It’s almost inevitable. You’re excited about your business blog. You’ve followed our advice and done the most important work for blogging success. You’ve defined your audience, your blog’s focus, and important topics to blog about.
You’ve also made a big commitment, the most important commitment of all: you’ve committed to creating content on a regular basis. It might be creating blog content once a week, twice a week, or daily, but you’re going to do it and you aren’t going to let anything get in your way.
Then you start your blogging. You’re creating your blog posts consistently and keeping your eye on the marketing prize of using your website to generate more traffic, more leads and ultimately more sales.
Things are going well with your content marketing and blogging efforts.
And then you have a “fire” – a business emergency or some other distraction that pops into your field of vision. Or worse yet, someone criticizes your blog. And despite your best intentions, you miss working on your blog to take care of other “priorities” or to keep the critics at bay.
At one time, that’s exactly where I was. The problem beginning bloggers run into is this: they end up feeling bad about losing focus for a short time. Or they feel bad about not pleasing everyone. What happens when they do stumble?
Unfortunately, many people focus on what they haven’t done rather than what they have done. They focus on the fact they missed a day of blogging rather than focus on the fact they put out 12 blog posts before they stumbled. They feel disappointed because they haven’t done things perfectly, exactly to plan. They don’t focus on the people who love their blog and find it helpful; they focus on the people who give negative feedback because their blog isn’t perfect or awesome enough.
So they lose confidence and momentum. Then, they start blogging less and less because they aren’t doing things perfectly. Finally, they give up.
While this may sound silly, I see it happen all the time. Businesses start out with the best intentions and put in the initial work, but then they stumble and allow that stumble to result in a loss of focus.
I have to admit I used to be in this camp. I’m what my business coach calls “a recovering perfectionist.” It used to happen when I would plan like crazy, start following my plan and then I’d miss a target. And I’d let this missed target define my success and I’d focus on what I hadn’t done rather than what I HAD done.
So my coach had me do some in-depth digging on the experiences and belief systems of some of the most successful people in history.
And do you know what I discovered when I did this?
While they virtually all planned and laid out targets and goals, when they would miss their target they DIDN’T focus on being perfect (or imperfect). In fact, not one of them was a perfectionist. Instead, these successful people focused on the progress they made up to the point they stumbled.
This small difference in focus kept them moving forward, when those other perfectionists quit because they let their stumbles define them. They couldn’t be perfect, so why bother trying?
Did the successes do their do their work to the best of their ability? Absolutely! But they knew that perfection is a myth, an impossible target to hit. Think of people like the Wright Brothers, Thomas Edison, Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs, Colonel Sanders and Bill Gates. They all “failed” and “failed” more than once. But they learned from their “mistakes” and refined what they were doing based on what they learned to keep moving toward their goals. They were willing to embrace imperfection to be great at what they ddid.
What does this have to do with business blogging?
Nothing and everything. In the beginning, your blog posts aren’t going to be perfect. You might not have perfect grammar or write the greatest post. If you do video, you might not have perfect lighting and framing (though I’ll be teaching you about this soon). And you might not follow your blog’s content plan perfectly.
If any or all of these things happen to you, you know what you’ll be? Normal. But to be abnormal, you must continue forging ahead and be willing to embrace imperfection. In almost every case, the more you keep moving forward, the more you will learn and the more you will improve.
And in the end, the more you keep at it, the more people you will help and your business will grow.
But don’t let those challenges stop you and define your efforts. Focus on your progress, not perfection. Demand your best effort, but don’t let your stumbles define you.
If you haven’t stumbled on your business blogging efforts, a huge congrats to you! That’s outstanding. But if you’re like the majority of us who have, focus on what you’ve accomplished and get back to doing the work.