I recently shared with a friend my intention of building my new JeremyWhaley.com website. His immediate reaction was “who cares?”
He had a good point. It led to a great discussion that I thought I should share with you (my faithful readers) as well.
Anytime we start something new we should take at least a few minutes and answer the question:
Why would the world need another website?
And why would I want to allocate my own time to building another website/blog when websites aren’t even my thing?
I have several reasons for carving out the time to do this site. In no particular order, I’m going to share them.
For any of you who might know me well, you understand that I have not traditionally been a “huge” social media advocate. Sure I understand it and see it’s place in society, but I haven’t personally felt the urge to participate at a high level.
I think the reason for that is because I have historically seen social media as a few things:
For a naturally introverted person like me, social media just hasn’t been a good fit.
All of that started to change when I read the book Platform from Michael Hyatt.
I started to think about social media, personal websites etc, in terms of building a personal brand rather than just a place to reveal your dark secrets. Since that time my creative mind has not stopped thinking about why a personal brand is so important.
I’m going to write a separate post on the importance of personal brand, but for now suffice it to say that building a personal brand, to me, is one of the most valuable reasons to build any site, including this one.
Another reason is that I wish to build a new skill. 40 years ago the skill of typing was something that a secretary was hired to execute. Most executives couldn’t type, and if they could they didn’t do it themselves.
But in today’s world of business an executive who can not type is not considered a very skilled executive.
Because today even kids as young as 8-10 years old can type! Typing has become as much of an essential skill as reading, writing, or doing basic math. In fact I would argue that in today’s world of computers and iphones, typing is a more valuable sill than basic math!
I can imagine in 40 years the skill of building a basic wordpress site will be like typing is today – everyone can do it. Except the difference is “40 years in the future” is actually going to happen in about 10 years because of the speed with which technology is evolving.
Already, in the last 10 years we have seen this phenomenon starting to take root and I expect it will only accelerate in the next few years. As high school “kids” today grow up and graduate from college, they will already possess these new basic skills. For those of us who don’t know how to build a basic wordpress site, we will not be able to compete with this new generation entering the workforce.
In the future the business person who can’t put a basic wordpress site will be like a business person today who can’t type. The word that comes to mind is “non-functional”.
One of my biggest reasons for building this site is to learn the skill.
I’m not under any delusion – I don’t expect to ever be a web developer. But as I reflect on the past 10 years, I can think of at least 15 or more times when my lack of ability to create a basic website has caused me to not execute an opportunity.
One of the things that really gave me a kick in the pants to do this site is a question I received from one of our TradeSmart students.
The question came in response to a program I teach called Building Your Financial Fortress for Life. In the program I tell the story of a girl named Carissa who started a blog and used that to create income and help build her financial fortress.
I made the point that “anyone can do this” and one of my students said to me “if anyone can do it, why haven’t you built your own site?”
My immediate response was “I have, we call it TradeSmartU.com”. But upon further reflection I realized that this student was right. If I’m going to tell other people they should consider building a personal site I should consider it as well.
So one of my main outcomes for this site is to use it as a model for what others can do. I want to use the site to help people, but I also want to find ways to monetize the impact of the site.
A lot of people have a problem with monetizing “free stuff”, but I think it’s very healthy. As we figure out various ways to monetize basic things in life, we help more people because they too can implement the techniques on their own sites. Ultimately they can make more money and that will allow them to help the broader economy. So – yes, capitalism is good!
It’s hard to rank these reasons in order of importance. They are all valuable reasons that I’ve decided to start this blog/site. But perhaps the most important is my desire to contribute.
One of the core teaching principles of Tony Robbins is the 6 human needs. In case you’re not familiar with them, the 6 human needs are:
This site helps me fill my need for contribution and is also going to require a good bit of growth on my part!
I have had a great outlet for years with TradeSmart where I can contribute my thoughts in the world of stocks and trading, but I’ve not had a good outlet to share the other interests in my life. But the reality is I have a LOT of things I spend time learning about and implementing. Here’s a partial list:
There are things I can share regarding each of these topics. In reality, I probably have more! But most of these topics have not had a place in our TradeSmart business which leaves a huge void of things I care about but have no outlet through which to contribute.
With this site, we can make it what we want! Remember, it IS about building a personal brand. Well all of these things are part of who I am so I think there is a good chance many or most of these areas will show up on this blog.
There is something extremely rewarding about sharing your scars. I think it must be built into our DNA.
As little kids we used to show off the scars or injuries we received when we fell off a bike or skateboard, or any other activity. As little kids we also like to boast about our successes.
That DNA doesn’t get baked out when you grow up! I have business scars – life scars! All of us do. Sharing the lessons we’ve learned with others is a worthwhile reason to gain many of those scars.
If I were to tell you the story of how First Data credit card processors took all our money out of our bank account with no warning, because we were “too successful…” How they thought our success meant we must be laundering money. If I were to tell that story you would certainly shake your head in dismay – how could that happen?
And yet it happens every day to hundreds of businesses.
It’s easy to take a “victim” persona from stories like this. But it’s just as easy to take a confident position of “what we survived”.
Like most people, certainly like most business people, I have lots of things I’ve learned over the years. Better yet, I’m still learning! The opportunity to share those scars and life lessons learned is invaluable. It’s the kind of contribution that you can’t buy – you can just go do it.
One of my major “whys” for this site is to have an outlet to share many of these stories and lessons.
All of these reasons listed help constitute my “why”. Does the world really need another website? Probably not. But sometimes it’s not about what the “world” needs, it’s about what we need to do for ourselves. The thing that really wins is when we can do something “for ourselves” and in the process contribute to other people’s lives. If we can do that, we truly all win.
Hopefully that is exactly what this site is. Yes, I’m doing part of it for me. But I’m also doing it for all of my future readers and followers. My real hope and desire is that we can all mutually benefit from the time I put into this site.