This week’s email was #50 and, during this last 12 months, the following things have happened –
- I’ve created a weekly writing habit and written ~40,000 words,
- The size of my audience has doubled… yes, it’s still small by most standards, but it’s grown in the best possible way… organically and through word of mouth,
- I’ve been introduced to wonderful new people, some of whom have become clients, and
- I’ve consumed a lot of books, articles, videos, podcasts, movies, and streaming – mostly informative and inspiring, and sometimes just mindlessly entertaining.
If I’m completely honest, I’m not entirely sure what I expected when I started this self-imposed assignment.
As an ex-marketing professional, I understood the inherent benefit of building and consistently communicating with an audience. At the same time, my imposter syndrome went into overdrive – Why would anyone be interested in anything I have to say? What if no-one reads what I write? What if it fails? etc etc… you get the picture.
But… one of the most important mantras I talk about ad nauseam is about getting comfortable with discomfort… this, after all, is usually where anything worth having is found.
The anniversary of this small milestone seems as appropriate an occasion as any on which to share the insights I’ve gained from developing this practice over the last 12 months.
5 lessons I’ve learned writing a new email every week for one year
1. CONSTANT OUTPUT REQUIRES QUALITY INPUT
Generating new content every week has taught me to remain constantly on the look out for topics of relevance or interest, followed by methodical research. It informs my work and benefits my clients, my workdays are literally better off because of these emails. It can be easy to deprioritise learning in favour of relying on your knowledge and experience. But, in a dynamic and competitive environment, failure to remain up to date in your field or industry may find you left behind, overlooked or undervalued.
2. PERSONAL CONNECTIONS
It’s beyond exciting to hear that some of my readers actively look forward to receiving my email each week. This blows me away… and lets me give my self-critic a firm elbow to the ribs. In the early days, I knew every single person I was emailing. What I hadn’t expected was building personal connections with new people along the way. As a regular email subscriber, I’ve rarely responded to people or businesses I hear from… so, I’ve been surprised and delighted that this is a thing.
3. SO MUCH CONTENT
Getting started writing a weekly email was a bit of a slog and it took a while before I could stand back and appreciate the value of the content I was creating. When you start a business, you’re often on your own doing “all the things”. Eventually a kind business guru pointed out I could save myself much heartache and duplication by repurposing and reusing my own content… for articles on my website, on the socials and elsewhere. A life changing moment, delivering considerable relief.
4. YOU DON’T NEED TO KNOW ALL THE STEPS
I often talk to clients about releasing themselves from needing to know all the steps they need to take to get from A to B. Waiting to know all the steps is a form of procrastination and an exercise in frustration. You just need to know the first step. And so it has been with my weekly email… every small amendment or adjustment has been informed by reader feedback. I just needed to get started and follow where they lead.
5. ESTABLISHING A HELPFUL HABIT
I’ve always loved writing and this process has helped me hone a helpful skill. While by no means an expert, my writing ability is vastly improved in the space of 12 months. And I’ve established a helpful habit that carried me through a year of personal upheaval – losing my dad, hotel quarantine and months away from home – and provided me with both a structure to my weeks and an outlet to share some of what I was experiencing. The discipline of our habits can carry us through tumultuous times.
Writing this weekly email has been one of the best things I’ve done since I started my business. It’s allowed me to get clear about so many aspects while sharing insights and information. And it’s been surprisingly therapeutic… a practice that started as a chore, has become both enjoyable and energising.
What helpful habit can you get started on that your future self will thank you for? Remember, the best time to start a helpful habit was 10 years ago… the next best time is today. What will you be reflecting back on 12 months from now?
Are you struggling with career inertia, not able to get started on something you really want to do? If you you’re ready to think differently about what’s next, let’s discuss how I can help you put some helpful habits in place to kick start your progress.