I’ve been on a lot of podcasts lately.
When you’re getting interviewed, it’s common that the interviewer asks you a bit about your story. They need to set a tone for the interview and insert a backdrop of context.
Recently, I’ve found myself retelling the same story over and over again. It’s a story about one of the most important days of my life, and certainly one of the most important experiences.
The year was 2011. I had been in Florida for about 6 months. I moved into an apartment with a random guy named Paul. Everyone called him Turtle. It was the first time I had a little bit of foundation in my life. I had a bed, a room to myself, and I was happy for the first time in years.
I was still in the beginning stages of my sobriety. I had a sponsor who I would talk to frequently. He would listen to me and give me advice. He was an entrepreneur and I wanted what he had.
He bought me a subscription to Success magazine. I was very humbled by the gift.
Back then, every issue had a CD in it. The CDs were interviews with successful people. This was before there were podcasts, so audio interviews were still recorded and distributed through CDs. (Which is hysterical to think about)
In the first issue, the guest to be interviewed was a man named Seth Godin. I had never heard of him before. What was so special about him?
I remember putting the CD into my laptop and hitting play. The man was soft-spoken, gracious, and confident.
In the interview, Seth talked about being “a purple cow.” This was when his book recently came out. He also talked about planting idea viruses, and he said “ideas that spread, win.” I had never heard any of these ideas before. What this man was saying was planting seeds into my mind that would eventually blossom into a forest of opportunity.
At the end of the interview, the interviewer asked Seth for a piece of advice. Seth said…
“start a blog, write in it every day, and don’t tell anyone about it.”
I don’t know why I decided to take his advice, but I did.
That very day, I Googled “how to start a blog.” There was a platform at the time called Blogspot. So I started a Blogspot account and I started writing in it every day.
I didn’t have a direction or a clear purpose for what I was writing about. I would write about whatever came to mind.
I would tell stories that I made up. I would write about sitting at the bus stop in the blistering sun. I would write about peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. More than anything, I would write about my dog and all the ways he made me happy.
Eventually, people started coming to my website. I didn’t understand how it was possible, because I hadn’t told anyone about it. It was through this discovery that I learned about SEO and I learned about inbound search.
A light went on. I knew I loved writing. I felt that I was a decent writer and after years of hating myself and torturing myself with drug abuse, I decided to take a chance on myself and start something important.
That blog was called The 4th Dimension. That blog eventually turned into Sober Nation. Sober Nation led to Stodzy. Stodzy led to Recovery Local and my entire portfolio of online businesses.
It happened one blog post at a time.
It all started with a daily practice. All I did, was start a blog, write in it every day, and continue to show up.
It’s now 2020. It’s been a tough year. I have everything I ever wanted, I have more than I ever wanted. But the present is never as good as the future. The present is eternally flawed. I’m sitting here thinking about the good old days, when all I wanted was to wake up in the morning, write in my blog, and have a couple of bucks each weekend to go see a movie or maybe get ice cream.
Those days are behind me, but I still long for the adventure of diving into the unknown.
I don’t know what the next ten years will bring. What I do know is that the formula worked for me last time, and so this is where it will start for me again.
Today, I started a blog. I will write in it every day. I won’t tell anyone about it. We’ll see what happens.