It’s been over a year since I last clicked “Add New Post.”
At the beginning of 2017, I was excited to launch this blog. I thought that I finally hit the nail on the head with the branding. I could write about my travels and also have a place to embrace my nerdy side and talk about technology, productivity, business, and more.
I was selfish. The little content I had did nothing to serve the audience I thought I would be serving. There was no clear vision for who I wanted to read my blog, let alone, who I wanted to help or what that help would be.
I treated it more like an online journal (Xanga anyone?) than a tool to help others achieve the lifestyle I managed to build for myself.
Rewind About a Year Ago
I can remember having conversations with my partner about how I desperately wanted to be an entrepreneur, start a business, have a blog, etc. She would get so frustrated with me because I couldn’t clearly articulate what I was trying to accomplish. Just that I wanted to be an entrepreneur. But just wanting to be an entrepreneur and actually having a clear vision for what you want to do are two very different things.
She was right to be frustrated with me. I was frustrated with myself! The only thing I could say with any clarity was what tools and platforms to use and how to monetize content. Everything a marketer would be concerned. And though I am a marketer by trade, I had no product or service to market.
I had it all completely backward.
The Trouble with Fear
I wasn’t always in marketing. In high school I was honors English, I wrote short stories and poems, and I was an aspiring singer-songwriter. I wrote creatively all the time! When other kids were doodling, I was looking out the window, daydreaming, and writing.
Somewhere along the way of doing what you’re told, going to college, becoming an adult, and paying your own bills, my creativity was stifled. I let go of my old dreams of becoming a great songwriter or writer and focused on being an independent adult.
I’ve suppressed my creativity for a long time. Why?
Fear of what? Inadequacy, rejection, success–you name it, I was probably afraid of it.
I chose journalism as my major because English was one of my best subjects in school. However, I was really interested in computer science and technology. Why?
Because I was afraid of all the math classes I would have to take.
Fear can be crippling and it is often disguised as the excuses we make for ourselves so we don’t have to do the work or feel the pain.
6 Websites Later – The Mistakes I’ve Made
Let me be clear, The Daily Remote is not the first blog or website I’ve attempted to create from scratch. Indeed, The Daily Remote is actually the 7th blog or website I’ve started. And I made all the same mistakes with my previous websites. I’m just now seeing the pattern and trying to break it:
- sarahddaily.com – My portfolio website to try and start freelancing.
- onpulsemedia.com – Me trying to create my own brand from freelancing services.
- oruout.com – A side project I tried to start with a friend from college.
- smokerist.com – My first attempt at a dropshipping website.
- gunsmithclub.com – My second attempt at a dropshipping website.
- livenofilter.com – A travel blog that documented our travels.
They all fell by the wayside for different reasons but I was focused on the wrong things for every single website. My priorities were completely out of whack. I was focused more on what plugins to use, how to tweak my theme to create a great design, setting up the social media accounts, adding all the third-party tools that were recommended–the list goes on and on. But I never focused on the reasons for starting the websites–solving a problem or helping others. I never focused on writing, developing my voice, figuring out how I could solve a problem, or help someone if I could.
When it came to this website, I quickly fell into the same patterns. I tinkered with the design, plugins, logo; all the work I put into the blog was surface level. There was no depth. I focused on monetization more than concerning myself with providing value to my readers. As a result, I lost sight of my vision for the blog in the first place – to help people live a location independent lifestyle through telecommunication. I began to look at my blog as an obligation rather than an opportunity, fell in love with the results rather than the process, and ultimately drove my partner nuts with all my blog/business talk. But I literally wasn’t doing anything.
So, I shut it down and felt like a failure all over again.
Things Worth Having Take Time
What some people fail to realize, myself included, is that blogging, at its core, is about your audience. And my audience was myself.
I realize now that I’ve developed an issue over the years called “instant gratification.”
Maybe some of you have heard of it? 😉
In today’s world where we are conditioned to expect instant gratification, you can imagine how difficult it is to overcome the worst parts of ourselves. This develops into a sense of entitlement and tells you that you shouldn’t have to put in the work, or at least as much work as anyone else, to get what you want.
Somewhere along the line, we forgot that the same amount of work that it takes a best-selling author to write a novel is the same amount of work that it will take anyone to reach a goal.
One choice, step, and day at a time.
Unfortunately, some of the effects still linger but I now realize that the best things in life happen because of delayed gratification. Things like paying off debt, losing weight, quitting smoking/drinking–these are all things that take time and effort. And I wasn’t willing to give my blog the time and effort it needed to be at the same place I saw all these other successful bloggers at.
I wanted the results without the work, and that never works.
Anything that’s worth having, is worth waiting and working hard for. I realize now that if I want to see any results for any goals I’ve set in my life, I have to put the work in consistently. Something I’ve preached to myself for the last few years.
I truly believe that if you want something out of life, you have to be willing to give it of yourself. I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying, ”Whatever you put into something is what you get out of it.” It couldn’t be truer.
I am ready to get back to my roots and true self. I want to help all of those who have asked me how I got to where I am. I want you to feel the freedom I feel when I wake up in the morning, not dreading my work day, maintaining a healthy work/life balance, and exploring some of the most beautiful places in the world.
If this sounds like a train you want to be on, climb aboard and subscribe to my email list and I’ll keep you posted on all the ways you can pursue a life of location independence!