Three years ago I began writing this blog, Building United, as an outlet during a period of unemployment. Initially, it served as a medium to share my thoughts about the life challenges I was working through. Week after week, I would take my hand-written notes from throughout the week and put them to paper. And, for most Sundays since, I have published an article.
Each year at this time, I reflect back on the beginnings. From learning how to create a blog, to understanding what a widget is, to creatively writing, I learned something with each step of the process. It just so happens that I enjoyed writing enough to continue to share my ideas.
To date, I have posted 144 articles. While the stories and messages vary, I always try to create content that remains consistent and is representative of the person I am, and the person I am striving to be. I’ve written about decision making, stages of personal development, personal stories, persistence, inspiration, commitment, and change management (most viewed post).
I believe there is one central theme that permeates throughout all of my posts – growth through adversity. Just this past week, I heard someone say, “I have never met someone who woke up in the morning and said, ‘I want today to be a crappy day.’” The point of this statement is that there is always room for growth, there is always room to learn, and there is always room to become a better you.
In my life, I have two mantras that I live by.
- Never settle for anything less than you (and others) deserve.
- Without growth, mediocrity is a certainty.
So, when I think about this blog – where it is now, relative to where I want to take it – I realize that certain things need to change. What began as a somewhat haphazard way to share my ideas, has grown into something that I believe has validity and a message that resonates with my readers – locally, nationally, and even internationally. Now, I feel compelled to make it grow in order to reach a larger audience.
So, what needs to change?
For starters, I need to write better content. Hands down, I’ve found that people will read something because they find one of two ideas to be present. The first idea is that a reader finds the content valuable (applicable to his or her own life). The second idea is that the reader finds it interesting (engaging and keeps his or her attention). I personally believe that one of the best ways to provide one of the two (or both) qualities is to provide real life examples from everyday people, and this is something I want to do moving forward.
Next, I have contemplated (and even told myself for over a year) that I was going to revamp the existing blog webpage. Quite honestly, it’s outdated, the format is not easily navigable, and, in my opinion, it’s not aesthetically appealing. Time and time again, I have written about change and how it necessitates growth. In the case of my blog website, it’s well beyond time for a change.
With that, and keeping in mind my life mantras, I’m on a personal mission to create better content and to expand my reach to a larger audience. For something that I stumbled into, writing (blogging) has become something that I have a passion for doing and an activity that I find purpose in doing.
Historically, I have used the months of May and December to generate new ideas for content to write about in the next half of the year. This year, for the month of May, I plan to stick to the plan, but I will be spending a significant amount of time upgrading the website. At the end of the day, each of you are faithful readers, and I would be settling if I was providing you with something less than what you deserved.
The next few weeks are going to be challenging and exciting all at once. Along the way, I’m going to appreciate the journey, celebrate the small victories, and return in June re-energized to make this thing take off – and I want you there with me.
I’ll begin again with weekly posts the weekend of June 19th. Okay, so maybe that’s a little longer than a month, but thanks to the Boulder Half Ironman, I will be training to compete the weekend of June 11th. I’m sure I will be writing about that experience, and I’m looking forward to continuing on this journey with each of you!