What a Little Jealousy Can Tell You
If you read personal finance blogs regularly, it’s pretty much a sure bet that you’ve heard of Get Rich Slowly. JD Roth posted recently that “GRS had 9.5 million visits during 2010 from over five million unique visitors.”
5 million unique visitors? So yeah, you’ve probably heard of it.
In contrast, if you’d heard of my old blog, you’d have been one of a very small group. Tiny!
And that’s ok. In fact, looking back at my writing, it’s probably a darn good thing!
But it used to really bother me. Why couldn’t I have even, oh, 500 readers?
Back in 2007, I’d peruse JD’s blog and see similarity after similarity. We both started blogging daily about personal finance right around the same time. (Get Rich Slowly started in April of 2006, and I started my old blog in August of 2006. )
For years, we both blogged about very similar topics. (That’s changed a bit since I started this new blog instead.) We both had a get-out-of-debt story. Neither of us pretended to be an expert. We were both open about what was going on in our lives — open about the times we failed and the times we succeeded.
The list goes on and on.
His blog gained readers like crazy. Mine was lucky if my husband happened to read it.
Did I mention this used to really bother me? The green-eyed monster had a permanent perch on my shoulder.
Then one day it hit me.
There was one major difference between the two of us. (OK, there were several, but one that really mattered.)
He wanted it. And I don’t mean he “wanted a lot of readers”, although I’m guessing he did. What he wanted was something that naturally brings a lot of readers. He wanted to be an excellent writer.
He regularly spends at least 8 HOURS writing each of his posts. Writing well and only producing excellent content is really important to him. If this were his post, he would go back through it and fix all the places I changed tense. (I did at least notice them this time, but editing them now would ruin my point.)
I felt a lot better once I admitted that while I do want to improve my writing and to produce excellent content, and I do want to have lots of readers, I don’t want it the way he did/does. I don’t want to be a “real” writer the way he is. I don’t want it enough to put in the effort it would take.
Instead, what I want to do is a little of this, and a little of that, and some more of another thing, while I hop here and there around the world with my family. And I want to do those things without being worried about money, which means I want a nice cushion in the bank.
The common goal for me though — the thing I really want — is to help others while poking around the world being a doer-of-miscellaneous things. That is something I can be great at.
A little jealousy can tell you a lot, if you’re willing to listen.
What do you really want?