This week marked my 6th year as an independently practicing nurse, writer and entrepreneur.
I’ve learned so much, made so many connections and built an arsenal of resources to last a lifetime, so I want to take a moment to use some of my experiences to help you on your journey.
#1 // The numbers – blog visitors, post comments, Facebook likes, retweets, etc. – don’t matter when it comes to who you are and the message you have to share. If you base your work or worth or these numbers, you’re headed down a destructive path that leads to comparison, jealousy and bitterness which will all rob you of the joy your work can bring you and those you serve.
#2 // The numbers do matter when you strive to reach customers, offer value to the lives of others and generate an income for you and your family. But it’s not as simple as throwing content up day after day. You need to meet the needs of your audience, offering information that worthy of their time, effort and energy. The internet produces something like 5 billion pieces of content every day, so if you don’t know who you’re talking to, or if what you’re talking about isn’t resonating with those you’re trying to reach, you must take the time to do your homework so that you’re not wasting your time or theirs.
#3 // The internet is absolutely amazing. I have made unbelievable connections and have access to life and game changing resources that simply weren’t available 10 years ago. And this kind of access is available 24/7 and gets better data by day. It’s a wonderful time to share your gifts, talents and abilities. And I believe you should.
#4 // There is no right or wrong way. There are ways to maximize your time and effort, but the vision you have for what you want to share is unique to you. You don’t have to do it like anyone else.
Here are a few examples of online non-conformers that I enjoy. They help me keep things in perspective, remind me that my vision is valid and keep me motivated to do things my way.
What works for them, may not work for you. Take the best, biggest, brightest ideas from everyone in every industry, then make them your own. You’ll never create something that’s identical to what someone else has created if you’re being true to yourself, your experiences and the vision you have to connect with others and to reach your goals. So if something just isn’t working or if you simply don’t enjoy it, stop and do something else. There’s life on the other side of the mistake and/or epiphany.
#5 // Things aren’t always what they seem. I work from home with my children by my side and have done so for 6 years. No days off and no greater joy. I’m living my purpose, which is simply to hear God, say yes and take action. The results are in His hands. This is the journey that I longed for and thank God the internet exists.
But I want you to know that although things tend to look shiny and grand, there’s so much work that’s involved and things aren’t always as they seem. So it’s terribly important that you love what you do and continuously find reasons to be grateful.
Here I am trying to practice my photography and snap an image for my blog post when our sweet baby girl decided she couldn’t care less about the work I was doing because there were cookies involved!
So appreciate the little things and understand that we’re all journeying through the busy, messy, noisy, rarely ever perfect, yet undeniably beautiful work together.
#6 // No. Unfortunately, everyone will not like, understand or respect what you’re doing. So what. Keep going!
Staying focused and on task is critical to your success. The journey is designed with pitfalls and distractions and if that’s where your attention lies, you’ll get stuck there, wasting time, energy and life. Write down your why, and your goals, and stock up on all of the things that inspire you so that you’re constantly reminded that whatever happens is a part of your unique story and that the journey should be as celebrated as the final destination.
If you’re serious about writing, sharing and working online in any capacity, get a mentor, someone who has been where you are and can understand your journey. Your friends, family, co-workers, who don’t have a blog or online business, can only support you so much. They won’t fully understand the time, energy and dedication it takes to follow this path. So build a support system of those who do.
Also, it’s okay that not everyone’s message will resonate with you. So if you’re looking for a mentor or content to study and it just doesn’t seem to be working or moving you forward, then move on. You’ll find what works for you if you keep looking and doing your work.