Why not me?
That’s the question I asked myself at a pivot point in my life. I had a background in IT and had spent my entire adult life behind a computer writing code.
I really loved personal finance, but then I saw these experts who had been talking about money for twenty years or more.
I hadn’t written a single word on the topic. All I had was a dream.
My choice was the same as your choice might be right now. As I sat in my black chair with the white polka dots from Kohl’s
I boiled it down to one question:
Why not me?
I could go for it, and one of two things would happen:
Or I could have gone the safe route and stuck with IT. And 5, 10, 15 years from now I would be looking back and wondering:
Here are my Top 10 mental mistakes that can hold you back from blogging success.
The belief you need some level of expertise or certain years in a field to call yourself an expert.
It’s a limiting belief that you can’t teach someone that has less knowledge than you on any subject. If you read one book on a subject, you know more than any person that has read zero books on that subject. In their eyes – you’re an expert.
Become an expert. Read books, take classes, learn from other experts. Nobody starts out as an expert or is born an expert.
You can become an expert by documenting your journey to expert status. Sharing what you learn along the way is a great way to get started blogging about any topic.
Using your busy schedule as an excuse to not do something.
Nobody has enough time. Time can’t be created – we all have the same 168 hours in a week. What you choose to do with your time is up to you.
The words ‘I don’t have enough time’ are incorrect. What you really mean is
I’m choosing to do something else that I place greater importance on than _____.
Fill in the blank.
For some people it might be spending time with the family, working eighty hours, watching football on weekends, sleeping, or just being lazy.
Sorry but don’t kid yourself – you and I make choices where we spend our time. If you spend 30 minutes a day on social media, there is your time to blog right there. Choose wisely.
Striving for perfection and ending up with analysis paralysis.
Perfection is the enemy of the good. You can end up with a bunch of half written posts or almost ready posts and never publish anything.
Most of your first posts will be terrible – it’s normal! Just hit Publish.
Seeing many other bloggers writing about your chosen topic and abandoning your writing dreams.
The Internet is a big place, and there is always room for someone awesome like you.
I got into the personal finance space in 2015. There were already thousands of other personal finance bloggers, plus hundreds of major publications.
Are you reading this right now? There is your proof you can break into a crowded field. I did it – so can you.
Carve out your identity.
Think about the music or TV shows you watch. Have you ever watched a new show or listened to new music? People are always looking for fresh and new content.
Overconfidence in your abilities to figure everything out on your own.
You can accelerate your learning curve by getting help.
Michael Phelps – the greatest Olympian of all time – has a coach. So does Tom Brady, quarterback of the New England Patriots.
Warren Buffet – greatest investor of all time – surrounds himself with smart people.
The fear of being exposed as a fraud once you’ve achieved success and become accomplished.
We all feel like this at one time or another when writing, teaching, or speaking.
Recognize it’s normal to feel like an imposter. Even the people at the top of their game sit back and have doubts about their abilities and everything they have done.
Trying to master every part of blogging and do it all yourself.
Nobody can be an expert at everything related to building a blog or business.
As your income grows, hire contractors to work on projects you don’t enjoy or don’t have time.
Surround yourself with people that are smarter than you are.
I’ve never done a single thing on Pinterest. At first, my wife did it for me (free of course), and now I pay someone to do it for me.
Hiding behind your screen in anonymity.
There is a difference between being shy and an introvert. I am an introvert. I have met a lot of other introverted bloggers.
People want to do business with people, not a nameless, faceless corporation. Or a nameless, faceless blogger.
Becoming paralyzed by everything you should be doing to the point you end up doing nothing, or the wrong thing at the wrong time.
Overwhelm is part of the mental game, and I speak from personal experience. When you start blogging and learning about blogging you suddenly realize you should be doing all of the following:
Create your end goal of where you want to be 1/3/5 years from now. Work backward, so you understand what it will take to get there.
Focus on one big thing each day, and each month. Even if you only have 60 minutes a day, stay focused.
When I’m practicing my guitar for an hour a day, for 40 of those minutes I’ll work on one thing. The other 20 are spent on the lower priority stuff.
Giving up before you’re blog has had enough time to grow and find an audience.
There is an adage in the gardening/landscaping world:
It doesn’t mean it’s going to take three years to earn a living blogging. But it’s going to take longer than three weeks or three months.
Anything worth doing is worth doing well.
You will never become successful at anything if you quit before you’ve reached your true potential. You will either have the false belief of ‘only special people can do that,’ or spend the rest of your life wondering ‘what if I had stuck with it.’
I quit Kung Fu lessons in college. Several times a year I think back and wonder ‘what if.’ What if I had kept practicing, how amazing would I be today at Kung Fu. I could kick the mouse out of your hand right through this computer screen – that’s how amazing I would be.
Spend your time on making what you’re good at better (like writing). Improve your strengths. Spend less time on your weaknesses (social media, making Pinterest images).
Over time you can farm out the things you don’t do well, or figure out ways to streamline them.
If there is one thing I’ve learned about tomorrow, it’s that when it comes I will have wished I had started today.
You’re not alone on your journey. All those doubts and fears are the same ones I’ve had and gone through.
Now write something! If you don’t have a blog set up yet, please read How To Start A Blog: A Step-by-Step Guide
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