The “My Inspirations” series is my opportunity to highlight specific people, books, or resources that have helped lead me to where I am today and inspired me to take on the challenge of starting a computer business. No journey is ever taken alone.
At First I Was Afraid, I Was Petrified…
One of the first obstacles I had to overcome before I could start my business was a fear of the unknown. This fear mainly stemmed from a lack of experience in the business arena. Although I have plenty of experience fixing computers, I had never started a business before, I didn’t know anyone who had done anything similar, and although my family and friends provide excellent support, I didn’t have the kind of support that comes from people who have “been there” and “done that”. I bought some books I thought would help, but they didn’t really fit exactly what I was looking for. What I was looking for were mentors, people who have successfully done what I want to do, who I would be available to bounce ideas off of. I had questions: Could I pull this off? How have others been successful? What is the common wisdom and what are some lessons that others have learned learned?
So naturally, as any young man growing up in this modern world, I turned to the internet for answers. But with the internet came an overwhelming barrage of information. I didn’t know what was pertinent, what applied to me, what was fact or speculation, or where to start. There are some great resources out there for entrepreneurs on how to start a business, don’t get me wrong, but nothing more than a few forum discussions tailored to my niche, computer consulting. That was strange because I know there are thousands of folks out there doing the same thing that I’m interested in doing, but apparently they weren’t really putting themselves out there to connect with others.
I felt stuck…too timid to feel comfortable making the leap into starting my own business.
Weblogs to the Rescue
That’s where blogging comes in. I started getting into reading blogs about a year ago, when I bought a book called “The 4 Hour Work Week”, by Tim Ferriss. It’s a great book, by the way, and I’ll be reviewing it in a later post, but how it pertains to this post is that Tim has a blog associated with his book. It’s a great blog, with lots of useful tips for how to get the most out of life. From there, I started exploring other personal productivity blogs and I soon became hooked on the reading them as a way of having regular sources of insightful information at my fingertips. While I was searching for resources to help guide me in my decision to start a business, a light bulb went off in my head. Why don’t I stop working so hard to seek out information and mentors and instead start a blog in order to get the information and mentors to come to me?
And so this blog was born. I wanted to take this opportunity to highlight three of the blogs that have inspired me to take the crucial step of starting my own blog. As you’ll see, the subject of these websites have nothing to do with computer consulting, they simply inspired me to the point where I was confident I could benefit greatly by starting my own blog. The blogs listed have two major things in common: great writing and authors with a story that inspired me to move forward with my business.
The Simple Dollar – This is a personal finance blog, one of the first blogs I started reading, and it’s one of my biggest influences. Trent Hamm, the writer behind The Simple Dollar, started this website to chronicle the progress he was making getting his personal finances under control after a devastating financial meltdown he had a few years back. The various things he’s learned and discovered on the road to putting his life back together has been fascinating and helpful reading. His attitudes and adivce on perosnal finance is what helped me realize what I need to do in order to get my own finances in order so I can start my business on the right foot. Moreover, his articles are not only informative, but very personal and accessible. He doesn’t pretend like he knows everything about personal finance, instead he just lays out his ideas, his opinions, and things that have worked for him. I try to emulate his tone in my articles, to take what I’ve learned and share it with others in hopes that it may help them, but without making any false promises. Trent also found the courage to quit his well-paying desk job to pursue his passion for writing full-time, which I admire and has been one of the biggest catalysts for my decision to move forward with my business.
Zen Habits – Another one of the first blogs I started reading. This is another example of an author , Leo Babauta, who doesn’t claim to be an expert at anything, but simply presents well written and entertaining articles that discuss techniques he has uses to live a simple and happy life. Leo’s advice on Zen Habits has helped me learn how to cut a lot of the mind clutter that I had in the initial stages of business planning. He’s also showed me, through example, what I think great blog posts should look like.
Life Reboot – I stumbled on this post while searching google one day. It really hit a nerve with me, not only because it’s mainly true, but because I felt like the negative aspects of being the computer guy that he brought up didn’t seem all that bad to me (which inspired one of my posts). As I got to reading more of the articles by author Shaun Boyd, I found that he too had to make the hard decision to leave a life of predictability to chase his dreams. His courage to take that leap has helped motivate me to make my own leap.
Now that I’ve started blogging I’ve found a wonderfully supportive community of folks out there who are willing to help and support fellow blog-heads. I’d like to give a quick shout-out to some of my new friends, these are folks who extended a helping hand either by regularly participating with comments or by offering to help my pursuits in other ways…take a minute to check out their respective websites and say hi:
- Andy @ Blog in your Face
- Eric @ “Motivate Thyself“/Up-And-Coming-Blogger
- Jonathan @ Illuminated Mind
- Leo @ Zen Habits
- Chaitanya @ P2W2
- Mathieu @ Hardware Revolution
- Dan @ Computer Repair Business
- Bill @ Good Computer Guy
If I’m forgetting you, please forgive my chronic CRS, leave me a comment and I’ll add you to the list! Thanks guys!
And I can’t forget my friends and family who helped get me going by commenting on my early posts and encouraging me the whole way: Mom, Bill, Daisy, Dava, Nathan, Renee…it’s good to know I have your support in whatever I do!
Now I’m curious to know how all you bloggers got motivated to put yourself out there on the internet? What are some of your most inspiring blogs?
Check out these other posts from the “My Inspirations” series: