I was having a conversation on Skype with a new client of mine today and we got onto the subject of transparency, authenticity and being true to the passions that drive you in both business and pleasure.
It struck me that even in the world of blogging and the wider community, it’s difficult to hold true to those values. We start out with a thirst for connection – to touch people with the information we put forth and inspire others with the power of our words. Usually our enthusiasm is limitless, it flows in unending quantities, effecting those around us.
Yet over time we succumb to the status-quo. Slowly the influence of others beings to seep in. We question our choices, are we doing this right? Should we be taking this approach?
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but when we start changing the very core of what drove us to hit publish in the beginning, we lose that spark, that uniqueness that sets us apart from everybody else.
The Problem With Doing What You’re Told
It’s easy in our fast-moving world to be subject to information overload. As pointed out in the latest issue of No Sidebar, we have this unquenchable fear of missing out. In the same vein we’re constantly comparing ourselves to everyone else.
Whether we’re running a business or writing a blog, this need to measure ourselves up against our competition can end up being unhealthy. We start following cookie-cutter solutions that are spewed out by hundreds of people, all saying the same thing.
You have to blog this way. You have to market this way. This is how you grow your email list. This is how you’re supposed grow your followers on Twitter. This is how you get more customers.
And the result is yet another blog or business following the same rules and doing the same things. The spark is gone, the individuality sacrificed for the sake of doing what we’re told is right.
Here’s What You Should Be Doing
Yes, I get the irony in that heading. However I’m not here to tell you what to do. Instead I’m here to say that you should be listening to yourself. Not the timeline buzzing away in the background, not the inbox full of well meant lists and cheat-sheets, but yourself.
You started out with an idea. It’s time you got back to that. Take the suggestions and advice and the things you think will help, but focus on what you feel is right, what your gut is telling you.
If an approach to marketing your business doesn’t sit right with you, doesn’t align with your core values and ethos, then it’s not the right one for you. Go back to the drawing board, do your research and come up with a different one.
If a method you’ve followed religiously for growing your blog traffic, doesn’t work. Go back to basics, look at what’s working already and build on that.
I’ve made the mistake of blindly following the advice I found online before. It was at a time in my life where I wasn’t as clued up as I am now. I didn’t have the experience or know-how. Don’t let that put you off. Even if you are inexperienced, there is information out there that will make sense. You’ll know it when you’ve found it, because it will feel right!
Start Doing What Matters
Why waste time following someone else’s path? Our time here is short and the time given to make an impact is even shorter. The quicker we start following our own instincts, finding the core of our message and running with it, the quicker we’ll put that message in-front of the people who truly want to read it.
Who will be reading yours?