Jonathan’s Blogging Journey

I first heard of blogging in the Summer of 2008. I was really fascinated by the idea and concept. It was about the same time I began a personal mission to discover my true purpose in life. I had spent the previous five years building a start-up executive search firm with a few close friends.

Although I was enjoying the journey, I really wanted to find my “fit” in the world. I wanted to discover my personal strengths and use them to the best of my ability. One book that really helped me discover my true strengths was a book entitled StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath.

A Turning Point

This personal mission and journey I was on took a major turning point once I read an old book called Acres of Diamonds. It is a series of lectures that was turned into a book back in 1915. Russel Conwell, Founder of Temple University,  tells the story of an old man who sold his entire land to go on a quest to find riches and wealth. He ended up spending all that he had on his quest and came up completely empty.

In a real interesting twist in the story, the man whom he had originally sold his land to uncovered by accident acres and acres of diamonds on the very land that the old man had sold years earlier.

Moral of the story: What you are really looking for in life might just be right under your nose (or buried deep within).

I began to do more thinking: “What were the buried diamonds in my own life?” What was the passion of my life? The first thing I did was to write out a life plan that I would use to govern my life from that day forward. Once I began to look deep within, I came up with 4 “hidden personal diamonds” that I have used to direct my life since that day.

1. Passion – Whatever I spend my time on I want it to be something I was truly excited about doing.
2. Purpose – I want what I do to have meaning and significance to my family and others.
3. Productivity – I want to spend my time on things that I naturally do well while improving the process and others along the way.
4. Pace – I want to enjoy the journey, learn the art of balance and deepen those relationship most important to me (Money for me buys time, not things. I wanted to buy more time with my wife, kids, and friends and have freedom in this life to do whatever God wanted me to do).

In fact, my very first blog post on February 20, 2009 was on the very topic above.

My Personal Mission Statement – 2009

Not to long after this experience, I went to a local park alone to do some writing and thinking. To make a long story short, I walked away with a personal mission statement for my life that has been an inspiration to me ever since.

My purpose is to use my creativity and coaching to support and inspire others to reach their full potential for the glory of God.

That was my passion! I wanted everything that I did from that day forward to reflect that statement.

Blogging and Passion: The Dynamic Duo

Blogging seemed like the ideal vehicle for me in my journey so I started writing as much as possible. Honestly, I didn’t even care how many comments I got or how many people were reading my posts. I was just excited to have a voice online that others could stumble on to and be helped and encouraged. I was in it for the long haul. The income side of things was very slow for me for awhile as I really had no idea what I was doing in the beginning.

What Kept Me Going

What kept me going was that I had defined success and profit in a whole new light. My wife and I decided after reading In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day that our new mission in life was: to accumulate experiences not possessions. When I get to the end of my life the experiences in life are going to mean so much more to me than any earthly possession.

Things really began to take off once I understood the difference between taking massive action and just being busy. There are many things you can spend your time on when it comes to blogging but not all of those tasks move you forward.

Today, I run and manage several blogs all of which have to do with something I am passionate about. Launching this blog with Bob Lotich is really a dream come true for me. I still have a difficult time telling people what I do for work.

I normally get a blank stare when I tell people that I write articles online and make money with them. I see people from the window of my home office frantically commuting to work each day doing work they do not enjoy. As Richard Chang said in his book The Passion Plan:

“We spend a lot of time doing things we don’t want to do in places we don’t want to be for no other reason than that we feel that we have to. We have to bring home a paycheck, please our friends and family, and meet the expectations that the world has set for us.”

I am dedicating this blog to help those who want to discover, pursue, and and develop their passion through blogging. Come join us on the journey. We will be providing many blog resources that you can use for your blog in the days ahead.

    Jonathan has been blogging since 2009 and is still in awe that the Creator of the Universe desires to have a relationship with him. His passions include spending time with his kids, reading, March Madness, surprise get-a-way trips with his wife, and watching funny YouTube videos.

    • Tamara

      You continue to be such an inspiration to me. You encourage me to continue my journey on finding and working in the strengths God has given me. I may not have found everything yet but I know that the journey is worth it!

      • Jonathan

        Thanks Tamara! I really appreciate that. I haven’t arrived. I am still growing myself on this journey. However, I believe that an amazing thing begins to happen when we pursue the passion that God placed in our hearts. The key in this whole thing is to overestimate the short-term and under-estimate the long-term. In other words, give yourself time to allow the vision of your heart to develop. There are no shortcuts.

    • http://wyatthewonderdog.com Lynne Watts

      Jonathan, Thanks so much for sharing your story! Interestingly, I’ve read all the books you mentioned (well not the StrengthFinder… I’m more into the DISC personality profile) and I have had a similar awakening and desire to live the life that God gifted me to live. I would love to make blogging a money making as well as an inspirational venture.

      • Jonathan

        Hi Lynne, My sincere hope is that my story can be a help to others. I am no different than you or anyone else. Consistent action toward my God-given strengths is a result of where I am today. Bob and I have many exciting things in store for this blog. Thanks for being a part of the journey.

    • http://www.smallgardenlove.com jacky

      Hi, love your blog. I actually found you on 48 days when I began thinking about blogging a few months ago. You had some great articles that helped me very much. At the begining it’s overwhelming how many things you have to do just to get the blog going, But with time it’s getting easier. Thanks for all the great topics and encouragement. Keep up the good work.

      • Jonathan

        Thank you very much. Yes, one of our goals is to simply the process and reduce the learning curve for people. There is a lot of information out there about blogging and much of it is bad, bad, bad. Not everything is bad of course, but our goal is to provide advice based on our experience. Not something we learned from somewhere that just sounds good. I hope you will join us on the journey!

    • Martha

      Hi Jonathan:

      Thanks for share with us your great experience. I need to find my purpose too.

      • Jonathan

        Thanks Martha. I will be sharing some more tips and ideas on discovering your passion and purpose in the days ahead. Thanks!

    • Bryan

      Jonathan,
      I couldn’t find a contact form or email….. I found your Thesis based site and have added it to the Thesis Showcase Gallery. The Thesis Gallery has over 1000 examples of Thesis customized sites.
      http://www.ThesisGallery.com.

      It will take about a week before it gets listed.

    • PaulVandermill

      Jonathan,

      Yes! This is inspiring. Thank you. I am just learning what a blog is let alone what the benefits of blogging may be for both myself and others. I am hoping that this will be a vehicle for clarifying aspects of my own life in particular passion and calling. That clarity has as of yet avoided me but today is a new day. I have tried it corporate America’s way, it’s time to add something else.

      • http://bloggingyourpassion.com/ Jonathan Milligan

        Thanks! Glad it was helpful to you.

    • Andrew Howerton

      Thanks for sharing, Jonathan. I was curious about your reference to “taking massive amounts of action”. Could you expound on that more or have you done that in another blog post you might could link to? Thanks!

      • http://bloggingyourpassion.com/ Jonathan Milligan

        Thanks Andrew. Great question. I made the decision to “work for myself first” before I went to work each day. This meant I set aside 5-7 am to work on my blog, which for me was focused on creating new blog posts and creating new courses to sell. Hope that helps…

    • http://www.larryshankle.com/ Larry Shankle

      I just want to say that I’m really enjoying your new book! Thanks for the encouragement it provides. My blogging experience only started a few months ago…and it helps to see someone living out the principles in front of you. The spirit behind your work comes through, and that’s a characteristic I want to have as well. Keep up the great work. It’s making a difference. Have a great day!

      • http://bloggingyourpassion.com/ Jonathan Milligan

        Awesome. Thanks so much Larry!

    • http://bruce-koerber.squarespace.com/ Bruce Koerber

      I am very impressed with your blog and your journey and your success. I am grateful to have learned about you and your ‘community’ of entrepreneurs.

    • PaulVandermill

      Thanks Jonathan! Acres Of Diamonds? I will give that a read. Also, it occurs to me that as someone who thinks a lot, I don’t spend time quietly contemplating such issues. I will be adding that to my daily ritual. Great Post!

      • http://www.youtube.com/aerostarhomes Tim Ramsay

        One thing I noticed with the Acres of Diamonds story is that the farmer would never be able to find diamonds in the rough because he was looking for cut diamonds. We have to be able to not only recognize the diamond in the rough but we also need to learn how to cut them and sell them.

        • PaulVandermill

          Great thought Tim! Thanks!

    • heatherheuman

      Love that your faith is a huge piece of your passion in your business. Something we have in common Jonathan.

      Here’s to continued success and opportunities that you can’t even imagine…b/c his plans often far exceed ours.

      Blessings, Heather Heuman in South Carolina 🙂

      • http://www.sallyferguson.net/ Sally Ferguson

        Ditto! Keep up the good work!

    • http://Heartspoken.com/ Elizabeth H. Cottrell

      So glad to learn about you and your faith-based work, Jonathan. I hope I can support you, and I’m sure your resources will help me. Thank you.