Building a Blog: The Fear Factor

The Fear Factor and the Why Factor are opposites and at any given moment either one can creep over and tell you why you should or shouldn’t start a blog.

Mark Schaefer – blogger and marketing genius – has found that not starting a blog  generally has nothing to do with lack of time, ability or ideas … it has to do with confidence.

For me, the lack of confidence comes in two different forms – criticism and fear of the competition.

Even though I’ve started, BoomerangBeat still plays Jekyll and Hyde with me. In one second I can go from thinking it’s a great idea, to a ridiculous one. This is also the reason I wrote the first post, and I say this with shame, in 2011 and am just now picking it back up in 2013.

My Fear Factors

1. Identity crisis and criticism 

I’m still not sure how to explain BB with grace. It really started to click with me when I began composing The Why Factor post, but that was just yesterday. Before that, I had bits of reason, but no real organization to the pieces. This is my identity crisis.

I’m great at conceptualizing but fail (miserably) when it comes to articulation. The BB’s Why Factor is at the tip of my tongue but because of that lack of clarity, I was (am) afraid of criticism. I want the reason for BB to be very clear before I squander my attention-getting efforts with a broken elevator pitch.

2. Competition – they’re already doing it bigger and better   

If I want to move forward with BB (and I do) I need to use the competition as motivation, not discouragement. Use it to keep an eye on what they’re doing, what holes they’re leaving and what lessons can be learned. I have to constantly remind myself not to stare too long or too hard at them, though.

The ability to live in the question long enough for genius to emerge is a touchstone of creative success. – Jonathan Fields, 99u Writer

Successful people understand the abundance mentality – there are enough resources and successes to share with others. There is not a finite number and idea wells don’t just run dry.

Finding a “competitor” that has a stranglehold of the marketplace you want to get into only means one thing: they’ve proven there’s an audience. Now, you just need to take a piece of the pie.

On the contrary, the scarcity mindset (if someone else wins, you lose) is destructive and unnecessary. Get as far away from that as you can.

For me, I see BB’s competition as BuzzFeed and Upworthy. It might sound ridiculous to size them up right now, but they’re practicing similar tactics and reaching the audience I’m aiming for. I plan to write a post about evaluating the competition soon.

What have been your Fear Factors when building a blog?


Creating a Career Vision Board

Creating a Career Vision Board

Consciousness can shape reality and somewhere along my professional path, I let that notion slip away.  Shame aside, I’ve had the same goals for over a year that I’ve done little to work towards and that bothers me. So, while it may not seem logical to some, my first step to moving forward was to create a visual reminder.

A few weeks ago, I took my left-brain chill pill and started creating. I allowed myself to feel silly in my goals. I went with what registered in my heart and gut, instead of my logic. The finished product (above) is, quite literally, my bigger picture.

Through the creation process, I relied heavily on my role models. These ladies are a consistent presence in my every day – whether it’s following them on Twitter, subscribing to their RSS feeds, or reading their biographies/business books. I’m drawn to each one of them because of their voice, work ethic, background and above all, their steadfast stubbornness to do something they believe in. They are also a painful reminder that I haven’t been doing all I can to reach my goals. A reminder I needed.

Though my vision board boasts a few misspellings and plenty of dog hair, I love it and carry it in a notebook that never leaves my side. I understand that it’s no substitute for elbow grease, but it’s purpose is to serve as a good nudge every time red wine and RHOBH call my name. Which is often.

What’s on my vision board – a semi-detailed look

Faces at the crest:

Amy Jo Martin – she founded a social media company in her late-20s and tried things that hadn’t been done before. A renegade, as she calls herself. I’m reading her book now and the more I delve into the details of how she believes business should be done, the more my professional girl crush grows. Is that weird?

Martha Stewart – I know what you’re thinking, I don’t care. She may be over the top for the every day lady but this woman knows business. The one thing that really draws me to her though, is her extreme curiosity and tenacity to try so many different things.

Barbara Corcoran – she draws on her background to relate it to who she is as a professional and as a leader. Even early in her career, she never seemed afraid to put something out into the world and see if it worked. It usually did.

Bethenny Frankel – business persona, family, confidence. She’s not just a reality star, she was on the cover of Forbes for shit’s sake.

Erika Napoletano – her analysis of how business relates to life and her raw openness draw me in. We also have a favorite word in common … it’s starts with an F. Her TEDx talk is one of my faves. Oh, and any blog post she’s ever written.

Below their pretty faces is a mash up of all my entities – the ones I’m working on now (Coach Gray, this blog and BoomerangBeat) and the ones for down the road (those I’ve greened out). I matched each one with either a path I admire or where I’d like to see them go.

Who are your professional role models and how do you relate to them in your every day? Would you benefit from a career vision board? 

Building a Blog: The First Blog Post

This one was hard to get out but I did it: What’s going on with the Pope?

It was hard on a couple levels:

1. I’m out of shape. I was super slow getting this one spit out. By the end, I couldn’t tell if it was a boring read or if I was just enamored with my own writing.

2. I struggled with length. I wanted enough solid information to lay the foundation, but I didn’t want to add information for the sake of it. Finding the balance between helpful and “I don’t need to know that” isn’t easy. I get distracted by the noise, a lot, which is the exact problem I’m trying to eliminate. A few more posts and hopefully I’ll find cadence.

3. My BB design is horrible as is.


I played with it a lot but all that buffering was only accomplishing one thing: delay. So, I put it out there. Maybe no one will read it, maybe someone will find it helpful. Either way getting it done, “readiness” aside, was my #1 goal.

I also realized that my original one-calendar-day dedication to BB was not enough. I needed three – one day to research, one day for weeding, and a third to finesse. I’ll go over my calendar and organizational plan in the next week.

What are (or were) your struggles with your first few posts? 


Building a Blog: Getting Past Paralysis

A little embarrassed to admit it, but I’ve had this idea I’ve been squatting on for over a year. I even bought the domain name back in 2011. But weighing the pros and cons over that year has paralyzed me. I need to isolate the fact that I keep coming back to the idea for a reason and direct my energy accordingly. Upside – I’ve had time to find holes in the market where I think I fit. Downside – letting fear creep in. More on that here.

I don’t believe in jumping in blind but I do think there’s a thing as too much research. Now I do anyway. It’s an easy place to hide. You read others’ opinions, successes and failures without ever having to make a decision for yourself. Some people are okay with that. I’m not. It’s a silent killer of dreams. Don’t get too comfortable in research. I had to cut myself off. Time to make a firm decision and move forward.

I’m building BoomerangBeat – a news website (well, right now … just a blog) written in way that Millennials consume. I don’t want to go too much into the explanation, that’s what the About section of BB will be. This here, this is to track my progress, bumps in the road, and the ups and downs. And really, to kill two birds with one stone – keep moving along in my professional journey and build BB.

Don’t you ever wonder how popular blogs got their start? Or how businesses you admire go about their routine? I do. Hoping that BB is a success, this section of is meant to serve as a guide for others and to share examples of my thought process along the way. I don’t know it all, but I’m hoping to give inspiration, get feedback or collaborate with someone who is as lost as I am.