Making The Next Move – The Focusing Question

My little chess player.

Chess player

It’s been several weeks since my first blog post. Even though I started with so much excitement the fear has crept back in. Am I stuck or thinking about quitting? No way! But I’m learning that fear and resistance never stop and the more space you give them the more room they take.

Since I don’t have much free time, I’ve been looking for some type of step-by-step guide or resource for new bloggers. I’m trying to avoid wasting time on unnecessary steps and mistakes common to new bloggers.

I’m developing a writing habit so I’ve been journaling several times per week in the morning and taking notes on topics that interest me directly on the Evernote app (AKA my electronic brain). Evernote is free and awesome so get it. 

I read on Michael Hyatt’s blog that most bloggers quit after just a few months. After reading this a thought crept into my head saying something like “just quit now and don’t waste anymore time.” Well, lucky for me, I don’t consider myself a blogger. The blogger label just doesn’t appeal to me.

I just want to do a few things:

  • share my journey
  • connect with people trying to do extraordinary things
  • get clarity on my next steps
  • find my voice (more on this later)
  • write about things I’m passionate about

I don’t have to give myself the blogger label to do this.

The Focusing Question

To decide my next steps I normally list a bunch of random things and put them in order.  This time, though, I prefer focusing on just one focused step. In the book “The One Thing” the author recommends asking yourself the FOCUSING question to uncover your next move.

This is it:

“What’s the ONE Thing I could do, such that by doing it everything else would be easier or unnecessary?”

Possible Next Steps:

1. Make an “About” page.

2. Choose a niche or focus.

3. Find a step-by-step guide for new bloggers.

4. Set up an email opt-in.

These are all important, but based on the focusing question,  the most important one now is to find a guide on setting up a blog the right way. Following the steps of someone who’s done it before should reduce some of the frustration and common mistakes.

Am I absolutely sure this is the right step? Nope. But I don’t want to spend too much time dwelling on the next move. If it’s a mistake I’ll adjust and continue moving forward.  But the main thing is not to stop the momentum.

I’m considering to buy a short step-by-step ebook called “The First Week in Blogging” for $20 from Problogger that looks perfect. I also got Michael Hyatt’s “Platform” book recently. I’ll review them both and then decide which one to follow first. I get distracted easily, so following one resource with step-by-step instructions will help a lot.

Is there any way you can apply the focusing question to something that you’re doing or trying to start?

On Taking Action

Last month I decided to start blogging. For most people this isn’t a big deal, but for me it is since the thought of sharing my ideas and thoughts scares me–big time. I don’t consider myself a writer. In fact, I don’t like writing; I prefer public speaking. But I started this blog to finally take quick action.

No more excuses.

For a long time, but especially these past two years, I’ve been inspired by dozens of stories from people who are doing extraordinary things. My favorite stories are about people who started their own podcasts, blogs, businesses, online platforms, and even charities.

But I reached the point where I grew tired of siting on the bench watching other people score. It’s time for me to get in the game.  I realized that life is not meant to be lived on the sidelines.

The element that all those personal stories I follow have in common is ACTION.  Each one of those individuals  overcame some fear/resistance. They took one step, then another, and then another… But they ALL started with that first step. They made mistakes along the way and then continually adjusted along the way. I can do that too, right?

You can’t do anything without taking Action – even if it’s just one tiny step.  Sometimes I feel the king of inaction. I bought the domain andresvaldes.com over a year ago and I never took real action out of fear and waiting for the perfect idea or ideal moment to start. (I have three kids so it’s not like I was just home chillin’.) And now after all that time I realize that the perfect time will never come. The perfect moment is when we decide to take aggressive action towards our dreams and goals.

I’m starting with a short post, so that I don’t get stuck over thinking my words and my image. I know this because what was supposed to be my first post was so long and complex that it has taken me over a month to write.  And when I finished, it seemed so fake I scrapped it.

So let me start with something simple and authentic. Let’s keep it real. I’m learning that simplicity and authenticity is they key to a lot of things.

Wish me luck on this journey of self-discovery (and learning the tech side of a blog.) Or better yet, join me, but either way I’m here if you need help.