It’s been a long time coming.
I’ve been working on this post for over a year now.
But it’s still relevant today—perhaps even moreso.
Now I’ve got two years of “blogging” under my belt. (If you can even call it that 😂)
The lessons from the first year still hold true though.
So I’ve expanded and cleaned up my original unpublished version. I made it a little more relevant to my 2020 Content Challenge, but kept it true to the lessons learned from 2018 as well. There are many other lessons I learned from last year’s attempt at creating content everyday for 365 days. They probably won’t get their own post though. I’m more concerned with implementing them.
Plus, my other challenges already have hub posts. 😁
Now my 2018 Monthly Personal Growth Updates get one.
- January 2018
- February 2018
- March 2018
- April 2018
- May 2018
- June 2018
- July 2018
- August 2018
- September 2018
- October 2018
- November 2018
- December 2018
It’s about time. 👏
It laid the foundation for those to follow anyway.
To that end, NO lesson was more important than the first:
1. “Just Ship”
I’m not quite sure where I first heard this:
I’m not sure it was any of them.
Whoever I got the message “just ship” from:
I’ve found great use for it with my own content.
When my name is on things, I tend toward perfectionism. I also tend toward long-windedness. Just ship basically just means, get it published. It doesn’t have to be perfect; it’s never going to be.
I had this problem with my clients as first.
And to a degree, perfectionism is still one of my selling points.
But this was really an easy lesson to learn with my clients.
All it took:
Rushing something out to beat a deadline then receiving reviews like “omg this is the best thing i’ve ever read in my entire life,” on my fiverr profile.
It took this batch of monthly posts to get to that point for myself.
And in fact, I wouldn’t be able to dream of producing content everyday if I hadn’t learned it.
Now, I’m happy to publish stream-of-consciousness style posts, incomplete pages for things I’m learning, or intimate posts about my life. I might even take a stab at some political posts in 2020. 👀 Plus, content for my marketing services exploded last year.
Thanks, “Just Ship.” Please continue to serve me well.
2. Easier Than I Thought
Truth be told:
I am a writing machine.
When I’m in the mood, genius flows from my mind through my fingertips and onto the computer screen.
When I’m not though, I just end up staring at a blinking cursor on a blank Google Doc.
Yes, writer’s block is real.
Astonishingly enough though, it doesn’t affect me with my content. Sometimes, I don’t want to do the work. But that’s not the same as struggling for ideas. I never struggle with ideas for my own content.
Apparently, I just love running my mouth too much…
… So much so, that I often end up producing multiple versions of passages or entire posts.
For example, the original intro for this post:
I finished my first series of blog posts the other day.
It was batch of diary-esque updates.
They are pretty useless to anyone other than me.
Before long, I’ll go back and pull all of the info from them and put them elsewhere.
Then, they’ll be totally useless.
Well, except for lessons learned. Those have timeless value.
And maybe, just maybe, these lessons might also have value for someone else.
Therefore, I can’t just keep them to myself.
So let’s talk about what I learned in “my first year of blogging.”
But certainly would have worked had this been posted on time.
I can’t be sure, but it probably took 2 minutes or less. At least, that’s how long it took to replace it for this post.
Blogging is “Easier Than I Thought.” I hope it continues to be. 🙏
3. I Didn’t Die
Ya know the cliché of the naked dream?
On stage in your underwear or whatever version you pick…
Building a Personal Brand feels a little like that.
Especially the way I do it. It’s easiest for me to produce content that is very personal, almost for myself. As such, much of my content runs the risk of revealing too much or publishing a half-baked idea.
More than that:
I think we tend towards embarrassment about our self expression.
Fear of public speaking.
Apologizing for handwriting.
Keeping our singing to the shower.
Or maybe that last one is for the greater good…
Putting yourself out there elicits a bit of a fight or flight response. Personal Growth teachers often speak about pushing beyond your comfort zones. When you try to do so though, your brain tries to protect you. It basically says “this might kill you.”
You have to train yourself to push back against that feeling.
When you do, you’ll find that you can strengthen your courage.
Like a muscle, it only requires repetition.
And so my Monthly Personal Growth posts helped me engrave an important lesson into my brain…
Naked on stage or not:
“I Didn’t Die.”
4. Late is Better Than Never
This one is simple and obvious.
I started writing this one in January or February last year. It’s taken almost a whole year to come back and complete it.
Is it worth it?
But from a personal development standpoint:
It’s a definite yes.
This is a lesson I learned during my first year of blogging.
I was on time until July. July’s review didn’t come in until halfway through August. All those before it came within the first three days of the next month. Most of them were written as each month passed. But I let travelling allow me to push this one back a couple weeks.
It wouldn’t be the last time. However, I was surprisingly punctual for the next few months. Then came November 2018, the month I turned 30. I was quite late with my October review. Again, about two weeks. But this one would be the last time. Inspiration swelled. And my October review become one of the posts in my 365-day content challenge.
It was about asking “why?” when things were late.
If I had given up for tardiness, I might not have gotten there.
But it’s been a lesson well learned:
“Better Late Than Never.”
5. Challenge Is Its Own Reward
It feels good to keep your word.
It feels especially good to keep your word to yourself over time.
This is something I’ve always conceptually known.
But experience creates understanding that study cannot match.
Creating crappy content for myself may be a small thing. Yet, I can’t help but feel an internal sense of pride. Though I don’t promote these posts and I can tell from my Analytics that no one reads them, it feels good. Naturally competence increases Confidence as well.
One of my favorite quotes from Brendon Burchard:
“I believe in my ability to achieve my goals despite challenges.”
He’s shown that this belief is strongly correlated with High Performance. The first time I heard him say it I was like “oh yeah, I have that one.” But you can never overstate the importance of repetition. These monthly personal growth posts have helped me grove this belief in.
Plus, I have the last year (two now) to look back on.
The proof is in the pudding.
In this case, the pudding may be a bunch of crappy content.
Still, the key is in the “a bunch of.”
This was never about quality. It was about quantity and consistency.
Putting myself up to the challenge and getting it done feels great.
Action brings the Achievement clichés to life:
“Take the next step toward your goals everyday.”
“The work doesn’t care how you feel.”
“You never fail until you give up.”
Last but not least…
“Challenge Is Its Own Reward.”
Live it out and the lessons become real.