Blogging transformed me.
I’ve blogged regularly the past 4 years, and daily the past 300 days. I’ve learned to:
- make creativity a habit
- write better
- beat imposter syndrome
- ship projects when they’re not perfect
- build momentum towards anything
- showcase projects
To be honest, with blogging I think I unearthed a superpower.
Did it win me a job? Not by itself.
But when I see the ripple effects of blogging, I’d say a confident “yes.” Here’s how:
Reasons to Start a Blog – Generating Momentum
Friction kills accomplishment. Momentum wins it.
We often aspire to complete a massive or life-altering project/goal, but we don’t get around to it.
But completing the 30-day blogging challenge in 2016 taught me to show up and execute each day, no matter my mood.
Then over time, those results compounded and accumulated, and I leveraged into an entirely new career role (and moved from the public sector to private sector).
"I’ve come to learn that [greatness is] not about overnight successes or flashes of excellence, but periods of repeatable habits."
— Steph Smith, How to Be Great? Just Be Good, Repeatably
Here’s how it played out:
Reasons to Start a Blog – Building a Body of Work
Riding off the daily blogging habit, in 2018 I started a podcast. I didn’t know what I was doing at the time, but each day I kept trying to figure out WordPress and build the courage to cold-email guests for interviews. I trusted the daily process and before I knew it, both my network and body of work had grown.
With my creative muscle in motion, I then started building a professional classical music organization from scratch.
I bought a notebook, and each day I did 1 thing to move forward. Maybe it was send an email, call a venue, meet a musician for coffee, pick repertoire for a concert, or call a friend for advice. Some days I did more and some I did less, but at the end of each day, I wrote down what I did in the notebook.
I never lost momentum. I kept building for a year and I funded a successful Kickstarter campaign. Even today, I keep the same “1% a day” habit and mindset.
I had actualized a dream, but I also had an additional portfolio item in my digital paper trail. So when someone Googled me, maybe I was a little more interesting than before.
Not only did the blogging habit plant the seed for a body of work, but I generated new soft skills (and by extension, signaled those to the world).
Since 2016 I’ve improved soft skills like: creativity, consistency, leadership, emotional intelligence, organization, communication, writing, confidence, interviewing, persistence, authenticity, attention-to-detail, and more.
Tackling hard projects daily sparked my growth.
Learning to Pitch
In 2019, I realized I wanted to make a big career shift from the academic world teaching music, to the startup/entrepreneurial world.
At that point I had learned so much about the power of daily, creative momentum. So I bought another notebook! I again committed to non-zero days for this new pursuit: at the end of each day I wrote down the minimum 1 baby step I took to chase my dreams.
But it was still a general vision, not a specific plan. How would I start?
One of my first baby steps was to take a personality test. Seeing my personality type as a “promoter” was one clue on moving into a sales role. But I also knew that the role type could change as I evolved. What mattered was getting into career orbit: Get the first job, then learn from there!
I kept up daily creative action. The next step was to add to my tech stack for my portfolio. I chose to take a Udemy course on Salesforce and blog about it daily. I was learning out loud.
Fast forward over the following year. My daily action mindset produced:
- 20 video pitches
- A dozen interviews
- A host of leads lists for sales roles
- 2 podcast guest appearances
- A job offer 😉
I learned a ton. I remember feeling super intimidated just to look at job postings in the private sector – it all seemed new and foreign. My first pitch videos I struggled to record without mistakes and re-takes. But I persisted through the discomfort of the unfamiliar and forged my path.
There are tons of reasons to start a blog. For me, looking back 4 years, it’s funny: the first sentence of the first blog post I ever wrote was, “Bold, imperfect action.”
I had an inkling that waiting for the “perfect time” to start, or “once I had enough skills,” etc., was not the way to go. Life is messy, so just begin, and see what happens.
I’m glad I took that first step.
"Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.”
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