I’ve been teaching blogging for about four years now. In one of my slides, I propose a question: “How do you become successful in blogging?” In reality, the answer applies to almost anything in life. So, how do you gain success in [fill the gaps]?
I used to think that success comes from doing what I love. That if I simply do what I love, the results will show up. In many cases, it probably is that way. But there is one more underlying quality I was overseeing for a long time. It’s not just doing what you love. It’s also about perseverance and gaining at least a small amount of success somewhere in the beginning of the starting process.
Perseverance: continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition; the action or condition or an instance of persevering; steadfastness – Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Starting is easy. I can speak for myself and many of my friends and course participants that a fresh start feels exciting. You think that things are possible and that somehow, because you love doing what you do, you will succeed. Then the first problem shows up. You beat it. Second one. Third one. A couple more you solve.
But one day a big problem shows up. Usually in business, it’s not producing enough income. The success didn’t come and suddenly, you start thinking, “Maybe I’m not in the right business. Maybe I should do something else.”
I remember when I owned an online fashion magazine between 2008-2012. Despite the fact I loved fashion and I loved writing, I was not producing results I wanted. We didn’t sell enough advertorial space and I couldn’t turn the magazine into a full-time business. Unfortunately we were not successful. In 2012 I decided to sell the magazine to whoever was willing to buy it. I was fed up with it and got rid of it as soon as I could.
Doing what you love doesn’t keep you going. I have actually found that if you’re successful in doing something, that’s what you love doing. Once again: success makes us love what we do. In my case, I saw I had no success in fashion but I had success with my writing. People were saying they liked my blog posts, so I persisted. It took me a few more years. Lots of books read on creative writing and editing. Some failure, lots of small mistakes, and some wins. Last year I published short stories. This year I published my first children’s book. To me, that’s success. And I love writing.