Can I encourage you for a little bit? Pull up a seat next to the campfire and let’s chat for a bit. Following your passion is not the easiest thing you have ever done is it? In fact, if it were simple and easy, wouldn’t everyone be doing it?
What separates you from the pack?
The Power of Grit
I recently read the above title as a chapter header in Zig Ziglar’s book Better Than Good: Creating a Life You Can’t Wait to Live. Most of us know Zig Ziglar as a powerful business and personal development speaker. Life wasn’t always easy for Zig. By his own recollection it took 20 years for his dream to be a full-time speaker to come true. His dream was birthed in 1952 and it wasn’t until 1972 that things begin to really happen for him. Years he spent speaking for free at any place that would allow him. What was the difference? Read in Zig’s own words:
“Through it all, I had some discouraging times when it seemed as though nothing was happening. But not only did I have the dream, the dream had me.”
You often hear Bob and I tell you that there is no such thing as an overnight success in blogging. I had over 100+ blog posts written for things began to take off for me. Sure there were small successes along the way, but you should expect and embrace a “pre-traffic, pre-profit time” in the life of your blog. Every single one of us has been there. Even the A-list Bloggers.
So, how do you make it during the tough times? Here are 5 principles that have helped me that I want to share with you:
1. Look for Ways to Add Value to the Lives of Others
Is your motivation for a successful blog selfish? That is a big question isn’t it? Only you can answer the question honestly. If it is selfish, it comes across your blog in many ways. The style in which you write, how you connect with others, and whether or not you see other bloggers in your niche as threats. Before you can really begin to make financial deposits from your blogging your have to make emotional deposits in the lives of others. Add value anywhere and wherever you can.
Answer your emails when readers take the time to write you. Respond to all blog comments if at all possible. Go out of your way to go above and beyond to invest and build up someone else. Your reputation is contagious. That counts whether good or bad.
Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are asking, What’s in it for me? – Brian Tracy
2. Underestimate the Short Term
We often do the opposite especially when starting an online business or blog. We overestimate the short-term (thinking success will happen sooner) and underestimate the long-term (not realizing that this journey is an investment that can pay you dividends in the future the more time you spend in it). Many times we grow discouraged because we don’t see the “instant” results and mistakenly think that it is all a big waste of time. Instead, decide to have a better mindset going in. Tell yourself that you are going to work as if you are already a success, but that you are not going to expect anything substantial for the first year of the life of your blog.
Focus on what you can control. I cannot make traffic come to my site. I cannot make people buy my products or click on my ads. Instead, I focus on what I can control. I can create 3-5 new blog posts each week. I can write high-value content. I can email and reach out to other bloggers in my niche.
3. Remain Curious About Your Passion
What has often helped me during times of disappointment was to just stay active. Action always roots out discouragement. The idle mind is the devil’s workshop. His favorite tool in his toolbox is the crowbar of discouragement. He wants to work his way into your thought process and keep you discouraged. Instead, stay active, keep learning, and remain curious about your passion. Zig Ziglar also said:
“Along this journey, I came to realize that the more I knew about my subject, the more creative I could be in my presentations. The more new ideas I acquired from others, the more useful my own ideas became, because truth forms a synergism.”
4. View Today’s Disappoint as Just a Minor Setback
Grit is all about not letting failures be fatal. So what if you failed? The road to success is built on the pathway of failure. That is just the way that it is. If you are not failing at some level, you will never be successful. I know that is a strong statement, but it is true. A ship was not designed to sit tied to the port. It was designed to be out in the open sea, taking on the journey with boldness. If you life is about managing and protecting yourself from criticism or failure, then success will elude you. One of my favorite quotes from Thomas Edison states:
I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. – Thomas Edison
5. Decide to Really Go For It!
If there is one common thing I have witnessed since becoming a blogging coach is that most people don’t really go for it. They dabble, play, test the waters, and sit back and wait. They are committed to the results but not the process. How do we ever get this thing backwards? One of my favorite stories was about an Olympic Gymnast that was struggling on the uneven bars. The coach was telling her that her biggest problem was that she was not committed. He said:
“Throw your heart over the bar and the rest will follow.” – Olympic Gymnast Coach
So, where are you today (mentally speaking)? Do you have the power of grit? Does your dream have you? Are you protecting yourself from failure? Are you really going for it or just dabbling?