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Three Secrets to Starting Anything (Life Lessons from Launching a New Blog)

By Tiffany Monhollon

If you’re thinking about doing something new, like a finding a new job, writing a book, launching a new blog (or a first one!), here are three secrets to get you started. I call these secrets not because they are, in fact, secret. People will tell you these things, like I am right now, and probably, unless you’re about to start something new, you will even agree with most of what I have to say. But, something happens when you are on the verge of new: these things become secret again. People may tell you, but probably, you won’t want to listen.

1) Plans are great, but don’t let them overwhelm you. As a decently prominent blogger, at least within my niche, planning my new blog and the launch was very important to me. Perhaps a little too important. I had something to compare myself against this time, after all. In the planning stage, I made little progress for months as opportunities passed me by – to promote a new site, to build content, and more. In the meantime, I agonized over details, changed my mind, consulted with people and then consulted with them again.

Because here’s the thing about planning – at some point, if you let yourself stay in the phase too long, you stop planning and you start doubting. Instead of trying things out in the action phase, you flounder around hoping for the best and planning for the worst, and you never really get anything done, you never come up with any answers one way or the other to questions like “is this right?” or “is that a horrible idea?” Now, I’m not saying planning is a bad thing. But, at some point, the planning has to end and the action has to start.

2) It won’t be perfect, and that’s okay. It doesn’t have to be. One of the most fabulous parts of blogging is that there is freedom in your self-publishing. To edit, to tweak, to continually improve. To pursue.

Life is that way, too. It’s flexible, moldable. That’s what innovation means. Sure, you may have to take bigger risks sometimes to get the changes you want to see, but it’s usually an option. That doesn’t mean that you have to push yourself for an imaginary perfection. Focus on what you can do, and realize that you can tweak things along the way.

3) Timing is important, but it doesn’t matter in the end. You know what they say about timing, right? That it’s everything. Well, really, it’s not. Because here’s the thing about life: it doesn’t really care about time. Time is not an option. It’s going to happen, so life doesn’t really figure that in. That said, timing is important. Launching my blog the week of Thanksgiving, for example, would probably not have been the best plan. So it’s good to keep timing in mind. I planned and strategized launching this blog. The time, the promotion, all of it.And then a crazy thing happened the very day I sent out my blog announcement: the largest power outage in state history. To say that this was the craziest possible time to launch a new time would be an understatement, because I was literally living day to day, house to house, unplugged from my normal routine, away from my home, not packing for upcoming holiday travel, not wrapping gifts or making homemade treats for me neighbors, feeling like normal would never return, for six days.

But you know what? Things actually went better than I’d expected, in spite of it all. I have guest posts lined up. My Technorati ranking is registering now, at 11, with lots of room to grow. Traffic is steady and growing. The feedback I’ve gotten has been positive, and though not overwhelming, from very important people. Really, I’m actually pretty pleased.

So, get over worrying about timing and planning and perfection and start the process of doing. That’s the secret to starting something new.

Once you do, you’ll discover all the beautiful, energizing, powerful things that new has to offer.

By Tiffany Monhollon | December 18, 2007

Topics: Career, Learning, Life |

7 Responses to “Three Secrets to Starting Anything (Life Lessons from Launching a New Blog)”

  1. Ricardo Bueno Says:
    December 19th, 2007 at 7:56 pm

    I agree with every single one of your points!

    The fact is, we have to strive daily to challenge the limits of our comfort zone! Only then does our vision start to mold itself into the realty we pictured from the very beginning.

    Nice to meet you Tiffany!

  2. Tiffany Monhollon Says:
    December 19th, 2007 at 8:23 pm

    Thanks, Ricardo! Nice to meet you, too.

    And you’re right - every day is an opportunity to put these secrets into action by simply pushing the limits of status quo.

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    December 19th, 2007 at 10:00 pm

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  5. William Mitchell, CPRW Says:
    January 28th, 2009 at 3:26 am

    One can definitely over-plan, which used to be a huge issue for me. After a few years working for a small company, I learned that sometimes you just have to dive in and trust your ability to cope and adapt. I have surprised myself on many occasions doing this. For instance, when I first launched my website, I was not sure exactly how I was going to pull it off, but I simply jumped in head-first and had a working site within a day!

    William Mitchell, CPRW
    The Resume Clinic

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