Recently, I found myself in a heated conversation about business and entrepreneurship. This is something I’m keenly interested in, for the sake of all that Calwell does as a service provider, and for the opportunity to learn something from others. One of my thoughts related to creating a fully formed identity from within, while creating one (or several) companies. The person with whom I was talking rather snarkily replied that he chases business, while I blog. It didn’t hit me right away, but I realized that doing what I do here isn’t exactly looked at as the “right” path for an aspiring business owner. Or, is it?
Several, nay, none of you will remember me from my humble beginnings. Back in 2000 , I wrote because there were things around that I was interested in, even if it was clear no one was reading. It wasn’t clear though, because then, I had no form of analytics to draw upon. I did articles on technology, the occasional movie review, and really anything that I wanted to talk about. That crude site was all managed by hand and created from HTML templates. For many of the early years, i had the site hosted on IIS. At various points, I used software like the horrible Frontpage or the eminently more usable Dreamweaver, but I always came back to the code.
The trajectory I was on always seemed like it was going to lead to a simpler, cleaner site. I knew then, as I know now, that if we’re expected to take the time to read, the page has to load fast and be simple. Let the words talk when they need to, without stupid pop ups. I’ve given into ads, but I even under-use them because I can’t bear to think of them as taking away from the reading experience. I respect other blogs that respect me as a reader.
But, is this stupid?
Personally, I know this is right for me. I could certainly make no attempt at growing an audience for what I write and keep these musings private. But, does writing a blog make sense for a small business owner looking to strengthen his or her business prospects and generally attempt growth?
This is where I say “YES!”, and wow you with specific metrics that prove that this blog has lead to incredible direct sales and contacts in my industry. It’s where I blow you away with tales of my having gained a reputation as an influencer. I tell you that if you don’t do this yourself, that you may not become what I am, and all because you decided not to blog.
No. That isn’t it.
I remember learning rather early in my tech support days that we can rise above others by doing a few things differently. One of them was fairly self-evident; work your ass off. I did. The second one was too fuzzy to easily put into practice, but I felt that I could. I was told that I needed to express myself. Express my character. Heck, have a character. Today, what I consider an identity is what, back then, was expressed to me as opening up and showing people who you are. This isn’t telling people what colour underwear I’m wearing. Rather, it is expressing excitement for the incredible things and ideas around me, and sharing that with all of you.
This good reader is what’s right. Express yourself somehow. If that’s blogging, awesome! If it’s making beaded necklaces, amazing! We were all given the innate ability to express interests and excitement for things right when we were born, and over the years we lose it. My hope is that you find a way back to that, even if it means you too are criticized for it.