This blog doesn’t muck about with fluff – but it deserves to a have its story told. As with all my writing there is value contained throughout the entire post. If you want to go to the value summary just scroll to the bottom for the main lessons I have learned in setting up this blog. If you want to gain maximum value from the lessons I have learned over the past year then read on…
Part I: How one tip from one blog can change your life
Microtasking is a term I first stumbled upon while reading Steve Pavlina’s Personal Development blog.
In essence, microtasking is the process of taking a large, daunting objective and breaking it into manageable chunks. Steve calls these “microtasks”. Steve’s was the first blog I ever read and it made a considerable impact upon me. This was the first time I knew I wanted to create a blog one day.
Reading just one blog for only a week or 2 can change your life. After reading Self Development for Smart People I implemented 1 idea which created a chain reaction and ultimately this blog. The idea – become an early riser.
I became an early riser…which led to…
…less stress and more relaxed…
…increased productivity…and one tired morning to…
…do 5 push-ups…
…10 push ups…then 20…then sit ups…deeper meditation…
…one day I go for a run…
…then run further…
…then run 10km without stopping…the list could go on and on
By this time I had long stopped reading Steve Pavlina completely. Just by sticking to that one habit of rising early I was meditating, exercising and writing. I became physically stronger, psychologically less stressed and happier as a result.
Lesson – respect to the power of blogging!
I was interested in blogging and Internet Marketing. I thought it would be interesting to chart my IM progress on a blog. Microtasking would be the method I would use to achieve my goals – hence the name.
Within 24 hours of having that idea I registered the domain name, installed wordpress and wrote this blog post.
No that isn’t true.
I had vague notions about what I wanted to do in terms of internet marketing and blogging. Way too vague.
Some months passed. I fell for some scammy internet marketing products. I spent months researching and taking no action on Internet Marketing. Along with my current job and a big family there was masses of information to take in and it was hard to trust any of it. Information overload much?
I fell out of the habit of meditating and exercise. I had lots of vague IM plans but they all required a hell of a lot of hard work for a long time with no guarantee of success.
I freed myself – I quit. I had been neglecting Tracy and the kids and had to get my priorities in order. I spent more time with family. I realized how much I had missed simple family life. I became more proactive and organised around the house and was soon back on track with rising early and meditating again.
Part III: The Planning Trap Revisited!!!
I wandered back into the blogosphere in my spare moments. This time I found fresh blogs, dozens of them – Zen Habits, Smart Passive Income, and Viperchill to name but a few.
I read Leo Babouta’s Zen Habits regularly and took on some great advice on minimalism, focus and decluttering. I read some killer content from Glen Allsop’s Viperchill which had 10,000 word posts of high value well written inspiring content on Internet Marketing for FREE. Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income provided dozens of “how to” video tutorials and Podcasts – again FREE. These guys were making serious money and weren’t ripping people off with slimy sales pitches and e-books. This was my second inspiration.
I wanted to create a blog. It was then when I registered the domain name.
YES I actually did this time.
I even wrote up a load of article titles and ideas and began to write one or two.
Then I stopped. I was under no illusions about how slow blogging is to make any money – especially with my time constraints. It could take a couple of years of hard work before I’d see any real compensation. That’s if everything went well!
Finances were tight at home. We had to second guess whether or not we could afford to get the kids a McDonald’s and often realized that our second guess was correct. i.e. we couldn’t justify spending money on big macs.
How could I justify spending the next year working on something that takes away from family time with no financial return. Also – I still had no success, had taken no real action on Internet Marketing – even to blog about!
Still, at nights I would read blogs because they gave value, ideas, and inspiration – and they were free. One night I stumbled upon a great post about blogging on The Minimalists. This was the post which awakened me to really getting started. Forget about money, traffic, ego, fame, and trying to sound slick or false. Give value, write for your readers and enjoy the journey. The real rewards don’t have a cash value. Improving writing skills, giving value, helping people, building a community, self-development, learning skills, meeting fellow bloggers – these are the reason to blog successfully.
Part V: Goalsetting and Vision
The pursuit of blogging with the idea of making money from Internet Marketing stopped me from starting in the first place! This may not be the case for everyone – but it was for me. I find it difficult to write passionately with a financial agenda. That intention to profit would often be in conflict with the interest of your readers. And your readers are very hard to come by so you don’t want to irk them!
Making money from blogging is great. Blogging just to make money is a slippery slope to a schism in your identity.
One day – I won’t go into details in this post. But one day I hit rock bottom. Rock fucking bottom. Depressed, alone, afraid, stressed, weak, broke.
I had control over nothing. Or so it seemed.
I did what I always do in those moments of despair. I began to write. It was angst ridden gibberish at first but my ramblings soon morphed into a journal-type document. I wrote for about 3-4 hours straight.
It began with me at rock bottom – convincing myself that I was good for nothing and would never achieve anything even if I did have time to myself.
By the end of writing I had a very close estimation of what I really wanted to achieve in life. I had also gained complete freedom over my time by declaring myself master of my own fate. This blog would be instrumental in achieving it.
I am not suggesting that you have to hit rock bottom in order to find your goal. But what was made clear to me was the importance that writing has occupied in my life. It is a habit that will always be with me and a skill that I can utilize.
Blogging is the ultimate platform for a writer. Complete freedom of expression – no holds barred. Blogging offers the ability to generate your own audience and readership to communicate with. There are multiple ways of making a living from blogging; it is an enjoyable, inexpensive pursuit.
This time I have clearly defined this blog’s purpose…
Microtasker is a blog built to help motivate, educate and inspire people to take action on their goals.
Microtasker will be the place where I display the methods I use to be as motivated and productive as possible so that other may benefit
Microtasker will contain my own experiences as a blogger, writer and internet marketer to give readers an idea of what to expect from a real Newbie’s point of view.
Microtasker will act as my portfolio until I am an established freelance writer.
Microtasker is the hub of my Internet Marketing endeavours
Microtasker is a community of supportive people who seek to accomplish goals they once thought impossible
Part VI: Lessons learned
1. Decide your goal – find your true purpose
I cannot emphasize the importance of this strongly enough. Don’t wait for rock bottom or when you get fired or dumped. Quite simply – if you cannot identify your passion and dream then you will never be fully motivated.
2. Visualize it – and I mean properly, not as a vague idea lurking around the recesses of your mind. Make it real – see yourself where you want to be then reverse engineer the steps you had to take to get there.
3. Believe – you must believe. If you don’t believe you can, then you won’t do. You must give yourself some credit that you can achieve. I might not get 100,000 subscibers and retire at 35 – but I can improve my writing, deliver value to readers, and create a community at the very least.
4. Take immediate action – no matter how small a step it is – take it. I had the idea, months passed, I registered the domain and months passed, I wrote my first post, and months passed. If I had just persevered all those months ago I would have lots of posts and some subscribers. But there is only now. There is no tomorrow.
5. Form the habit of doing something every day. 10 minutes every day is better than 10 hours one day and nothing for months. Because that 10 minutes usually turns into 2 hours or as long as you can manage.
6. Microtask it – Objectify your goal and create a step by step plan to achieve it. Make the steps as small and as basic as you like. Make the tasks so ridiculously simple, easy and quick that you have NO EXCUSE to procrastinate.
7. Use software to help if need be. I will be reviewing open source software that I use to increase my productivity every day. These are simple easy to use programs that are absolutely free. I am using one right now to write this post.
So there is a concentrated outline of how this blog was born. Now I have the job of feeding this baby fresh posts on a regular basis. I’m done procrastinating, over planning, pissing around and not taking action. Now it’s all about taking action. It’s all about creating. Will I make mistakes – yes. I already have. Will I learn from them – yes.
And so will you.