9 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting My Blog

Updated: Sep 15, 2020

I love the idea that I can share stories from my own life (and more importantly, mistakes) and it helps someone like you reach their goals faster. But in the beginning, I didn’t have a focused concept. I wrote and created on a bunch of different topics and although I had my own perspective, I don’t think I’d done enough introspection to say anything very different than anyone else. Plus I never felt like I was making headway. I was always searching for something, but I didn’t really know what it was. I was putting off joy and feeling fulfillment until later… whenever I accomplished my goal.

If you’re thinking about starting a side-business, diving into a hobby, or you’re already *in it* at the beginning stages of your hustle, you might be feeling the same way. Like you’re working, working, working, but not really making any progress. You’re not joyful, content, living your dreamiest life yet.

I’ve curated nine of the lessons I’ve learned that I wish I would have known before I took the plunge into that side-hustle life. Here they are just for you so you can leapfrog my mistakes and make it to the other side that much faster!

1. Be Prepared for the Long-Game

This sort of parallels my feelings about my college career. I wish that I would have chosen to take a year off and job shadow people in my preferred industry or to experiment in different disciplines. It would have provided some vital clarity around what I truly wanted to do with my life.

When I began dabbling in side-hustles, gigs, and creativity, I didn’t really have a focus. I had this container everything fit in: helping others. But apart from that, all the parts inside lacked hard edges. Nothing had a definite shape.

I had this confusing period in my mid-twenties where I was interested in so many different things (still am, btw) and it made my free-time efforts erratic and scattered. It was my quarter-life crisis. Trying to figure it all out after the promise of “a healthy wage if you get your college diploma” was wearing off and I was spending my life doing shift work. Without a focus, I couldn’t really niche down to build a real business.

It took almost a decade for me to figure that out. I’m happy where I’ve landed and always knew I was playing a long game.

2. Nail Down Your Direction and Stick To It

This compliments #1. But this is a question on repeat in soooooo many message boards and Facebook groups devoted to the side-hustle. HOW do you pick your direction?

I’m a supporter of dabbling and not staying in your lane to figure this one out. When you push yourself past your comfort zone you find out what you love and what you don’t love. It’s how we grow and it is a key piece in discovery.

Once you’ve discovered something you’d do for free, then you know you’ve found a passion.

Then you can focus into a zone of genius and do your best work. You go farther faster once you’ve chosen *and stick to* a niche.

That doesn’t mean you’ll never iterate and evolve. Of course, any healthy business does, but everyone starts somewhere.

3. Trust yourself

For way too long I tried to be someone else’s definition of success and well-adjusted. It was uncomfortable and stifling. It lead to intense bouts of depression and hopelessness coupled with anxiety and migraines.