I remember, in the early days of building a business around my blogs, being given the sage advice, “don’t give up your day job” when I told friends or family members about my dreams of becoming a full-time blogger.
It was advice that was well-meaning, and probably pretty wise on some levels—I mean, who had ever heard of a full-time blogger back in 2003?!
However, over the years I’ve come to be glad that I did give up my day job (actually, I had day jobs, plural) and transitioned to become a full time blogger.
It was not an overnight proposition, of course. The switch from day-jobber to ProBlogger took a number of years (I wrote about the process here) but it did happen, and the Before and After shots of my life then and now are remarkably different.
Today I caught up with a friend who reminded me of the “don’t give up your day job” advice that he’d given me way back then.
I don’t even remember him saying it, but he told me today that he thought of it often and regularly wondered what would have happened if, instead of saying “don’t give up your day job,” he’d asked, “how can I do it too?”
He told me that he’d regretted it for nine years.
There was a pause in the conversation at that point, as we both reflected on those nine years and the way things had played out. By no means has his life turned out badly (or has mine been a fairy tale) but there was a real sense of regret in his demeanor.
He went on to tell me that he wished he hadn’t “missed the boat” of getting into blogging. That he looked at what was happening on the Web today and how it had developed to a point where it was “too late to start and build anything substantial”
That’s where I felt like jumping up from the table and shaking him.
You see, I once had those same feelings.
Nine years ago, I was looking at my fledgeling first blog, and started comparing it to all those bloggers who’d already been at it for two years. I looked at the following that others had built, the influence that they had, and the skills that they’d accumulated as bloggers, and I distinctly remember thinking to myself, “I’m too late.”
I suspect most bloggers have felt it at some point or other—we all tend to compare ourselves to others further along the same journey, and many of us have feelings of inadequacy when we do. It’s natural to have those feelings, but it’d be a shame to let them overwhelm you to the point of paralysis.
You see, I don’t think it’s too late at all. If anything, this revolution that is happening around us at the moment is only just beginning.
Sure, there are more and more people engaging in creating content for the web, but with that comes opportunity, and alongside it we see an expanded audience.
Okay, he said it back in 2008, but I think it’s still a relevant message today.
I’m not saying that you should quit your day job today—that wouldn’t be responsible—but if that’s a dream for you, there are things that you can do about it today.
The key is to start. Today.
The key is to get over the fact that you’re not first, and start creating something that matters. Today.
The key is to start developing your voice, to start building community, to start putting your thoughts out there. Today.
The key is to move past the fear of not being good enough, or not having the skills needed and to take your first small steps. Today.
The key is to do something. Today.