I took a look at the basic metrics of blogging success in a previous post.
I recently bought a used copy of Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich. If you don’t know the story behind the book, Mr. Hill was commissioned by Andrew Carnegie around the turn of the century to discover what wealthy and successful people had in common. From his interviews, Mr. Hill developed a set of principals for growing rich. It’s considered a classic text today.
The heart of the concept is finding what you love to do and getting really good at it. It’s much more complicated that that, dealing with the use of your subconscious thought, how to surround yourself with successful people and so on, but there’s the nub of the idea.
Right now, in terms of discretionary income, I’m as poor as I have ever been in my life. Because I follow the advice of Dave Ramsey, my debts are shrinking and I’ll be OK, but it sure would be nice to have more cash. Following the principles of the book, I started blogging because I have a lot of experience and education, enjoy writing and have free time in odd increments. I figured I could generate interesting content and make money on ads on the blog. After all, I had read how others made thousands of dollars each month blogging and I thought I could do just as well.
I was wrong and not for the reasons you might expect.
I had misread the title of the book. The word “Rich” in Think and Grow Rich, doesn’t necessarily refer to money. It refers to the rewards you get when you become an expert at what you love. If playing the flute is my passion, I will never become as wealthy as Andrew Carnegie, but I will become rich on my own terms as I learn how to bring musical pleasure to people around me.
What my blog has taught me is that my version of “rich” has nothing to do with money at all.
Bloggers who make money focus on specific subjects. Hugh Hewitt focuses on politics; Free Money Finance focuses on personal finance and so on. They are good at what they do and they devote themselves to the subject. If you read the advice on how to run a successful blog, you’re told to focus on a subject.
I tried to do that and failed. I went through a period where I wrote a lot of comedy and worked every day to write more. I tried politics. I tried marketing and business analysis. I found I couldn’t do it. It’s just not me. My blogging taught me who I am. If you had asked me a year ago what I would specialize in, I would have told you business case analysis and marketing. While I love that, it’s not something I can do to the exclusion of other things.
I discovered that I love all kinds of things. Most of all I love to share them with you. For example, I’ve blogged in the past about rockhounding. I recently took some quartz specimens I found at Ocotillo Wells and looked at them under a microscope. What a sight! My first thought was to capture the images and post them on this blog. My microscope is over 40 years old and won’t take a camera adapter easily, so I’m scrounging pennies together so I can get a microscope that will connect to my PC to share what I saw with you. Rockhounding is just one of many things I want to experiment with and blog about.
What my blog has taught me is how to grow rich on my own terms. Napoleon Hill’s maxims and recipes for success work for all kinds of riches and I’m learning to apply them to what I want to do with my life. Learn and share.
I might have one more blog post in me about what I’ve learned this year, but I’m not sure. I’ll leave you links to Think and Grow Rich and Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace. I highly recommend these books. In the interest of full disclosure, I'm moving to Amazon for my ads and both of these links will send me a few coins if you buy the books.