Every now and then I like to take a step back and check whether I’m on track. Sources Of Insight is now a little more than six months old. My last checkpoint was Sources of Insight is One Month Old. In this post, I share some of my lessons, take a stroll through some data, and give a bit of insight into where I’m headed.
What Have I Learned
I’ve learned a lot, but here’s the highlights:
- Find your flow. Passion if your fuel. Either write about your passion or get passionate about what you write. If you don’t have passion, it won’t last. Sometimes this means tuning your mission or your topic until you unleash your best self.
- Find a way to flow value. Find your rhythm of results. Don’t block yourself. Think in terms of flowing incremental value. Each post is a potential nugget of value. Find a way to have a flowing stream of thoughts, insight, and action. The sum is more than the parts. It’s great when your words work, but don’t let the words get in your way.
- It’s about sustainable results. Think of it like a marathon with sprints inside. It’s also about taking some breaks along the way. Pace yourself for the long haul.
- Set boundaries. Set limits around how much time you’ll spend writing, publishing, commenting, … etc. If you get sloppy here, you can spill into other areas of your life. This is the key to sustainable results.
- Impress yourself first. This is about internalizing success. Write the post you want to read. You can tune your bar based on feedback, but if you don’t have an internal sense of success, your feedback will bounce your around like a yo-yo. Also, you can’t please everyone so at least please yourself.
- You don’t fail if you keep trying. If at first your post does not succeed, try, try again. Sometimes improvement is an inch. Sometimes it’s a yard. Sometimes it’s taking a step backward, to leap forward. As long as your learning and responding, you’ll move forward.
- Working on your blog, is working on your life. Your blog is your chance to work on you. It’s your way to find your passions, find your flow, and get your groove on . The key here is living your values.
- Life’s not static, neither is your blog. Your blog is either growing or dying. People flow in and flow out. It’s more like a river than a lake. Have a metaphor for your blog. Maybe it’s a Banzai tree that you prune. Maybe it’s your garden. Either way, it’s not a set it and forget it operation.
- Learn and respond. The beauty of your blog is it’s a sounding board. Use the lessons.
- Version your results. This is about chunking things up and not letting perfection get in the way. Good enough for now, is better than the perfect post that never sees the light of day. This is how you flow value.
- One pitch at a time. Each post is a new chance to stop and smell the roses.
- Keep getting up at bat. Get up to bat. It’s a numbers game. The more you get up to bat, the more chances you have to knock your post out of the park. There’s a little home run in all of us. Don’t miss all the beautiful singles, doubles and even walks along the way.
- Stay focused on the goal, but flexible in your approach. You’ll find a way if you’re flexible. This includes adjusting your goals, if they aren’t helping you. Your goals work for you, not the other way around.
- It’s about the people. It’s not just your commentors and your raving fans (hi Mom!). It’s all the behind the scenes networking that happens. Friendships are forged, and new opportunities get created.
And bad mistakes … I’ve made a few (hundred). I’d love to list out all my mistakes, but I’d run out of room. Suffice it to say I’m failing forward.
I’ve done a few experiments to live and learn:
- Daily posting (M-F … I’m a weekday warrior)
- Guest posts by book authors, such as Choice by Michael Michalko
- Free EBook, such as The Zen of Results
- Expanding beyond book nuggets to people and quotes, such as Lessons Learned from Per
- Resource posts such as Personal Productivity Quotes and Personal Development Books
I don’t think I’ll keep doing daily posting, but for now it helps me find routines and test things for better feedback. It also helps a lot during the growth stage of my blog.
One of the surprises for me and I didn’t plan on it was guest posts from some of my heroes who happen to be best selling authors:
- Choice, by Michael Michalko, author of THINKERTOYS
- The Top 10 Leadership Lessons, by Jim Kouzes, author of The Leadership Challenge
- Left Brainers and Right Brainers, by Al Reis, author of The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding
- The 10 Best Ways to Persuade, by Jay Heinrichs, author of Thank You for Arguing
… and my latest guest post is Top 5 Characteristics of Leaders, by Ken Sylvester, one of the world’s best negotiators. The lesson here is, you just never know which way in life the wind will blow. Just be ready to raise your sails and run with it when it does.
Stats at a Glance
Here’s my stats at a glance for the past six months (September to March):
- Page Rank 4. I didn’t get ranked until December. It started as a 3, so hopefully it’s on its way up.
- 650+ subscribers. I’m not sure what I expected, but at least I know it’s growing.
- 56,000 visits. I can’t fathom that number. It sounds neat though. Instead, I just talk to the peeps either in comments, behind the scenes, or when I bump into them in the road of life.
- 110,000 page views. Again, I can’t fathom that number.
- 110 posts. I’ve written 110 posts since September: September (14), October (12), November (6), December (21), January (26), February (19), March (12). The simplest way to read the posts is browse the archive.
I don’t know what the numbers tell me. I haven’t really focused on them. Instead, I get feedback from friends and family to see how it’s working. So far, I can safely say, my sister likes the readability of my theme, so that’s good enough for me.
I do know that I made a lot of mistakes that messed up things like my page rank and search traffic. I fixed some basic things in December and have started to make some more fixes.
Top 3 Posts
These are my top 3 posts purely based on traffic:
Top 5 Commentors
I’d like to list all my commentors, but I would bloat this post. Instead I’ll give a shout out and thanks to all my commentors and readers, and list the top 5 commentors who left the most comments so far:
- Alik Levin of PracticeThis.com
- Giovanna Garcia of Imperfect Action
- Jannie Funster of JannieFunster.com
- Juliet of LifeMadeGreat.com
- Louisa of 123 I Blog Myself
But seriously, I do want to list everybody (Barbara, Melissa, Vered, Daphne, Evelyn, Jarrod, Drew, Andrew, Alex, Praveen, Prashant, Akshay, Jason, Rob, Lance, Dror, David, Maya, Sean, Liara, Avani, Sara, Molly, Karl, Stacey, Gennaro, Tom, Ross, Terry, Ian, Maya, Christine, Rick, Per, Ed, Ajoy …. etc.) , and I will in a future post.
My tag line is still:
Stand on the shoulders of giants!
Lately though, I have another elevator pitch …
Make others great!
It sums it up pretty well what the mission is. It’s punchy and precise.
Vision, Mission, Values
My vision, mission, and values have pretty much stayed the same:
- Vision – World’s best insight for work and life.
- Mission – Improve the quality of life for as many people as I can, as long as I can.
- Values – Continuous improvement, learn and move on, success is a journey, not a destination.
Really, it’s about lifting others up by sharing patterns and practices for skilled living. It’s going from ordinary to extraordinary using proven practices, insight, and action. I think I still need to improve my About page.
I summarized this in my About page, but I wanted to list my guiding principles here for convenience:
- Life’s not a spectator’s sport.
- Absorb what’s useful; reject the rest.
- It’s not what’s on your plate, it’s how you eat it.
- Don’t take life too seriously, or you’ll never get out alive.
- Success is a journey, not a destination.
- Live more, laugh more, learn more, love more.
- Roll with the punches.
- Whatever doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.
- If you fall down, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, carry the lessons forward.
- Don’t seek to be better than others; seek to be better than yourself.
I’m not a perfectionist, although you might have seen me play one on TV. Everybody has flaws so it’s finding the good stuff and sharing.
Unleash Your Inner Awesome
The best is yet to come. I’ve got more time ahead of me than behind me and I’m continuing to learn. I’m still figuring out how to up my game. I haven’t cracked the nut yet, but I do plan on finding the best ways to help the underdogs in the world get exponential results from life. It’s that simple. Yeah, I’m on a mission. All I can promise you is that I will find ways to unleash your inner awesome. Along the way, we’ll kick some arse and take names, because that’s how I roll.
Tell Me More About My Eyes
Enough about me. Tell me more about you and what you’d like to see. As far as this blog, what sucks? … What’s awesome? … What do you want more of?
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