Two and a half years into my blogging journey, I am at a crossroads. In fact, I may have peaked at the end of 2011. I was determined to speak at NMX. The Buck Inspire Podcast was in full swing. Now I barely can stick to my post schedule. Some of my blogging compadres have turned into very successful entrepreneurs. While others have moved on to bigger and better things. Sadly, I am still on the fence whether blogging is my path to being an entrepreneur or just a hobby to take the edge off of my 9 to 5.
Blog Rat Race
Similar to a job that no longer suits you, I find it difficult to “get out of bed” and blog. Lately, it feels more like work or a chore. I’ve been ignoring this feeling and just getting by, but I feel I need to devote some time and energy to finding a solution. If not, Buck Inspire will go the way of Betamax, Borders, and Blockbuster. Leaning on my relatively successful IT career and combining it with what I’ve learned in the personal finance space, I discovered I’ve been carrying a lifelong problem that is severely hampering my blogging efforts. I’ve been carrying huge confidence debt.
Holding Myself Accountable
Many personal finance bloggers started their blog journey to hold themselves accountable to paying down student loans or credit card debt. Thankfully, I’ve never had that issue. But I just realized what prevents me from living a more fulfilling life. I am burdened by low self-confidence. The only exception is my IT career. Since I’ve put in more than 10,000 hours, I’ve gained confidence through longevity and building on successes along the way. Using my IT experience as a guide, if I somehow persevere and continue putting in the time to blogging, I may finally gain the confidence I so desperately seek. But how can I speed up this process?
Drawing on personal finance blogs, I must take action with specific goals and hold myself accountable. I’ve been sabotaging myself, by being very vague with my future plans and chalking it up to being content with my life. I don’t plan to get rid of this positive attitude and turn into a stressed out yearner. I am however, just trying to combine the best of both worlds. I want to be happy with where I am, but also continue to strive for more. It will take some effort because it is like having your cake and eating it too, but with hard work, discipline, and balance, I believe it can be done.
Talk Is Cheap
A while back, I talked a big game speaking about getting over your greatest fears. Talking about something is only half the battle. However, if you’re not careful, you could delude yourself into thinking that you did take action. I am mostly a glass is half-full kind a guy. But being too content with half a glass of water means you’ll never seek to fill the cup.
If You Don’t Stand For Something, You’ll Fall For Anything
One of my biggest problems is not standing behind my work. I too often forget that when I do something and confidently stand behind my accomplishments, good things always happen. Like I said before, my lack of confidence forced me to always choose the easy, least confrontational way out. I’ve always been a status quo kind of guy. But now that I am a father and a husband, I want, I need to be more successful.
You – Fear + Confidence = Success
The most successful people in life are confident. You need confidence to succeed everywhere. Without it, I’ve struggled in the stock markets, in my career, and in relationships. The only thing I could rely on was getting lucky, pardon the pun. To be more confident, one has to get past their fears. If I get past my fears and my confidence grows as a result, I should become more successful. When I started blogging, I’ve used my anonymity as a shield for questions like these. “You do what in your free time? You make no money with it? Why are you wasting your time? Your writing is pointless. You are boring. You have no audience. You suck!” I don’t talk about controversial topics and don’t really get into income reports so why am I still hiding? Just like huge financial debt, my huge confidence debt is embarrassing and hard to accept at times.
I continued typing and podcasting in my bat cave. Ironically, when I did leave my lair, good things happened. BlogWorld LA was amazing, the PF BlogWorld LA Meet Up with PT Money was awesome, and last but not least the Wisebread Five Year Anniversary party was a blast. Everyone I met was warm and full of passion. Don’t really know what I’m afraid of. Is it the unknown or just my insecurities getting the best of me? Recently when I go to baby events, I get educated, entertained, and I get some much-needed fresh air, too.
Special thanks to Lee (Tossing It Out), Crystal (Budgeting in the Fun Stuff, Joe (Retire By 40), Dominique (Your Finances Simplified), Andrea (So Over This), Khaleef (Fat Guy Skinny Wallet), Sandy (Yes I Am Cheap), Joe (The Free Financial Advisor), Robert (The College Investor), Sam (Financial Samurai), and Pat (Smart Passive Income) for inspiring me to Let Go.
Finally, I love watching movies and I often use pivotal scenes to boost my confidence when the going gets tough. My apologies to Robert Downey Jr., but here’s my rendition of Tony Stark facing Congress and me facing my greatest fear.
I am Buck Inspire.
Have you already faced your greatest fear? Did you become more successful when you did? If not, what’s holding you back? Would love to hear about it, one way or the other!