The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night. –Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Blogging isn’t always easy. We bloggers have to come up with new topics for each post that maintain the focus of our blog, make them as interesting as we can, AND apply SEO if we have any interest in reaching others with our writing. And that’s simplifying the whole thing. Add on jobs, spouses, children, parents or whatever other relationships you wish to keep and suddenly, maintaining a thriving, focused blog can suddenly seem like a huge endeavor.
Now, add to this that your blog is the foundation for your new business. So now you have the whole “I need/want to make this work so I have a better future” thing going on. I’m describing some of my own frustrations with this, but I am sure these are striking a chord with you too. Even if you don’t want to make money from it, and you are doing it for pure joy, there still comes a point where promoting your blog and writing your posts can start to make you too busy if you let it.
I’m writing this now because I’ve been going through some of these frustrations lately. It’s relationship-based. Yeah, it’s husband-based. And I bet you can guess it’s about how much time is involved in working on this “little side project.” It certainly does take a lot of time. The thing is, I feel like a born race-horse must feel, standing behind a gate just waiting for the bell to ring, the gate to swing open so I can run! I seriously feel like I could immerse myself in this 12 hours a day if I had that much time. But I have to hold myself back. There’s work. There’s relationships. There’s floors that need mopped. Groceries that need got. And a bathtub that needs cleaned. No kidding.
I have recently read two interesting and insightful posts on “the dark side” of working for yourself: 14 Ugly Truths on Being an Entrepreneur and Entrepreneurship is a Process Not a Decision. Both of these posts are written by entrepreneurs (Farnoosh Brock @prolificliving and John Haddington @tentblogger ) who have been through the grind that we are currently going through—working a day job while working hard to grow our “baby,” our business/blog, trying to find that balance between work and relationships, and all the other stuff which I will just sum up as “hard work” (but certainly fun and pleasurable work!).
Both of these bloggers/entrepreneurs are now doing what they love, and it is stories like theirs which keep me chugging along. And it’s not just the “I quit my job and now I’m doing what I love” story, but the stories they write about some of the hard work they did (and still do!) along the way to get there. A happy ending doesn’t sweep me away unless I have read the rest of the story. It’s the struggles and the conflict that makes the happy ending so sweet. (Not that being an entrepreneur ever really has an ending, right?).
Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment; full effort is full victory. –Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
When you are going through a tough patch, it’s good to look at others who have gone through it before you. It helps to know that you are not alone, that your experiences are not so unique after all, and that it is possible. I like to keep the stories of entrepreneurs like these in front of my eyes. And it’s all too fitting they use blogging as one way to share their stories.