BLOGGING 30/30: I Actually Did It!

BLOGGING Challenge: Day 30 of 30

I Actually Did It!

My first published post was on 08/09/16.  It took me 33 days to complete this challenge, and I’m not mad at that.  I still can’t believe I actually did it! When I say “it” I mean both 1) a 30 day challenge and 2) blogging.

30 Day Challenge Accepted 30

I’ve tried, but I’ve never completed a 30 day challenge on anything.  Now I can say that I have!  And I created a blog with no knowledge of how.  Here I am… 30 posts under my belt! I couldn’t have done it without the guidance of Sark eMedia’s program.

Here are 5 reasons I think this worked for me:

1. Daily Emails

Blogging sounds like it would be easy, but there’s an art to it if you actually want to see success. The daily emails by Sarah Arrow helped me navigate the world of blogging. The resources she provides were relevant, easy to follow and executable. Before I started, I was already behind – because I was blogging blindly.  There were a few days I skipped.  But each morning an email popped in my inbox, reminding me of why I decided to start this particular challenge.

2. Goals

On Day4 I laid out my personal goals with this challenge.  Goal One was to make and maintain my own space, on the web and in my life, giving myself a creative outlet and stimulating my brain in a way I felt I was missing. I’ve done it by dedicating time each day to enjoy the process of writing.  Goal Two was to be able to put it on my resume.  Blogging is a key element to inbound marketing and building businesses in today’s world. Through this practice, I better understand Wordpress, SEO writing and optimization.

3. Community Support

I have my personal motivators, but was extremely shy about making my blog public.  Sarah Arrow provides a safe space through her Facebook Group page where 30 Day Blogging Challengers share their daily post, and get feedback from one another.  I was so scared that I didn’t join until day7 with my post “Confession: I’m a Closet Blogger“, but since then I’ve shared all my posts.  I’m still taking baby steps out of the closet to the outside world, but have been less reluctant because of the constructive input. There are some amazingly supportive bloggers out there and I’m proud to be part of this community.

4. I enjoy writing

I guess I always have, but I didn’t realize how much.  So I’ve rediscovered my joy of writing.  I’m not the type that likes to hear myself talk, but when I start to type, it flows out of me.  I even created an extra category and posted a bonus blog.  To be able to put structure to my thoughts has been meditative and trying to make my words resonate to a audience besides myself makes me feel productive.

5. Not a business (yet)

My intent going into this was not to make money.  I know blogs have the ability to be monetized, and lucratively.  My objective on the onset has been to create valuable content.  But with Sark eMedia’s lessons, I have the tools available once the opportunity to make this something more presents itself and then I can work even harder to become the boss in my blogging niche.

So, this is the end of my first 30 Day Challenge.  The Blogging Challenge was the perfect challenge to start this side project. I learned so much about myself, which was my purpose for doing challenges.

If you’ve followed me through this journey so far, THANK YOU (you know who you are!). There’s more to come as I continue onto the next one.  So join me for my the next 30 Day Challenge.

 

CHALLENGE: BLOGGING – ✔️ COMPLETED

 

 

BLOGGING 29/30: Onto the Next One

BLOGGING Challenge: Day 29 of 30

Onto The Next One

Yesterday on my personal Facebook page I posted an inquiry to my friends: “Looking for my next 30 day challenge.  any suggestions?” The immediate responses weren’t a surprise – fitness, diet, fitness, diet, fitness.

When I started this blog I had to pick my first 30 Day Challenge; blogging wasn’t an obvious choice, but it was the best decision I made.  But even at that time, when I wasn’t exactly sure I’d complete 30 days of blogging, I was already wondering what I should do for my next challenge.  Now, here I am, almost at the end of my first challenge! And still not sure what to do next.

I decided to create some criteria for my challenge selection:

30 Day Challenge Accepted 29

  • Must be self-improving
    • Whether its for my health/body or mind or soul, I want to learn something new
  • Established
    • I’m not looking to create my own 30 Day program.  I’m looking for a challenge that’s already been created, one that other people have tried or have been wanting to try.
  • Free
    • For now, I don’t want to consider paid-programs.

I have a few under consideration, some typical and some a bit out-of-the box. Do you have a suggestion? Comment below! The great thing about 30 Day challenges is that they’re only 30 days. So I know whatever I pass on now, I can bank it for the future.

Stay tuned…

 

Want to read all 30 Days of the Blogging Challenge?  View the Overview page HERE

BLOGGING 28/30: The Write Stuff

BLOGGING Challenge: Day 28 of 30

The Write Stuff

For today’s 30 Day Blogging Challenge post, I’ve been torn.  I had a topic I want to write about, but it has nothing to do with my experience with learning to blog. It was about my experience as a mom that I needed to get out of my head and writing it was cathartic – it’s yoga for my brain.  But it didn’t fit with the context of this specific challenge. It wasn’t the right stuff.

30 Day Challenge Accepted 28

Even though I’m a planner and have an editorial calendar to reference, sometimes there’s not enough content for a certain topic or it’s just not interesting enough for me to write about and therefore would be a struggle for you to read.  If I don’t enjoy writing it, you won’t enjoy reading it. So why waste both of our time?

My goal with each of my posts is to incorporate the blogging perspective, whether it was about dating vs job searching or suggesting my daughter quit piano, and I feel I’ve been successful.  But not today!  So, I decided to create a new category called Random Rambles – for those moments when I have something that has nothing to do with the current 30 Day Challenge.

Today’s Random Ramble topic: Five Types of Mommy Friends – Part of motherhood I didn’t anticipate was having to make friends as an adult. My mom friends fit into 5 groups

Do you like how I turned my obstacle into an opportunity?

And I’m not going to cheat and count this as two posts. 😜

 

Want to read all 30 Days of the Blogging Challenge?  View the Overview page HERE

 

BLOGGING 27/30: Shocking Results

BLOGGING Challenge: Day 27 of 30

Shocking Results

On Day26 of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge I mentioned wanting to take a career aptitude test but couldn’t find a good free version online.  In the comments section Jenny Monzon shared two links: HumanMetrics and 16Personalities. My results shocked me! I’m an “extravert”??

 

30 Day Challenge Accepted 27a 30 Day Challenge Accepted 27b
Reading the personality type descriptions for ENFJ and ESFJ was like reading my horoscope or, like I mentioned in Day19, inspirational quotes.  I took what I liked and felt better about myself.

Here are 10 excerpts from the summaries… with my commentary:

  1. have tremendous charisma by which many are drawn into their nurturant tutelage 😊
  2. can juggle an amazing number of responsibilities or projects simultaneously 💪
  3. with whom we associate organization and decisiveness 👊
  4. apt to neglect themselves and their own needs for the needs of others 🙁
  5. enjoy supporting their friends and loved ones, organizing social gatherings and doing their best to make sure everyone is happy 👯
  6. love to be of service, enjoying any role that allows them to participate in a meaningful way, so long as they know that they are valued and appreciated 💞
  7. make loyal and devoted partners and parents 👫
  8. respect hierarchy, and do their best to position themselves with some authority, at home and at work, which allows them to keep things clear, stable and organized for everyone 📋
  9. truly enjoy hearing about their friends’ relationships and activities, remembering little details and always standing ready to talk things out with warmth and sensitivity 📱📲
  10. Coming to terms with their sensitivity is ESFJs’ biggest challenge 😶

 

In terms of career, this is what they say and I wish I could just put the summaries as attachments to my resume:

  1. often find themselves in occupations that require good interpersonal skills to establish productive collaboration as well as to establish or maintain effective work process
  2. many ENFJs found among mid- and high-rank management roles
  3. lead with practical sense and social vigor
  4. well-organized, enjoying bringing order and structure to their workplaces, and often work best in environments with clear, predictable hierarchies and tasks
  5. need human interaction and emotional feedback to be truly satisfied in their line of work
  6. Good listeners and enthusiastic team members
  7. are comfortable with authority, but are supportive and friendly enough to keep that authority from feeling overbearing

Apparently here are the job roles or industries my personality is suited for:

  • management position at a academic university
  • personal accountant
  • religious work
  • counseling
  • teacher
  • medical/healthcare
  • social work

This is all very different from being a media planner at small ad agencies, and explains a lot about why I feel like I’m going down a path I’m not meant for. What I’m going to do with this insightful information, I’m not sure yet.  How blogging fits into this, I can manipulate.

I invite you to take one of these tests now and let me know what you take away from it.

 

Want to read all 30 Days of the Blogging Challenge?  View the Overview page HERE

source:

  • http://www.humanmetrics.com/personality/enfj
  • http://www.humanmetrics.com/personality/enfj-careers
  • https://www.16personalities.com/esfj-personality
  • https://www.16personalities.com/esfj-careers

BLOGGING 26/30: Making a List…

BLOGGING Challenge: Day 26 of 30

Making a List…

One of the great things having worked at a small advertising agency was working with small businesses.  One that I had the pleasure to work with during their infancy was a small batch vodka producer out of Austin, Texas. You may have heard of the pioneer in micro-distilling: Tito’s Handemade Vodka. Managing their media meant getting to share Tito’s story.  This was my favorite part:

 I had worked in the oil, gas and mortgage industries around the same time I’d been infusing vodkas for my friends as Christmas presents. When rates went up, it killed my business and left me at a point of wondering what to do next. I saw this guy on television who said that if you’re trying to figure out what to do in life you need to take a sheet of paper, draw a line down the middle, and on one side list things you like to do and on the other side list what you’re good at. And then you basically build a job where you’re able to incorporate as many things from those lists as possible. I realized I’d been working all these other jobs so I could basically go out and eat and drink well. I was trying to make money so that I could enjoy the hospitality industry. So I thought it’d be genius if I got in the hospitality industry. After looking at my sheet I said, “I’m going to get into the liquor business.”

(source: http://imbibemagazine.com/q-a-with-tito-beveridge/)

When I came out of my blogging closet and shared my new blogging hobby with an author friend, Alecia Whitaker, she made a comment on my first post  “Maybe you suffer at being good at too many things. One of those things is probably your path, but when you can succeed at so much, the white noise can drown out your true gift.” It reminded me of my client’s story.

So here’s my list:

Things I Like To Do Things I’m Good At
excursions with my family coordinating/organizing
reading a good book working in a team
learning learning
plan vacations following instructions/recipes
dinners with friends reading maps
quiet/alone time analyzing/comparing

In high school I remember taking a career aptitude test, but don’t remember my results.  But who I was then (busy being lazy) is different from who I am now.  I’ve tried “free” versions online.  I’m actually considering to pay for a legit one (any suggestions??).  Having been job searching the past year, I know the position I’m searching for within the industry I’ve been in. I know what I can do successfully to get a paycheck. But I want more than just a j-o-b.

What career do you think encompasses my list?

When can I put blogging on that list?

 

Want to read all 30 Days of the Blogging Challenge?  View the Overview page HERE

BLOGGING 25/30: It’s Never Too Late

BLOGGING Challenge: Day 25 of 30

It’s Never Too Late

here’s part 2 of my story…

My Lesson on Quitting

When I asked my daughter if she wanted to quit piano, her confused reaction surprised me.  I realized up until that point, I had never given her the option.  She’s never asked to stop.  I’ve never told her she could stop. I was relieved when she answered “no”.  Once I realized  the impact of what I suggested, I quickly told her that I wish I never quit when I was a kid.

I thought back to all the activities I attempted.  Things my mom probably encouraged and supported because I either expressed an interest or she saw potential (just like I’m doing with my kids) – piano, violin, singing, volleyball, track&field.  I didn’t excel at any of them.  In all cases, I quit.

In this less-than-1-minute-conversaton I was having with my 6-year-old, I was scared I was setting her up to inherit my quitting gene.

On Day24 of my 30 Day Blogging Challenge, I shared this thought – maybe I haven’t found my passion because in my younger years I was busy being lazy.  This laziness, it seems, eventually caused me to quit most of the opportunities I had laid out in front of me.  Not until college did I finally get my act together and start realizing some of my potential.  But, was it too late? I now know my potential, but I still don’t know my passion.

I know people say “it’s never too late”. And maybe I believe it too, and that’s why I do 30 Day Challenges.

It’s also said that lazy people are geniuses.  I’ll believe that too.

 

Want to read all 30 Days of the Blogging Challenge?  View the Overview page HERE

BLOGGING 24/30: I Was Busy Being Lazy

BLOGGING Challenge: Day 24 of 30

I Was Busy Being Lazy

Going through another frustrating piano practice session with my daughter, I finally asked her if she wanted to quit. She looked at me funny and responded with a questionable yet certain “no”. Since we started filling her schedule about two years ago, she’s never said she wants to quit music, dance or martial arts. She’s 6, by the way.

This 30 Day Blogging Challenge Post is a two parter about: 1) my kids’activities and 2) my lesson on quitting.

My Kids’ Activities

When I was my daughter’s age, I don’t recall doing any after school activities to this extent.  My younger one too – almost age 4, has been taking various classes since he was 2.  Nowadays, if you don’t have your kid in at least two extracurricular programs, you are judged on whether or not you are a fit parent.  When I was a kid, summer breaks was literally a break of two hot and passive months of sleeping in, meeting up with friends, and an epic trip to Six Flags.  Now, you better save up (a lot of money!) to send your kid to a summer camp, because surely their brain will rot otherwise.  Sometimes I think I haven’t found “it” (read About Me) because I was busy being lazy.

30 Day Challenge Accepted 24

However, social pressure has little to do with why I pack my kids’ schedule.  I don’t force these activities unto my children.  They express interest in something, I listen to why, I encourage by finding a class or whatever will help them explore that interest, and I support them.  Obviously as a mom, I see endless potential in my kids and want to give them every opportunity I can provide.  In the end, I’m hoping they find what I’m trying to find – their “thing” so eventually they can do what they love as a living.

I feel that I’m taking a lot of away from my own amazing mom as I write this.  Everything I say I do for my kids, she did for me. She still does. So it wasn’t lack of opportunities during my childhood that has put me in this rut in my 30s. Maybe if I didn’t quit all the things I started! (… like I almost did on Day 23).

After she answered “no” to quitting, I wanted to kick myself for even asking her. But, more on this on Day25

 

Want to read all 30 Days of the Blogging Challenge?  View the Overview page HERE

BLOGGING 23/30: The Hump

BLOGGING Challenge: Day 23 of 30

The Hump

It took me almost three days to write my post for Day22 (“Who’s The Boss?”).  I didn’t really know what I was writing about, so my confidence with my content wasn’t there.  It took me a while to “research” the topic, which just caused me to get lost in the (inter)net. And I’m mid-marathon of Narcos on Netflix, which is taking up my evenings (especially because the subtitles don’t allow for multi-tasking).  Then funnily enough, today’s 30 Day Blogging Challenge task was overcoming “blogger’s block”.  Sark eMedia can read my mind!

30 Day Challenge Accepted 23

Today’s daily Challenge email is exactly what I needed.  Even before when I was doing 30 day challenges without logging my progress, I know the intervals between Days started get to longer and longer around 20.  I never got to 30.   I don’t think I even made it to 25, ever.  I could never get over the hump. Why do I stop?

Stopped seeing progress – specifically with this blog, it’s a catch22 for me. I’m too shy to share, so I don’t have a following.  I don’t have a following, so I don’t see response to my blog creation.

No motivation or get bored – yesterday I felt like i was over my head. My hobby got too hard. Luckily yesterday’s post included motivational blogs, so within itself I was revived.

Lose sight of the finish line – I forget there’s a reward at the end of 30 Days.  Today I went back and read Day4 where I wrote out my goals of doing this blog.

So, today is my hump day. But today is over.

“When you feel like quitting. Think about why you started”

 

Want to read all 30 Days of the Blogging Challenge?  View the Overview page HERE

BLOGGING 22/30: Who The Boss?

BLOGGING Challenge: Day 22 of 30

Who’s The Boss? 

Day21 I wrote about figuring about who my reader is.  Today, Day22, my homework for the 30 Day Blogging Challenge is to figure out who the leaders are in the blogging space I define as my niche.

30 Day Challenge Accepted 22

Step1 – what is my niche?

From my point of view, I can be narrow or broad. Based on my intent, I can narrowly define my blog as – personal life experiences, specifically doing 30 day challenges.  Based on yesterday’s post, I could be more general and define my space as self-help/motivational.

 

Step2 – who is the leader in my niche?

Unfortunately I can’t rely on my own knowledge since I don’t follow blogs. So I’m going to go to my friend Google.

If I narrow my blog niche category to – 30 day challenge experiential bloggers – I’ve only found a handful and it required digging deep into the SERP pages. When reading through their blogs most didn’t last long and stopped posting years ago. There are, however, endless posts on bloggers’ one-time experiences with a challenge, usually targeted to whatever their blog focuses on, usually fitness.   From what I can see, there’s no main influencer in this space.  Maybe I can be that person. Maybe I can be the #boss.

When I widen the niche net to the broad category to – motivational blogs – the results were a lot more interesting.  Although I was overwhelmed by the lists from the search results, I was inspired by what I came across in the first few minutes.  I’ve actually been seeing over the past 21 days as I learn to blog.

1 TED.com – motivational short videos spreading ideas from though leaders all over the world. If you want to go down a rabbit hole, but not necessary waste your time… take a visit (after you finish reading this post).  And start with this short ~3-minute video with almost 8million views where Matt Cutts speaks about trying something you want to add to your life for 30 days.

2 Gary Vaynerchuk – If you haven’t seen this guy, you need to. Every single “influencer” I do follow has referenced him as a motivator.  He’s the leader in the digital marketing/social media marketing space.  Although his medium is more video, I find his business blog is a wealth of information for a new blogger like myself.  Check it out.

3. MarcAndAngel.com – I discovered this site around 5years ago when I came across a link to their post “30 Lessons to Excel in Life in Your 30s and Beyond”.  It was happy to see them listed in the 2016 Top 100 Personal Development Blogs by StartOfHappiness.com I love the timeless manner of their content.

 

While I don’t have a direct blog influencer in the 30 Day Challenge Experience space, there are some major players I can look up to in the motivational blog category.  The reason for this homework is to follow the influencer’s footprint and figure out what content resonates with their audience… and therefore your audience.  I still have a lot more work to do. But maybe one day I can end up on a “Top” list.

 

Want to read all 30 Days of the Blogging Challenge?  View the Overview page HERE