You know that moment when you’re listening to a presenter at a conference and a thought hits you like a Mack truck? A thought so obvious that you feel like, well, a complete moron?!
That describes how I felt in almost every session I attended at ProBlogger 2016.
The problem wasn’t the conference. The problem was ME.
With the exception of the SEO session, (a topic which continues to baffle me, so I’ll continue ignoring it and create pretty pictures in Canva instead), I felt like I was wasting my time at ProBlogger.
The reason was simple: Everything I was hearing, everything I was reading, every conversation around me was stuff I knew.
When I was a kid, I got smacked in the head with a cricket bat. My life flashed before my eyes.
It took a flight to the Gold Coast and about $1000 to get similar results. It hurts like hell, but this revelation is a wakeup call. I know my stuff, it just took ProBlogger to whack me over the head for it to sink in.
God, what an idiot I was! As I listened to every presenter, I felt like some character was whispering “DOH!” sarcastically in my ear.
All of what was presented was logical. It made sense. It was stuff I knew in my core. But did I listen to my instinct before this? Of course not! Why? Because I’m acting like a rookie in the world of blogging, despite living in that world for the past five years.
Apparently I know a hell of a lot more than I realize.
I’m not saying that arrogantly. I’ve been reading and listening to every single thing I could about blogging. How to build readership. How to write a better blog posts. How to be a better entrepreneur. How to better listen to my customers and write for them, not for myself, to engage them in the community.
But after listening to all of the presenters at the ProBlogger 2016 conference, I realized one simple fact. I had been, well, I can’t call it lazy because I’ve been working my ass off for five years… I’ve been scared.
Scared to succeed. Scared to make the leap, which is ironic given my story. To be honest, being an entrepreneur, having my own business, scares the shit out of me.
Today, after almost a week since my return from ProBlogger, it hit me. I’ve been feeling overwhelmed since the conference. I had tackled the easy stuff, but then as I wrote a post about taking the leap, I read a line that I wrote in my own post that made me stop in my tracks. The line was simple: “What if you fail? But what if you don’t?” Talk about not practicing what I preached!!
I realized that I need to listen to my own advice. To the advice of all those that have come before me. To the advice of each of those compelling presenters at ProBlogger 2016 who have succeeded and how!
I need to ‘shit or get off the pot’. It’s time to take action.
So, I have walked away from ProBlogger with a long-ass action list. But, at the core of every single one of those things, it comes down to these four elements:
- Be authentic in my writing. Be transparent and stop the highlight reels!
- Take it a step at a time. Create products that will provide a solution to a problem my readers have, or a challenge they may face.
- Dig deep and understand why I am so compelled to keep doing this day after day, and let it consume me as it does. (Beyond wanting to just help people).
- Be relatable. Be a better storyteller.
And so the Little Blue Engine is fueled up and will now chug up that scary hill of entrepreneurship. I just hope the view from the top is great.