Dreaming vs. Doing

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For a long time now I’ve dreamed of being a great blogger. I think about how I enjoy writing and I’m really obsessed with personal finance topics. So obviously as soon as I start my blog I’ll be a natural – off to the races writing excellent posts that benefit adoring fans around the world.

It’s time to move from dreaming to doing, and as I do that I’m faced with a bunch of fears.

What if I fail?

What if I’m not good?

What if no one reads this?

When my blog is in my head, there’s no possibility of failure because I’m not doing anything. I can dream up a great blog and never get any feedback about whether it’s actually great. But it’s a dream and it’s not helping me get any better. The only way to find out whether I will succeed or fail is to WRITE. Not to think about writing, not to plan out posts, but actually to write posts! A lot of them!

One of the blogs I first got hooked on when I started reading about personal finance was Ramit Sethi’s I Will Teach You To Be Rich. That blog has come a long way and Ramit has now built a huge online business. I recently joined his email list and he talks often about his first posts – how bad they were, how no one commented. He still keeps them out there. Here’s what Ramit has to say nine years in:

In 2004, I wrote my first blog post. IT IS HORRIBLE! I say that Step #1 is knowing what you spend. That is exactly WRONG! I use the word “budget” multiple times. I have no narrative, only boring information. In short, I hate myself of 2004. But at least I got started.

Exactly. Getting started is the hardest thing, but also the most important. That is why I have challenged myself to write at least two posts per week, every week for 12 weeks, starting in July 2017. I am sure that many of them will suck. I am sure that I will be a better blogger after 12 weeks, but I still may not be very good. That’s fine. 24 posts will be an infinite amount greater than the number of posts I’ve written over the past years that I’ve spent thinking about blogging.

I’m reminded of this great quote by Theodore Roosevelt. It’s a bit dramatic – I’m not really getting beaten and bloodied by trying to build a blog, but hey, it’s inspiring. Maybe it will inspire you to get started, to get in the arena and fight!

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Time to get my hands dirty! I hope you’ll join me. Let me know what you think and what area in your life you’re dreaming vs. doing in the comments.

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