“Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later. Og Mandino”
James Altucher is an investor, programmer, author, and serial entrepreneur who recently shared his “Ultimate Cheat Sheet to Starting and Running Your Own Business.” It’s presented like an FAQ for people who want to start their own business.
Probably the most powerful tip was the final one:
You create your luck by being healthy and not regretting the past or being anxious about the future.
Inspired. There are 101 other great questions and answers in the blog post. One that caught my eye was this one:
56) Should I blog?
Yes. You must. Blog about everything going wrong in your industry. Blog personal stories that you think will scare away customers. They won’t. Customers will be attracted to honesty.
I won’t dispute the truth of the statement, however I’ve worked with enough business bloggers to want to raise my hand and offer a bit of advice on the subject.
You must blog: Check.
Don’t be afraid to blog about what’s wrong in your industry. Check.
Angela Hoy of the self publishing company Booklocker shares her concerns about how many self publishing houses engage in less than ethical tactics in the weekly newsletter. She and her husband also maintain a forum – the “original” web 2.0 app – which includes a “whispers and warnings” section.
Blog personal stories that you think will scare away customers. In the words of Ralphie’s mother in “A Christmas Story” when her husband set up the leg lamp in their front window – “Ahhh, ohhh, uhhh…”
I’ve worked with business bloggers since 2006, and I feel I need to add this disclaimer to this bit of advice.
If you’re in the business of solving problems, it’s not a good idea to blog about how you can’t solve your own current problems. For example, if you’re a marriage counselor, it’s probably not a good idea to blog about your own personal issues with infidelity.
There is of course and exception to the exception and that’s creating a “here’s how I’ve overcome this obstacle, I can help you overcome it as well” style blog post. Even better is to create a series of “I overcame this obstacle, I’ve helped others overcome it as well” style blog posts. These types of post are by far the most powerful “marketing tool” you can create for your business.
Customers will be attracted to honesty. Double, triple, quadruple check!
Another word for honesty is authentic – and this is where business blogging can get ugly for some people. If you think your customers are mindless sheep then it’s probably best if you don’t blog because for some reason, blogging tends to put your “shit on blast.”
Instead of being afraid of the “putting your shit on blast” properties of business blogging, get your attitude adjusted then put on your big boy (or girl) pants and start blogging.