Why Do A Group Blogging Challenge?

on 11 July 0 Comment
I'm so thankful for this group and the blog challenge!
I’m so thankful for this group and the blog challenge!

It’s really late on a Sunday night. I started writing this when there’s only a couple hours left to get in on this particular 30-day group blogging challenge. I’ve had an incredibly busy few weeks with an overload of work. It’s summer—with school out, it’s the time when friends and family are available for out of town visitors—or they want to come to you. In addition to a large freelance workload, our schedule has been very full with out-of-town visits and visitors to our home. So, why would I decide—completely last minute—to add a 30-day group blogging challenge to my summer schedule?

Here are a few quick reasons:

  • I believe that God orchestrates all circumstances at particular times for particular reasons. I don’t always understand the timing or reason at the time that I commit to doing something, but I do know that I have seen the blessings looking back. I have seen a larger picture unfold about why the timing was incredibly important for the domino effect of other events in my life that were about to unfold. So, if I pray about an activity and have peace about doing it, and my husband is in agreement, we move forward. You can read my husband’s blog—he is also doing the challenge, writing as I write now—at hikingwithyourhoney.com.
  • I know that adding structure helps me achieve goals. I really dislike feeling pressure. I prefer to let things ruminate over time, with a plan solidly in place. However, I’ve also found that starting something helps me crystallize my plans—even when I’m not sure what my specific goals for that time period are yet. I do know that I have the larger goals of growing my business, generating inspirational and income-producing content and continuing to hone my craft as a professional writer, editor and marketer.
  • I want to help other small business owners who understand the importance of effective communication and knowledge sharing. I’m not sure how business owners will join this challenge, but I do know that I’ve learned so much from connecting with others. I really appreciate gaining knowledge from others who are willingly share their successes and failures. And I like sharing as well. It’s a win-win. Whether we are in the same field or not, we have a common shared experience of creating something for a purpose larger than ourselves.
  • I’m interested in people and what they are doing. As a writer and editor, understanding your audience is critical to getting your message across. Reading what people from various backgrounds want to write about helps you understand your potential audience. What are their interests? Their struggles? Their triumphs? Their fears? Their hopes and dreams? All of the insights help you generate more relevant, inspirational content.
  • I have experienced that adding discipline in one area of my life spills into another. When I have done fitness challenges, I was more productive in all areas of my life. Also, the last time I did a blog challenge, in addition to learning how easy it is to write more consistently for fun, I learned much about WordPress and building my own Websites and creating social media graphics. I also made made progress on one future book…just for fun. It will share insights about God, life and business that I’ve learned from Clive, my cat. Check out that blog here.

Perhaps it’s time for you to join a challenge. How much you are able to get done may surprise you—and you never know where or what may unfold next.

Continue reading ...

Living “Pro”— 
3 Surprises and 4 Take-Aways from a Recent Conference

on 29 April 0 Comment
The amazing entrepreneurs at 2 x 4 Live. My hubby and I are standing at top left.
The amazing entrepreneurs at 2 x 4 Live. My hubby and I are standing at the top left.

Attending business or industry-related conferences is a critical component of keeping your “pro” skills relevant and up-to-date. Earlier this month, I was blessed to attend one of the most informative and inspirational events that I have ever been to.

I initially decided to go to this particular event, called 2×4 Live, because one of my clients co-created it. She and her three other colleagues—all of whom are seasoned business women in their fields—would be the keynote speakers.

I would have a chance to learn from leaders with a combined total of more than 50 years of entrepreneurial wisdom!

Although, I have about 20 years of experience working for large corporations or non-profits in the editorial world, I am fairly new at running my own business. So, for me at this point, it made more sense to invest in a business conference rather than an industry event.

As I expected, the speakers’ messages were amazing, and chalked-full of practical how-to information to move my current business and new business ideas forward.

And, the conference also blew away my expectations in a few unexpected ways:

  1. I benefitted from hearing wisdom that will apply to my business challenges well down the road, but I received the extra blessing of planning for those situations now.
    I could not have predicted how much I would learn from my fellow attenders/entrepreneurs. They had questions that I, as a relative newbie in entrepreneurship, would not have thought about asking. People around our group were at all different levels and had various types of expertise.
  2. The commraderie and the friendships formed faster than I could have imagined—we had a new community less than 48 hours after we met. People talked about future get-togethers and extended invitations to visit in their homes. 
  3. My husband got to come with me unexpectedly; having two minds collaborate to apply what we learned will be so much more productive than if I had been on my own. We also felt blessed to share the story of our adventures—from how we met later in life to how we grow closer together as we explore God’s magnificent creation. You can read about some of those adventures on my husband’s blog, Hiking with Your Honey. He shares lessons from the trail that apply to marriage, relationships and life.

So, what are my additional “pro” take-aways?

  1. Be openminded, and you will learn from people and places you had never thought of. I had no idea how much I would learn from people, 95% of whom are in a completely different industry. But because many of them are writing books, they may become clients.
  2. Follow leaders and do what they do. I went to this conference mainly because someone I respect had created the event and was speaking.
  3. Keep learning and interact with others along the way. I personally feel more comfortable learning anonymously to a recorded teaching, but I know something much more powerful happens in personal interaction. Online live events or phone calls are a great start, but try to plan to get away at least once a year—or even more often, if you are able to. I know I wouldn’t have even thought of starting my business without my writers’ group. So, find a group of people with common interests locally that you can have face time (not just screen time) with. These are often available through churches, through meetup.com, Facebook and other sources.
  4. Record whatever you learn, and type up your take-aways shortly after you return. I believe that God orchestrates every step I take, and I don’t often understand the timing of circumstances right away. But, as I go about my daily life, being diligent to complete the tasks in front of me, the dots start to connect. I begin to gain understanding and I start to see the pieces fit together.

Be blessed in your own “pro” journey!

Loral

P.S. If you are considering writing a book or if you are nearly finished with one, you would benefit from taking an upcoming phone in class “An Overview of the Editing Process,” Monday, May 9, 2016, at 8 p.m. EST. I am co-teaching this class with the client I mentioned above, Kayla Fioravanti, a experienced serial entrepreneur, who owns Selah Press

If you register before May 1, the class is only $7.

Continue reading ...
1456