Not so long ago, I had a chat with a friend of mine who started a blog on healthy recipes. At the time it seemed like a cool idea for a blog. In fact, I still think it is. However, a couple of years passed and after a few blog posts there hasn’t been much progress.
She had some good ideas on combining her healthy lifestyle blog with another topic. But in the end, she decided not to proceed with it. When I asked her why, I was met with a wave of negative thoughts:
Her: “There are already way too many blogs with a similar theme.”
Me, thinking: So what? There are also many car models that can transport you from point A to point B, but has this prevented anyone from building new and and improved cars? I don’t think so.
Her: “It probably won’t be innovative or original enough.”
Me, thinking: Who’s to judge what is innovative and what’s not?
Her: “It will take a lot of time to have a side hustle.”
Me, rolling my eyes: I’d say that’s just a lame excuse.
So basically, she had an amazing idea, did a bit of research, saw a few potential roadblocks and quit, before she even really started.
This reminded me of another story…
My own. I always wanted to have a travel blog. However, looking deeper into this field I discovered there are already thousands of similar blogs. I’m also a non-native English speaker, so English grammar is my mortal enemy. Plus, I ain’t no writer. I failed almost every essay we had to write at high school.
I killed my own idea by being more preoccupied about what other people would think of my grammar and originality. What I should have cared more about was if writing about my travel adventures would make ME happy. Even if I’d end up writing only for myself.
Believe you can make it work, FOR YOURSELF !
In early 2018, I embarked on my first big solo adventure. It turned out to be quite eventful. With all of the experiences and memories I collected, I had to give my mind space to breath.
So, I just started writing about my travel and what I learnt throughout this journey. Without even realizing it, I gave a birth to my blog. Slowly but surely, it has started taking off.
It’s been 5 months now and I finally managed to have a small breakthrough with one of my articles about travelling. I’ll never forget the moment when I woke up few weeks ago and suddenly my article had more than 3,000 views as well as lot of encouraging comments from readers.
Nothing compares to the feeling you get when your hard work pays off after you put a real effort into it.
Quite honestly, I’m glad I didn’t get discouraged by the lack of claps, readers and viewers for my first articles. Instead I decided to take a different approach:
- First, I made it clear for myself: I’m just writing for fun.
- The grammar problem was still there, but that’s why we have all amazing apps that can help you with spelling and grammar.
- Being an unexperienced writer, I had to find a way to improve my editing and styling. So I simply asked my friend for help.
- I started learning from other writers on Medium and followed some of their advice on how to structure articles and engage with your audience.
Maybe I don’t have thousands of followers or the most innovative blog nor it does earn me money, but with every single article, I’m getting better and better.
And so here are a few things I’ve learned on the road to (potential) success…
Don’t give up with a first obstacle in your way.
If everyone quits right away, we wouldn’t have different cars, running shoes, amazing music. I mean all cars have the same purpose, to transport you point A to point B. What distinguishes one car from the other are little details, things that makes them special.
Remember, there isn’t a car that is universally loved by every single driver on this planet. This applies to whatever project you’d like to launch. There will never be a moment in our life where you can please everyone with your product, service, message, music…you get me.
Don’t overcomplicate things
Yes, you did you research. And yes, there are already hundreds of people who might have had a similar idea. But so what? Remember, those people aren’t you!
They don’t have your unique perspective on how things should work, be written, or made.
It’s only you who can determine how innovative and successful you’ll be. It’s only you who knows what distinguishes you from the others.
Plus, you don’t need to overcomplicate things. Yes, you want to be original. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to come up with the next big thing.
Some of the best innovative products, service or articles I’ve seen are based on the simplest idea. As a matter of fact, the originality and innovation lies within simplicity.
Embrace patience, dedication & determination
Beginnings are always difficult. You’ll need a time to shape your idea until you get it to the point where you want it to be. And that takes time.
Are you familiar with the story of Steve Jobs and Apple?
Steve Jobs started his business with Steve Wozniak. They built the blue box to make free calls across the nation in the 1970s. Later, they created Apple I, followed by Apple II. When things started getting interesting, Steve Jobs got fired from his own company. During this time he created NeXT, its operating system was later used to create the iMac and the Apple brand took off in late 1990s. So….
It took me five months to write an article that was actually somewhat successful. But what a feeling it was. I’m glad I haven’t stopped writing.
Practice is the best of all the instructors
This was the best advice I’ve ever received. Are you wondering who told me this? Surprise, surprise… it was a fortune cookie! :D What a cliche, right? However, whoever put this quote into that cookie was absolutely right.
Once you start working on your idea, you might find many ways the idea won’t work and other ways that will help you bring your idea to life.
Getting started is the most difficult step of all.
Yes, there will be more roadblocks along the way, but compared to taking the first step, those roadblocks are nothing.
- Create a step-by-step plan on how to bring your idea to life.
- Build. Write. Test.
- If you fail, learn what worked and what didn’t.
- Change your plan, try it out again until you find the best possible solution.
Is there anyone else who had a similar idea to yours? Be smart about this.
Learn from their mistakes to avoid making the same ones on your own.
Don’t be afraid (or too proud) to ask for an advice
You don’t have to figure it out all by yourself. I have only started writing recently, which is when I managed to overcome fear of my English grammar.
I started doing exercises to improve my grammar in areas I needed to. I also asked my good friend to help me a bit with editing since I had no previous experience writing. I wanted to learn a bit more. I followed more experience writers to see how they do things.
You already have everything you need to succeed. So your success really just depends on you.
Just remember, miracles don’t happen overnight.
But one small step every single day will get you closer to your ultimate goal.