Dear Gary Vaynerchuk,
After letting your book Crush It sit on the shelf for the better part of a year, I read it through to the end this past week. I was pleasantly surprised by the book, and even more pleasantly surprised by the numbered To Do checklist at the end.
To be honest, I struggled with question #1:
What is your passion?
Well… Um… Well, it’s… Hard to explain, because, well…
My passion is me.
Yeah, I get it. That sounds terrible. What an ass, you’re probably thinking. It’s not true. At least, I HOPE it’s not true. Let me explain. It’s not that I am so interesting, it’s that new and fresh ideas hit me so often that I can get lost in them and exclude the outside world. Insights about what makes us tick. Our motivations. Our pain. Our fears. Our ulterior motives.
Six years and 20 blogs later, I finally figured out what my passion is
No, you didn’t misread that. I’ve started AT LEAST 20 blogs with the intention of writing regularly. Simply put, I couldn’t wrap all my interests into one domain and appeal to an audience larger than the size of my church men’s group. So I kept thinking up interesting domain names to launch new blogs. Sometimes I’d just get an idea for a new blog that wasn’t even an interest, but no one was doing it, so I’d buy a domain and publish a couple posts before getting distracted by the next new idea.
It turns out that my ridiculous ADD-like approach to blogging is only part ADD. It’s also part personality type. I’ve revisited the Myers-Briggs Type test several times because I was unsatisfied with the description of who I am. Turns out, I’m NOT an INTJ OR an INTP. No… I’m an ENTP. And while I exhibit the Idealist tendencies of an INTP, I’m more extroverted and prone toward strategy and getting things started.
I envy people who are obsessed with a single topic. Some of these people grow to become millionaires, gurus, and subject matter experts. While little ‘ol me over here has a dozen or so mild interests, none of which so captivate me that I have to spend every waking hour talking and thinking about them…
Now, About My Passion…
Before all my friends lecture me about the danger of self-love, let me clarify. It’s not that I’m in love with myself, although I firmly believe everyone is, hence the reason why Jesus told us to “love your neighbor as yourself.” If you didn’t love yourself much, that command wouldn’t be too difficult to follow. So I guess I DO love myself. But it’s more than that.
I’m most passionate about the insights that come to me each and every day, many times per day. Insights that might not matter to anyone else, but that really make life interesting for me.
That’s why as much as I love blogging, journaling is always more enjoyable. I LOVE journaling. Journaling is the most restorative, rejuvenating activity I do. I can’t even explain why. Something about clearing my mind of new thoughts by getting them down on paper has a very calming effect.
But how do I turn my “self-love” into a blog worth reading?
That’s the question, isn’t it? Everyone successful in blogging and social media marketing will tell you that the most self-centered people are the least effective social marketers. They ask, they take, they borrow, they whine. Me, me, me, me, me.
That’s definitely a challenge. My purpose isn’t to get everyone to help me or love me or think I’m the best whatever. My goal in sharing who I am and how I think is to connect with other people who aren’t as comfortable or practiced at communicating their internal world. I use me as a means of getting to you. I don’t mind sharing how I see things. I don’t feel the need to protect that and guard it as closely as some might. But if by sharing my own personal insights with you, we can bridge a gap of understanding that formerly didn’t exist, I’ll consider my self-love a success.
I want to know you. And I want to know what makes you tick. And I’m going to try to help you by showing you how I tick. The minutiae matter to me. I could have been a detective. I care about the littlest details, because they dramatically change my understanding of the larger whole.
Who knows? Maybe this flops? Maybe I learn from this approach that I simply don’t have a single passion I’m willing to pursue. I’d be willing to admit that… AFTER I’ve exhausted every known option.
According to Myers-Briggs, my ENTP personality type exhibits the following traits:
risk taker, easy going, outgoing, social, open, rule breaker, thrill seeker, life of the party, comfortable in unfamiliar situations, appreciates strangeness, disorganized, adventurous, talented at presentation, aggressive, attention seeking, experience junky, insensitive, adaptable, not easily offended, messy, carefree, dangerous, fearless, careless, emotionally stable, spontaneous, improviser, always joking, player, wild and crazy, dominant, acts without thinking, not into organized religion, pro-weed legalization
So, as you can see, I’m not going to feel terribly bad if my next attempt at blogging success lands me back at the drawing board.
In case you were wondering whether I actually started 20 blogs, here’s a list of every single blog I’ve ever started that I can remember. These are all domains I purchased and hosted. Not all of these are still live, and not all of the live blogs are still owned and operated by me. This does not include the half dozen blogspot or wordpress.com blogs I started even before these.
Blogs I’ve Started
I’m not convinced that’s even the entire list. There may be a couple others I’ve forgotten. I’ve registered at least 30 other domains over the years that never saw the light of day. Maybe twice that.
In hindsight, I wish I’d spent more time finding like-minded bloggers to run my blogs as I spun them out at breakneck speed. I could be sitting on a network of 10 or 20 blogs all coming into their prime right about now.
Thanks to Gary, a very timely word from God, and a few other influences, I’m consolidating my blogs back into a more manageable two or three. My goal is to have a flagship blog from which I blog 3-4 times a week. Despite all my various interests, I need to stop diluting my personal brand and turn one single blog into a destination and a resource.
NOTE: I want to hear your thoughts on this, so PLEASE leave me a comment. Say what’s on your mind.
Did I mention Gary’s in town today? I’m wrapping up the work day so I can head over to hear him speak at Lakewood Theatre in Dallas. Doors open at 4pm. Gary’s on around 6:45, I think. Come on out if you can! Hit me up on Twitter and let me know you’re coming.