A few months ago I started to blog. This is my second go at it and it is going far better. The first time around the focus was on personal thoughts and, in a way, documenting some of the things that were going on in my life, good and bad. I have to admit that my first attempt lacked form. It had plenty of substance, but that substance was expressed in the words of an angry person, because I was angry. And to make it more fun, I was also going through some fundamental changes in my personal life and belief system. The fundamental changes are still VERY ongoing, but the results can be seen already: I am not as angry as I used to be. That is good. Maybe I am just getting old. Regardless, A LOT LESS ANGRY IS VERY GOOD.
There are a few things that I learned from the first experience blogging and I keep on learning as part of the current incantation of my blogging experience. The first one is: Don’t be so serious. The second one is: Remember … somebody, anybody, everybody will read your blog.
Blogging exposes your ideas, thus yourself. Anything you write becomes permanent and lasting. Even if you turn your blog off, your content is possibly cached somewhere. I advocate that you are honest and open with your ideas, in other words, say what you think and mean it. But there are effective ways to do that, even in the case of the worse and most evil content.
I recently had a conversation about leadership. The agreement was that a leader is a doer and an action taker that deeply influences others, especially in the case such person needs to do something that might go against his or her innermost beliefs. Leaders are not necessarily selfless, but do have a vision that transcends his/her immediate scope of influence.
We normally consider leaders in the context of good. Some may look at Churchill or JFK, or Mother Teresa. My favorite leader is Genghis Kahn, a little beastly, but seemed to understand his limitations, and through well crafted plans, overcame them and in doing so, China under his domain, experienced great advances in many areas. But there are other more infamous leaders: Stalin, Hitler, Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and many more. You might hate their guts, but whether you like it or not, they were powerful leaders and people would lay down and die for them
If you are going to blog, be a leader. Your ideas do not need to be novel or altruistic, but convey them in a powerful way; your words represent you and have the power to influence. Even when all you are writing may be just gossip.
Since I started to write again, I have been contacted by people from all over. Some to just exchange ideas, some to discuss a blog post – specially when the post deals with something interesting and I manage to write something that measures up – some to just network. A few months ago a got a call at around 7PM. It was the CIO of a company that had just gone public and was looking for management talent to expand their operations. He had found my resume on a job site. I decided to go to the interview just for grins. Why not!! The interview went well and I sort of got a job offer that was somewhat interesting. Since I was not exactly looking for a job I decided to experiment and told the CIO, who had not read my blog, to go read my blog and then he could decide if I was the right guy for the job. A few days later I called him and he quickly informed me that he was rescinding the somewhat interesting offer and had gone with somebody else. I was not surprised.
But the experience left me puzzled. So, what if you have a blog and you are looking for a job? I discussed it with a friend of mine over dinner and wine – the best way to discussed deep technical and philosophical questions such as this one. The conclusion was that even though a blog – such as mine – is indeed a personal marketing tool in addition to a vehicle for expression, it is also an effective filter. If prospective employers read your blog and still pursue you as a candidate, then even if they do not agree with you, they respect your opinions and are not frightened by thinking people. And that is a great way to start a new job. My wife agrees.
I am an entrepreneur and I am not ashamed to a admit it – Hello, my name is Fabian; I am an entrepreneur!!
And as an entrepreneur I have put together business plans for my ideas and gone after funding. I also have to admit that I have not been very successful in the fund raising department. But most of my ideas have eventually been validated and proven to be successes. Somebody else, later rather then sooner, also had some of the same ideas and implement them, eventually making loads of money. Some of my old ideas still have validity today.
So, how does having a blog affect you in this case? I do not know, but I will tell you when I confront the situation 😉
I imagine that is similar to the job situation. The blog, if you exhibit leadership, can only help you.
I hardly ever run out of ideas to discuss. Let me restate that: I hardly shy away from a discussion on any topic, including “The Importance Of Tomato In The Discovery Of America”. Undoubtedly, there come some times that I have nothing to write about. I have a folder full of started posts; some of them include just the title. Having them started does not mean that I have something to write about. Maybe I had something to write about when I thought of the idea and documented it. Maybe it was just a cool idea that I will write about in the future. There is no point in either pacing or forcing yourself to write. You write when the words come to you.
But writing is not the problem, even when I stare into the abyss that my laptop screen sometime represents. The problem is when you have found an interesting topic to write about and you have done an equally interesting job with your writing. And then … you are under pressure to follow it up with an equally interesting new piece!! Oh my!! That is the problem. How do you meet your readers’ expectations? Most importantly, and with all due respect to my very few readers, forget you, what about my own expectations?
There is one post I wrote a while back that I have not posted yet. It is “About Marketing And Technology”. My intention was to write an understanding post by listing the views from both side of the fence. Marketing and Technology are integral parts of any company and together with Operations and Finance, make the company. But more often than not, these two areas do not see eye to eye and problems arise. The intention of the post, again, was to show the problem from the eyes of the other group. The topic is of great interest to me, but the writing was not very powerful. I was not able to convey the information I have on the topic the way I intended it. Besides the fact that I spent a great deal of time and did not post my work, there is an emotional factor that goes hand in hand with the quality of the writing. In my case, I have to be at least content with the post before I will showcase it.
A while back a coworker of mine told me “if you live in a glass house, do not throw stones”. Unless you can deal constructively with comments, however people decide to behave, you should not allow comments on your blogs. Hey, worse comes to worse, you can always delete the comment 🙂 I love it when I get comments. But I do not get enough of them; for some reason people do not leave comments.
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me. Isn’t that the truth.