on your well being and your life should be done as soon as possible. The same goes with starting making your dream a reality. In this case...starting a blog. The truth is life will always get in the way if we let it.
Here's what to do:
Take a moment to think about and create a mental checklist of how your life would ideally look before you started your blog. Now, is any of it a reality? Can you take steps to check off any of those boxes? If yes, then get to work checking them off. If not, then consider making your dream happen as soon as possible. It is quite possible that working towards starting your blog could actually check off some of the boxes for your ideal life.
2. Not enough time
This little excuse has kept me from doing so many things I wanted or needed to do. When I am spending countless hours a day getting snacks, changing diapers, running to the potty, cleaning house, running errands, cooking meals, etc. It's easy to get caught up in the mentality that there just isn't time for anything else. In fact, most nights I go to bed exhausted, later than I wanted to, and wondering if I got anything done that was actually important.
Even if you aren't a stay at home mom, no doubt you have a full plate. Most career moms spend at least 8 hours a day at a job trading their time for money, and that is not even including commute time. Chances are when you get home there is a whole list of things that require your time and attention.
Realize that time is just a constraint we impose on ourselves. As humans, we tend to make time for the things that are truly important to us or for things that absolutely have to get done whether we "have the time" or not. If your child gets sick, you make the time to go to take them to the doctor and take care of them, right? Of course you do! Because it's important! If your car breaks down on the way to work, does the situation just disappear because you don't have the time to deal with it? Of course not! That would be nice, but unfortunately it doesn't work that way. What if the school called to tell you that your kiddo had an accident? You probably would not really have the time to take off work and run them an extra set of clothes, but I am positive you would the time to make it happen.
Same goes for this situation. Decide just how important starting a blog is to you. If it is really something you are passionate about, you will make the time because you will make it a priority.
Here's what to do:
Find the time.
Just carving out 30 minutes to an hour a day to work towards a goal results in progress. It does not matter how small. Progress is progress. Tony Robbins says, "No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow you progress, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn't trying." And he is absolutely right.
So where can you make time? Can you wake up 30 minutes earlier, go to bed 30 minutes later, not watch as much TV at night? Have your meals and grocery visits planned out in advance so you aren't wasting time figuring out dinner or running to the store 5 times a week? I am positive you can find the time if you look hard enough. Believe you can do it, too. After awhile, you will have new habits that are encouraging and progressing the goals you have set for yourself. Your future you will thank you.
3. Straight up fear
- Fear of failure
- Fear of rejection
- Imposter syndrome
- Fear of the unknown
- Fear of commitment
- Fear of running out of content
- Fear I am not interesting enough, and people will not like what I have to say
If a fear exists, there is a good chance I have had it. It can be paralyzing, and it has definitely kept me from doing plenty of things in my life. Everyone has fears. If fear is not holding you back from starting a blog, I say kudos to you! If it is...think about this: how will you ever know if you could made it if you don't try?! I for one am more afraid of looking back years from now and regretting that I never even believed in myself enough to at least give it a shot.
Here's what to do:
Face your fears.
Life is about growth. Sometimes that means taking a risk. In this case, it's taking a risk on yourself. If you want to succeed in life, you have to believe in yourself. Believe that you can do anything you put your mind to. Because you absolutely can! Rest assured there are plenty of other people that have faced the same fears you are facing today. The only ones that pushed past and realized their dreams looked those fears in the face and said, 'get out'.
Fear of failure? They learned from their failures and grew.
Fear of rejection? I assure you at some point they were rejected. Probably numerous times. Not everyone has to like you or what you have to offer.
Imposter syndrome? Stay true to you. You aren't an imposter if you are being yourself.
Fear of the unknown? They took a leap of faith, and made it happen despite not knowing what was going to happen. No one knows exactly what the future holds. Don't let that hold you back from bringing your vision to life.
Fear of commitment? They committed to their dream. They stuck to it, and saw through all the hard stuff. And it was worth it.
Fear of running out of content? Ideas are limitless. Everyone gets stuck sometimes. Everyone also finds inspiration and is so flooded with ideas they can't write fast enough. You will always find new ideas.
Fear you are not interesting enough, and people will not like what you have to say? Every person on this planet is unique. I know there is something interesting about you. You just have to find an interesting way to present it.
This one is fear's little sidekick. Wherever fear goes, worry does as well. I worry about pretty much everything. My husband calls it "borrowing trouble". Which basically means that I might be worrying about something that there is no need to worry about. When he tells me I am borrowing trouble, he is almost always right. It is rarely as big of a deal as my mind made it out to be. Then I am left with relief that it did not play out the way I thought it would, and I feel a little silly for worrying so much in the first place.
Here's what to do:
If you are riddled with worry, then you are probably riddled with fear. So first, go back and read my pep talk in the last section, and kick fear to the curb. Then start building the mentality that you aren't going to worry when there is no need. I find that the more I face my fears, the less worry tends to creep in. Don't worry about what your friends and family will think about your new idea. Don't worry if you will succeed. Don't worry about what will happen if everything doesn't go to plan. I am not saying it will disappear from your mind completely. There are always things we are going to worry about. If you have kids, you will worry about them. If someone you love is battling with something, you will worry about them. Just don't let worry about starting a blog hold you back.
5. Not enough money
There are plenty of reasons you may feel like you do not have the capital to start your blog. You could be a full time working mom who is living paycheck to paycheck. You could be at home on a fixed income. You could be a stay at home mom who is pinching pennies to make ends meet. You could be a single mom with only one income to support your family.
Truth be known, it doesn't have to cost a lot to start a blog. There are also a ton of ways you can customize and tailor your blog to meet your start up budget. What if you don't have a start up budget? I didn't either. There are lots of ways to save up some money.
Here's what to do:
Spend some time thinking about how you can make a little extra money to make your dream happen. Here are some options that I looked at and implemented:
- Sell stuff you don't need or want
- Use your tax return
- Cut your grocery budget for a couple months (or permanently)
- Meal planning is a great way to do this, as is couponing.
- Look at where you spend your money, and see if there is something you could stop paying for or at least cut back on
- coffee out every morning
- getting your nails or hair done
- eating out so often
- bills you could lower
Everyone's situation is different, but most of us have something we can do to lower our expenses and increase our savings if we look hard enough and are willing to make the sacrifice.
Make sure to check out the next post in this 2 part series: The 'Problems' with Starting a Blog - Pt 2. I go over the last 4 problems I faced:
- Lack of Knowledge
- Stuck in Research Mode
- So Much to Do
- Finding a Niche
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