Today I want to give you some advice that I got when I was starting that I completely ignored but my friend took it to heart.
This is a story of regret. And I hope it takes you to take more action on building your blog and your business.
“Do not give up your day job”
Back in 2004, many people said to me, “don’t quit your job”.
I had been blogging for about a year and a half, and I was starting to see that money blogging is possible.
At first, I did not tell anyone about my dream of being full-time as a blogger. But as my income started growing, I told some friends and family members.
Some of them insulted me. But a lot of them said “don’t quit your job”.
While he would often say this jokingly, his advice was well-intentioned. But over the course of about a year, I slowly quit my job. Or, to be more precise, day jobs. I was working a bunch of different jobs, as well as studying part time. I became a full-time blogger. And fifteen years later I am still doing it.
My friends story
Some time ago, I caught up with a long-time friend over coffee. He reminded me that he was one of those people who told me not to quit my day job. He has since felt guilty about it, although I did not remember him saying that.
As we talked, he told me that he regularly thinks “don’t quit a day job” so what would he say? He said, “How can I do this?”
My friend is similar to me in many ways: he is a good communicator, thinker and researcher. And he has an entrepreneurial way of thinking about things.
As we talked, he explained that when he saw me starting my first blog in 2002–2004, he wanted to do the same thing. He thought it would be fun, and it might open some doors.
- But he heard voices in his head such as:
- All topics are taken.
- What if it does not work?
- What if it’s a waste of time?
- I’m too late.
- What if I look stupid?
- So instead of saying, “How can I do this?” He said “don’t quit your day job”.
- And he regretted it for ten years.
During those ten years, he kept wondering whether he should start a blog, or a podcast, or a YouTube channel. He also brainstormed ideas, bought a domain, planned content and read my book (The Prologger Book).
But he kept thinking that it was too late to start. How can he build anything substantial and compete with all the other blogs?
That’s exactly what I felt in 2002 and 2003.
When I started my first photography blog, I remember watching the web and thinking, there are hundreds of other photography sites out there. How can I ever make sense of anything?
And I suspect that most bloggers have felt the same way at some point. Maybe you have too. We all compare ourselves to someone else during the journey, and immediately feel inadequate.
But I don’t think it’s too late. We are still in the early days of the Internet. And even today some parts of the world are coming online.
I am not saying that you should leave your day. But if that is a dream for you, then you should start doing something today.
- Accept that you are not the first, and start making something that matters.
- Get your thoughts out of your mind and start taking action on them.
- Start developing your voice and keep your thoughts there.
- Start building your network and your audience.
- For this start developing the skills you need.
- Go ahead with the fear of not fulfilling your past for good.
Do something today A good place to start is by reading our article on how to start your blog. It walks you through the process of getting your blog up and running. And in a few years’ time, you will be able to look back on that moment today, when it all started.