When you want to learn about fixing a car’s engine, it makes sense to turn to a certified auto mechanic. When you want to learn about writing your own book and selling it on Amazon, it makes sense to ask a successful published author. And when you want to learn about being successful as a blogger, you’d think that you should heed the insight offered by big name bloggers. And that’s still true, but it’s only part of the picture.
Sometimes, the greatest teachers in our lives have no idea that they’re teaching us anything at all. They may have snot on their noses and a particular affinity for PAW Patrol. You might recall when I wrote about what becoming a dad taught me about making money online. Today, I’m following up with a few more lessons that I learned through my parenting experience these last few years. She’s growing up so quickly!
Focus on the Now
No, I’m not talking about “living in the moment” or “being fully present” or any other overused Oprah-ism (though I suppose that’s still good life advice all around). What I mean is that when you take on the duties of parenthood, assuming you’re not surrounded by all sorts of help (paid or otherwise), you’ll find that you become much more strapped for time. Taking care of a kid (or two or three) is beyond a full-time job in and of itself, a job for which you likely did not receive any proper training before being thrown into the fire.
Add in the responsibilities of your day job (if you have one) or running your own business (like this freelance writer right here), and it can prove incredibly difficult to find enough time to dedicate to your Internet marketing, blogging, vlogging, and other ambitions. This forces you to be much more focused when you do have the time to work on these things. YouTube and Facebook can wait.
The Payoff Comes Later
The Internet is filled with all sorts of “turnkey solutions” and “get rich quick” schemes that look like they’ll suddenly flood your bank account with untold amounts of money, all with minimal to no effort on your part. And that money will come pouring in tomorrow. But of course, we know that this isn’t true. It takes time. It takes effort. You have to stick with it, even if it doesn’t pay off right away.
Maybe you start a blog with a sense of unbridled enthusiasm, pouring your heart and soul into some truly stupendous posts and you market the heck out of the site… but all you get are crickets and tumbleweeds. It’s easy to get dismayed at the lack of immediate results, but you stick with it, you improve it, and you eventually find your way. It pays off in the end if you keep at it and are flexible in trying new things as appropriate.
Parenting is much the same way. Ask any mom or dad about sleep training or potty training. Another good example is that we started teaching baby sign language to my daughter when she was only a few months old, well before she developed the dexterity to sign anything back. But eventually she did. It paid off. And I think this may have contributed to her great language skills today.
Listen to the Experts
When you become a mom or a dad for the first time, you’re going to have a lot of questions. Taking care of a little baby is a monumental responsibility and it’s one that you should definitely take seriously. What does it mean if the baby does this and what does it mean if the baby doesn’t do that? What is the ideal sleeping arrangement for the first month? How often does the baby need to feed? Should I be considering this kind of product or that kind of product? What do all these different terms mean? What is the recommended immunization schedule?
Blogging can be much the same. If you’re new to the arena, it can be easy to get overwhelmed with CSS, HTML, PHP, CPA, CTR, SEO, SEM, and any number of other acronyms. It can be easy to get lost in WordPress themes and plugins. And that’s okay. Just like with parenting, there are experts who can provide you with all sorts of advice and insight to help guide your journey.
Read lots and soak it all in like a thirsty sponge. The wealth of information freely available on the Internet is truly astounding.
Make Your Own Decisions
But do you know what’s the problem with listening to the experts? You will inevitably come across a never-ending list of contradictions. Expert A might tell you one thing and Expert B will tell you to do exactly the opposite thing. With parenting, some say cosleeping is best and others say that cosleeping is incredibly risky.
Recognize that no matter what you choose, someone is going to say you’re doing it wrong. What matters at the end of the day is that you are comfortable with your decision and you based that decision on the best information available to you. This is true of parenting, just as much as it is true of blogging. You’ve gotta do you.
Because, at the end of the day, making money online is mere child’s play, right?