As bloggers and creatives, there’s a special kind of grit that we have to develop when we show up and share our work and our creativity online. It’s raw, and it's scary, and so much of the time it can feel completely out of our control. There are many times throughout your journey where you may need to dig deep and develop some grit, and this cheat sheet is here to talk you through five different situations I’ve seen both myself and many creative friends and clients struggle with along the way.
Maybe you launched your new ECourse to crickets. Maybe no one signed up for your webinar series and you feel like you wasted all of your hard work. Maybe your blog and online business aren't growing as fast as you hoped, and you’re starting to question whether this is all worth it or not.
We’ve all been there in one form or another, and it can be pretty soul crushing. But I really believe that it’s times like these that test us. Either we throw in the towel and quit at the first sign of struggle, or maybe even the second, third, or fourth time we feel like we’ve failed as no-one said this was going to be easy, or we dig deep and keep going and refuse to give up.
The key to this type of grit is to learn from each and every experience, whether it was a hit or a miss. If your product didn’t launch very well, ask yourself why. What can you change next time? You will without a doubt be able to learn from each and every perceived failure - if not more than every time you feel successful. Sometimes it’s a sign to switch things up, try something new, and explore new purposeful strategies and techniques. But as long as you keep going and keep learning and keep doing your very best work, you’re so much closer to building a blog and/or business that feeds your soul and your bank balance than you would be if you just quit and never looked back.
Most of us create because we’re passionate about our topic and the people we want to create for, so when we have those moments where we feel like no-one appreciates our work, we can find ourselves in a place where we just want to give up and quit and leave it all behind.
I’m going to share with you an honest home truth that I really believe can help you to develop the grit you need to overcome this roadblock. We are not entitled to someone’s appreciation. When we create from a place of self-entitlement, our mindset can really start to lose sight of the bigger picture. We’re here to do good work, share our ideas, and do right by our blogs and businesses. But we’re creating in a sea that is full of so many awesome and talented people that it’s up to us to create work that will have impact and reach with our ideal readers and clients. No amount of hard work or hustle or grit will entitle us to anything. It’s about doing good work, staying creative and innovative every step of the way, and being of service to both our brands and our audience.
Now there is an exception to this step. If you’re feeling a lack of appreciation because you’ve encountered internet hate, judgement, and criticism, you 100% have to know that you do not deserve anyone trying to tear you down and sabotage your happiness. But unfortunately there’s so much of it around on the internet that we can’t protect ourselves from it completely. My biggest advice is to know your worth and pay no attention to words that intend to hurt and destroy.
It’s good that we want to feel valued and appreciated - that’s human nature and you’d be crazy if you didn’t want that. But developing grit means that you keep going even when you don’t feel appreciated, and even when you don’t feel like you’re having any impact and reach with your work, because you’re probably just a few awesome pieces of content away from reaching your ideal clients and that turning point where you really start to make big things happen with your online space.
It happens to the best of us. We mess up. Whether it’s with a client, a product launch, or maybe when working with a brand or a sponsor, mistakes will always happen at some point along the way. If you’re anything like me, it will knock your confidence and leave you wanting to hide away never having to face the world again. Accepting that our mistakes do not define us is how we open ourselves up to bigger and better things, and to do right by our brand we have to own our mistakes and face them head on.
Developing grit in this type of situation is by bouncing back each and every time you mess up and never hiding from the tough conversations. Apologise when it’s needed. Refund, rectify, and make things right. Hold your head high and own your mistakes as part of this awesome journey that you’re on. But don’t let it shake you. Fix it but then move on, learn from them, and get back to work.
Customer service is a huge part of running a blog and an online business. Especially if you’re selling products or services, never forget that there’s a human behind the paycheque. Treat them with respect and value their investment of both their time and money. But always get back to work, as there’s too many big things for you to make happen for you to let mistakes along the way hold you back.
When you run your own blog and/or online creative business, there is always so much to create each and every single week. We can feel sometimes like the success of our work completely relies on our creativity and our ability to feel inspired and motivated to work. But as creatives we know it doesn’t always work like that. There will be days when the last thing we want to do is write, draw, paint, or code, and there will be other days when we try and try but everything we do just feels sub-par and not good enough.
Creative blocks are every bloggers and creatives nightmare, yet when there’s big things to make happen and income streams to run too, there’s not really any space to just run away and hide and just wait for inspiration to strike. Developing some grit when creative block hits is key to getting things done - our ideas are always within us and it’s up to us to tap into them.
The secret here is to always be innovating. Sometimes a creative block hits when we’re feeling a little uninspired by the work we do. Other times it’s a little more life related and caused my unavoidable outside factors, and at times like that we really do have to dig deep and push on through. But when it’s due to lack of creative inspiration, it’s up to us to stay inspired and keep on doing the work. How do we do this? We constantly challenge ourselves, because we can never be bored when we’re challenged. We may be exhausted, or frustrated, or even overwhelmed, but we’re never bored when we’re opening ourselves up to bigger and better things.
Finding a way to create even when we don’t feel like it is how we hold steady and make things happen. Breaking the mould a little, embracing alternative thinking, and getting down to work even when we’d rather stay in bed is a process worth embracing when a creative block hits.
This one may sound a little strange, but one of the stages where I think developing some grit is key is when we find ourselves actually reaching our goals and encountering success, however it is that we define it. There are so many big and little successes along the way, and I really do believe that we should celebrate each and every single one of them. However there’s a whole bunch of emotions and mindsets that comes with this stage that we have to work past to keep on going and moving forward.
Whether it’s self doubt, or overwhelm, or even a little guilt, success isn’t always an easy and simple path. When you work crazy hard to make something happen and you finally get there, it can take a while to really sink in. Success can also be a distraction - if we let ourselves rest on it too much we’ll struggle to really build something sustainable in the long run. I believe that in many ways success is here to challenge us and it can give us the opportunity to not allow it to feed our egos too much so that it ultimately distracts us from doing the work we set out to do.
Making it happen isn’t really about success. Success is fleeting - you’ll reach a new money milestone but then another target will just replace it. You’ll grow your business to a place you never thought possible, but then you’ll just have an even larger goal afterwards to work towards. Making it happen is about pushing forward and doing all the work in-between those fleeting celebrations of success. It’s about building something that feeds your soul, challenges and nurtures your creativity, and maybe even gives you financial freedom too.
Don’t let success distract you from the work. Instead let it motivate you to keep on going and be a reminder that you are oh so capable of doing big and exciting things.