Dear Puttylike reader, this is a classic Puttylike post. Meaning, it’s from the early days–from before I really found my voice or knew what I was doing. I’ve chosen to keep this post online for the benefit of Puttylike readers who have worked their way backward through the archives. And also to highlight the fact that everybody starts somewhere! xo, Emilie
Think back on your life. What were the moments when you felt most alive, most creatively inspired, like you were perfectly in your element?
I love asking this question to my coaching students because they usually light up as they begin telling me their stories.
Often they talk about times they worked in teams, when everyone was doing what they’re best at to create something bigger than themselves. Sometimes they describe themselves in leadership positions or performing on stage. Other times they talk about moments when they were on their own, in a flow state and lost in words or art or brainstorming for some new project.
After exploring as many of these magical moments as possible, we try to pull out some common themes and design a blueprint for a lifestyle that will produce more situations like the ones they described.
What’s funny is that I’ve noticed a lot of similarities between my coaching students. The specific activities are different, but the principles remain fairly constant. I’m starting to think that as wildly varied our many interests are, us scanners may actually have a lot in common.
Most scanners seem to feel most alive when they’re helping others, leading in some capacity, working on something creative, collaborating, and utilizing their strengths. They’re usually project-oriented and enjoy having free time to write, think, create and explore new interests that arise. They often express an interest in traveling as well.
As we brainstorm possible revenue streams that might allow for this kind of lifestyle, we almost inevitably wind up talking about the blog-based business. I try not to intentionally steer my students in that direction, just because it’s my current obsession and I don’t want them to feel pressured or anything. (I try to keep our sessions about them, not me.)
Nevertheless, the coaching sessions often end up going to the blog-based business organically, and I think that’s because it’s sort of the perfect model for puttylike personalities.
Why the blog-based business is great for us
First, blogging provides for variety. You get to do any or all of the following on a regular basis: write, make videos, create audio shows, design graphics and display your artwork or photography, and so on. There’s almost always a way to integrate any new passions or projects that emerge into your blog, even if only through writing about them.
An opportunity to master new skills
Anything you don’t want to do yourself can be outsourced. But of course, many scanners enjoy taking on new challenges. Running a blog provides opportunities to master and integrating new skills, if that’s your thing– which I’m guessing it might be.
You get to put your ideas out into the world and share what you know in a way that helps other people. After a while, your community takes on a life of its own and becomes something larger than you. Starting an online community is a way to make a real impact in the world.
Connecting with people
You also make amazing new friends and get to collaborate with all kinds of interesting people. If you want to work one-on-one with community members – through coaching for example – or if you’d like to start speaking publicly, you can.
It’s a calling card
You can use your blog as a calling card and sell your own artwork or design services through the site. A blog is a great way to get freelance work.
What’s even cooler is that you can live and work from anywhere (assuming there’s wifi or a smart phone nearby). I mean, you can literally chill out in a cafe in South America or lie on a beach in Thailand and just type away.
And perhaps best of all, blogs don’t require 40 hour work weeks (not even close)! They free up TONS of time– time that can be spent pursuing all of your other projects. It’s like getting paid to be who you are, for doing precisely what you love!
Okay, hang on now… It’s not all candy and teddy bears.
A blog won’t generate instant income. You always want to have some steady sources of income to support you while you’re building up your online community. (Check out this brilliant problogger article about revenue streams.)
Plus blogging is a lot of work. It takes months of consistent posting and building connections before you see any substantial financial return. Srini over at BlogcastFM says that something like 95% of blogs are abandoned within the first three months. Most people aren’t persistent enough to pull it off, or they pick topics that they’re not truly passionate about.
Topic selection can be HARD for multipods
Topic selection can be an enormous challenge for us, considering our issues with commitment and specialization. It’s one of the things we spend the most time brainstorming in my coaching sessions. We try to find some sort of mission statement or overarching philosophy that encompasses all of my student’s interests, which isn’t always easy!
If you’re willing to work at it, it’s absolutely possible to support yourself by building a little online empire around your interests. People are doing it. It just takes a lot of determination and the willingness to experiment, fail, and then experiment some more.
I get the sense that my audience is made up mostly of other multipotentialite bloggers and would-be bloggers. To all the bloggers: have you found blogging to be a satisfying way to keep your lives varied and interesting?
And to the non-bloggers: why haven’t you started blogging yet? What specifically is holding you back?