I get this question a lot when people are thinking about starting a business too. What kind of business should I start?
Try this quick 10-minute exercise:
• Take a sheet of paper
• Draw a line down the middle, so there are two columns
• In the left column take 5-minutes and write down everything you are passionate about
• In the right column take 5-minutes and write down everything you are an expert on.
• Circle everything that overlaps in the two lists.
The overlap is called your ‘Zone of Genius‘. It’s where you take something you know about (you’re an expert in) and that you would be passionate about writing.
Here’s the thing – if you pick a topic you’re only mildly interested in, you won’t stick with it. It’s a waste of your time, and you won’t be successful.
I’m an expert cake baker, but I only bake 1–2 cakes a year. I’m not that passionate about baking. I used to be when I was single and had nothing better to do on the weekends. It wouldn’t make sense for me to start a cake blog because I’d likely flame out and quit.
What if I’m not an expert?
For some reason people don’t realize this:
No one starts out as an expert at anything. You become an expert.
Let me share with you all the things I’ve become an ‘expert‘ on since I’ve started blogging that I wasn’t an expert on before:
• Publishing a book
• Producing a podcast
• Creating well-written blog posts
• Public speaking
• Explaining complex financial topics in easy-to-understand terms
• Search engine optimization (SEO)
• And LOTS of other things
Someone once said if you read three books on a subject you’re an expert. Why? Because 99.99% of the population hasn’t read even one book on the subject.
The reason I’m an ‘expert‘ on everything in that list is that I learned how to do it. Plus – I kept practicing until I got better. You can do the same. If you have an interest or passion, wouldn’t you enjoy learning more about it? And the process of learning would be fun, right? It wouldn’t be a drag. If it is, you might consider a different topic to write on.
I thoroughly enjoy learning more about personal finance and sharing that knowledge with others so they can improve their lives. I also happen to enjoy the business side of things and learning how to reach more people so I can help them too.
Realize you don’t have to be an expert
That’s right – you don’t have to be an expert.
I didn’t drop into this industry as an expert. It was a process. Over time you will become known as an expert.
If you’re just starting out learning about how to make awesome cheap sandwiches, for example, you build your blog and community around your newfound expertise on making awesome cheap sandwiches.
You can then package that expertise into an ebook, digital course, printed book, or advertising opportunities.
If you teach someone how to make a great sandwich, you’re an expert sandwich maker to that person. You only need to know a little more than someone else to be an expert in their eyes.
Sometimes just documenting your journey from beginner, to intermediate skills, to expert, will make you an expert.
For example, I documented some of my beekeeping journey on my website. I’m two years in, which makes me an expert compared to anyone who hasn’t bought bees yet.
You can document anything you want to get good at, or that’s occurring in your life:
• baking cakes
• getting a pilot’s license
• how to buy a classic car
• being more productive
Look at the movie Julia and Julia. It is based on someone preparing all 524 recipes in Julia Childs’ landmark cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. And that journey got turned into a movie!
What I’m saying is – the sky is the limit. You can document your journey about anything.
I’ve met plenty of personal finance bloggers that are or were deep in debt. They blogged about getting out of debt.
Many of them now make over six-figures per year blogging.
When I say start, I got WordPress set up on Bluehost.
Then I went down the rabbit hole of trying to make my blog look pretty.
I spent the first six weeks trying to make my site look amazing. I didn’t write a single blog post for nearly two months. I spent the whole time making the graphics look nice, figuring out the structure, the menus. I revised my logo so many times to make it perfect.
What I didn’t do was write anything.
I wasted a lot of time. Finally, I said to myself – when are you ever going to write something and publish it!
Perfection is the Enemy of Good.
Just write. Write anything. People are curious, and they want to get to know you. If you have to write about what you did this weekend and file it under your My Life folder on your blog – that’s great!
Decide what you want to blog about! Figure out your Zone of Genius and pick from there, or decide on something where you’ll document the journey.
Then tell the world about it because your friends and family will hold you accountable. Post it to Facebook or tell a close friend. But don’t let the naysayers get you down. You can earn a living as a blogger, and you can do it.