Hey there rebel!
My clients always ask me how I started...
And I have to say, the only thing that got me started and trampolined into the air, high enough to be able to start a business, was blogging.
That's right, all you need to do is start blogging.
If you don't have a business yet, or you have one, but it's not going anywhere, the only "magic pill" that I know of is adding a blog to the equation.
Because it helps people. It engages them. It attracts them. It makes them want more. And it's FUN! Unless you'd rather do a podcast or a vlog... hey, whatever form of content you work with best, I say go for it. Because your strengths will trampoline you into the future, just like my writing did for me.
Enough with the vagueness, here's the story...
Back in 2012 I was nowhere.
Broke, jobless, homeless. I had no idea where I was going, much less what I wanted to do with my life. On a whim, I decided to move to Rome and au pair for this American family of 2 - mom and toddler boy, both lovely really, but it's not like it was my dream job or anything.
Halfway through my stay there, in 2013, I discovered the world of entrepreneurship, and I was mesmerized by all the things people were putting out there - lean startups, growth hacking, whaaaaaaaaaaat. And I had spent a few years *trying* to blog and participate in social media, and even though writing and connecting were my strengths, I had no focus until then.
With my newfound focus, I decided to write about it.
Not because I was an expert - I wasn't. And not because I had to - I didn't. But because I was COMPELLED to learn through blogging. And not having an actual website, I started on Medium, as it had a lot of potential reach.
The first few months all I did was read everything I could, learn from books, and even read the books that were revolutionizing everything. I was the book and blog monster, I couldn't get enough. Meanwhile I was also writing because while teaching something to someone helps you learn, writing about something helps you learn and apply it, too, so that's what I was doing.
I remember taking a walk to the local parks vividly. I would find a bench I liked, sit down, and open up my book for the week. Then I would read for a bit and head back home, my head buzzing with ideas for blog posts.
A couple of months later, I was sharing MY OWN IDEAS.
I put that into annoying cap letters because this is the crucial point of my story. Instead of just regurgitating what I was reading or sharing other people's ideas, or making endless listicles - don't do that - I was actually learning new things and forming my own ideas about it, making connections other people have not yet made, and you know what...? People noticed, big time.
And they got in touch with me to see how we could work together.
So I did not become a consultant because I was an expert with a decade of experience under my belt. I became a consultant because people took notice of my ideas and asked me whether I'd consult them. Consulting turned into coaching and startups turned into creative business, but the truth is, I got my start with blogging and I keep getting new opportunities because of it.
And this is WHY you need to start with blogging, or content, and mostly, by sharing your own ideas rather than regurgitating what exists.
People will take notice and they'll come to you for help.
And if you're wondering "how on earth am I gonna come up with my own ideas?"
Then I have a few tips for you, ones I have used in the past. Just remember that we're different people and what works for me might not necessarily work for you. Try a bunch of things, experiment, and see what fits.
- Read a lot, and not just blogs, books also.
- Think of different ways to connect everything you know in new ways. Maybe you can suggest a new way of using a tool. (My first ideas were about using word clouds in a new way and also, tarot cards.) Or maybe you can mix up two methods you've read about. Show people you're not afraid to get out of the box and share new ideas with the community.
- Share your results openly, so they can see you're legit.
- If you don't have a specific topic of interest yet, write/vlog/whatever about anything and everything that lights you up. People like that. In time, your blog is going to naturally narrow, or stay just as wide. (If you already have a blog and worry about nicheing down, see how rebels do it.)
- For God's sake, share your content somewhere. If you don't share it, who's even going to find it? Find where your people hang out or just pick your favorite social media platform, and start using it.
- Keep publishing, and often, until people start to notice you.
And that's it. That's all you have to do...
It may sound intimidating, but I promise, if you stay open to the idea and just relax into your passion, it's going to lead you forward and you're going to abandon your fear. Usually, when we're afraid it's because of hangups we have or hangups that society or the industry imposes on us, and in the first case, the more you do something, the easier it becomes (remember I told you about focusmate? try it!), and in the second case, the more you ignore the noise online, the more time and space you'll have for your own ideas.
And here we are, back to where we started.
Now be honest: Why haven't you started/grown your blog yet?
Is it because you're scared to share your ideas? Is it because what everyone else does right now in the blogging world seem boring and constrictive? Is it because you're running out of ideas? Is it because you can't be consistent? Is it because it doesn't fit into your schedule? Whatever it is, let me know in the comments below and I'll do my best to give you a helpful suggestion.
You know what I'm gonna say next...
DO IT YOUR WAY, DAMMIT.
There's always a way to take what you know and twist it around until you find a way that works for you, that feels right and fits you perfectly.
Now go find what it is. Good luck. :)