A few days ago I wrote a post where I asked the question, Are You a Blogger or an Entrepreneur Who Blogs?
The purpose of that post was actually to help us re-assess why we are blogging. To go into the recesses of our soul and put in the right perspective what we are doing online!
If you indeed took your time to read the post, I’m sure it must have helped you in some ways to re-focus!
Now, you might have also observed that both in the post and in my reply to your comments I tried to point you to the fact that you are either a blogger who simply love sharing your thoughts and revel in the thought of knowing that others love what you are doing. Or you are an entrepreneur who is using the medium of blogging to achieve a bigger purpose of having a good life!
If you are in the later group then you are actually a blogger and entrepreneur or what I have heard is being referred today as blogpreneur!
Unfortunately, from statistics it does appear that about 80% of those who set out to use the medium of blogging to achieve that entrepreneurial dream, end up failures!
This is truly a pain in my heart and I’ve tried in my own way to research the reason for this and also try as much as possible to offer some help. You can see this spirit in posts like, Lessons from the London 2012 Olympics games, Timeless wisdom to increase your earnings, Reminiscences of a trade unionist turned entrepreneur, and Business lessons from Google’s company philosophy.
All of these posts were written with the mind of helping you succeed with your online business.
In this article I want to touch on what I consider as the fundamental reason why many blogpreneurs are finding it difficult to achieve their dreams online. Frankly, I wrote this article some time in 2005 at a time when I was just starting my online business journey. It was like a personal note to help me ‘de-glaze’ my eyes and ‘un-dump’ the wrong beliefs and perceptions which I’ve discovered would be a problem except taken care of.
Having considered the blogosphere for the past few years, I passionately believe that this problem is very much prevalent around us and that if not dealt with, it could cause a catastrophe in the career of many.
Like I said, this is really a personal note that I wrote back in 2005 and has always been in mind heart. Peradventure it did not to you; please pardon me for ‘wasting’ your time in reading it. But if, in any way, it does apply, I plead with you to take some action to remedy the situation. It’s that important!
[NOTE: This piece is unusually long but you're advised to read every line if you truly want to get the whole picture!]
Are You A Square Peg In A Round Hole?
It is a fact of life; all of us desire success whatever the endeavor we undertake! But unfortunately, not all can boast of truly achieving this desire. Try as they could, many just seem to only run in circles.
But why is this so?
From my personal experience and the experiences of others that I’ve studied, I’ve discovered that businesses do not fail for lack of capital or material resources but as a result of a wrong mindset – what I’ve come to regard as square pegs in entrepreneurial round holes!
Of course many of us understand the power of the human mind. We know that the human mind is so powerful that there is no obstacle it cannot surmount if properly used. We know that every inventions of note came about through the instrumentality of the mind and that seemly hopeless situations have been and are still being turned around simply by the proper application of the mind.
In fact, it is this awesomeness of our minds that we stand apart from the rest of all creations!
But what does this have to do with succeeding in business you might ask.
Much more than you can imagine!
For one, the business world has its own principles and systems which demand a different approach from what many of us are familiar with. To make any mark therefore you need to check if you’re not a ‘square peg’ trying to fit into the ‘round hole’ of the business world.
A ‘Square-Peg Mindset’?
But what is that anyway?
By the ‘square-peg mindset’ I mean the totality of your beliefs, social orientation and other negative norms that have made it difficult for you to really fit into the mould of an entrepreneur. I’ve seen this widely in most of the bloggers I have studied over these past few years.
You may have heard the saying, “As A Man Thinketh In His Heart, So Is He!” indeed, this is true because the decisions we make are a product of the way we think; the actions we take are a product of our decisions, and our success flows from the actions we take.
To achieve success therefore, we must first of all change our thinking!
Succeeding as a blogpreneur is not in ‘flowing’ with the tide but in first succeeding in the most important business – YOU! You are first and foremost the business you should work on. Once you have the right mental attitude you can always develop the enthusiasm that will propel you to succeeding in any business.
But How Did This ‘Square-Peg Mindset’ Came About In The First Place?
1. The Negative Attitude Prevalent In the Society
It is a fact that negativity rules our society. It’s all around us both in our personal and professional lives. And the older you are the more susceptible you are to this. After years of disappointments in different areas of life, a thick layer of negativity had settled on many minds. They simply cannot trust in the government. They cannot trust their fellow men and women. And of course, they cannot even trust themselves either! Simply put, they have no faith that things can be done right.
This is indeed a grave situation but it can be remedied. A simple suggestion will be to commit to studying success stories of others who have succeeded in similar fields. Seek motivation through reading and being around those who have a positive mindset. Doing this will help in no small measure in helping you to see the possibilities of what you can achieve in life.
2. The Employee/Employer or Master/Servant Orientation of the Society
Some years ago, I worked in the construction industry. During this time, I watched with dismay as many who pulled out to start their own businesses returned a few years later looking for employment because their businesses have flopped. At the time I really did not understand what was wrong but after years of researching this issue I have come to understand that the biggest culprit is, trying to run a business with an employee’s mentality!
It is clear that our formal educational system prepares us not to be our own bosses but to be job seekers. And so when we leave school our first impulse is to go looking for a job. Of course, once we have been in employment for a few years, this belief is entrenched strongly in our subconscious mind.
Now, because working for someone else and running a business are a world apart, pulling out to start your own business is a herculean task for many. And so, you simply need to shed the employee or servant mindset and take up the employer or master mindset if you must succeed with your own business. This is really the ’round-peg mindset’ that will bring you success.
3. Follow-The-Boss Mentality
This actually flows from #2 above. You see, running your own business demands taking risks and making decisions. But this is not the same when you are working for another person. As an employee, the boss takes these responsibilities. Transiting from an employee to your own boss therefore, you just need to dump this mentality. You must be prepared to take risks and develop quick decision making abilities. Without this mentality succeeding as a blogpreneur will simply be like driving an automobile on flat tires – an impossibility!
4. Hating the Idea of Selling
This is the biggest area where many blogpreneurs are failing. It is true that as humans we hate to be sold but the entrepreneur knows that you cannot make a profit without selling. These are indeed two different worlds! To succeed as a blogpreneur therefore, you definitely need to know how to bridge these two worlds or you will find it difficult to pull in any returns from your blog.
In their response to the post, “Is Blog Monetization Really a Turn-Off for Blog Readers?” many clearly stated they hate ads on blogs and will not feature ads on their blogs. Now, except you have a product or service that you are promoting on your blog (and of course, you will not need to add any graphic of that product on the blog if you hate to see ads on blogs!) your blogging enthusiasm will soon wane when you are not seeing any returns from your labors.
But as a blogpreneur instead of the mindset that hates selling you will need to learn how to sell without appearing to really sell. For example here is a conversation I had with Gareth Morgan in the comment section of that post, please read it.
Here’s the conversation:
I’ve had my blog for about 2 years now and haven’t monetized it….so far. I am still undecided on whether it would be a good look, having adverts for different businesses on MY business blog. I don’t want it to look tacky and I don’t want it to draw attention from my site but obviously some extra cash would be great.
Thanks for your thoughts.”
Hmm, I truly understand your point. Some extra cash could be of help but you are concerned with distracting visitors with ads. So what do you intend to do? Stay off making some extra cash to please your blog visitors or find a way of doing it and not causing any distraction?
Now, this is really the point of this posts. I really want our readers to brainstorm some creative ways to overcome this dilemma. You see my point? So, let’s know what you can do to overcome this. For me I’m working on something which I believe all of us can benefit. If you have an answer let’s know it, will you?”
Sure, I see your point. I guess I’m still wrestling with the idea of maintaining the integrity of my business and making some good money on the side.
What I think I’ll do is move towards promoting products that I’ve purchased and approve of and only allow ads for similar products.”
That indeed, is a wise decision. Integrity is very important that you cannot do without it online. Going for products you have used will help you give your honest assessment and of course earn more trust.
Of course what you show case as ads on your site should be that that is related to your niche, what your blog readers will be interested in.
Really good way to go!”
Marketing Take Away:
Your mindset is very important if you want to succeed as an entrepreneur blogger. Your first business is to work on yourself. The key to your success is within you, right in your mind. You will need to trim the square pegs of your mind if you must be a round peg fitted for the round holes of the world of business. If you cannot fit into the entrepreneur mould you simply cannot succeed as a blogpreneur!
It’s Now Your Tune: Yes, I love reading and replying your comments. So, let’s know what you think of this. What are your experiences trying to build a business online? Do you see any correlation of your mindset and the success you have achieved so far? Let’s have your thoughts in your comment below.
Image credit: Freedigitalphotos.net