How Watching My Life Flash in Front of Me in Fiji Teaches Me and You 5 Blogging Lessons (Plus Stunning Fiji Pictures)
First off, I have to make a special announcement.
Just a few hours ago I received great news.
New York Times Best Selling Author Chris Brogan tweet-endorsed one of my eBooks….again!
The business advisor to Richard Branson, Tony Robbins, Paulo Coelho, and to brands like Google, Disney, GM, Coke and Microsoft has endorsed the first 2 eBooks of the Blogging from Paradise series.
Wow am I honored.
for How to Retire to a Life of Island Hopping through Smart Blogging….
for How to Build an Online Empire through Blog Commenting….
— Chris Brogan (@chrisbrogan) September 21, 2014
Pick up my new release: How to Build an Online Empire through Blog Commenting
Or if you want to pick up both at once (at a discount), just click here.
OK…on to the post.
I was clinging to the top of a flat bed truck filled with lumber, hanging on for dear life. My hands were fixed to a steel grate, gripping with such might that my forearms would have been the envy of Popeye.
My feet were squeezed into an area about 3 inches wide, besides tons – literally – of load shifting lumber. To make matters worse I had to reach around 2 of my Fijian buddies, meaning that I was hyper-extended and that I had to stand on the tippy toes of my back foot.
As we traveled through the stunning Fijian mountain ranges on Vanua Levu, I thought, this may be it.
Great time to go out, with the Blogging from Paradise brand taking off, and with my new eBook release.
Really though, when the load shifted around some tight curves and when we were heading down some super steep, 10% grades, I thought I may be a goner.
I did learn a few clear blogging lessons though, and since I made it through the experience I wanted to share these with you.
Freeing Situations Are Sometimes Packed into Uncomfortable Experiences
I was playing the Fijian version of Twister. I had to grab the steel grate above the driver cab with both hands, all while reaching around a particularly tall dude, while balancing on my toes, back-foot-wise, and having just enough space to plant my front font solidly on the flatbed, with no space to spare.
During load shifts I felt the ton of lumber push me to the edge of the flat bed. I help on even tighter, being SO grateful for having guns, and shoulders, and pecks, from my strength training.
Even pulling myself up to the truck was a challenge. It ain’t made for hitch hikers, just lumber, back on the flat bed.
This 15 minute ride was one of the most freeing experiences of my life. My faith in self expanded at an exponential rate, I learned to dive into a crazy experience without thinking twice and I proved to myself that I could hang onto a truck, in a precarious situation, with lumber load shifts pushing me off balance, traveling up and down big mountain ranges, no sweat.
Well, with some sweat, but not too, too much. I got it done.
Freeing blogging situations are packed into uncomfortable experiences. The first blog post may make you panic, the first negative comment can drive you mad and the first video post may cause all of your self conscious junk to surface.
That’s OK. Embrace discomfort, to free yourself of these fears and limiting beliefs.
I trashed 3400 posts to build the Blogging from Paradise brand. Most freeing professional experience of my life so far, yet, even though I was clear, I freaked out for a minute.
If you want to be free, be prepared for things to get SUPER uncomfortable as you grow through the experience. I wrote a guest post on my friend Don Purdum’s blog recently about my challenges in life, but instead of referring to that post, I just want you to visit his home page.
Don became a wildly successful business owner by going through all types of difficult obstacles. Learn from him. Connect with him. Visit Don’s blog.
Convenience Comes at a Cost
We could hike for an hour and 20 minutes to reach the waterfall in Fiji or we could hitch on the back of a lumber truck, hanging on for dear life.
We took the second option. As my Fijian friend James said, girls in the truck and boys on the back of the truck.
(If you like videos, switch this bad boy to 720 HD and watch me chat from Fiji.)
I didn’t think twice about it; I had the time to hike the road but why not hitch to save an hour or more? I wanted convenience. I also knew buses didn’t come through these parts too much in Vanua Levu, so I better take advantage of the situation.
So we put our head down and we took the convenient route……which of course, came at the cost of some intense, physical labor. We got a free lift, money-wise, and we saved over an hour but the guys on top had to work to receive these benefits.
Bloggers, if you want the convenience of having a branded, professional-looking blog, you’ll have to pay for a domain name, hosting and for a pro theme. You’ll also need to pay in terms of time and energy, creating content, connecting with blogging pros and persisting to build your brand.
If you want convenience you’ll pay something for it, as nothing is free in this world.
Don’t worry though; the cost you must pay usually involves letting something go.
Like, you may have $1000 in savings and feel terrified to spend $100 on a domain and hosting. You’ll let go the money, and more importantly, the fear of going broke, if you want the convenience of having a branded blog. Letting go the fear, although uncomfortable, frees you, as you’ll allow money to flow to you, after addressing and releasing that fear of poverty bit which cripples many struggling bloggers.
The View from the Top Is Sweeter
The girls missed out yesterday. They were inside the truck, with a confined view of some stunning scenery.
The guys on the other hand had a confined, narrow view of the beauty around us. The roof and window obscured their vision. No such problems on the flatbed.
We saw jaw-dropping, dramatic scenery normally reserved for Hollywood blockbuster movies. I’m still digesting the images we soaked up yesterday.
The view from the top:
- Is more prospering
- Is more exciting
- Is more inspiring
- Is easier to convey to folks who crave the inspiration you share, because you’ve been there, and can share your experience easily
I’ve blogged from the bowels of the blog-o-sphere and I’ve blogged by hob nobbing with world renowned bloggers. I prefer the latter. Much sweeter view.
Sure you may fear letting go old buddies, who aren’t growing, but what’s the outcome of holding on to the fear, and your old buddies? You stay dumb, sick and broke. Pretty crappy view down there.
I accelerated my blogging growth at an exponential rate when I decided to connect only with top blogging authorities. The view up here is much better because I’m receiving the best advice, the most inspiration and I’m building a large, supportive network of friends around me. Each of these benefits helps me inspire more folks so I can take them with me to paradise.
It’s all about reaching the top and inspiring folks to do the same. You can’t inspire folks to reach the top of the blogging world in your respective niche if you choose to have a basement-level view.
Let go bad, low energy blogging matches. Network ONLY with the big dawgs to inspire the masses.
Listen to Expert Advice
On hoisting myself onto the flat bed I immediately grasped a few steel bands which secured the lumber.
The trucker and my Fijian buddies immediately instructed me to grab the iron grate positioned above the cab. This solid, secure structure wasn’t going anywhere when we took sharp turns amid the Fijian mountains.
Not so with the lumber bands, as I quickly saw how poorly these support systems worked during a load shift.
I listened to the expert; the trucker. He took on many hitchhikers in the past and knows specifically how they will best stay safe in a particularly precarious, somewhat dangerous form of travel.
Guys, listen to blogging pros. Experts know what you should and should not do. Experts can share their mistakes with you, so you need not make these errors. Experts can spot in seconds what your newbie eyes may be missing.
Experts can help you see, if you’re a blogging vet, what you’re stubbornly clinging on to, that’s holding back your growth, so you can remove it.
I offer blog coaching services – link at the top of my blog – because I can help you cash in on my experience, through my insight.
Pay an expert to see what you can’t see, so you can grow your blog like a weed.
Simple. Easy peasy.
Speaking of expert advice, check out this expert-laden blog post from my friend Tim Soulo where he rounded up 50 top bloggers to share their taken on twitter. Brilliant post.
At the very least, follow expert bloggers to soak up their free, valuable, life-changing insight. Gobble up their content to cut your learning curve and to succeed more quickly.
If I held onto the lumber band I may not be here today, Blogging from Paradise buddies. Thank goodness for expert opinions, as experienced folks can be life savers, or blog savers.
Be Open to a New Way of Doing Things
The night before, James mentioned that we’d need to hitch hike to return home after visiting the national park.
Well, in my mind, I objected immediately.
Certain buzzwords popped into my mind when I heard, “hitchhiking”:
- Falling out of flat bed truck
The list could go on for hours. I was closed to hitchhiking. Bad idea. Until the next day, when we ventured into a remote Fijian village, to see a stunning stream, and a “real deal” jungle, mountainous environment in person.
We returned to the road at 12:42 PM. The next bus would arrive at about 5 PM. Meaning we’d be sitting in a tiny shaded area for 4 hours.
No……way. I became open to hitching a ride back home REALLY quickly.
Within 15 minutes James hailed down a pickup truck, worked out a deal with the driver and we were off to Savusavu.
I was open to a new, exciting experience, a new way of doing things, or in this instance, getting from Point A to Point B as quickly and effectively as possible.
Turns out, the driver and his passenger were kind, thoughtful guys, who even stopped at the scenic overlook for us to snap pictures, for 10 minutes.
Yeah, imagine a “stranger” giving you a ride in NJ, then taking time out of their “precious” day to let you take pictures of some site.
This is how Fijians are folks; kind, generous, thoughtful people.
As for the blogging lessons, I used to publish between 5 and 10, or sometimes, 60 posts daily to 2 blogs. I wrote 200 word posts and filmed 30 second videos.
It wasn’t working, this approach.
I opened myself up to a new way of doing things on my old blog and saw greater success, and then I accelerated my blogging growth by being even more open to do a new way of things on Blogging from Paradise.
As you can see, it hasn’t hurt me, being open minded.
If you’re struggling blogging-wise, open your mind. If you feel 600 word posts rock, open up to publishing 2000 word posts. If you feel it’s impossible to write 2000 word posts, open up to practicing your writing by setting aside 1 hour daily to write 500 to 1000 words, daily, not for publishing but for practicing.
If you feel you have no time to write for 1 hour daily, open up your mind to the idea of cutting out television time.
If you feel that you CAN’T GIVE UP TV for 4 or 5 nights each week, stop reading my post. You’re destined to become a professional TV watcher, not a professional blogger. Stop wasting my time, and your time.
Open your mind, observe folks who are doing things on the blogging front which are promoting their success, and take a different tact. Being open has worked well for me, actually, it’s done miracles for me, and it’ll do miracles for you too.
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What did you learn from my Fijian experience?
What blogging lessons are you embracing now?