When I first started blogging, I never considered myself to be a writer—let alone an author. There was a mental barrier there that kept me from embracing the vaunted label of writer. Instead, I was a blogger: one of the digerati that shared valuable content online.
I wrote constantly, but could not embrace the thought of being a writer.
Five months ago, I found myself following a train of thought in my journal that now seems obvious:
“Over the last year, I have written over 120,000 words between blog posts and e-books. I write every single day, whether it is journals, stories, blog posts or newsletters. If all of that doesn’t qualify me as a writer, what would?”
“Huh… I guess I am a writer. That’s frightening.”
It was frightening, but after awhile, I became comfortable with being a writer (as comfortable as one can get anyway). I embraced the craft, realizing that if I am a writer, I need to become a better writer.
Playing it Safe
Months later, I’ve realize that I’ve been playing it safe with another label:
Entrepreneurs are like the cool kids in junior high — you see them, and it doesn’t look like there’s anything that really makes them different than you. They have “it”—whatever “it” is—and that makes them entrepreneurs.
I want to be an entrepreneur. Not an aspiring entrepreneur. I want to make it on my own terms. And deep down, I believe that I’m not alone in the blogosphere. Many bloggers feel that pull to entrepreneurship, creating value and contributing in a world in a way that supports their life.
There is one key difference between bloggers and entrepreneurs though: bloggers build blogs; entrepreneurs build businesses.
I want to call myself and bloggers-who-secretly-or-not-so-secretly-want-to-be-entrepreneurs out on this one. We’ve rocked our blogs, provided great content and done almost everything we’re supposed to have done—except build our businesses.
Making this transition demands a perspective shift. To a blogger, the blog is the most important thing. The core focus is on writing blog posts.
To an entrepreneur, the business is at the center of everything. Building the business—yes, sometimes through blogging—becomes the primary focus.
This post has been in my drafts for a few days and has been on my mind as I’ve journaled recently. A question came up that I share:
Why haven’t I done it?
Why haven’t I become the entrepreneur I’ve wanted to? What’s holding me back?
I Got Comfortable. I Stopped Leaning Into Fear.
Have you ever reached this point? Innovation stagnates. You do amazing for a significant amount of time and then… it drops off. Something in your mind clicks and says, “Alright, I’ve got this. Time to cruise.”
At some point, playing it safe became getting comfortable. Awesomeness atrophied. Nothing was scary anymore and unsurprisingly, not much was interesting either.
I had a to do list full of things that required extending myself a bit more than the baseline, that was a little scary… and because I wasn’t consciously leaning into that fear, they just sat there, waiting to get done.
All in all, the answer is purely that I kept going after the same low hanging fruit. Ugh. What a painful self incrimination.
Doubling Down. Taking It.
Becoming a writer was not an external experience. I was a writer the moment I was doing the work and chose to be.
Becoming an entrepreneur will happen in the same way—by doubling down on this bet and taking it.
Before I assume the title of entrepreneur, there is one caveat: action must be taken. A title is meaningless. It is the action behind it that is important and gives the label value.
It’s time to look at what makes this a business, what the assets will be and how it will grow.
On Monday, there is a new beginning. A Challenge.
For thirty days, I’ll be hosting a small, super-focused 30 Day Business Building Challenge. This is the opportunity. Instead of holding out for someone else to put it together, I’ve decided that it starts here.
I am owning my transition from Blogger to Entrepreneur. If that is your journey, I encourage you to do the same. How?
My personal commitment is to spend at least as much time building the business as writing. Return to fundamentals. Implement “The Plan” (still in the works, finalized by Monday). Perhaps your business requires something different.
This is an invitation for you to make the transformation you have been craving in your own business. In this, I am not a guru, but a fellow traveler. I encourage you to choose one thing and focus on it for the thirty days: finishing a product, getting your social networking inline, aligning your fundamentals… it’s your call.
When you sign up, there are a few things you can expect:
- Regular encouragement, support and feedback. I’ll be sending out regular emails a few times a week updating my own progress and asking to hear more about yours. I want to hear your stories and give feedback and support wherever possible.
- Community. I’m not into doing this alone, because I know that isn’t always enough. Building a community of like minded people is crucial, and this is an opportunity to bring action takers together.
I hope to see you on the journey.
I would love your feedback on this transition. If you’ve been reading By Bloggers for awhile, have received value and want to see this site continue to grow, please leave a comment and let me know what you think. Your feedback is always appreciated and taken into consideration.
The transformation begins Monday. If you’re ready to make a change, sign up.
Edit: My buddy Sam Spurlin is running a 30 Day Life Changer Challenge, also starting on Monday. The premise is identical: choose one thing in your life, and focus on making a change for 30 days. This is your opportunity to focus on your life and your business for thirty days in a circle of support and feedback. Are you in? I am.
Photo: Eran Sandler