I almost didn’t make this week’s publishing schedule, mainly due to an intense week of photoshoots, photoshoots, and more photoshoots. I’ve been super busy.
But somehow skipping this week’s article was out of the question. I’d promised to write one article a week for this blog, and I’ve decided that I am going to do just that, rain or shine.
In the department of blogging, I have failed, been inconsistent, and given up an embarrassing number of times – but this time I truly want things to be different, and for that to happen, I have to start showing up, no matter how busy I am with the other (always seemingly more important) things in my life.
The art of showing up
When life gets busy or tiring or overwhelming it can be hard to show up and do the work. Harder than most people imagine.
Gary Vaynerchuck is famous nowadays for being a loud-mouth entrepreneur who can be seen on viral Facebook videos teaching people how to hustle and market themselves on the internet… But before this he was the creator and host of WineLibraryTV, a daily youtube series about wine that went on for 1,000 episodes.
Yes, ONE THOUSAND episodes, one a day, for five long years.
This is the first episode of the now legendary series.
He showed up every single day and built a massive audience over that time (growing WineLibrary from a $4 million dollar business to a $45 million business).
And the amazing thing is, very few people were watching his videos in the first two years, but he kept at it.
Not many people can do that.
People ask how they can build an audience, start a successful freelance career, grow a small business – that’s how. By showing up and doing the work every day. Over time people begin to hear about you. It’s inevitable.
A few friends have asked me how I find the time and commitment to keep writing for this blog.
It’s all about focus.
Besides my work as a photographer, I have decided to make this blog my priority this year. Not one of many priorities, but THE priority.
The process of sharing everything I have learned (no holds barred) about creative entrepreneurship and how to live an unconventional, successful life with people through this blog has been very fulfilling (and even educational) for me.
It’s still early days, but I have an intuition that if I keep at this consistently over the next few years, wonderful things are going to happen. And that’s because sharing openly – and helping others live a better and happier life in the process – is a tremendously valuable thing.
And the second reason is… that I am just really passionate about it. I have many ideas for the blog and I’m very excited about what is to come. And I truly enjoy doing this. Even though no one is paying me to write at the moment, I am still happy to spend a lot of my time working on it.
So since my blog is my priority, it’s always at the top of my mind. I’m always thinking and brainstorming about what I can do to make this blog better. I also derive a great deal of purpose and meaning from it. Yes, there are still a hundred other things I want to work on (being me), but I have realized that this is one of the most powerful things I can do right now – sharing, teaching, giving, without asking for anything in return.
Which is why I’m saying yes to this and no to the hundreds of other possible things I could be doing.
I’ve laid out the path, all I need to do is walk it.
(But you do need to know what is the one thing you should focus on and show up for. Give yourself some time to find your focus. Don’t just jump into the first thing you can think of. I recommend the book The One Thing as a good starting point.)
There is an almost perverse kind of pleasure in doing what you’d set out to do.
Planning to do something rocks. Dreaming of doing something rocks too. The actual doing… not so much sometimes.
It’s easy to succumb to laziness and to come up with excuses to avoid doing something we’d planned to do. Often we can even derive some pleasure from this avoidance. But it never lasts.
On the other hand, I have discovered that it can be fun to be, well, disciplined. Obviously, we can’t be disciplined all the time, but with things that really matter, DOING can be the most satisfying, fulfilling and happiest feeling ever.
(Fun tip: You don’t need to be disciplined about everything, just the essential things that, when done, can move you forward or nearer to your Big Goals in Life, caps mine.)
When you actually do something you’d set out to do, and you do that consistently over time, you are in a good place to make some very magical things happen in your life.
Don’t take my words for it. Try it for yourself.
A simple trick
Human beings are not good with abstraction. “I want to read more books in 2017” is a vague resolution that is probably not going to happen for most people, unless you use this little trick:
Be ultra-specific about your goal. Numbers and dates are your best friends.
For example, to make my blogging consistent, I have committed to writing one article a week every Thursday. It’s set in stone (except in the case of Extreme Calamities). It’s very specific – one article, not two. And it must be published every Thursday, not Monday or Wednesday or Saturday.
We humans work very well within constraints and limits (even if artificial).
Another example – you want to read a lot more books this year. Why not commit to reading at least 20 pages every week day? “20” is a number, “every week day” is a date.
Again, don’t take my words for it. Try it for yourself.