“Have you ever wondered why you write these blogs and send them out, rather than just working on yourself, in the darkness?” This was a great question I was asked last week.
The truth is, I have wondered. An awful lot. And I find it quite bizarre that I haven’t shared the reasons why I do it, or even how I came to do it.
It all started 2 years ago, when I wanted to prepare for a workshop on productivity I was delivering to a group of entrepreneurs. I did a huge amount of research for them to take away in a handout. I don’t like public speaking, so I wanted to be super-prepared and 3 months of writing around the subject helped me do that.
From there, the idea grew legs, as I decided to turn the work I had done into chapters of a productivity book, to give more credibility to the coaching and mentoring I was doing at the time.
I actually started the blog for nothing more than public accountability, in order to get all the work done for the book. I forced myself into a weekly deadline of producing and finishing each chapter by publishing it online, then sending it to everyone I knew. As a result, it started to move my life in completely new directions, making the challenge of a lengthy project like a book less relevant to me.
My desire to write and publish a book has gone, for now. I actually prefer to distribute my work for free and in small chunks. It gives me more freedom and suits the pace of my life. That deadline and feeling of accountability are still very much the primary reasons why I keep writing this blog, though.
The thing about sharing your philosophies and beliefs with everyone you’ve ever met is that you sure as hell better live by them! I just couldn’t look people in the eye if I didn’t. It forces me to keep raising my bar and challenging myself to live up to what I say.
I get to sit down every week and develop an idea I have been thinking about, then share it with thousands of people. I also get to share my journey. I write each post as a thought provocation to challenge not only my own thinking but the thinking of everyone who reads it. The comments, emails and subsequent conversations serve as the ultimate feedback loop to radically develop my thinking over time. That weekly practice of reflection and feedback alone accelerates my learning to its fastest level.
And it doesn’t stop there. It has provided me with a platform for being much more open, and has progressed from being a relatively small business project to helping me conquer one of my life’s greatest challenges.
In the last year, I have started sharing more about my journey, my fears, my hopes and my dreams. I have to say that it scared the shit out of me when I first started doing it. I honestly hated it. Not only because I was opening myself up to criticism and putting my ideas out into the world, but because it laid bare the version of myself that I had been keeping secret for so long.
And the results of this are really fascinating to me, because the more of myself I put out into the world through the blog, the more great things seem to come back. The more I open up in my blog, the more people open up to me. The more I try to help people using my blog, the more people offer to help me.
I have met some incredible people because of the work I produce. I have had some incredible conversations as a result of the things that have been written here. I have also had some incredible adventures and opportunities that have all come from this relatively simple weekly practice.
It is funny, because I started all this not actually knowing how to write. I think I was causing mischief at the back of the classroom during most of my English classes. So I had more than a lot of help to produce every post in the beginning, and I still get some help now, to make sure that every post I write is the best it can be.
They say you should write 50 posts to learn how to blog. It was, indeed, after 50 posts that traffic started to take off. And through all this, I have learnt a new skill that I never thought I would be able to learn, which is unexpectedly the best thing I have ever done in my life.
To this day, it amazes and humbles me when I find out who reads this blog. I do it for myself, primarily, but at the end of the day, I have to recognise from the emails I receive every week that it makes a difference to others as well. I live for making an impact, and this blog allows me to do that. If it makes a difference to one person’s life, then it is worth doing, and I feel blessed to know that, in fact, it makes a difference to so many people’s lives.
Blogging forms the foundation of everything that is incredible in my life right now, and it is also the thing I most enjoy doing every week. And that, at the end of the day, is why I keep doing it.
Thank you for being part of that journey so far. Who knows where we will end up next?