I have wanted to start a blog for a couple of years, but until now I haven't made it a priority over other demands on my time. A few factors have contributed to the nagging desire to start, and one factor in particular pushed me over the edge this year.
Two reasons I have been thinking about starting a blog:
1. Producer vs. Consumer. I have always been a prodigious consumer of content. I love reading and learning. I use Flipboard to flip through hundreds of articles and social media posts every day. I am usually in the middle of reading several books at a time so I have always have something I'm in the mood for, whether it be business, self-improvement, fiction, spiritual, etc.
I like audio so I can listen at double speed and consume content while I'm driving, exercising, or working around the house. I subscribe to Audible.com so I can listen to at least two books per month, and I subscribe to many podcasts on Downcast.
However, reading Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand got me thinking about the difference between a producer and consumer. I realized that all of my life I have been a consumer of content (much of it free) while never giving back by producing content for others to consume. I wonder if I can produce content others will want to consume, but I feel I need to try.
2. Build a platform. I have been following Michael Hyatt's blog and podcast since he left the CEO post at Thomas Nelson Publishers to start his own writing and speaking business. He talks extensively about how and why to build your own platform. I recommend his book, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World.
The reason that got me started:
Communication. I am an introverted nerd at heart. I love technical and analytics things like numbers and computers. I am more comfortable in front of a computer screen than I am interacting with other people. However, I know if I want to have any kind of positive influence in the world and achieve my personal and professional goals, I need to be able to effectively communicate with others. It's not that I can't communicate with others, but it's an area that I need to work on.
As part of my new year's resolutions, I have designated 2014 as my year of improving communication with two main goals:
1. Join a local Toastmasters chapter and earn the Competent Communicator certificate. I have had a great experience so far with the Parkway Pontificators in South Jordan.
2. Start and actively contribute to a blog. I want to improve my written communication skills, but my main goal this year is to improve my verbal communication. What does a blog have to do with verbal communication? I recently had an epiphany. One of the reasons I struggle to speak clearly is that I struggle to think clearly. In my busy CFO schedule I spend too much time doing and reacting and not enough time thinking. I believe that writing content someone else might read will force me to organize my thoughts more clearly, which will in turn help me to think more clearly.
I look forward to improving my communication in 2014!
If you have a blog, why did you start?
How have you improved your communication skills?