Success or Failure: The Choice is Yours

written by BlogEx on February 29, 2008 in Blogging with 16 comments

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Ben is recharging his batteries so this is a guest post from Bill over at The Blog Entrepreneur. If you like what you read here then you can find more on his blog.

You’ve heard of Tiger Woods right….cultural icon, greatest golfer to ever live, supermodel wife, millionaire; all that stuff, right? Of course you have, but have you heard of Jim Smith? Chances are No. He’s the guy who quit golfing after the first dozen golf balls ended up in the drink because he couldn’t hit the ball straight.

How about Bill Gates, everyone has heard of him…..cultural icon, richest man alive, supermodel wife…..you get the idea. Well then how about Joe Thomson? Joe was a nerdy kid who liked to play with computers too, but he got frustrated easily when things didn’t go just right and decided to take up gardening instead.

See a pattern here?

Quitting is Easy

If you’ve been blogging for very long then you probably have already figured out that it’s hard work. That nonsense about working a few hours a day and making thousands of dollars is a load of crap foisted on you by the latest wannabe internet marketer who stumbled out of the Warrior Forum.

You have probably even considered quitting and taking up some other hobby like Joe Thomson or Jim Smith; in fact, you might have already quit the last project you started.

You’re not alone. Quitting is easy. It makes all the frustration go away. You don’t have to be Tiger Woods to quit, it’s much easier to be Joe Thomson or Bob Smith or Jill Nobody. That’s easy and anyone can do it. It takes no talent, no skill, no training and you can get very, very good at it in a very short period of time.

Quitting doesn’t seem like it has a whole lot of consequences but what if? If you were to quit tomorrow, what could you have become? Wouldn’t you always wonder what could have been, what might have been? One more week, one more month….maybe a Front Page Digg and you could be on your way to blog stardom.

What if you stuck to it?

Quitting might be easy but quitters will never enjoy the thrill of reaching a new goal, of raising the bar just a bit higher, of that warm satisfied feeling of getting the job done. It’s a crying shame but for every blogger who quits, another one is waiting there to take their place. At the end of December 2007, Technorati was tracking more than 112 million blogs, do you think anyone will miss yours?

So if quitting makes you happy, get on with it. Turn off the lights, lock the door and quit polluting the blogosphere with your recycled posts and half hearted efforts so the rest of us can make it happen. If you don’t want to be here then maybe you shouldn’t be.

With over 112 million blogs, we won’t miss you….or will we? Don’t leave just yet.

The Lessons of History

Their is a popular saying that goes something like “those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” I have always been an avid history buff and I enjoy trying to decipher the lessons that history can teach us. I got to thinking what life would be like if some of the truly great people from the past, quit….BEFORE they became great.

What if they decided to throw in the towel right before they hit it big, right before they achieved success? What would the world be like without the greats of the past?

History’s Teachers

Ben Franklin – Where would be without the creator of electricity? What if Ben Franklin quit and just decided to fly a kite for the fun of it? I am sure those long nights experimenting were difficult, I am sure it was discouraging to fail occasionally. But quitting was not an option for someone who destined to succeed, destined to make a mark. Life without electricity? I can’t even live without cable let alone electricity.

Paul Revere – Really ANY of our founding fathers. What would our country be like today if not for George Washington, John Hancock, Paul Revere? Would we be sipping tea everyday at 4pm? Could we still be loyal subjects of the Queen if not for the perseverance of our founding fathers? Quitting would have been easy for them, but fortunately for us they did not.

Winston Churchill – When the Germans marched through Europe bent on invading England, one pillar of strength stood firm against the impending forces. Winston Churchill was a symbol of strength and courage for his countrymen to follow. The English stood firm against the Germans despite incredible odds. They could have folded but the strength of Winston Churchill would not allow it. He willed them to stand firm and stay strong. What would the world look like today if Churchill had folded up the tent and evacuated to the USA?

Abraham Lincoln – Abraham Lincoln is either revered as the savior of this country or the destroyer depending on whether you are north or south of the Mason Dixon line. Love him or hate him, it took a man of very strong convictions to take the path that he chose. In his mind he firmly believed that to save his country he needed to quell the rebellion in the South. He could have quit, he could have stopped and taken the easy way out…but what would our country be today?

Martin Luther King – The father of the civil rights movement in this country surely ran into adversity during his lifetime. Wouldn’t it have been easier if he had just stayed the path, looked the other way? Sure he could have done that and maybe he’d even be alive today. But it wasn’t how he was made. He couldn’t deal with failure and couldn’t dismiss his convictions. He wanted it too badly.

Success is a Choice

The examples I gave above are meant to be a bit extreme. I want you to think about where the world would be without them. Would we be living in the dark ages? English subjects? German citizens? Exactly the same as it is today?

I would like to think that someone else would have filled the void, that another person of great character would have stepped up to the plate to get it done. Maybe I am naive about that but there is one thing that I am certain of and that is that there won’t be any tears shed if you do decide to quit today. Someone will step in to take your place before the day is out.

Harsh? Maybe, but life is harsh.

As harsh as it may sound you should know that if you have thought of throwing in the towel then you have a lot of company. I don’t think there is a blogger alive that wouldn’t admit that they have questioned themselves at one time or another and hadn’t considered quitting. If they haven’t, then either they haven’t been doing it very long or they are delusional.

Whether you stick to it or not is a decision that only you can make for yourself, but you can take comfort in knowing that doubt and frustration are perfectly normal when building your blog from scratch. You will often question why you even bother, but if you are truly meant to be an A-list blogger then you need to find the will to push through the doubt and into success.

Options

In lieu of quitting you may consider some of the options below.

  • You Deserve a Break Today – Take a short break from blogging. The world won’t end if you take a week or so off from posting. Just make sure you prepare yourself to get back to regular posting. It can be very alluring to spend your nights goofing off instead of crafting the next masterpiece.
  • Guest Posters – Recruit some guest posters who are willing to contribute to your site and decrease your stress level. Be aware that this works best when you both give and receive. The better your network of bloggers then the better for all of you. Some people don’t see this but it’s obvious to those who “get it.”
  • Recharge – Attend a conference, take some time to strategize, sharpen your saw…whatever you want to call it but invest in yourself. Even pro baseball players go to Spring Training every year even though they are pros. They invest in themselves to make themselves even better than they were last season.
  • Draft Day – In lieu of any of the above you might consider just saving up a series of draft posts and set them to autopost while you are away. Your readers don’t necessarily have to even know you are gone although it will be difficult to partake in the comments section. This may not be the best option as if you need a break and are considering quitting, your writing may not be as good as it could be right now. Guest posting might be the better option but it’s your call.

The Next A-Lister

Before you turn the lights out…make sure you ask yourself what if? What if I were to keep going? What if I am a few months away from being the next ProBlogger?

What if I were one stumble campaign away from becoming the next evil gajillionaire? What if I took a week off instead of quitting and then came back better, faster, stronger than I was before?

All of these questions have been asked before, but all of them can only be answered by one person and that is you. I won’t guarantee very many things in life but one thing that is guaranteed is that if you quit today you are ASSURED of failure. You have zero chance of succeeding if you aren’t in the game. 100% guaranteed.

To quote the Mountain Dew commercials….Do you Have it In You?

Note from Ben: Thanks Bill for the great guest post. For any of you that haven’t yet clicked through to his site, please do. He has great content and also has one of the best examples of just what can be done using the Blogging Experiment Theme. Also, be sure to check in on Monday to see whether or not I reached my goal of $2,500 in income for the month of February!