Then this one’s for you.
When I launched my blog a year ago, you couldn’t even call it a launch. It was more like a quiet slipping into the blogosphere – like when you dip your toe into the pool, decide it’s too cold and uninviting, so you take it one step at a time, waiting for one part of your leg to warm up ’til you submerge the next.
That was ZenCaffeine.
The blogging world was foreign to me – it was cold and uninviting. Everyone knew what they were doing; I didn’t have a clue.
I also didn’t have support.
There was maybe one good friend who knew about my blog, and that was it. Largely, I was going at it alone.
I started my blog anyway.
As I kept going, I made feeble attempts at sharing my work. I’d kinda-sorta own my passion by telling the barista at Caribou… Only to blush the deepest red and do the palm-to-forehead upon finding my seat.
Then I told my family – and was met with insane support. I should’ve known better, but I didn’t. You always expect the worst, y’know?
It all kinda snowballed from there until one day, I’m not even sure when, I just said, “Screw it. I’m telling everyone.”
I posted ZenCaffeine as my work info on Facebook, started putting recent posts on my profile page and told my co-workers, friends, strangers – anyone who would listen. I made business cards and left them on the train, in bathrooms and any other place where they might catch someone’s eye.
I was done being afraid.
The first few encounters were nerve-wracking, I’ve gotta admit. I was practically shaking when I uttered the words: “I write a blog.”
But from there, the fear absolutely vanished. I stopped caring what the reaction would be – because I got so many good ones.
From the “That’s so cool!” to the “Really? What’s the address?”, I received so much enthusiasm.
Know what else I found?
As I released my work into the Universe, the Universe started giving back:
- My family became ultra-supportive, subscribing to my content and offering tons of praise.
- My co-workers started checking it out, and again: surprise, delight and words of encouragement.
- Strangers, instead of the “umm, okay…” that I expected, asked me what the web address was, and what I wrote about.
- I got 2 offers to help me with web design (after getting a ridiculously expensive quote from a company – literally on the same day!)
- I started connecting with other bloggers and getting support from them in the form of kind words, reviews of my blog and quoting me on their own.
- A friend, without any prompting, linked to my posts on her Pinterest. Just because she liked my work. Talk about support!
NONE of this would’ve happened if I didn’t spread the word.
None of it!
I would be writing for an audience of 2, waiting and hoping for the support to come.
Luckily, I learned:
If you’re not going to put your work out there, the support WILL NOT COME.
I didn’t wanna believe that at first. I thought that “if you build it, they will come.”
Yeah…That’s not true. This is more like it:
“If you build it and tell everyone about it, they will come and support the hell outta you.”
Is there something you’re keeping to yourself? A dream, idea or project? Are you waiting for the support to move forward?
Don’t be silly!
You need to keep working and share that work. Here’s why:
- Very few people had all the support they needed at the beginning…But they kept going anyway! Who knows where we’d be if they hadn’t? Would we have electricity? Airplanes? Don’t let lack of support hold you back.
- You can’t please everyone. So why let your fear of displeasing someone keep you from sharing? Maybe a few people won’t like it, but even more will. And the more you share, the more likely it is that you’ll come across someone who DOES like what you’re doing.
- Keeping it to yourself will NOT attract support. It’s just impossible, unless people stumble across your project or read your mind. To gain support, it has to be out there, in front of their eyes or ears.
- Sharing sets you free. When you let your work go and put it into the hands of the Universe, it’s like a sigh of relief. You’re overcoming your fear, saying “f it” to judgment. And when you get positive feedback, it’s even MORE freeing! It’s like when you’re getting a shot as a kid – you’re scared as hell, but once it’s over you feel free and brave, ’cause you did it, and it wasn’t as bad as you thought it’d be. Same thing.
- Someone out there needs it. This might be the biggest reason of all to get your work out of your head and into their hands. Whether you’re offering a unique dining experience, a home organization system or a guide to break-ups, someone out there needs what you’re offering. Maybe badly. By keeping it to yourself, you’re doing them a disservice. Get it out there.
The bottom line: You have a gift to share. Whether it’s a craft, like writing or painting, or a business idea, it’s your gift. And it’s your job to share that with others.
You might be afraid to keep going when you don’t have overwhelming support – I get it.
Keep going anyway. I promise, as you keep working and, most importantly, keep sharing, the support WILL overwhelm you. In a good way.
By the way, if this is resonating with you – you find yourself lacking support – I just want you to know that I support you. If it excites you, I’m totally on board (as long as your dream isn’t to become a serial killer). So if you need anything at all, drop me a line. (firstname.lastname@example.org) I’ll help however I can – even if it’s just a “YOU CAN DO IT!” Which, by the way, you can.
Peace, love and a steaming cup of Zen,