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Turning Limitations Into Advantages

People seem to have a magnified view of their own limitations. Recently I have been putting together a blogging course and coaching program which has put me in discussions with a lot of beginning bloggers. It has also put me in touch with a bunch of people who think they couldn’t blog no matter what encouragement I give.

  • I’m too young
  • I’m too old
  • I can’t write
  • I am not interesting
  • My niche is not interesting
  • Nobody will listen to what I have to say
  • I have no credibility
  • I will get fired
  • I have no free time
  • I tried once and wasn’t good right away

Here is what I tell them.

Have you tried?

I mean really tried.

If you are really in doubt that you can write then it would cost you absolutely nothing to actually try and see. In two minutes you can have a WordPress.com personal blog. The more you write the better you get. As you gain readers you will gain confidence. As you learn any new skill remember what you found challenging then turn around and teach others what you have learned.

While people have been fired for blogging it has been for two reasons, 1) indiscretion, and 2) stealing from the company. If you give away company secrets or talk about customer names then of course you will get fired. Don’t blog on company hours. It’s just common sense. On the other hand if you do get fired for blogging then milk the story for all its worth! A better approach though would be to talk to your boss about becoming the company blogger.

There are teenage bloggers and bloggers in their 90’s. Age really isn’t an issue providing you can physically see and type (and even then if you are determined …). Youth is an advantage. Experience is an advantage. Younger people tend to have more energy, creativity, ambition and grasp of technology. Older people have more stories, wisdom, and hard-won lessons that can be turned into advice.

Being interesting, persuasive, informative, is all about effort. Some people make being interesting and entertaining seem effortless. People like Scott Adams just have a quirky and fascinating way of looking at the world. The rest of us were not born interesting so we have to work harder. But you know what? You will find you achieve your own goals much swifter by helping others achieve their own at the same time.

I’m a busy guy. I understand when people say they don’t have enough time. But really, as I have said before, people are actually saying they are prioritising other things. Rather than saying they don’t have enough time they are saying they would rather do something else. Like watch soaps, play computer games, look out of the bus window, drink beer, read the newspaper … By learning to better manage your time you learn valuable productivity skills. Time management. Organisation. Automation. Motivation. Self discipline. Focus. Creativity. All these things help you in the rest of your life.

Most limitations are self-imposed. In many cases you can find people who have succeeded despite the same limitations. You will never know unless you give it a try.

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Comments

  1. Its a learning process no matter you are 9 or 90. It takes time is all I know. It took me around 5 months to where I am ad its a long way to go.

    Everyday is a fight be it blogging or life, If we don’t give up there why give up here. Take one step at a time and your goal will be in your reach and the limitations you will never remember.

  2. Its a learning process no matter you are 9 or 90. It takes time is all I know. It took me around 5 months to where I am ad its a long way to go.

    Everyday is a fight be it blogging or life, If we don’t give up there why give up here. Take one step at a time and your goal will be in your reach and the limitations you will never remember.

  3. “…play computer games, look out of the bus window, drink beer, read the newspaper…” oh man, I wish I had time to do those things πŸ™‚

  4. “…play computer games, look out of the bus window, drink beer, read the newspaper…” oh man, I wish I had time to do those things πŸ™‚

  5. Dear Chris,
    Your article is great. I for one am newer to blogging. I started at the end of March this year and have done about 70 posts so far. I am a REALTOR and I am having a new custom site designed which should launch in a week or so. I am still learning of course but I agree that at least in our business, IEC’s ( Internet Empowered Consumers)should find the site of great interest. My writing concerns real estate, investing and the real estate transaction. From Buyers,Sellers to Investors, I write the information that will help the IEC make their own ” Best Decisions” about real estate and the process. Hopefully in time I will become known out there in the world of blogging sites. Of course , new client referrals would be great as well. I have 19 years experience and have been an industry leader for the lion share of that time. I thank you again for writing this post and making people aware of the opportunities that are out there at any age.
    Sincerely,
    William Johnson GRI CRS e-PRO
    RE/MAX Associates
    San Diego, CA.

  6. Dear Chris,
    Your article is great. I for one am newer to blogging. I started at the end of March this year and have done about 70 posts so far. I am a REALTOR and I am having a new custom site designed which should launch in a week or so. I am still learning of course but I agree that at least in our business, IEC’s ( Internet Empowered Consumers)should find the site of great interest. My writing concerns real estate, investing and the real estate transaction. From Buyers,Sellers to Investors, I write the information that will help the IEC make their own ” Best Decisions” about real estate and the process. Hopefully in time I will become known out there in the world of blogging sites. Of course , new client referrals would be great as well. I have 19 years experience and have been an industry leader for the lion share of that time. I thank you again for writing this post and making people aware of the opportunities that are out there at any age.
    Sincerely,
    William Johnson GRI CRS e-PRO
    RE/MAX Associates
    San Diego, CA.

  7. Blogging is one way of expressing yourself. Blogging is a habit as well. Habits can be made. One should schedule some time for expressing himself/herself a day. It gradually becomes a habit. Amazingly you get used to with this.

  8. Blogging is one way of expressing yourself. Blogging is a habit as well. Habits can be made. One should schedule some time for expressing himself/herself a day. It gradually becomes a habit. Amazingly you get used to with this.

  9. Excellent post Chris.

    Our website has been around a long time and we have only started a company blog a few months back.

    I am responsible for the blog and I find it a challenge to blog about some thing interesting every single day. There are interesting things happening in the company every day – great projects, great clients, not-so-great projects and some times really not-so-great clients.

    I could blog about all these, but as you pointed out, there are some limitations to what I could actually blog about in terms of narrating client stories etc. It is not clear what impact “honest blogging” would have on the business.

    Do we only talk about the great projects and clients? Can we talk about the no-so-great projects and clients? Would that make us look bad to prospective clients? Are we allowed to talk about projects or our client experiences at all? These are questions that I struggle with every day.

    In the end I take the “safe way” and blog about our daily logos or about advice to design entrepreneurs that may have already been written about a million times.

    Thanks,
    Jeff

  10. Excellent post Chris.

    Our website has been around a long time and we have only started a company blog a few months back.

    I am responsible for the blog and I find it a challenge to blog about some thing interesting every single day. There are interesting things happening in the company every day – great projects, great clients, not-so-great projects and some times really not-so-great clients.

    I could blog about all these, but as you pointed out, there are some limitations to what I could actually blog about in terms of narrating client stories etc. It is not clear what impact “honest blogging” would have on the business.

    Do we only talk about the great projects and clients? Can we talk about the no-so-great projects and clients? Would that make us look bad to prospective clients? Are we allowed to talk about projects or our client experiences at all? These are questions that I struggle with every day.

    In the end I take the “safe way” and blog about our daily logos or about advice to design entrepreneurs that may have already been written about a million times.

    Thanks,
    Jeff

  11. I just brought up a blog a few days ago (sort of a test)and like a comment above I need to make it a habit to write daily. I am a fulltime IT geek and also a freelance writer. I write a monthly magazine article on technology. In addition to various other newspaper, magazine and web articles. So you would think I would be able to write daily. I am finding blogging is different that article writing but I’ll get there.

    Thanks your great posts!

  12. I just brought up a blog a few days ago (sort of a test)and like a comment above I need to make it a habit to write daily. I am a fulltime IT geek and also a freelance writer. I write a monthly magazine article on technology. In addition to various other newspaper, magazine and web articles. So you would think I would be able to write daily. I am finding blogging is different that article writing but I’ll get there.

    Thanks your great posts!

  13. Great post, Chris,

    Just finished writing a career book that allowed me the luxury of researching how most Americans spend their time. Here are a few staggering stats:

    – Hours of TV watched by average American: 2.6-4 hrs/day (depending on survey)

    – Hours of TV watched by all Americans: 250 billion hrs/yr

    – Minutes parents spend in meaningful convo with kids: 7min/day.

    Scary, huh! So many other stats to share, but you get the picture. How much easier would developing your blog and writing abilities be if you reallocated time spent in passive wasteland activities to time spent building your voice, knowledge, content and skills.

    I’m not implying it’s easy, we all know it’s not. But, like you said, its more about priority than anything else.

    Thanks again for the great post!

    Jonathan

  14. Great post, Chris,

    Just finished writing a career book that allowed me the luxury of researching how most Americans spend their time. Here are a few staggering stats:

    – Hours of TV watched by average American: 2.6-4 hrs/day (depending on survey)

    – Hours of TV watched by all Americans: 250 billion hrs/yr

    – Minutes parents spend in meaningful convo with kids: 7min/day.

    Scary, huh! So many other stats to share, but you get the picture. How much easier would developing your blog and writing abilities be if you reallocated time spent in passive wasteland activities to time spent building your voice, knowledge, content and skills.

    I’m not implying it’s easy, we all know it’s not. But, like you said, its more about priority than anything else.

    Thanks again for the great post!

    Jonathan

  15. I just started blogging and it’s great to be able to read sites like yours for all the tips and advice you provide. I hope I am able to stay inspired and keep the blog running and interesting.

    Keep it up,
    Adam

  16. I just started blogging and it’s great to be able to read sites like yours for all the tips and advice you provide. I hope I am able to stay inspired and keep the blog running and interesting.

    Keep it up,
    Adam

  17. OK, Chris. I’m with you. I have four blogs, three of which are on tech subjects, one of which is about music and songwriting, “singing-songwriter.kennyhart.com” (don’t want you to think I’m spamming your comments).

    I get some traffic and the occasional comment. I’m prominent on Google (#7, #8 on a search for “ask the geek”). My blogs have been up for awhile. I admit I don’t make daily posts (perhaps I should) because I just don’t want to say the same things that everyone else is saying; I don’t want to be a “me too.”

    I feel like just another squeaky voice in the midst of a howling windstorm on the ‘net.

    BTW, I’m 54 yrs. old/young and have been a tekkie for most of my life.

    Kenny “The Geek” Harthun

  18. OK, Chris. I’m with you. I have four blogs, three of which are on tech subjects, one of which is about music and songwriting, “singing-songwriter.kennyhart.com” (don’t want you to think I’m spamming your comments).

    I get some traffic and the occasional comment. I’m prominent on Google (#7, #8 on a search for “ask the geek”). My blogs have been up for awhile. I admit I don’t make daily posts (perhaps I should) because I just don’t want to say the same things that everyone else is saying; I don’t want to be a “me too.”

    I feel like just another squeaky voice in the midst of a howling windstorm on the ‘net.

    BTW, I’m 54 yrs. old/young and have been a tekkie for most of my life.

    Kenny “The Geek” Harthun

  19. In response to…

    “I’m too old” – You should check out DonToEarth.com. He’s an OAP who blogs like a pro. πŸ˜‰

    “I’m too young” – (Shameless self promotion) I’m a 13-Year Old blogger from Manchester, UK. My blog TechZi focuses on technology news, gadgets, the Internet, making money online and other random musings of mine. Nobody is too young to blog. I started when I was 12

    Not only do I enjoy blogging and have a great time doing it, but it kinda kills my old pocket money earnings. πŸ˜›

    Nice post – Chris!

  20. In response to…

    “I’m too old” – You should check out DonToEarth.com. He’s an OAP who blogs like a pro. πŸ˜‰

    “I’m too young” – (Shameless self promotion) I’m a 13-Year Old blogger from Manchester, UK. My blog TechZi focuses on technology news, gadgets, the Internet, making money online and other random musings of mine. Nobody is too young to blog. I started when I was 12

    Not only do I enjoy blogging and have a great time doing it, but it kinda kills my old pocket money earnings. πŸ˜›

    Nice post – Chris!

  21. When you get right down to brass tacks, “can’t” is sometimes just a code for either “can’t be bothered to make the effort” or “can’t steel myself to take the risk.”

  22. When you get right down to brass tacks, “can’t” is sometimes just a code for either “can’t be bothered to make the effort” or “can’t steel myself to take the risk.”

  23. I’ll be talking to a women’s business coaching group this month and this list is so helpful. BTW, it’s pretty much the same excuses people have for not writing that book, too.

    With summer TV in reruns (well, except for you Heroes nerds out there) it’s a great time to start that blog or writing project.

    Thanks Chris!

  24. I’ll be talking to a women’s business coaching group this month and this list is so helpful. BTW, it’s pretty much the same excuses people have for not writing that book, too.

    With summer TV in reruns (well, except for you Heroes nerds out there) it’s a great time to start that blog or writing project.

    Thanks Chris!

  25. Thanx for another blog trying to boost our confidences!! We have a blog at work & I am trying to get the courage to just write a single entry!! The more & more I read about the excuses, the more I realize they are just that…excuses. Maybe I will get the courage to write something soon.

    I really enjoy your blog & am learning a ton from it. Thanx! And WOW…your coffee sounded AWESOME!!

  26. Thanx for another blog trying to boost our confidences!! We have a blog at work & I am trying to get the courage to just write a single entry!! The more & more I read about the excuses, the more I realize they are just that…excuses. Maybe I will get the courage to write something soon.

    I really enjoy your blog & am learning a ton from it. Thanx! And WOW…your coffee sounded AWESOME!!

  27. @Ashish – “Take one step at a time” – yep, often the first step is the hardest, and it gets easier with each step

    @Mark – heh I would love to have some quality console time too, perhaps when I am a dotcom millionaire eh?

    @William – from what I hear realtors get a lot of value out of blogging, good luck with it

    @Rajesh – you would have thought after roughly ten years I would have made blogging a habit .. not yet πŸ˜‰

    @Creative Entrepreneur – hopefully my new post on the topic will help, let me know if not πŸ™‚

    @Steve – Funny we have opposite issues – I need to get back into writing for magazines. Before they used to approach me but I got busy and they soon stopped asking after several knock backs so I haven’t got a clue how to get back into it πŸ™‚

    @Jonathan – fascinating and so true! I am not from USA but I expect pattern is same in most of western culture

    @Adam – keep your eye on the prize and when you fall just dust yourself off and get right back up again πŸ™‚

    @Kenny – It’s good to be geek πŸ™‚ Don’t worry about covering topics others do or have, just put your own personality, experience and spin on it. Remember your audience is YOUR audience, it doesn’t always overlap and people enjoy a fresh perspective even when the topic is no longer news.

    @”Affiliate Marketing” – tsk, how did that blatant link grab get through? πŸ˜‰ Read it again, I did mention Don πŸ™‚

    @Jen – yup often can’t = won’t and just as often lies we tell ourselves

    @Anne-Marie – good point, we are coming up to the summer slump, time to chill or work that bit harder, it’s up to us!

    @Janna Berg – that coffee WAS awesome, even more awesome because the lovely people who paid for it πŸ˜€

  28. @Ashish – “Take one step at a time” – yep, often the first step is the hardest, and it gets easier with each step

    @Mark – heh I would love to have some quality console time too, perhaps when I am a dotcom millionaire eh?

    @William – from what I hear realtors get a lot of value out of blogging, good luck with it

    @Rajesh – you would have thought after roughly ten years I would have made blogging a habit .. not yet πŸ˜‰

    @Creative Entrepreneur – hopefully my new post on the topic will help, let me know if not πŸ™‚

    @Steve – Funny we have opposite issues – I need to get back into writing for magazines. Before they used to approach me but I got busy and they soon stopped asking after several knock backs so I haven’t got a clue how to get back into it πŸ™‚

    @Jonathan – fascinating and so true! I am not from USA but I expect pattern is same in most of western culture

    @Adam – keep your eye on the prize and when you fall just dust yourself off and get right back up again πŸ™‚

    @Kenny – It’s good to be geek πŸ™‚ Don’t worry about covering topics others do or have, just put your own personality, experience and spin on it. Remember your audience is YOUR audience, it doesn’t always overlap and people enjoy a fresh perspective even when the topic is no longer news.

    @”Affiliate Marketing” – tsk, how did that blatant link grab get through? πŸ˜‰ Read it again, I did mention Don πŸ™‚

    @Jen – yup often can’t = won’t and just as often lies we tell ourselves

    @Anne-Marie – good point, we are coming up to the summer slump, time to chill or work that bit harder, it’s up to us!

    @Janna Berg – that coffee WAS awesome, even more awesome because the lovely people who paid for it πŸ˜€