At the recent ProBlogger training day in Melbourne, surprise guest Tim Ferris said something that resonated with many attendees (if the number of tweets it got was anything to go by). His message was simple: define what success means to you.
Many bloggers that I meet start out with a goal of having a successful blog, but have little idea what that actually means.
They want “opportunities to open up,” they desire “influence,” they want “lots of readers,” they want to be seen as “authorities”…
None of this is bad—but it’s also quite vague and I wonder if it could be a contributing factor to wishy-washy results.
Good things do sometimes just happen to people, but more often than not, the people who achieve most with their blogs have in mind some goals that they’re looking to achieve.
My story of defining success
When I started blogging in 2002, I didn’t have any idea that blogging would last beyond a few weeks (I had a history of not sticking at things) and as a result, I had few goals. However, over the coming couple of years I began to see the potential of blogging to be more than just a hobby, and to even become a way of earning an income.
The problem was that my dreams remained very vague. While I hoped one day my income would grow, I never got specific with what I was aiming for and as a result, I never really gave it the effort that I should have.
It was only when I sat down with V (my wife) one day and we set a specific goal that things began to really take off. The goal was to be working full-time as a blogger within six months (note that I’d already been blogging for some time—the full story is here).
For the first time, I had a definition of what success was for me. I wanted to be a full-time blogger. I also had a timeframe in mind—six months to achieve my goal.
- Suddenly I started to take my blog more seriously, treating it as a business and doing the things I always knew I needed to do (but had always put off).
- Suddenly I had a concrete target to aim for—and motivation like I’d not had before.
- Suddenly I had consequences to face if I didn’t meet my target (I