The Post No One Will Read
I beat myself up almost daily. I keep telling myself that I want to put some focus on my personal blog and brand again. I tell myself that I want to create YouTube videos and share what I'm up to on a blog.
Not a day goes by that I don't beat myself up a little bit internally for not just writing something.
I convince myself that what I have to say has already been said.
I convince myself that there are smarter people to learn from than me.
I convince myself that no one would really be that interested in my thoughts or what I'm up to.
I've even written a similar post to this one where I proclaim that I'm going to start blogging a lot more... Only the be followed up by months of not writing.
Well, today I'm writing. Today I'm clicking publish on something.
I called this post "The Post No One Will Read" because I'm doing it for myself. I writing for the sake of writing and not for the sake of anyone else.
I'm fully expecting this post to be read by pretty much no one except maybe the two people that might see it in the moment I shared it on Twitter.
But the point is not for this post to go viral. It's not to get a ton of eyeballs. It's not to share some smarts and hope that people will want to be my friend as a result.
This post has one purpose... To start somewhere. To start here.
Why now? Why today?
I read a ton of books, watch a billion YouTube videos, read crap-loads of blog posts, and listen to a kagillion (pronounced ka-jill-e-un) podcasts. I soak up a lot of content. There is a ton of input but not nearly as much output as I'd like.
Today, I was reviewing some of my past book notes and highlights, a practice I like to do roughly once per month, and a few things hit me in the face today.
In "The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck," Mark talks about how, as we grow older, we develop more and more of an avoidance of failure. We're conditioned by our upbringing and by media that we should avoid failing. However, failure is a necessary component to success.
I was avoiding writing on this blog because I was afraid of what others would think. I was afraid that I would fail at creating a new blog. I picked up "The Subtle Art" because I wanted to stop giving a fuck about what others thought and just start writing. The section on avoiding failure smacked me square in the face.
I was also reviewing notes from a book that I read years and years ago called "Show Your Work" by Austin Kleon. The general idea of the book is that, instead of trying to be the teacher, just share what you're working on, share what you're learning, let people get a glimpse into your journey.
I picked up the book because I wanted to be inspired around what to write about when I did finally start up my own personal blog again.
There was a lot that resonated...
One recommendation from the book was to consume what other people are sharing and teaching and fill the gaps on the things that they didn't mention. That's something that I feel I could do... Lord knows I consumed more than enough content to have additional thoughts, ideas, and opinions on what I take in.
Another thought from the book that hit me between the eyes was the idea that, "if you want to be heard, first you must speak." I'm sitting here thinking that no one cares what I have to say or what my thoughts are outside of business and marketing... But how do I know that without first putting it out there? He suggests opening yourself up and sharing the things that you love with the world.
So that's what I'll be doing with this blog.
Austin also suggests that, if you consume a ton of content and gain a lot of knowledge, you shouldn't be hoarding that info. The more knowledge you give away, the more it comes back to you. Anything that influences me and my work is worth sharing because it will likely help others as well as give some additional insights into who I am.
Some other books that I was reviewing my notes on and highlights that stood out:
The Almanack of Naval Ravikant by Eric Jorgenson:
"The most important skill for getting rich is becoming a perpetual learner. You have to know how to learn anything you want to learn." P. 45
"If you are a perpetual learning machine, you will never be out of options for how to make money." P. 121
In my opinion, the best way to learn is to reteach what you just learned.
"There's no more debtors' prison and people aren't imprisoned or executed for losing other people's money, but we're still socially hardwired to not fail in public under our own names. The people who have the ability to fail in public under their own names actually gain a lot of power." P. 51
I will likely do a much more in-depth book review on "The Almanack of Naval Ravikant." It's honestly one of the most impactful books I've ever read and it really does deserve an entire blog post dedicated to the breakdown of how it's improved my thoughts.
Your Music And People by Derek Sivers
We're actually working on dialing in a time to have Derek on the podcast. In our preparations, we were sent this book. It's written for musicians, however, I found so much wisdom and insight that also applies to bloggers, podcasters, and creators in general.
"Don't Try To Sound Big" - "Your fans are your friends. Speak to them like real people. Be weird. Prove you're a real person. Write every post or email as if it was from you to your best friend" Pg. 21
"It's actually impossible to fail if your only mission was to see what happens!" Pg. 10
Again, there will be a more in-depth book report on this one in the future. This one was very impactful for many of the same reasons as the Naval book was. I'm excited to share more with you around my takeaways and how I've integrated elements of this book into my life.
The Practice by Seth Godin
"Positive people are more likely to enjoy the practice. They're not wasting any time experiencing failure in advance." Pg. 68
This quote hit me like an atom bomb. It described what I had been experiencing in my head perfectly. I was avoiding blogging and creating more personal content because I was experiencing "failure in advance." I was so concerned about what could go wrong that I avoided doing the thing to see if it actually could work.
"When we do the work FOR the audience, we open the door to giving up our attachment to how the audience will receive the work. That's up to them. Our job is to be generous, as generous as we know how to be, with our work." Pg. 88
"Saturday Night Live doesn't go on at 11:30 pm because it's ready. It goes on because it's 11:30 pm. We don't ship because we're creative. We're creative because we ship." Pg. 171
"Ideas occur when dissimilar universes collide." Pg. 251
If you read through all of those quotes from Naval Ravikant, Derek Sivers, and Seth Godin, and you understand the insights from Austin Kleon and Mark Manson, I think it's pretty easy to see why my excuses towards writing are all bullshit and why, in a single day, I've nearly instantly reframed my thinking towards content.
One thing I believe I'm fairly good at is finding the cross-over between ideas, books, podcasts, videos, etc. I take what one person is talking about, combine it with insights that another person is talking about, and then create additional thoughts that combine the original sources. I like to find patterns in seemingly dissimilar areas.
That's why I'm putting some focus on blogging personally again.
I've got my outlet for business and marketing over at Hustle and Flowchart and PodHacker. This is my outlet for literally everything else.
This is where I'll share what I'm learning from books and YouTube videos. This is where I'll talk about topics that I don't talk about anywhere else. This is where I'll dump my brain on whatever topic excites me in the moment.
You can expect things like:
- Book Reviews - I read a lot... Like way too much probably.
- Tech and Gadget Reviews - Nothing lights me up outside of work like tech
- My "Battlestation" - I've been a little obsessed around dialing in an amazing workspace for productivity as well as for "coolness factor"
- What I'm learning - I'll share insights on the random topics my brain seems to find interesting
- Travel Journal - Before Covid, I travelled a lot. I plan to travel a lot again. Expect me to share the journey a bit when I do
- Productivity - This is another passion of mine - I like to create systems to automate and "set and forget" things that are important
And those are just the things that pop to mind in the moment.
So here's the key to all of this and why I'm actually writing this fairly wordy blog post...
I'm doing this for me. I literally don't care if people read this blog or if this blog just ends up being an online archive of my neurotic thoughts that no one ever sees.
I will keep an audience in mind and share insights and attempt to provide as much value as I can. However, I'm detached from any outcome. I'm detached from forcing any sort of strict posting schedule on my shoulders. I'm detached from the opinions of those reading this.
With all the fear of failure removed and with all of the worry over "who's reading this" removed, I can be free to just create. Hopefully some people resonate with what I put out and will follow along but, if no one does, I'll still be right here... When I feel like it.