Since I wrote my post, From Hobby To Business, It’s Time For Change, 12 days ago, I’ve basically stopped writing. I’ve also pretty much withdrawn from all social media in an attempt to concentrate on my goals and gain some clarity about the future of this blog.
That post, which was a survey asking for feedback regarding my idea to create an inexpensive membership site journaling my ascent into online business success, was met with a resounding “not interested“.
The product was to be a highly personal and detailed look at the exact steps I am taking to quit my job and become a digital entrepreneur. My thought was to offer a paid membership to access my journey as I take people through how I started, got up to 15,000+ monthly visitors, and what I’ve learned.
I thought that by helping the average person, who is feeling totally trapped in their job, find a way out in a unique and personal way, it would be a hit.
I was wrong.
The survey results were exactly what I asked for-complete honesty. I wish I could say that everyone loved the idea and is now on a waiting list for my product, but that’s not the case.
A few of my favorites responses (and by favorites, I mean those that got me thinking the most), were:
“Actually I see no reason why I should pay you to make your dream come true. If it is my dream to escape the grind, then I’d rather spend my time and my money to make MY dream come true, not your dream”.
- “Here’s a thought–maybe you should gain some success first, and THEN tell people how you did it. (And it should be more robust than selling e-books, videos, and such about how to make money online, which turns out to be suckering in other people to buy info products about how to suck people in to buy your info products, etc, etc, ad infinitum”.
- “I think that if you build something with your heart and thought on helping the end user, instead of focusing on yourself and your goals, you’ll make it worth paying. Remember it’s about helping other people get what they want, so you can get what you want”.
- “Whoa.. this one requires quite a bit of thought… I guess, for me, some means of monetization benefit for members, not just for you. Then it would be an investment, not just an expense. If your subscribers are trying to do the same thing as you, using us to finance your success is a win-lose. You add income, we add an expense. Doesn’t work for me”.
Overall, the main reasons that this idea didn’t work:
- There are already plenty of people doing this online for free!
- You want to learn from someone who has already had proven results.
- You don’t like the idea of a membership site.
I feel kind of foolish that I didn’t foresee these things coming as they are all great points. After reading over the responses several times, I started to really think about how and if I can actually help people with my blog.
On the surface, it seems that providing the information I do here is helping people. It’s motivating them to question the status quo and start thinking about their passions.
But underneath the surface, how much of an impact does it really have? Is it actually changing lives?
If you’re wondering why this matters to me, it’s because that’s why I’m here. I’m here to change lives for the better. I’m here to create a permanent change not only in my life, but for others as well. I’m here to get that email that says “I’m the happiest I’ve ever been because of your advice” or “thanks to you, I will no longer be spending the next 25 years in a cubicle”.
My goal has been to provide inspiration to those, who like me, are trapped in a shitty job they hate and need to find a way out. I chose an online business as a way to make my escape and I want people to follow suit.
I realize that with my goals I need to do 3 things and do them extremely well:
- Inspire people to take action on pursuing their passions
- Teach people exactly how to create an online business around that passion
- Help them create a business successful enough to allow them to quit their miserable jobs (after I do this of course).
The problem is that there are soooo many blogs out there doing what I’m doing but doing it better. There are plenty of people that teach from experience of having already quit their jobs and/or made money online.
So, what am I offering? My experience, my passion, my story. Me.
What’s that worth? That has yet to be determined.
A Deeper Look
For some time now, I’ve been doing some soul searching. I’ve been thinking about the impact that I have on others and if there really is any at all.
You see, I really have no interest in being just another blogger. What I really want to do is make an immediate and permanent difference in someone’s life. Even if it’s just one person.
The problem is I don’t know how.
I have skills, yes. I have much life experience, yes. I have the ability to lead and teach, yes.
But what do I do with it all? This has been the problem. This is why I am stuck at a standstill. This is why I feel like I can’t move forward.
The last thing I want to do is start selling something out of desperation and although there is no rush for me to create products or services, I am feeling more and more stressed about not having income coming in.
I think at some point, whether it’s 6 months or a year, many bloggers think they have to have a product or service available. Many, even though they don’t have anything exceptional to offer, create one anyway.
I won’t be that person.
The Information Superhighway Is A Massive Clusterfuck!
Many of us probably think we are doing great things with our blogs. We’re teaching people how to lose weight, how to create affiliate websites, how to meditate, how to grow a vegetable garden, etc..
We spend all day sharing links on Twitter, we talk about how to rank for keywords, which apps are best for social media, or what eBooks we must read. But really, what does it all mean?
It’s all just one big information clusterfuck.
Information does not equal change. We read, write, share, comment, share some more, and write even more. But why?
When I look at my analytics, I see the following:
- 15,000+ monthly visitors
- 20,000+ page views
- 2,700 total comments
- 157 posts
- 100+ emails each month
Guess what? That doesn’t mean a fucking thing.
How many lives have I actually changed? None that I know of.
How much closer to my goal of quitting my job am I ? None at all.
How many “A” list bloggers and entrepreneurs have I interviewed? 20+. How many people care? Few.
I’m not trying to beat myself up here or throw a pity party. I trying to make it clear that nobody fucking cares what I’m doing. Nobody cares what you’re doing either. Seriously.
Don’t get me wrong here. I love comments, I love my readers, and I especially love getting emails from people who were inspired by my writing and/or need help. But so what if I love it. There a hundred other blogs out there that they visit as well. Mine and yours is just another blog in their reader.
A perfect example
Let’s look at a superstar in the blogging world, Pat Flynn from SmartPassiveIncome.com. His blog is massively popular, especially with other bloggers. The reason is that he offers incredible information, has helped many people build their online businesses, and is an extremely nice guy.
If tomorrow you woke up to find the GoDaddy parked domain page there instead, what would you do?
Would you frantically try to find out what happened? Would your business crumble at your feet because it’s gone? No and no.
All you SPI superfans (I’m one of them) are hating me right now, but my point is that it doesn’t really matter. Life goes on, business goes on, and the world keeps turning.
Ask yourself this: What if my blog disappeared tomorrow. What would that be like for you? Really shitty I imagine. Personally, I would beside myself with anger, frustration, and sadness.
Now ask yourself what would your community, friends, and fans do? Would they be distraught? Would they be unable to eat for a week? No. They would forget about your blog about as fast as they could click over to their next favorite blog.
The BIG Picture
In the grand scheme of things, nobody really cares if we’re blogging or not. They don’t really care if we’re following our passions or achieving our dreams. What they care about is themselves. That’s just human nature.
My job (and possibly yours as well) is to give people what they most want. It’s all about others, not us.
But in order to give others what they want, we need to be more remarkable than we ever thought possible.
We need to look deep within our hearts and minds and find our greatest strengths. Then we need to create the most incredible fucking business we are capable of. Are you doing that right now?
Bullshit if you said yes.
Although Internet marketers and bloggers make their living from selling products and services, how many of these products are truly remarkable? How many challenge people to alter the course of their lives?
My point is that the Internet and the world does not need another average information product. We don’t need another fucking eBook about building an online business. We don’t need another person telling us how to build niche websites. We don’t need another blog spewing personal development babble that we’ve all heard a million times.
What the world needs is people to get off their fucking ass and make a permanent and immediate difference in someone else’s life.
Creating Greatness For Others
To be completely honest, I have no idea if this blog will be successful and allow me to reach my goals. And this has been my biggest problem. I keep thinking about my goals and my wants. It’s not about me. It’s about you.
How can I help you reach your goals is the question I need to be asking every day.
If I can solve your problems, then mine will also be solved. If you get what you want, then I get what I want.
And what I want is for you to get off your couch and start building your ideal life.
Right. Fucking. Now.
What we both want is being part of something so incredible that it will change the direction of our lives. We want to be inspired to take massive action towards living a life that we really, truly want. We want to wake up each day knowing that we are working towards something fulfilling and meaningful. And if you don’t, I have no idea why the fuck you’re here.
A Needed Slap In The Face
In the midst of my writing hiatus, I had an interview with the author of Brazen Careerist, Penelope Trunk. She is a very well respected author, entrepreneur and blogger and I was very excited to talk with her.
What ensued was far beyond what I had anticipated and she basically called me out on a number of things, including:
- Not having goals
- Escaping reality and hiding behind my blog
- Being lazy
- Not being honest with myself and my readers
- Wasting my time with this blog
Pretty harsh stuff! Needless to say, we didn’t agree on much. If it had come from some knucklehead blogger, I would have chalked it up to them being an idiot. But it didn’t, it came from Penelope Trunk.
I’ve listened to the interview several times (it will be posted on Friday), and have opened my mind to what she said. At the time, I thought she was misjudging me completely, but I now see more truth in her statements.
Anyway, much of what she said led med to write this post and I’m thankful to her for the candid honesty.
What Happens Now?
As you can tell I’ve come to a crossroads with my plans here (and thanks if you’re still reading this 2,100 words later). I have no intention of stopping my work here but I do need to start thinking about the big picture.
I don’t have all the answers. Actually I have very few.
Maybe you will find this post to be your own wake up call. Maybe you think I’m full of shit and will stop reading my blog. Or maybe we’ll find a way to live our best possible life….
What are your thoughts about all of this? Does this make sense to anyone but me? I’m all ears….