I didn’t take the idea of starting a blog lightly. Having considered it for months, I was still undecided, especially after coming across a statistic that “up to 80% of blogs are abandoned within the first month.” It appears that the reality might not be as attractive as the idea.
What propelled me to take the leap was a video of Tom Peters and Seth Godin discussing the benefit of blogging, I have tremendous respect for Tom Peters, whose concepts I used in my doctoral research. He doesn’t mince words:
“I will simply say my first post was in August of 2004…no single thing in the last 15 years professionally has been more important to my life than blogging. It has changed my life, it has changed my perspective, it has changed my intellectual outlook, it has changed my emotional outlook (and it’s the best damn marketing tool by an order of magnitude I’ve ever had…and it’s free)”
After months of preparation, considering the purpose of my blog, my audience and the design of my blog site, I was ready to go live. It was time to write my first post. I thought it would be easy as I had made notes on many topics I wanted to write about. But when I sat down to write, I was struck by the temporary title of the first post on the wordpress template: Hello World. I found it both intriguing and daunting. I wondered if rather than just jumping in, something more significant might be called for in my first post.
After sitting for several moments, undecided about what to do, I set the question aside and revisited why – my purpose. These two principles have guided me for many years:
Right action arises from purpose When I am clear about my purpose, I know what to do. I get confused when I get disconnected from my purpose.
Commitment arises from worthwhile purpose I am able to sustain my focus and commitment when my purpose is about more than making money or simply personal gain.
What was my purpose in blogging? Why did I really want to blog? I have a lot of options for communicating my message. What is it about blogging that speaks to me, my own personal reasons? What is a worthwhile purpose that will keep me focused and committed over the long-term?
I had considered these questions over the past months, in reflection and in conversation, but had not written it down. Now sitting at the computer, instead of beginning my first post, I began writing my answer to this question:
The Answer To “What?” is “Why?” – Why Blog?
Here are my four reasons:
1. To express my thoughts and opinions, simply for the sake of self-expression. – I am putting myself into the world, stepping out and making a statement – “Hello, world, this is who I am and this is what I am interested in.” In my work, I am often called upon to write, but my writing is specific to the circumstances. Blogging is an opportunity for self-expression – I choose what I want to say. Starting a new blog is like putting a message in a bottle. You don’t know whether it will be found or by whom. You send the message just because you want to send it, with no guarantees it will be received, understood or appreciated.
2. To make a connection and a contribution. – The idea of saying hello intrigues me. When we say hello to another person, we are inviting them to respond, to make contact, to connect, even if it is just for a brief moment.Writing a blog implies more than self-expression. It also implies an engagement with the world. And it implies making a contribution. I have learned a lot after many years in my profession. I would like to share what I have learned, explore my current questions, and engage with others in conversation about common interests.
3. To organize my thinking. – The act of writing, forming thought into words, forces you to organize your thinking. The thought of pulling together the body of knowledge I have developed over the past decades in leadership positions and as a consultant in organizations is appealing. I have written about many topics for a variety client needs. I would like to pull these ideas and information together.Even more appealing is the idea that I can use my writing to explore and better understand the things I am most curious about now. Writing helps me become more clear.
4. To organize my day. – Making a commitment to write regularly is a discipline. It’s a practice that will be good for me, like exercise. I’ve never been much for routines, but at this point in my life, I am attracted to the idea of setting up a structure for contemplation.
In the process of writing down my purpose, not only did my purpose become more clear, but the right action also became clear. As I finished writing my purpose, I knew what I wanted to say in my first blog post.
Hello World, Welcome to my blog!.