Why I Wasted 15 Months

Why I Wasted 15 Months

I wanted to do it all. And I still do. However, when I began my leadership blog, I believed that I would be instantly successful. I figured that people would find my blog and immediately become addicted to my flavor of sarcasm and keep coming back for more, bringing their friends in the process.

It took me a while, but over the course of my first year or so, I discovered something about leadership, success, and most of all, about myself. I have now learned why I wasted my first fifteen months, and I want to share these tough lessons with you. Maybe I can save you some trouble, and help you move and succeed faster at the same time.

time wasted

The path to success is a tough road to travel. It's filled with potholes, speed bumps, and detours all along the way. From January 2012 until June of 2013, I traveled the road alone, or, at least, I tried to. Sure, there were other people on the path, but I wasn't looking for them; I didn't think I needed them. My hope is that you can learn from my experiences and avoid doing the same things.

I wasted 15 months because…

I thought I could do it by myself.

Learn How to Start a BlogBut, it turns out, I could have helped more people, made more friends, and gotten even closer to becoming a full-time writer and speaker if I had reached out for help sooner.

It took me fifteen months to realize that there were other people out there with similar goals and that we could help each other.

In the beginning, I saw it as a badge of honor that what I was doing and achieving was all on my own. I felt like enlisting help was a sign of weakness. It's not. Trying to do everything by yourself is just stubborn.

Since reaching out to other bloggers and asking them questions, I've had more people visit this site, I've developed contacts across the country, and I've developed more connections to help more people. Not to mention that I've had more fun in the process. You may think you can achieve your dream by yourself, but you can't.

I thought I had to be detached in order to be authoritative.

The best way to connect with someone is to relate to them. As a salesperson at heart, I knew this. But as a writer on leadership and personal development, I'd forgotten it. Initially, I set out to coach, share what I was learning, and present those things in a formal and authoritative way.

I've since re-learned what I knew about connecting. Connecting isn't just about sharing the final product, but sharing the journey as well. There is more to be learned than just what we get from the final product – we can learn from the process itself.

I thought I wanted to follow my own path and blaze my own trail.

I naively thought that I was unique in my dream of becoming a full-time coach, speaker, and writer. Because I thought that way, I didn't look for anyone else who might be on the same path. If I did, I saw them as competition, not as someone who could help me or someone who I could help in return. I wasted fifteen months thinking that no one else was doing exactly what I was doing. While that may be technically true, that doesn't mean there aren't other people out there headed toward the same goals as me.

I didn't want to waste all that time. I also wouldn't say that that time itself was a waste. I just feel as if I had realized these things much earlier, I could have been even more productive and achieved that much more.

Maybe you're now thinking the same way that I was thinking a year ago. If you have been, maybe my story will help you realize you're not alone.

You can reach your destination much faster if you're willing to connect with other people traveling in the same direction. Even if you're not headed to the same place, you can still travel together for a while and lighten one another's load.

Question: Have you ever learned a lesson the hard way? What did you learn? I hope you'll share your thoughts with me in the comments below by clicking here!

 

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Are you an entrepreneur? Do you want to start or grow your business? Enter your name and email below and I'll send you the tools I use, plus other resources to help you succeed.

  • I spent about a year before I took my blog seriously and started working with others, too. I think it may be a fairly common phenomena among new bloggers, even with all the blogs that warn us of the things not to do.

    However, I don’t think of it as a waste of time, but rather as a time to learn, grow, build, and become a better writer and communicator. I see those months as an important part of the process. But I’m also glad to have reached the next level. And it’s great to see another blogger doing the same. Keep it up.

    • I definitely think my 15 months was a time of growth and development. Had I reached out to other bloggers 6, 8, or 12 months ago, I might not have been able to get the traction that I’m getting today.

      Thank you for commenting Dan!

  • I spent about a year before I took my blog seriously and started working with others, too. I think it may be a fairly common phenomena among new bloggers, even with all the blogs that warn us of the things not to do.

    However, I don’t think of it as a waste of time, but rather as a time to learn, grow, build, and become a better writer and communicator. I see those months as an important part of the process. But I’m also glad to have reached the next level. And it’s great to see another blogger doing the same. Keep it up.

    • I definitely think my 15 months was a time of growth and development. Had I reached out to other bloggers 6, 8, or 12 months ago, I might not have been able to get the traction that I’m getting today.

      Thank you for commenting Dan!

  • Paul Sohn says:

    I definitely have learned from my trials and errors. I’ve felt similar sentiments while I was starting up my blog Ellory. I was hesitant to reach out and ask for help. However, the more I researched and connected with other bloggers, the more surprised I was at the commonality we both had. There were great opportunities to create synergy. Thanks for being vulnerable here and sharing your story. If I can help you in anyway besides guest posting, I am here to help and serve brother.

  • Paul Sohn says:

    I definitely have learned from my trials and errors. I’ve felt similar sentiments while I was starting up my blog Ellory. I was hesitant to reach out and ask for help. However, the more I researched and connected with other bloggers, the more surprised I was at the commonality we both had. There were great opportunities to create synergy. Thanks for being vulnerable here and sharing your story. If I can help you in anyway besides guest posting, I am here to help and serve brother.

  • Dan Black says:

    Great lessons learned Ellory! I’ve learned the importance of asking for advice and help from my inner circle and other bloggers. It’s greatly helped me.

    • Dan, I called it a Personal Board of Directors, Napoleon Hill and others have called it a Mastermind Group, how do you feel about that concept? Is that something similar to the inner circle you’ve cultivated over time?

  • Dan Black says:

    Great lessons learned Ellory! I’ve learned the importance of asking for advice and help from my inner circle and other bloggers. It’s greatly helped me.

    • Dan, I called it a Personal Board of Directors, Napoleon Hill and others have called it a Mastermind Group, how do you feel about that concept? Is that something similar to the inner circle you’ve cultivated over time?

  • Mike Smith says:

    You never stop learning on the internet, as you rightly say you can waste hundreds of hours and loads of money travelling the wrong road. I’ve learnt not to trust Google who over night can put you out of business, one of my quality site got knock back hundreds of pages and I don’t know why, a friend of mine in Australia who must be on page 1 for his business, got knock back to page 5, he does not have a business, when your on page 5. Nothing wrong with his shopping site, which he’s had for a number of years.
    You are right you do need friends on the internet, loads of them!

  • Mike Smith says:

    You never stop learning on the internet, as you rightly say you can waste hundreds of hours and loads of money travelling the wrong road. I’ve learnt not to trust Google who over night can put you out of business, one of my quality site got knock back hundreds of pages and I don’t know why, a friend of mine in Australia who must be on page 1 for his business, got knock back to page 5, he does not have a business, when your on page 5. Nothing wrong with his shopping site, which he’s had for a number of years.
    You are right you do need friends on the internet, loads of them!

  • Ellory, great post. I found your info on Dan Black’s blog. I fell victim to some of the things you listed. I started my blog last year and quit after 8 months. I had built relationships, but because things wasn’t happening as fast as I wanted, I stopped. I decided to start back this year and commit to the process. I thank God I had great people in my blogging circle like Dan Black and Kimanzi Constable to encourage through the process. I hope we connect more.

    • Thank you for sharing that with me Bernard. I think blogging can be tough. It’s like painting a picture, hanging it on a wall, and sitting back to watch who comes by.

      I’m glad you started up again though! Let me know if I can help.

  • Ellory, great post. I found your info on Dan Black’s blog. I fell victim to some of the things you listed. I started my blog last year and quit after 8 months. I had built relationships, but because things wasn’t happening as fast as I wanted, I stopped. I decided to start back this year and commit to the process. I thank God I had great people in my blogging circle like Dan Black and Kimanzi Constable to encourage through the process. I hope we connect more.

    • Thank you for sharing that with me Bernard. I think blogging can be tough. It’s like painting a picture, hanging it on a wall, and sitting back to watch who comes by.

      I’m glad you started up again though! Let me know if I can help.

  • I can totally relate Ellory. I’m pretty sure I made all the same mistakes you made… and a bunch more. Over time though, with a little grit and stick-to-it’ve-ness (if that’s even a word) and from learning as you go, eventually it getting a easier and clearer. Early on it’s difficult to know who to connect with, who’s heading in a similar direction, and even if you should reach out to people. The fact that it takes longer than you expect seems to be just part of the process. Agree?

    • Rich, thanks for commenting!

      You’re so right, it does get easier over time, but never really becomes easy and it is definitely part of the process.

      Here’s what I propose.

      I am typing up the last paragraph of a post I am PUMPED about.

      When you see “I’m not famous. Yet.” come across your email or pop up in your RSS feed, read it.

      Coming away from New Media Expo, my adrenaline is taking over and I’m so ready to face 2014 head on!

      You with me?

  • I can totally relate Ellory. I’m pretty sure I made all the same mistakes you made… and a bunch more. Over time though, with a little grit and stick-to-it’ve-ness (if that’s even a word) and from learning as you go, eventually it getting a easier and clearer. Early on it’s difficult to know who to connect with, who’s heading in a similar direction, and even if you should reach out to people. The fact that it takes longer than you expect seems to be just part of the process. Agree?

    • Rich, thanks for commenting!

      You’re so right, it does get easier over time, but never really becomes easy and it is definitely part of the process.

      Here’s what I propose.

      I am typing up the last paragraph of a post I am PUMPED about.

      When you see “I’m not famous. Yet.” come across your email or pop up in your RSS feed, read it.

      Coming away from New Media Expo, my adrenaline is taking over and I’m so ready to face 2014 head on!

      You with me?

  • >

    Get an Email About Every New Post!

    x