This is a guest post by Dave Ursillo is a writer, young leader and tongue-in-cheek “renegade” currently living in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Dave blogs at his self-improvement and personal development website, DaveUrsillo.com, tweets @DaveUrsillo and gives out free high-fives on Facebook.
When I quit my last “conventional” job working for a state politician almost a year and a half ago, I had no idea what direction my life would take.
In my heart, I felt an intrinsic pull to embody an alternative style of leadership in my everyday life — one that defied conventional measures of success and social worth like riches, job title and fame. In short, I simply wanted to inspire, and to do so without waiting decades for social convention to tell me I was allowed to. I promptly decided to harness my passions for writing and began a new blog (aptly named DaveUrsillo.com) as an outlet of self-expression, in hopes that others would find my writing to be inspiring, and maybe even that some day it could help me fulfill my dream of becoming a career author.
In the year and a half since then, however, a simple outlet for my writing has developed into something much more significant. Today, my blog is home to a monthly community of thousands of motivated dreamers spread across the globe who are changing the world. Through inner growth, we “Renegades” strive to defy cynics and critics and live happier, inspired and balanced lives — for the explicit sake of helping others do the same.
Life Lessons I’ve Learned Through Blogging
Life is like that sometimes: no matter which way you attempt to steer yourself, life will often divert you down winding paths of uncertainty that lead you in a more purposeful direction than you had ever intended. Of course, my personal blog is well short of being a mover and shaker in the blogging world — let alone a major influence to people offline in the “real world.”
However, in the last 18 months I have learned quite a bit about blogging and personal branding that, interestingly enough, has taught me even more about life. I would like to share these important life lessons that I’ve learned through blogging with you, the uniquely inspired community at Inspired Magazine, with hopes that my experiences will help you in your online and offline ventures just the same!
Life Lesson 1: “C.P.D.” is Key (Consistency, Patience, Determination)
It’s amazing how often I remind myself to remember that “C.P.D. is Key,” or how applicable and important consistency, patience, and determination are to almost every aspect of our lives. C.D.P. is key to achieving our goals, dreams, and personal pursuits — whether being patient with loved ones and friends, determined to find a soul-mate, or working hard in a consistent fashion to prove our skills and talents and passions to coworkers, bosses — even blog readers. C.P.D. is key to establishing your blog — just one out of tens of millions across the Internet — as a real contender that is worthy of being read, subscribed to, and re-visited by your audience in the near future.
How I Learned Life Lesson 1 from Blogging: My blog floundered for months with sporadic web traffic, failing to establish an audience or retain any quality readership. I attribute this to a lack of consistent posting of quality articles on similar themes (now mostly write Self-Improvement and Personal Development subjects). Set a schedule for posting to your blog. For me, I post new pieces every Monday and Thursday. Blogging on a schedule helps prove your determination, talent, and passion to visitors — and also encourages them to revisit often on their own, outside of your own Twitter- and Facebook-based promotional efforts. When readers know to expect new content, they will revisit again and again.
Life Lesson 2: Life is About People
Life is about connections, and you really can’t succeed on your own. From our very births, we depend upon others to assume the roles of caretakers and ensure our survival. As we grow older, we’re socially conditioned to perceive material items and necessities as scarce: that we need to horde and protect them. Unfortunately, so too do we we envision happiness as a pie with only so many sliced to be shared. To the contrary, as Buddha once said, “Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” Envisioning life as a zero-sum game wherein another’s loss is your gain (and your gain can only come from another’s loss) will do more to isolate you from others than to make new contacts, connections and friends who can do worlds to help you, your happiness and your success along life’s path.
How I Learned Life Lesson 2 from Blogging: You not only want people to visit and read your blog, help promote your posts, support your cause, and buy your products — you need people to! It’s easy to fall into the trap of envisioning other bloggers as stiff competitors, with whom you must battle for readers and superiority. What I’ found in my experience is that it’s most often those people who blog about the same subjects as you who will make your best and most important partners in sharing readers. Some of my closest contacts are those who blog about self-improvement, personal development, inner growth, and spiritual enlightenment. We work together, talk together, share ideas together, cross-link posts to one another, comment on each other’s blogs and even share many readers together. In the end, blogging is about people just as much as life is about connections. The more connections you have, the happier you’ll be and the more likely you’ll succeed both in life and blogging all the same.
Life Lesson 3: Be the “You-est” You
Don’t ever try to be like anyone but yourself. Just as unique as your physical characteristics, within you is a person wholly unique and unlike anyone else. Every human being is a completely genetically unique combination — a distinct biological mix of DNA. Not only are you are exceptionally unique on a physical and biological level, you are also completely exceptional on a level of personality and spirit, and thus offer this world something unlike anyone else — if you choose to embrace it and allow it. is that your personality traits, personal hobbies and interests, passions, talents, skills and gifts all comprise a completely exceptional person.
How I Learned Life Lesson 3 from Blogging: The age of Internet anonymity is all but dead. Blog readers increasingly want to learn from and share experiences with real human beings on the other side of the computer — hence the new wave of obsession with personal brand creation and development (or “personal branding“). Your unique personality that will attract blog readers and retain them. The age of Internet anonymity is waning, and a new importance is being placed on personal branding, openness and transparency, and humans connecting with other humans. For me, using my real name, real face, and real personality has greatly helped readers get to know that I’m a real person on the other end of the computer living a life not much unlike them, and trying my hardest to make big dreams become real.
What kind of “life lessons” have you learned from your blogging and personal branding experiences?