You Are Not A Brand

This, my friends, is an explanation as to why I’ve not been writing.  I’ll confess that I’ve been burnt out.  Not so much by the writing; definitely not by the people who read the blog.  I was trying to find out what I really wanted out of Start Being Your Best.  So far, all I’ve really found out is what I don’t want from it.  I don’t want to be defined by it.  I don’t want to be a brand.

Now, I’ve often said here that this blog is for me.  It’s where I talk about things and issues related to personal development and leadership that I have challenges with or questions about.  All that is true.

But, part of me also wanted this blog to be big. Really big.

I didn’t want it to be big so that I could reach more people and hopefully help more of them struggling with the same issues I confront.  On the other hand, I don’t think I even wanted to become internet famous or make a lot of money or get a book deal.  Honestly, I don’t know why I wanted the blog to be big, which is probably the biggest reason why it didn’t become huge.

If you want a creative endeavor to grow, you need to have a reason for it to do so.   I didn’t (and still don’t).

Moreover, every time I would sit down to write out a post, I would feel fake.  I knew that, even though I was using the printed word on the page to work out issues that were challenging me, people who read the blog would feel as though I was providing answers.

In reality, it was all a stab in the dark and I began to feel crappy about myself when I didn’t always live up to the standards that I wrote about.  Even though I know everyone makes mistakes and no one is perfect, it was tough for me to write out what I knew I should be doing, and then not always doing it.  The downward shame spiral was just picking up speed all the time.

I got tired of feeling like I needed to be pimping myself around on other self-help blogs (most, but not all, of which I have little to no respect for) simply to “build a brand”.  It feels really phony to me, and I just didn’t want to do it any more.  Marketing my posts on Twitter was even worse.  Man, I really hated marketing my product, because I felt like it was a reflection of me.

I didn’t like that reflection.

The long and short of it is, I’m not interested in doing the work that’s required to make this blog a “success” in terms of a huge readership or revenue.  I don’t want to sell myself like I’m a commodity.  What I’ve written here is important to me.  If some of it is important to you, that’s awesome.  But, and I say this with all due respect to you, the folks who actually take the time to read what I throw out:  I don’t care if you read or not.

This blog is about me and my life.  I don’t want to try to fit it into a neat category and drive traffic to it by using social media or whatever else that you’re supposed to do to have a “successful” blog.  I’m not going to maintain a rigid posting schedule, because I think I turn out some pretty crappy stuff just to have something go up on time.  This blog is a record of me, and I can’t force that to conform to anything else out there, because there’s no one else like me.  I’m an individual, I’m not a brand.

If there’s anything I hope you readers take from this post, it’s that you don’t need to conform, either.  Your art (and you do create art, regardless of who you are or whether you call it “art” or not) is for you.  You make the choice as to whether you want to tweak what it is that you do enough to make it palatable to the consuming public, or not.  If you decide that you’re not going to conform to the pattern laid out for you, then you have to know there will be consequences.  But, thankfully, you at least have the choice.  Don’t delegate the choice as to which face you show to the world.  You get to choose.

3 thoughts on “You Are Not A Brand”

  1. I hear you. I feel the same. I have stopped caring about traffic – it never felt "right" to me to market myself – and now I look at writing 100% as an outlet for my thoughts, and a document for my kids someday. If people come, great!

    1. Hey, Mike. Thanks. BTW, loved your article on self-tracking earlier this week. I've started doing that myself in the past couple of weeks. Thanks for the tip about FitBit, too. I'm gonna grab one of those for myself.

  2. Thanks! Self-tracking is a lot of fun. The Fitbit is one of those wonder gadgets (to me at least) that really opens your eyes to the future. Of course, it's backordered – but it's pretty great.

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