Why Gollum Should Be Your Blogging Role Model

November 26, 2014


“He loves and hates the ring. As he loves and hates himself.” ~ Gandalf, The Fellowship of the Ring


Disclosure: I am a rabid LOTR fan. Lord of the Rings for all not in the know. I once looked like Gollum, the skinny, shriveled, slimy creature whose lone purpose in life was to secure the ring for himself.

I didn’t clutch the ring. It didn’t turn me evil, nor did it create an unending obsession in me to kill all who possessed it in order to take it for myself.

I looked like Gollum after a nasty case of giardia in India. I auditioned for his role. Look up top.

Anyway, the above quote was an eye-opener for me. I see parallels between blogging and movies. I see parallels between blogging and everything. I thought of how blogging reminds me of ghetto fish sandwiches – I may explore that one later – before I went with this post. That shows you where my mind is.

Long and short of it, Gollum is one of my blogging heroes. He’s also a blogging anti hero.

The above quote pretty much sums up why Gollum has helped me – and helps you – become a successful blogger.


Blogging from Paradise: The Shift


After a recent chat with Kelli I went into a bit of a tailspin. Turns out, Mr. Jolly Island Hopper was taking himself a little too seriously (come on in judgmental people, this is where you are supposed to chime in, and agree in the comments field, so we can all have a laugh at me, and then at ourselves 🙂 I didn’t poke fun at myself like I was apt to do. I wasn’t telling stories.

Kelli showed me this through an unrelated discussion. My feelings changed. I shifted. I went from a little too serious to a little more funny. I bandied about the idea of connecting a small impish, demon-like character, to blogging, and I even showed how once, when I looked like Gollum, a stiff 5 MPH breeze would have been an adversary for me.

As with everything on this blog, it’s my life. Really. I share tips that I use. I share stories that I live. I may even over share from time to time – lash me with a wet noodle if I’ve done that recently – but I am having a blast, even if I didn’t always enjoy the journey.

Gollum loves and hates the ring, but then again, he loves and hates himself.

Bloggers aren’t immune from loving and hating themselves. Even the successful ones. So let’s talk a bit about hating yourself. Wait a second! Stop the presses. RB, Mr. Paradise, Mr. Smiles, is talking about hating himself? Yes! Has the world gone mad? Does Ryan *still* like sh*tty SE Asian sweet treats? No and yes, to those, respectively. So hell hath not frozen over.

I’m being what we like to call in the blogging industry, “transparent”.


A Day in Bed


After spending a day in bed last week I watched a raging, roaring rapids of thoughts and feelings run through my mind. Mental diarrhea. Sounds funny, and it was….save for the moments of self hate. During those moments I embraced my lack of love, and decided to be a bit more mindful, of joking about myself in those moments of self-loathing.

I chose to be self-deprecating a bit more in those moments where somebody boosts me up, or speaks highly of me. Why? Because like most bloggers, much of my pain and suffering transpires – blogging-wise – when I take myself too seriously. Like, when somebody really pumps me up and I buy into the illusion that my self worth is based on their opinion, I set myself up for a fall. Then, when a critic comes along, the good old air is let out of the balloon.

But…..here’s the fun part. If I can laugh *with* both my fans and critics in a good-hearted, humble way, I become immune to criticism, and more importantly than that……I develop a more distinguished “laugh line crease” in my forehead….no, actually, I stop hating myself. I can love myself in these moments.


What I Mean by Hating


I’m not talking about cutting here guys. No deep depression, no loathing, nor am I a starving artist desperately trying my best to find myself in the center of Ubud (it’s a joke, ya Eat Pray Love’rs!). By hate, I mean those moments when you feel poopy about your blog, or, when you feel defensive/agitated/annoyed/like you want to stab critics in the eye with a freshly sharpened pencil….at the prospect of receiving criticism. Well folks, those are moments of self hate.

I could sugar coat things. But I won’t. Unless it’s a delicious Balinese sweet treat, like hot dog buns filled with chocolate cream – hold the dirty water job – and even then, I’d hold off on sugar coating the confectionary delight/nightmare.

Because the truth is your ally. No need to hide it. Unless you want to become prey to Gollum’s plight.

“He loves and hates himself.”

Gollum loves and hates himself. Every blogger loves and hates themselves. Everybody reading this loves and hates themselves. Unless the Dali Lama is reading. If he is, I’d appreciate a plug the next time you meet with a foreign dignitary in equatorial climes. Target audience.

Anyway, you bloggers love and hate yourselves at times. You can roll with it. Gollum did. He was comfortable being himself, because it was who he was. He was full of love one minute, whispering sweet words in the Hobbit’s ears, and the next minute he was ready to throttle those poor little creatures into oblivion. What a guy right?

But at least he was, who he was.

Gollum *should* be your blogging role model. Especially during your moments of self-hate. You will:

  • Be frustrated with your blog
  • Be angry with your blog
  • Want to punch and kick critics
  • Want to cry after critics lambast you
  • Be totally disgusted with your online endeavors
  • Want to belittle critics
  • Want to team up with people who hate your critics so you can unleash a Mordor style offensive on them (I got dibs on the Witch King of Angmar!)

If you attempt to deny that you experience self hate, the self hate will grow until you explode or implode. Either way, you’re in trouble. On the mild side of things, we’re talking about quitting blogging, or perhaps, a psychological meltdown which destroys your brand.

On the more serious side of things, bottling up your self hate, and denying it, is a gateway to many destructive and harmful negative activities, including various forms of abuse.

The question remains: If you feel these angry, negative emotions, and decide to accept them, as part of your blogging being – just like Gollum did  – how do you channel them? How can you turn them from hateful feelings, to positive deeds?

How I Deal with Blogging Self Hate


Recently I was experiencing some self-hate. Again, I was not perched on the second story of our apartment, contemplating a swan dive into the rice paddies, but I was bummed about my blog.

I recently published a blog post. Some may call it brilliant. Others, not so hot.

After Kelli lofted a nice, sweet comment complement my way, I responded with a light, funny, self-deprecating comment, much different than my normal comments. I instantly felt better. My hate was transformed into humor. Even better; I didn’t need to hear her comment, or any, to feel good about myself and my blog.

Even better; if somebody came along and skewered my blog with criticism….I could….gasp….even joke with them, and agree with them!


Kevin Duncan is a kind dude. He’s a funny dude too. He’s a clever, story telling dude too.

He recently was published on BoostBlogTraffic.Com, an authority, top shelf, kick butt blogging tips type blog. He was kind enough to link to my blog in the post but for some reason, they cut out my link/reference.

KD’s such a nice guy that he actually emailed me a long, thoughtful email letting me know what transpired. Goodness gracious guys, subscribe to his blog already!

I tell ya what the old me would have done: thanked Kevin so much, then, because I was such a serious, respected, successful blogger (translation: a stuffy jerk), then I’d let my blood boil. I’d be angry at BBT. I mean, I’d let the whole domain itself feel my wrath! Then I’d think of 116 reasons why they “rejected me.”

Ya see, my self hate was allowed to run wild. No reining in. My lack of self love manifested seriousness, which manifested spurned lover syndrome, which manifested these crazy thoughts.

I tell you what the new me did: I thanked Kevin so much, then I think that I made a light crack about “me not making the cut with myself, let alone not making the cut with BBT.”

(I probably should have caught myself before sending the pile of steaming Balinese street dog doo-doo to BBT headquarters….j/k guys! Love y’all over there!)

Maybe my blog isn’t link-to worthy? Maybe they have a vendetta against me? Maybe they know about my days in the wet works niche, in Cambodia (I watch too much Burn Notice)? It’s all moot, because I laugh at myself more these days, and because I love those guys at BBT!

That’s the thing though. We learn from Gollum, that not liking ourselves is a part of life. We are not light. We are not pure. So, when you face those moments of self-hate (hopefully these are few and far between), first, embrace the emotion. Like Gollum, your new blogging role model, *you will love and hate yourself.*

Accept this idea. Do not reject it, or fight it, or do not go into an aversive state. Feel the hate. Then, after you feel the hate for a bit, you’ll be at peace with those moments when:

  • Blogging critics annoy you, or anger you
  • You feel disgusted about some aspect of your blog
  • You hate blogging and want to quit

When you fully embrace the idea that you’ll feel like crap, you can do Gollum one better. You don’t need to fight your critics, nor do you need to beat them with rocks to steal their ring (oops, movie flashback), nor do you need to project your self hate on anybody else. Now you can do one of a few things:

  • Decide to be self-deprecating, with a twist of humor mixed in
  • Decide to step away from the computer
  • Decide to agree with critics
  • Decide to watch the latest Hobbit movie, and call it a day with your blog
  • Decide to knife through the feelings by exploring freeing, but uncomfortable, decisions
  • Laugh at your humanity
  • Make a blanket decision, to be kind with yourself, the next time you hate yourself or your blogging life

I can laugh at myself a bit more these days. OK, a lot more. I know that I will love and hate myself. I feel many bloggers genuinely, and fully believe, that this ride will be all sunshine and roses, as if we cast off our blogging shadows the moment we become full-time, experienced bloggers.

Unless you are prepared to walk for alms, for your morning grub, and unless you plan to meditate for 8 hours daily, in a wat, you’ll hate yourself sometimes…and that hate will translate to blogging anger, anxiety, frustration and depression…..and that’s OK! Me and Gollum (what a delicious duo) are living (well me at least) proof that as long as you’re alive, you’ll love and hate yourself.

Learning how to face, embrace and release the self-hate emotions, to channel them into humor, or into something high energy, to inspire your audience, is one path to freedom.


Gollum Was Single Minded


Gollum was singled minded. He lived for the ring. He lived for 1 thing.

You’re a bit smarter than Gollum (I hope?). You have subscribed to Blogging from Paradise. You follow the advice of a sometimes self-deprecating guy who travels the world and may know like 2 or 7 successful blogging tips. He may even know how to free you.

Sure he pulled the wool over Chris Brogan’s eyes, and he blindsided Yaro Starak with smoke and mirrors, to get their endorsements, and he may have used Voodoo dolls and a series of pins purchased from a SE Asian witch doctor to control a professor who offered him an opportunity to speak to his class at NYU….but he may just know a thing or 2 about blogging from paradise.

If he promises he can help you retire to a life of island hopping through smart blogging, he’s gotta at least knowing *something* about this, right?

That RB guy knows his stuff because he does one thing well. He’s single-minded. He focuses on 1 niche. 1 topic.

As a blogger, be as single minded with your niche. Don’t confuse your audience. Be known for 1 thing. This is 1 way through which you can be single minded.


No Distractions


So yep, when you want to blog from paradise, you’ll want to be single-minded at times. All distractions, gonzo. You’ll go into quiet. Gollum had his cave, you have your bedroom. Or maybe your backyard.

When it comes time to blog, you’ll blog. You won’t force work, but you’ll get work done. You’ll do the empowering thing, instead of watching TV (then you’ll forgive yourself for watching TV anyway). You’ll come back the next day, and you may churn out 200 words, of your next blog post. You won’t be entirely single-minded, because you’re a newbie blogger, but you’re getting there. You’re learning.

Like Gollum, you’ll experience moments where you focus on one thing. In your case, it’ll be to free yourself, and to free your audience, through blogging. How exhilarating! How freeing? What a RUSH!

You’ll learn to push yourself a bit, even when you feel exhausted, to free yourself. Just like Gollum did when the Hobbits dragged him around on the leash. You want the freedom (ring). You’ll do what it takes. Eventually. Through your single-mindedness.

You’ll notice your blogging intent change from time to time. Blogging for money. For comments. For readers. Blogging to network. (buy Adrienne’s networking program today)  Blogging to free yourself and your audience. Just like Gollum had those imaginary conversations in his head, when deciding whether to help or harm the Hobbits.

But in the end, you’ll remain true to your purpose. You’ll block out distractions. You’ll also come back to your senses, even if you lose your blogging way sometimes. In the end, you’ll largely be single-minded, focused and purposeful in all that you do.


Gollum Spoke in Stories


The Big G almost helped Bilbo Baggins meet his Maker. Gollum laid an ultimatum; if Bilbo could correctly answer his riddles, he’d be able to leave. If he couldn’t, Gollum would kill Bilbo. This wasn’t the only time Gollum spoke cleverly.

He also shared poems with Samwise and Frodo. The imp was a master storyteller.

Bloggers, if you aren’t telling stories by now I’ve no clue when you ever will. If 2 wonderful role models like Gollum and Ryan Biddulph – I feel honored to be lumped in with him – tell stories, you may as well hop on board.

Movies. Books. TV series. Plays. Stories rock. Stories are entertaining to follow. Any narrative sharing a hero, and a villain, or some story line, makes readers take notice.

Your story can be your life. How easy! Chat about the annoying azz traffic you hit on the way to work, or how your child’s recently illness taught you a blogging lesson, or share how your blogging success accelerated through a single RT or Facebook Share. Tell your story to reel in your audience.

All I do is tell stories on Blogging from Paradise.  I tell stories through my eBooks and blog posts and through my social media updates too because people love stories.


Gollum Knew the Direct Route (Even if it Was Dangerous….and Stinky)


Do you remember when Gollum took Frodo and Samwise through the swamp? If you don’t, unsubscribe from my blog, immediately.

Anyway, Gollum led the hobbit duo through a dangerous, stinky and murky swamp because this was the most simple, direct path between Point A and Point B. Point A being The Shire, and Point B being Mount Doom.

The road was rough. And dangerous. The hobbits fell into the water and almost died, at the hands of the dead (long story). But they made it across and shaved days off of their journey to Mount Doom.

Bloggers, going from Point A to Point B in as direct a fashion as possible sounds simple. In truth, it is simple, most of the time. Yet, that simple, freeing, time-saving decision will be uncomfortable in many cases.


Flight Story


My first plane flight was 23 hours long, from New York, JFK, to Denpasar, Bali. The flight was the quickest way from Point A to Point B. Other options included, taking a boat (somehow) – which would take weeks, or I could get used to flying by delaying our first trip to Bali, so I could take a series of 2 hour or 4 hour flights, in my home country, before doing the international bit.

I was excited to fly and damn nervous too. What the max height where I could bail and Halo jump off of the plane? Other thoughts flew through my mind as we waited to board the plane at JFK.


43 months later, I’m here in Bali. Traveling the world. After we arrive in NYC this Sunday I’ll have flown 55 times over the past 43 months. 55 times. I sure as hell am happy that I took that first flight. Going from Point A to Point B in a simple, direct, uncomfortable, freeing and time-saving fashion changed my life.

Blogging examples of going from Point A to Point B:

  • Buy a domain and hosting (to be taken seriously to succeed)
  • Publish your first post
  • Write your first eBook
  • Create your first service
  • Publish your first guest post

The list is endless. Right now, you may feel like a fraidy cat, explaining why you’re NOT taking the straight path from Point A to Point B. It may be too risky in your mind, or maybe you’ll fail, or you’ll open yourself up to criticism, but if you want to be free, you’ll have to do stuff that inspires you to break your bonds, and that bond-breaking process is uncomfortable.

Gollum was a good blogging role model, right up until now.

He jumped the shark early in his career. I extracted positive aspects of a wretched, greedy, murderous creature. I did some fine window-dressing of an amusing character.

Now we’ll dissect where Gollum screwed up.


Here’s the Counter Argument (if You Want Gollum’s Slim, Waifish Figure, Stop Reading Now): Why Gollum SHOULD NOT Be Your Role Model


If I attracted anybody who seriously wanted to look like Gollum, you need help. Seriously. (side note: cigarettes, salad – hold the dressing – and water should do the trick)

Back to the other Big G. Gollum screwed up. He was single minded but he focused on things. Or, 1 thing.

The 1 Ring to Rule them All.

Unless you’re living in Gollum’s cave or under a rock I don’t feel the need to issue a spoiler alert.  The ring led to G’s downfall. His endless, single-minded pursuit of something so destructive, well, it ended him.

Here’s the caveat; the ring could have been some*thing* much more positive. Maybe, a car. Or perhaps, a shiny new home. Or maybe, just maybe, that ring could have been money.

Perish the thought!

You haven’t heard any bloggers ask the question….”So, how can I make some quick money blogging?”….recently, have you?

9 out of 10 bloggers online who want to go beyond the “I’m blogging just to have fun” route move into the “I’m blogging to make money route”, and although they won’t wind up in the fiery lava of Mount Doom, you better believe that they’ll fail miserably. Blogging careers based on chasing “some thing, or some things”, are doomed.

“If you chase things, you manipulate people to acquire those things.”

I recall building a list – or attempting to do so – many years ago. Before I became wise enough to live in tropical paradises by punching keystrokes on a rectangular object I was dumb enough to live in tropical paradises by punching keystrokes on a rectangular object. I lacked experience, or I had experience, but refused to learn from it, so I got to thing chasing.

I was like a slightly more attractive, way more buff, Gollum. I chased a thing.


Opt-ins made my day or broke my day. If I received 5 a day, awesome. If 0, my day was a f*cking failure, the worst day ever, the most depressing thing that’s happened since the dawn of civilization, and I’m done. No sense moving forward. What I was doing, sure as hell “Was Not Working.”

I remember checking my gmail. Vividly. During the lean days. Or the Gollum days. My happiness rested on seeing opt ins after a hard day’s worth of work. If I saw a handful, or even 1, great. I was worth something. My blogging and online money making bit was still alive. If I saw none, well, it was time to remove all sharp objects and shoelaces and sheets from my room. I was toast.

I vividly remember wanting to punch people in the face after being disappointed at my opt-in count for the day. I also remember feeling as if I was the Second Coming after seeing a mere 5 or 10 opt ins.

Gollum-itis. Is a sickness. Plaguing way too many bloggers. During those lean, insane, frantic days, I made Gollum my role model for the wrong reason. I blogged for things. I blogged for opt-ins. I blogged for numbers….but…..

  • Things
  • Opt-ins
  • Numbers
  • Anything other than people

…..these inanimate objects are not the ideal readers. Numbers can’t become rabid brand advocates. Nor can opt-ins send you money. Things can’t promote your blog.

Things cannot bring you happiness. You, are the source, of it all. As in, you, as a blogger, are happy, or sad, from the inside out. You choose freeing or constricting motivators. Bloggers, you can choose to blog, to free yourself, and to free your readers, if you want to take a friendlier, happy, fulfilling path.

Don't ask.
From Koh Lanta, Thailand. April 2014. Don’t ask.

I sometimes (way too frequently) receive emails or comments or social media messages asking how I:

  • Attracted numbers
  • Attracted money
  • Attracted comments
  • Attracted things

I may answer with: “Know why you want to blog, and tie that reason to being free, and tie that reason to freeing your audience.”

I can sense the steam flowing out of “Gollum Style bloggers” who want things more than anything on earth. If they can just get 10,000 twitter followers they KNOW that fame and success will be theirs. If they can just make X dollars monthly THEN they will be happy. Hey, Gollum’s living proof. He found his happiness. He got his ring. Finally……then, at the very moment he had his ring, the one ring to rule them all, he…..

……fell into a molten lava pit, and to ashes, he went……

I really, as a former Christian/usually compassionate/sort of kind guy, hope that your attachment to things doesn’t lead to such a fate. You don’t deserve it. You probably didn’t murder anybody to get things – as Gollum did – and you likely didn’t bash Hobbits over the head to get your numbers/things/goals, but you will suffer, and worry, and strain and strive if you’re blogging to get things.


How to Avoid Gollum’s Fatal Mistake


I like stuff. I like things. I appreciate having a few clams in my wallet. I do genuinely enjoy food. I like my suitcase and my passport. Add a few other things/attachments to this list and you’ll see, I am no blogger Dali Lama. I am however improving at detaching from stats.

I have never checked my metrics on Blogging from Paradise. I probably never will. Because I am not blogging for numbers. I am blogging for people. Metrics focused folks, for business, you may check numbers and share numbers with clients to get paid. More power to you. Or stat checking may vibe with ya. More power to you.

Me, little old me, sitting in Bali, blogging from paradise, well, I don’t do the metrics thing. I may be making the biggest mistake in my life, by not checking stats, but I get the sneaking suspicion that I’ve stumbled into a pretty freeing way of living.

The simplest solution to the problem that led to Gollum’s demise, the Blogging from Things Syndrome, is to:

Blog to free yourself and to free your audience.

I still accept payments for my eBooks and services. I’m no detached being, a seer, a teacher. But darnit, I generally do not think about trying to get anything through blogging. I blog to free me and to free you.

Being free is enough. Freeing you is enough. Since I’m blogging to be free I ain’t looking much for numbers after publishing – or while writing – a post. I feel my sometimes level of full clarity around this blog is largely based on me telling my life story, about a passion of mine. Or about 2 passions. Travel. Blogging.


The Reward Is the Feeling


If you’re blogging to get something, when that something arrives, you’ll generally want more somethings. You’ll never be happy or contented. It’ll be an endless cycle of wanting, pushing, straining and striving, and you’ll wind up like a number of bloggers who crash and burn.

I liken these guys to the big old moths we see here in Ubud, Bali. Kelli and I watch them – along with some hefty, terror-inducing cockroaches (I’m not afraid of them until they make my headboard, home, then I stay up until 2 AM plotting their demise) – as they are drawn into the lights on our front porch each night.

Bright, shiny object syndrome. The moths are entranced. Captivated. Drunk, by the light. Of course, the geckos know the moths’ obsession well. Fish in a barrel time, as the geckos wait beside the lights each night and prey on the moths.

Bloggers whose primary motivators are to:

  • Make money
  • Get readers
  • Get more social shares
  • Become more famous

….are the moths. Father Time is the gecko; sure a few moths survive the gauntlet, but most are gecko food…..and Father Time preys on the blogger who blogs for things, as most of these folks quit, disgusted with not reaching their poorly chosen goals.

You are after a feeling. You want to be free. You want to set your own schedule, or you want to travel the world as a pro blogger, like Mr. Ryan Biddulph. Maybe you want to work from home to spend more time with your family. Maybe you love your full time job but want to open a steady income stream through blogging, to cover your bills easily, to pay off debts, and to be able to go to dinner and a movie on each Friday without worrying about the money you’re spending, to do something every family should be doing.

Hell, I’ve been there folks. I remember the days of chasing things, and of scaring away the exact things I chased.

Whatever you chase, flees. Including money, readers, subscribers and social shares.

If however you stop chasing and pick a purer intent, if you blog to free yourself and your audience, you’ll have the feeling you seek.

The reward is the feeling. I enjoy writing about traveling and blogging tips. I have a passion for both. I love the feeling of writing, and telling stories, so I already have my reward. So, the reward is the feeling.

I love being able to travel the world. I love living in Bali. I loved spending 4 months in Fiji earlier this year. It felt freeing. That’s what I was after, being free, but instead of chasing things like money to pay for the trip, or readers, to boost my ego, or social shares, to build up my trust factor, I set up this pretty neat life by….

….blogging to be free, and to take you with me to paradise.

The reward is the feeling. Pick a freeing reason why, and you already have your reward now. Blog your passion, and you already have your reward, now.

Here’s the great irony; whatever you want is an illusion. You want the feeling in the thing. Money is a dust collector; you want the freedom in the money. A sports car is a bunch of steel fused together; you want the feeling of zooming down the highway in such a piece of machinery. A big old home is wood, and a concrete foundation. The thing itself, ain’t really shit. Honest. But the *experience* or *feeling* of living in a home, if you want to live in a home, is what you’re really after!

Blog to free yourself. Blog to free your audience.


Chasing Things


Kelli and I have been having some wonderful chats recently. Well we always do, but I feel as we both maintain greater clarity in what we’re doing the quality of our conversations has improved.


Ryan Biddulph Bali RicefieldsCase in point; we recently chatted about how so many people set a money goal and work back from there. Like, the money, or acquiring some imagined number, would bring them peace, happiness, wellness, enlightenment and a *freaking crap load of cool things.* Houses. Cars. Etc. Etc.

Nothing wrong with that at all. But Gollum Syndrome is building. And no, not the good Gollum, role model advice I discussed earlier in the post. Not the whole deal with being at peace, with both you loving and hating yourself at times. Or, not the single mindedness on one purpose.

I’m talking about the one argument I pitched up top. Where Gollum teaches you how NOT to do things. Chasing stuff. Chasing things.

As Kelli and I chatted I mentioned how so many successful people destroy their lives through drug and alcohol abuse. From comedians to actors to other people who hone their talents, to inspire masses, many never learn the art of being happy now before going on their journey.


What Money Does….Really


The thing is guys, you could be suicidal in this moment. I could hand you 2 billion dollars. After the initial euphoria, and maybe some ridiculous highs experienced, that come with spending some serious coin, you’d have 2 billion dollars worth of activities and things, through which you could help yourself, kill yourself. As long as the feeling resides in you no thing outside of you will eradicate that feeling from within. Which is why so many famous folks become drug and alcohol addicts.

This is also why so many successful bloggers – God Bless ‘Em – can never make enough money, without wanting more, more, more. I am all for unlimited abundance. I am also for not pushing yourself to reach imagined numbers which you believe will bring you happiness. Some top earning bloggers are happy people. Some are successful people. A few of these happy, successful folks have asked me personally, how I’ve engineered this lifestyle.


My Guess…However Flawed


Methinks, if I can peak through my ignorance, and toss out a theory, that they are wondering how they can let go of chasing some things to be as free as Kelli and I are. Hey, I’m attached like any human being to stuff. Heavily attached. If someone threw my lap top into the pig sty next door – yes I am living beside a pig sty – I betcha I’d get down and dirty, slopping around with old Babi (Indonesian word for “pig”) to get the old Toshiba fired up again for my next blog post.

But one area I know pretty decently, is how to engineer a freeing lifestyle. I can inspire at least a few folks to blog to free themselves, as opposed to blogging, to get things, because as good old boy Gollum showed, that Boss Man of the Ring, if you blog to get things you’ll never be satisfied.  If you’re blogging to chase something outside of yourself, you could make a boatload of money yet you’ll still not feel satisfied.


Minimalist, Not By Design, But By…..


…damn. The other day, I thought about it. I own a few pieces of clothing. A suitcase. Wallet. Assets…..and nothing else. I may have some paperwork stashed away. How embarrassing, right? I own nothing. Yet, I’m free to go where I want, when I want to, for however long I wish to live there. I feel, for me, that this is being free. Everybody has a different definition of freedom, and everybody enjoys their attachments in a different way, but a strikingly high number of bloggers are obsessed with blogging to get stuff.

Some blog to make money instead of blogging to make a difference.

Some blog to bind themselves instead of blogging to free themelves.

Some blog to make money online not realizing that money is a poor audience.

Some blog to get readers not realizing that blogging to give something is the act that creates fortunes.

Some blog to engineer a freeing lifestyle, and, to inspire their readers to free themselves.

Hell, I vibe with the latter statement much of the time. Which is why I enjoy writing:

  • eBooks
  • 6,000 word posts (these days at least)
  • Thorough comments
  • Articles for freelance clients
  • Reports for coaching clients

If you’re blogging to free you, and to free your audience, you’ll become a minimalist by nature. I don’t much value stuff. I do value waking up in Bali today. I value waking up in Bangkok on Saturday, and I valued waking up in Fiji for 4 months, this year. Again, you can get all the stuff you wish to acquire, or you can let go the energy anchors/things you don’t really want, or that you’ve outgrown, by blogging to free yourself, and to free your audience, instead of blogging to get things.

The ironic part is, once you blog to free yourself and your audience you’ll make more money than ever. Then, you can buy more stuff, if stuff vibes with you. Then, you’ll let go the ring-chasing and you’ll set a different intention; you’ll focus not on chasing stuff, but on inspiring people to free themselves from bondage. This my friends, is where you can make the biggest difference.

I may have been a bit of a wild man over the years with my massive video post tsunamis of content and my hyper-caffeinated tweeting techniques, but I guess, even with my foibles, I deep down knew that pushing hard helped me release some of my mental poo –poo to clear the way for a guy who could make a little difference in the world.

Bloggers who blog to make a difference get this gig. They know how to play the game until, one day, it’s not a game whatsoever. It’s not really serious, either. It’s fun. It’s light. It’s airy. It’s blogging to give. To help others to give. And in the giving process, you’ll become more inspired, and free, than you can ever imagine.


I Swear to G-O-D


Lash me for being a heretic, but I had to swear. I did. I swear to The Universe, I am not important. I stare at a glowing rectangle. I tap small squares with my fingers. I live in paradise. If I can free a few more folks by doing what I do, great.

I will turn around and break all of my rules – for maybe seconds, or minutes – but then for much of the day, I’ll probably return to my core intent. I’ll go back to blogging, to free me and to free you. I’ll lust after sweets, and maybe, watching a bit too many episodes of Justified (y’all watch it my kin?) or It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, but in the end, I feel good about what I do. I want to take you with me. So I blog.


atlas moth bali indonesia blogging from paradise

That’s all this blogging deal is. If you stumble upon the post of a guy who lives an irregular life (that doesn’t include doing anything outside the bounds of the law), you may take notice. The gal may think differently and act differently than any bird you’ve ever know. For a good reason, too. How they think and act engineered their lifestyle. So you noticed, that this blogging deal seems to be about freeing yourself and freeing people around you, then, if you blog with this motivator, some of the time, then, most of the time, you can become a professional blogger.

You’ll stumble. You’ll fall. But in the end, that guy doing some neat stuff seems like he’s on to something.

So you bookmark Blogging from Paradise (had to do it) or wherever that cat happens to do his blogging business, and then you let he or she, grow on ya. You become clearer on your intent. You learn from weird, digitally-engineered movie characters, who are portrayed as both heroes and anti-heroes of successful bloggers.

One day, you’re sitting next door. We can grab a bite in Bali. Or we can fly to Fiji. Or maybe we can bond in Bangkok. I’m waiting. I’m here.

I want to take you with me.




Gollum was a good blogging role model, and a terrible blogging role model. I learned many lessons from the skinny, shriveled little imp who used to be much different.

I hope you enjoyed this read.

Please share it with all of your friends through twitter, email, Facebook and any other channel that vibes with you.


Your Turn


Do you like Gollum? Have you ever looked like Gollum?

What lessons would you add to this list?

Who’s your blogging role model?


Call to Action


I like writing eBooks. Or eBook-sized posts. I’ve published 10 eBooks in total, including a few combos.

Scroll up – and look to your right – to read my eBook reviews. Maybe I blinded some of these folks with my stunning selfies or maybe they really dig did what I had to offer.

If what these entrepreneurs say vibes with you and if you want to take your blogging game to the next level pick one – or 8 – up.

Buy Blogging from Paradise (not the blog silly, at least not yet!)

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Ryan Biddulph

Ryan Biddulph is a blogger, author and world traveler who's been featured on Richard Branson's Virgin Blog, Forbes, Fox News, Entrepreneur Dot Com and Neil Patel Dot Com. He has written and self-published 126 bite-sized eBooks on Amazon to help you with your most painful blogging mistakes. If you're struggling with your blog and feel overwhelmed with blogging information overload, Ryan can help you increase your blog traffic, comments and online income with the 11 Fundamentals of Successful Blogging Audio Course.
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  1. Jessica Says:

    That’s when I changed things up and just let my hair down so to speak. I started being more me and writing from the heart. I was an open book and felt it would either go really well or horribly wrong. If it was the latter I was throwing in the towel and going back to corporate America. Luckily for me people seemed to connect with me.

  2. Jesse Says:

    I prefer the idea of more love than hate. I’d never want to hate myself. However I can relate to your concept of good days and bad days when it comes to blogging.

  3. Raymond Says:

    I especially love what you said about chasing things. It reminds me of something that I heard Alex Jeffreys say when I first discovered him: “don’t chase money, let money chase you.” In other words, don’t strive after money. If you concentrate on other people first and always focus on giving value to them, then the money side of things will look after itself.

  4. Shawn Says:

    This push/pull of love/hate is something we all go through. “Step away from the computer” – your quote has saved me quite a few times. Sometimes I need to take a yoga class and just remind myself just why I’m doing this – I love to help people.

  5. Larry Rivera Says:

    Genius I say! My PRECIOUS…. I totally love Lord Of The Rings and you are so right. His single minded attitude towards what he wanted is exactly how we should blog.

    I have been following your blog for quite some time now. Thanks for sharing your life with us…….

  6. Praveen Says:

    I will post such article on my blog also and will link your article as reference. By the way… thanks for the good words.

  7. Praveen Says:

    Usually I never comment on blogs but your article is so convincing that I never stop myself to say something about it. You’re doing a great job Man,Keep it up.

  8. preetam Says:

    I teach Blogging. I am going to use your example about article writing skills. thanks

  9. Aryan alex Says:

    Wow i really found this article unique!!! thanks a lot for posting 🙂 🙂

    • Hey AA, thanks much! Gollum thanks you too my PRECIOUS!

  10. Hi Ryan,

    Don’t shoot me down… But I’ve never seen The Lord of The Rings 😮 !

    But I have some knowledge of the whole “Precious” weird unattainable think-it’s-good-for-you-but-it’s-not kinda of sick obsession! Phew! I hope I’m still making sense?

    #1 The Critics – The way I deal with ‘the critics’ in all aspects of my life is to accept that everyone has an opinion. I’m a really laid back person and it takes a lot to offend and upset me. Mainly because most of what people say and do is a huge refection of themselves, which makes me feel better having a broader understanding of another.

    Constructive criticism? Great, thanks I may or may not take it on board.
    Just begin nasty? Wow, something is sour in your life. Need a hug?

    #2 The Numbers – Your point about numbers and relating them to success is my Gollum moment. Even though I’m smart enough to know some blogs gets huge visitors but they only stay for seconds (so be careful what you wish for!). But I still allow the numbers to bug me. I always want more, more, more… You see Gollum gluttony. So thanks for the reminder that it’s not about the numbers which leads me onto my last point.

    #3 Write For the People – This is the ultimate advice for anyone who wants to blog. In fact it would probably be my number one tip for successfully blogging. Your blog has to stand for something. That might be useful, funny, informative, original (hopefully all 4!). But it has to stand for something that you and your readers value.

    Can we have a sneaky peak into were you and Kelli and heading next? Or you staying put for Christmas?


    • Naomi, no worries! Just having a bit of fun with my audience…..in truth, LOTR is an acquired taste lol. I too play the numbers game from time to time. Being human, it’s so difficult not to fall prey to being attached to outcomes. Or, to be so darn mentally disciplined, that you let go attachments, pinings, desires, etc. Loved the comment Naomi, thanks so much! We have no idea right now. We’re in NYC but have a few potential trips lined up. Waiting to hear back from folks. I can assure you it’ll be warm, lol 🙂

  11. Ben Drake Says:

    Just love this post Ryan its a laugh about Gollum and such a powerful truth that we all have a love / hate relationship within ourselves and that needs to change to enjoy our own lives.
    Thank you for such a inspirational post.

    • Ben, my pleasure! Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing! We really do have that love-hate thing going, and changing our perspective changes the course of our blogging lives.

  12. Hey Ryan,

    I normally don’t say this, but this was a really, really really long post LOL… sheesh… I got to the point of skimming but I got the idea behind it.

    Yes we all go through self hate. I use to quite often, but then I thought about something. In regards to blogging and anything else, I can use self hate to create balance so that I can keep progressing! The idea is not to get in an endless routine resulting in not getting anywhere. So that’s where the self hate comes in. I ask myself “what am I lacking?”, “why is no one commenting on my blog yet?”, “What part of me isn’t resonating with others”, and etc… With that in mind, I check my analytics, my shares, my posts, see how people are responding.

    This isn’t just with blogging, but with everything in life! I think this yoga thing I do 4 or 5 times a week is helping, especially when I do those balancing poses! But it does helps me to get more centered and allows me to look at the bigger picture to keep moving forward. Yes the self hate are those negative, but positive afformations for me!

    Thanks for the share! I hope you’re having a great weekend!

    • 7,000 words and counting Sherman 😉 Yep it was kinda long, right? I’m having too much fun writing and my bounce rates are lowering too! Wow, I enjoy your strategy. It’s like contrast, right? You see where you aren’t resonating, and do a bit of digging to better understand the changes to be made. On the flip side of things you’re really onto something; getting all caught up in the good old self hate thing for too long keeps you stuck. I’ve seen these self-loathing types and they live unhappy lives, until they get serious about making a change, or, about loving themselves a bit more. Thanks Sherman!

  13. Hector Says:

    Men you just made me see something important here. I’ve been building websites to make pennies for the last 6 months but now I realize that what I really want is to encourage people to be free so in this very moment I’m removing my adsense and affiliate links wich were making nothing anyway and focus in my true and fulfilling desire instead of money for money sake.

    Thank you very much!!

    • Hector, welcome to much of my online career, lol! Really, 3 out of my 5 years online I struggled like hell to make end’s meet. Then, for 1 year I did well, but worked too hard. Then, I enjoyed the ride and saw success with more playful, focused, intelligent acts. It’s been such a wonderful journey and releasing was the chief act to let go the old and worn out, to make room for the new and exciting. I LOVE those ANA moments, right Hector? So clarifying, so fun, for we see where we’re mucking up. I too focused on making pennies instead of making something epic, and a few top bloggers got me on the straight and narrow with their advice too. Happy to get you up out of the “placing ads to pay for a Happy Meal crowd”, LOL! Thanks so much Hector and have a fun weekend 🙂

  14. ajay Says:

    Hi Ryan,
    Thanks for sharing the article about Why Gollum Should Be Your Blogging Role Model. Very interesting and informative article. I liked it.Great point included in the post. Once again thanks for sharing views. Such you are doing a great work Ryan, please maintaining your blog.

    • Ajay I will do my best! Gollum is such a darn neat study into blogging, and into our mindsets. Learning to be at peace with your changing moods and views of self can accelerate your growth in any area of your life. Thanks for stopping by to share!

  15. Josh Says:

    Gollum lost his way and forgot that things don’t bring happiness. You find that inside yourself. It is part of what I love about blogging, it provides a simple way for people to figure out what they need and what they want.

    Once you know that you can build your map to where you need to go.

    • Hi Josh! Wow is that ever the truth. I gotta admit, since returning home to NJ over the past 5 days I have seen quite a difference in the outside-in living thing. Many people hear work like dogs to acquire things so that they can be happy. Money, homes, cars, promotions, etc. I feel there’s nothing wrong with having stuff, but believing that stuff will bring you happiness is a mistake. In Fiji, the women wore hand me down skirts and shirts. No makeup, no frills. In Bali, many of the men wore the same clothes each day. Yet, even though these folks had few things, and busted their ass to make ends meet, they were genuinely happy, and healthy, from the inside-out. Josh, thanks for sharing your thoughts 🙂

  16. Adrienne Says:

    Hey Ryan,

    I’ve never seen LOTR so I’ve never seen what Gollum looks like. I’m not a big movie buff anymore, it’s because of my hearing loss. Anyway as Kelli said in her comment, you come up with the most interesting parallels and your mind is something else. I can’t even imagine what you think about all day long.

    So I believe I can honestly say I’ve never done the “hate” thing. Major dislike maybe but never moved into hate. I’ve definitely been disgusted with my blog and where it is or is not going at times but that’s seriously been years ago now.

    As most know I have a love/hate relationship with Google so the last time they slapped me for whatever the heck their reason was that time I threw my hands up in total disgust and said to hell with it. I figured if I was going to fail with my blog it was going to be on my own darn terms and not Google’s.

    That’s when I changed things up and just let my hair down so to speak. I started being more me and writing from the heart. I was an open book and felt it would either go really well or horribly wrong. If it was the latter I was throwing in the towel and going back to corporate America. Luckily for me people seemed to connect with me.

    Now as you said in your video, you know a lot and then you know nothing (or something along those lines). I feel the same way and a lot of times I’m just shocked that people think I’m so darn smart. I’ve been flying by the seat of my pants for the most part just doing what I felt was right but never really knowing if it would work. Through this all though I’ve fallen madly in love with blogging so I’m glad I am where I am now.

    But I have to say that I cannot imagine you ever putting a hate on yourself. I know you’ve shared your story with us and to some extent I can relate to the job thing but that’s it. I know you’re done a LOT of work on yourself with the help of Kelli so marry the girl already okay! I know you said it’s coming but you guys seriously need to just make it official. LOL!!!

    Your post was long but I enjoyed it so thanks for sharing your wisdom with us once again. You are walking the talk and that’s who I prefer to learn from in all honesty. So keep up the great work my friend and have a fabulous week. I know you guys are back home now so enjoy that cold weather! 😉


    • Hi Adrienne! 1 month? About? LOL….the wedding day, that is. Still need to set it up, but we are just about there, so in a bit we’ll be Mr. and Mrs Biddulph 😉 You made the right move as far as letting go Google. I’ve no clue what they want most of the time so I took a similar journey. I went from trying to rank well in search engines to tanking in search engines to just plain being myself, letting my hair down, like you, and jst plain writing from the heart. Although I’ve surprised folks here and there with my honesty, and making a few folks laugh along the way with my silliness, I genuinely believe that I’ve attracted so many awesome, helpful folks by being me. Folks who are most like me, and who can appreciate my journey. I SO appreciate your journey Adrienne because you’re a model of transparency. More than anything – and I’m still hammering this lesson into my mind – you’re being yourself, and not trying to be anything else. That’s a lesson that almost all bloggers are stilling learning. Thanks so much for your thoughtful share. Oh yes Adrienne, back in NJ now, and it’s kinda cold! A bit sick but I am feeling better now. Have a fun day and we’ll chat soon 🙂

      • The Guy Says:

        That is brilliant news Ryan, a month to go! I hope everything goes smoothly and see some wedding pics on here 🙂

  17. Hi Ryan,

    I enjoyed this post so much and your candid video with the back ground noises of chickens of some sort?

    I remember a long long time ago when you took yourself seriously he he. But there was that Jersey boy that was kind and loving that you did not share. As you have grown, it has be such a pleasure not only to see your blog growing and ebooks being published, but seeing YOU grow.

    Now, you share yourself, your feelings and can successfully touch your audience. That my friend is something special. And I know I can not only speak for myself, but others too that we enjoy coming here and visiting you.

    I do believe it starts with inner growth and that’s what you have done (and still are on the road) of growing. This is what makes you stand out of the crowd.

    Yes, we can do the love/hate thing, but when the “hate” part happens, the wise person can learn from it…grow. That’s what you have done!

    There are two kinds of bloggers: One who is chasing after money and I don’t think they will ever enjoy the process because if money is the objective, it will never be enough and it will control you. All that leads to a life that is not lived to the fullest every day.

    The other kind of blogger is the one that wants to share what they have learned, help others by lending a hand both free and paid. (because the reality is that we do need to make some money for our efforts) But money is not the object, instead, People are!

    This kind of blogger will have clear objectives, a good marketing plan, and all that stuff, but the important thing is they enjoy each and every day. It is freedom that is the objective here. Once they achieve it, they are anxious to tell the world “you can do it too!”

    Thanks for another awesome post!


    • Oh Donna, wow do I recall those days well, lol! I had to lighten up a bit to let the transparency out, to let the clown out, and to let the silliness out. Sometimes, seeing my old videos and posts, I appear to be in a cyber straight jacket lol! Just begging to bust out. Yep, they were roosters in the background. Big, noisy, raucous roosters that woke me up at 4 AM back when we were in Bali. I ain’t mad at them though 😉 We’re in NJ now. The freedom point is well taken. It was my journey, from focusing on money, to other outcomes, then, to people. Folks like yourself Donna, and Adrienne, and Carol, you’re all wonderfully adept at focusing all of your energies on people, on making them feel special, so you’ve naturally become more free and successful each day. You’re all enjoying the moment and making a difference because your intents are pure, and are focused on freeing yourselves and others. Right up my alley 😉 Thanks so much for sharing Donna, and have a fun day!

  18. Carol Amato Says:

    Hey, Ryan,

    While I have never seen any of the Lord of the Rings (my son is a fan), but have never made the time – shame I know! I could definitely understand the parallel you were drawing.

    We definitely have an element of self-hate, self-sabotage, and we actually start lying to ourselves. I found a book that is superb that really helps give a lot of light on this subject. It’s called The Power of Story, by Jim Loehr. Tiffany Lambert told me about it, and it is amazing.

    When we truly get real with ourselves, wonderful things happen. People definitely enjoy seeing the full spectrum of us – the good, the bad and the ugly. Love how you were so transparent in your video.

    You are a blessing, and I’m glad we met! 🙂

    – Carol

    • Carol, it was a neat watch, for sure 😉 I have to give that book a look because really, the stories we choose to tell ourselves mold our lives. If we’re transparent, and willing to admit how we feel from moment to moment we can skillfully embrace both our light and shadows. Getting real is such a freeing experience because as you said, seeing that full spectrum frees us to see ourselves as we really are, and we take ourselves so much less seriously too. It is win-win all around. Thanks so much Carol, and I agree!

  19. Confession: I’ve never been a LOTR fan. But, Shakespeare got the main point before Tolkein (although Tolkein has better special effects): “To thine own self be true”. Basically, none of us (bloggers) are as good or as bad as we think we are. And by all means—a little self deprecation goes a long way.

    • Suzanne, that is a beautiful way of putting it. If Willy S had a 1/millionth of JRR’s current day special effects, imagine where he could have went? Ha! Such a good point here. We are about in the middle when we see self in the light of truth. I’ve found self-deprecation to be humbling and freeing more than anything else because if you see yourself as being not important, but still, helpful, you’ll immunize yourself from the ego-based need to be right, and much other mental garbage. Thanks for sharing Suzanne!

  20. The Guy Says:

    Hey Ryan,

    Another monster post by your good self.

    I’m not a fan of the Lord of the Rings so until now could not identify with this Gollum character. I like your idea though of find a role model, an inspiration, a mentor. It also makes a better vision for us of you when we haven’t met you too. More transparency.

    That Kevin guy sounds like a decent bloke. Sorry to hear that Boost Blog Traffic removed the link. Was it contrary to their posting guidelines I wonder rather than something more personal?

    I prefer the idea of more love than hate. I’d never want to hate myself. However I can relate to your concept of good days and bad days when it comes to blogging.

    Keep up the great sharing of your experiences.

    • Yep TG, Kevin is a really cool guy. His blog rocks. As for BBT I really have no clue why they’d put the Kibosh on it but more than a few other blogs didn’t make the cut either. I’ve no issues with it because some blogs are super picky about domains, and their age, and my blog is still relatively new on the age front. About 6 months, I believe? That’s still not quite long in the tooth when it comes to aged domains, or mature domains. TG, always my pleasure. Wherever you are in the world, I hope that you’re enjoying your travels!

  21. Olayinka Says:

    Over the past few years in internet business, you have been one those successful blogger that i really admirer their work..

    I really learn one secret from you, which is telling story in your post. what epic post Ryan..

    • Olayinka, wow! You followed little old me, and my stories? How’d I bribe you?? HA…just joking. I appreciate that, and I so look forward to all of the stories you are and will continue to tell. We just have so many fun stories to tell, all of us, if we can just open up, and laugh at ourselves, and also, do whatever it takes to get as transparent as heck with our lives. It’s such a freeing process, story-telling is. Thanks so much Olayinka!

  22. Tim Bonner Says:

    Hey Ryan

    What an epic post, about as long as the LOTR! I went to the cinema to see all of the films and bought them on DVD.

    I have self hate issues sometimes for sure. I know where I want to go with my blog but I always find something else to do instead. Often I do have something else to do like the housework or to play with the kids but I struggle to want success. Does that sound weird?

    I’ve become accustomed to being in my own little blogging world. I want to help people and I know I can. I often get emails asking for WordPress help etc and I’m only to happy to help. That’s where I go wrong though. I always do it for free! My goal for this week is to get my Hire Me page up and running. If I don’t get to write a blog post this week, that’s fine.

    At least I’ll know once and for all whether I can make something more of blogging than just helping people for free. I’m not chasing money as such as I don’t want for anything. I do want to feel like I’m making progress on building a business out of it though!

    • Hi Tim! Well…..that sounds…ummm….not really weird…..well hell, it’s been much of my life lol! Seriously, I have had the same exact experience. From self-hate, to lacking self love, and then, as I learned how to improve my self image, going through the uncomfortable process of addressing my aversion to success – yep, the dodging blogging stuff – well, changing that programming had me wanting to Halo jump off of some planes during the early part of our round the world trip 😉 I did start to do what I needed/wanted to do, as I got more clear. Take now…..it’s 10 PM and I am tired as hell, but I got the tiny urge to respond to comments. I felt a nudge telling me that I’d free myself a bit more by commenting here on BFP, by building a community, and yep, by creating more content through my comments, so instead of going to bed or watching TV – a temptation as I’m back in the USA – I’m commenting. Keep getting clearer and clearer, and I’ll be seeing that Hire Me page on Tim-Boner.com, super soon 🙂 Thanks for sharing your story with us, and for being open. Appreciate it Tim!

    • PS, TB….it WAS about as long as LOTR, right? Love that line 😉

  23. Santel Says:

    Hi Ryan,

    I am not a big fan of The Lord of the ring (Sorry!) I don’t know much about Gollum. But I do understand the point you are trying to make in this blog post.

    I often love and hate myself as a blogger too. I feel like I go nowhere. I have been blogging since 2008. No matter how hard I try to sell, nobody buy.

    But I refuse to fail. I keep blogging and looking for something that I could own as a business. I love passive income.

    I think it is good to hate ourselves sometime. So that we can make a step back and review our life. Take the necessary steps approach ourselves to reach the goals.

    I think to have success in blogging business, we need to provide value and make friends with good people like you and others.

    I joined blog community course of Adrienne. I like it and it helps me a lot to get started in building my community.

    Thank for mentioning Cambodia in the blog post. I guess you like Cambodia. I look forward to meet you in your next visit.

    I will check out your book very soon.


    • Santel, you are well on your way! I think analyzing any frustration or even, self hate, can be a wonderful thing. After sitting with the crappy feelings you can move in the opposite direction. The key is to really sit with your low energy feelings. Simply being with them shows you how you can be more authentic, or, how you can let your true personality out. When we all let our true personality out wow, the sky’s the limit! I was a stuffy old bird for years. Seriously. Or, a stuffy young bird depending on your view of old versus young 🙂 By analyzing my annoyance and even hate of self, I learned how to be less serious, and more about how to lighten up, and act as I normally do offline. Similar folks seemed to find me with greater ease when I was true to me, and even though I feel a bit uncomfortable being silly sometimes, I still do it….too much fun. Keep your head up Santel! I love your blog, your country and your brand. Keep analyzing/exploring your feelings and I betcha more of your personality comes out….and success will be a formality at that point 😉 Thanks for your thoughtful share! Have a lovely day in PP 🙂

  24. Hi Ryan,

    Wonderful and valuable post and lots of information to digest!!

    I don’t know what you will say about me but I didn’t like “Lord Of the Rings” because of Gollum!! LOL!!! When I saw the commercials and I saw him, I was disgusted by his looks and I didn’t watch it!! But after reading your post, and the lessons derived from the experience, I guess we should not judge by the looks!!

    I totally agree with you that sometimes we hate ourselves and sometimes we love ourselves, it’s a fact and we all go through it. But we all know who we are and that should help with facing critics and accepting the challenge and change what can be changed and move forward. Sometimes it is criticism that make us stop and ask ourselves what needs to be changed. So, it is not really that bad if it opens our eyes to what needs to be changed or done differently.

    Thanks Ryan for a great share and lots of lessons to chew on. Enjoy the rest of your week and Happy Thanksgiving!!

    Be Blessed,


    • Neamat, he is an ugly little critter, right? LOL….such a repulsive creature, and fascinating too. He almost repelled me from watching the movie as well 😉 That self hate thing is freeing for the moment we embrace our lack of love, for self, and are at peace with it, we instantly become more peaceful, happy, playful, and a bunch less serious. I admit; I have to work at being an idiot, or clown, or silly, because I am new to this self-hate journey, or I should say, being aware of, and embracing, my self hate. I’m just starting out but wow….how fun it is, to be less serious, and, to learn from criticism. Life’s much funnier when you can laugh at yourself a bit more and when you can agree with critics, without seeing the right/wrong thing so frequently. Neamat, I appreciate your comment! Thanks so much and I hope you’re enjoying the weekend 🙂

  25. Anabelle Says:

    Gosh, each post of yours is like an ebook in itself!

    Gollum is an exploration of the duality of man, really. He wants to help, but he also wants the ring for himself. Sometimes he’s genuinely concerned while other times he only has his agenda in mind. It’s a terrifying thing to see displayed on screen, but everyone, everyone has these conflicting impulses inside them. I am certainly one of them–and even the Dalai Lama will tell you that he does, too.

    Who are my heroes? Those who struggle with doubt and self-hate. Those who aren’t perfectly virtuous, perfectly nice. Those people are SO BORING. (They also make terrible stories. Who wants to read a book or see a movie about someone who doesn’t evolve and grow because they’re already perfect?). The real heroes reflect the human condition and then transcend it. They make the hard choices. They let go. They grow. They become better.

    So, yeah, Gollum is a good role model. So is Frodo. So is Bilbo! So are all the self-doubting, self-hating heroes.

    • Aha! I’m trying Anabelle 😉 He’s fascinating for sure and yes, His Holiness and every human being experiences these emotions. I admit; I have struggled with the self-hate bit but I find by accepting negative criticism, and positive criticism, and rolling with it, I can laugh, and let it go. I don’t necessary focus on those who struggle because I’d like a more evolved role model 🙂 But in the same vein, it sure helps to use humans as inspirational figures, right Anabelle? I appreciate you sharing your thoughts! Enjoy your weekend 🙂

  26. Don Purdum Says:

    Hi Ryan,

    It’s so easy to take oneself serious. I can usually tell who those folks are by how they respond to criticism or allow their insecurities to come out in other ways. Like you said, the truth is we all take ourselves too serious at one time or another and it has a way of leaking out negatively if we are not careful.

    Perhaps we are so tight and need to control our own perceptions of success because of our fear of how people will percieve us and not want to do business with us.

    Maybe it’ the need to feel important, needed or wanted.

    I got a similar email from Kevin. I would have never known or even cared to be honest if I wasn’t mentioned. If I had been I would have been extremely grateful. I didn’t make the “cut” at all, but I’m okay with that. It just wasn’t meant to be.

    But, I will tell you that I’m extremely focused. I know what business I’m really in and who I’m tryng to reach. I have a very single focus. One day I do expect to write in Entrepreneur Magazine and in business journals. I suppose I have a differnent view than some that my life is in God’s hands. If something doesn’t happen it’s really not personal. No one can really harm me if my attitude and perception is right.

    But, that is easier said than done at times. We are all human and have positive and negative experiences based on the way we perceive the world, situations, circumstances and how we feel about them at any one time.

    The reality is I choose to be optimistic, hopeful, and when I’m not I try to recognize it as soon as possible and then I go and write down all of the incredible things that are happening. That has a way of reminding me of where I’ve come from, where I’m at and where I’m going. Everything else is just a distraction.

    As I said today on Facebook; “There are only two things you can control in business and life; your effort and your attitude.”

    I so appreciate your heart, openness and transparency Ryan. The future is bright!!!!!

    Have a great day and Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

    ~ Don Purdum

    • Don, absolutely, absolutely wonderful. I agree fully on the acceptance/loving bit, so dead on! I note these days as I reach out more and receive less than stellar reviews I sometimes feel the need to be accepted, lauded and praised. So, without a doubt, being happier with myself and laughing at all reviews, and thanking people for sharing their thoughts, and yes, being OK with getting a bit pissed too lol….well, all is en embracing of our humanity. People see reality based on their tint of glasses. If a critical person lifts up because they’re positive, you won’t feel like you’re being criticized. If a critical person attempts to drag down because they are negative, you’ll quickly understand why statues aren’t built to critics, and you’ll have a blessed opportunity to not take yourself too personally. What a keen insight Don. Thanks so much for sharing with us and I hope you enjoyed your holiday!

  27. Hey Ryan,

    I love this! I love LOTR too so I can relate to what you’re talking about with regards to Gollum.

    I thought this was such a clever idea – using Gollum’s multi-personality character to illustrate the conflicts that we may have. Totally brilliant!

    I especially love what you said about chasing things. It reminds me of something that I heard Alex Jeffreys say when I first discovered him: “don’t chase money, let money chase you.” In other words, don’t strive after money. If you concentrate on other people first and always focus on giving value to them, then the money side of things will look after itself.

    It’s so important to have a clear purpose. I’ve referenced this on my blog numerous times but I wrote a blog post last year all about this called, “What is your ‘Why’?”. In order to succeed in whatever it is we’re trying, we need to know why we’re doing it. Not just the short-term, surface reasons but the ultimate, deep-set purpose.

    For example, many people use their blogs to make money. Absolutely nothing wrong with that. Maybe they want money so they can buy things. Again, nothing wrong with that. But those aren’t really good enough reasons. WHY do they want the money? What will it do for them as a person? Usually, upon reflection, it’s not the money but rather what they can do/feel/experience as a result.

    The aspect of “making money” makes me think of something I recently heard Sean Mize say. He basically pointed out that we don’t ‘make money’. The money is already there and we just create a particular set of circumstances in order for it to make its way to us. But we shouldn’t get hung up on trying to ‘make money’.

    Again, it’s all about the end game – what we actually, deeply want to achieve as a result of everything we’re doing. Money’s fine, things can be good, but what are they really? It brings to mind something else I heard recently and I thought of this as I was reading through your post. I was watching the film, “Cool Runnings”, the other day (I love that film!) and in it John Candy’s character (Irv) says this to Derice:

    “Derice, a gold medal is a wonderful thing, but if you’re not enough without it, you’ll never be enough with it.”

    I believe it’s exactly the same with making money (and again, the same applies to anything else we want), that we absolutely have to be okay with who we are. Just as you said, sometimes we love ourselves, sometimes we hate ourselves. But that’s okay! We’re allowed! But all too often it’s we ourselves who prevent us from accepting that, then shifting the blame onto other people, circumstances, etc for how we feel, what we experience or how we are. Sorry, but nope! These things affect us, of course they do. But they don’t dictate who we are. Ultimately we do. Now this can be a bitter pill to swallow for some, but it goes back to what I highlighted in my last blog post about the lemon – our subconscious mind has a huge influence on what we feel, how we react and so forth. It’s what we allow to go and settle in our subconscious that has the biggest influence. This is something that we can control. Sure, there are certain circumstances that, at times, are beyond our control. But it’s how we allow these past events to affect us NOW that is the key.

    Well I’ve almost written a whole other blog post here, Ryan! So I’ll leave it there before you fall asleep! lol!

    Thanks for the awesome blog post, buddy. I look forward to your next, as always! 🙂


    • Glenn, whoa! What a comment! Money in and of itself is a dust collector, LOL! Nothing more or less. Your analysis is brilliant because the money is always there. We shape our consciousness or expand our awareness to attract money to us. The key resides in being less concerned with making something money-wise and more concerned with making something beneficial to others. Changing your feelings to move into a high energy state sets the inspiration deal into motion. Money flows to a free giver. Or, in my case, more money flowed to a free giver who felt deserving, or more deserving than a low-life 😉 Yep, my self-esteem was in the crapper for years. Raising my self-esteem by doing the inner work, and by surrounding myself with inspired folks like yourself, helped me mold this pretty neat reality. Comment of the day Glenn! You won! Thanks so much 🙂

  28. Lux Ganzon Says:

    Well, I didn’t know I could look at Gollum that way. Thanks for this thorough explanation and comparison. And yeah, I’m excited for The Hobbit!

    • Lux me too! Gollum is a neat dude to study. He’s also quite the character when it comes to fasting diets and speedy weight loss, LOL! Thanks so much for sharing and have a fun weekend 🙂

  29. Does reading the book count, Ryan? Never did the movie but saw the trailer so I know what the digitally-created guy looks like 🙂

    This push/pull of love/hate is something we all go through. “Step away from the computer” – your quote has saved me quite a few times. Sometimes I need to take a yoga class and just remind myself just why I’m doing this – I love to help people.

    Thanks for the reminder!

    • Sue, oh yes it does 😉 The books are amazing. The movies, I feel, do justice to the books and many of my LOTR book-obsessed friends agree. I have to follow my advice now so I’m glad that you just offered me that advice Sue! When our intent changes, we can go back to loving ourselves and others a bit more deeply to vibe high and to create good things. Thanks for the share Sue 🙂 Enjoy your weekend!

  30. Hi Ryan Sir ,

    This is a Really Great Information Article I don’t know very much about Gollum but I did see some of the LOTR series and It was great. Critics, troubles, difficulties, hurdles all are great things, you should be thankful to them. , Keep it up ,


    • Jassica, he’s quite the little guy. Agreed fully; being thankful for resistance reveals us to who we really are. What a delicious blessing. Thanks so much for sharing Jassica and you better believe I will!

  31. kelli Says:

    Well, I don’t even know what to say about this post…amazing a million times over. When you told me you were drawing parallels between blogging and Gollum, I was certainly intrigued, and like similar posts you have written, this is uber-creative, ultra-inspiring, and definitely a piece that will get bloggers thinking. You have an amazing mind, and I feel so blessed I can benefit from its wisdom on a daily basis!

    • Ah KC, hold onto this statement the next time I try to prove myself right, HA! Really humbled by your words because you’re a writing machine on your blog and for your clients. If you say it, I know it’s pretty much damn good money. Gollum is an intriguing dude to study. We learn many lessons from both heavily flawed villains as well as flawed heroes. You knew I had to write a LOTR-themed post at some time, right? 😉 Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!

  32. Hi Ryan, first of all, you’re mad! I like you!

    Secondly it took me a long time to read your post, but what a real eye opener. Anyway it got me thinking about my blog, actually not just my blog, but my life altogether. Because I figured self-hate affects more than just a darn blog, it affects everything that you do, every other passion you have (like s*x and fine dining), it affects you as a person and most importantly the people around you, and unfortunately not everyone will understand your frustration, they certainly don’t understand mine when I’m punching my microphone after the 78th take on a YouTube video I’m trying to create.

    Now you got me thinking about my self-hate, and I question, is what I’m doing with my blog, or what I’m doing with my online business full stop, really freeing me? And I can’t help but think it isn’t freeing me.

    Then it hit me, I really needed to step out of the comfort zone I’ve created for myself, and start using critism, my failures, negativity and self-hate and use them as fuel to keep doing what I’m doing better.

    I need to step out of my comfort zone and start selling my stories, rather than just sounding like a freakin robot all the time, but to actually inspire others with my stories of failure, more failures, oh and failures again, and some more failures… and a little bit of success too. The problem that I’ve had is that I’ve bottled too much in, becasue I assumed people aren’t interested in reading about trials and erros or failures. I think if was just damn honest with myself, only then would I truly be free.

    Great post Ryan Buddy, loved it, keep this up mate =)

    • Fabrizio, now you’re talking my man!! I have experienced EVERY SINGLE THOUGHT and FEELING you shared with us. Dude have I ever been there. From the 78 takes, lol, to all of the other stuff. Embracing what we dislike or even hate about ourselves is the path to freedom, because when we see where we’re angry, or unhappy, with our true selves, we move into that blessed uncomfortable zone, where all the magic happens. I can honestly sense Fabrizio that reading this post may have been a turning point for you. Not because of some clown on the Ring of Fire writing about a digitized movie character – that’d be me lol – but because my story/insight resonated with you, I reckon. I really, really wrote this to free all of us….and I must say, that seeing this comment alone made my day. In truth, we are all so darn talented, that if we’d just admit what we dislike about ourselves, we can feel it out, the pain and all, then we can laugh, stop taking ourselves so seriously, and we’ll do the freeing and uncomfy things you mention. Thanks Fabrizio for being so transparent, onward and upward my friend!

  33. YourFriend Says:

    I don’t know very much about Gollum but I did see some of the LOTR series and It was great. Critics, troubles, difficulties, hurdles all are great things, you should be thankful to them.

    Because they put a mirror on your face, they don’t lie to you. They tell you about your minuses and want you to perform better. Never let your anger ignore their constructive criticism.

    They are there to help you, to make you work harder, to help you improve. They are your friends.

    Long and short, it is good to hate yourself sometime. Because it reveals the truth in front of your eyes.

    Thanks for writing this post 🙂
    Inspiring and Motivational ^_^

    • Gollum is the digitally-created man, YF! LOL…..you make such keen points here. All resistance helps us grow. Embracing your self hate, or self loathing, is a wonderful thing. For me, that mirror effect is telling and freeing. And yep, a tad bit uncomfortable from time to time. The thing is YF, as you note, letting the anger crush good feedback only increases your self hate. I took myself more seriously and disliked myself even more by fighting critics. By listening, I revealed to myself, where I needed to love me more. Once we are at peace with our shadows they will actually begin to flee. YF, thanks for your support and for your smart insight 🙂