If you have your own business, I am sure you know what I am talking about.
The feeling of being absolutely run down and overdue for a break, or the more advanced feeling where you wonder why you even began it in the first place.
A few weeks ago I took the bit in my teeth and said, "I am going to research until I find out how to make my blog more prosperous." Which means, at the moment, how to direct more traffic to my blog.
Notebook and favorite green pen in hand (actually all my pens are green), I started full force. I read article after article. I'm always trying to advance in some way or another so I am often coming across "how to" articles for blogs, reading them, storing them on Pinterest to reread later.
In one night my dreams were shattered.
I was utterly disgusted with my blog/business, and anything related, like crocheting and crafting, and wanted nothing to do with it. I avoided my Instagram feed, my sketch tablets for ideas, my Etsy, and et cetera. I would have avoided crocheting all together except it is after all my job.
What did I find that made me feel so hopeless?
Well, it was more than one thing. According to many respectable (and prosperous) bloggers, there are tons of things I am doing wrong or not doing at all. I need this, I need that, this plugin, this extra service, this promotional plan, this social media account, this blasted everything! And what hurt the most is that they all assured me I should expect to pay a fair sum (up to $1000's!) to acquire each of these oh, so important things that would make my blog prosperous.
Many successful bloggers share their income reports, which is helpful for those like me who can't seem to get it right. However, I noticed that all of these contained long lists of services being paid for blog upkeep, design, promotion, and so forth.
Now compare this with me: I have hardly spent a dime since first beginning to blog nearly 10 years ago. I do realize that some amount of investment is needed when one plans to make a rock-hard business out of it. But my question is, how much?
Here's my story.
When I began blogging that many long years ago as a mid-teen, I didn't have very much money of my own because my parents paid for all my needs, and wants within reason. Beside that fact, we're a family that knows how to save money by learning to do it yourself.
And I have followed through with that mindset in how I run my blog and business. Why pay for someone to do for you what you can take a little more time on and learn to do yourself?
Granted, there are extremes where you cannot learn to do things yourself (e.g. heart surgery?), as well as time when you should because the job is out of your league.
But with that said, there are a great many things people could learn to do themselves if they put their minds to it.
I have run my blog on my own, learning so many new things, struggling, crying, and yet rejoicing twice as much when I succeed. Yes, I am slower to progress because of it, but I did it myself. Each new stage is more than just a step closer to a prosperous blog, it's a small victory for me that I have learned from and can use in future situations.
My whole blogging process is based upon this theory: learn to do it yourself.
I could fill many pages if I started listing each little thing I have designed/added/tweaked on my blog. Little, seemingly insignificant technical things that took hours of trial and error.
As I said, I've cried, struggled, and about thrown in the towel many times, but I continue to persist because I know that it can be done.
So maybe now you can see why I responded with such extreme emotion when everyone told me it cannot be done without having outside help and paying a pretty penny for it.
Was it all for nothing? Had I been wasting my time all these years, especially this last year as I have pursued a business plan?
Ask my family, after that just the thought of my work made me fume. I fought bitterness and resentment toward others who had succeeded, and found the best answer was to just put it out of my mind entirely.
The truth was, I knew I wouldn't give up, even then. But I was in no way ready to get back on the horse and ride. I had to give myself time to cool off and regain some motivation.
It's been a few weeks, and I still can't say I am raring to go. But I have prayed and asked God to teach me whatever it is He wants to teach me through this. In fact, this last Friday I knew I would be preparing to tell my readers all of this and I prayed that God would make my heart right so that I could say what He wanted me to say, not what my heart was telling me.
The pure and simple of it is I refuse to sell my soul and individuality for a said prosperous business.
What's more, I refuse to believe that this is the only way to have a prosperous business, by letting others do it instead and kow-towing to contemporary theories.
I had to come to terms with the fact that no matter how prosperous these bloggers may be, it doesn't mean their methods are the only ones worth following or that they are even for me.
Can I continue in this way, the do-it-yourself mindset, and still succeed?
I don't know. But I believe it is possible, and I intend to find out how.
Maybe my blogging methods do need some changing. I have a lot to learn, there's not denying it. But then again, I never did.
What this means for my business's future is hard to say. I'm taking it one step at a time and not let others pressure me into something I don't want. Hopefully by next year at this time, I will be able to tell you a success story. If not, I'll most likely keep plugging on anyway.
What about you? Can you relate to any of these feelings? What do you do when you feel this way? I'd love to hear your thoughts!
By the way, I have yet to add Facebook to my social media buttons at the top, but click the link to like Ginger Peachy's page, or my Contact page to get ahold of me elsewhere.
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