MZM Robert Hruzek posses the following - intriguing - question to us. (Turtle friend Bob is the one who arranged the group writing project beginning this month: What I learned from____ (Du'oh! Don't forget to fill in the blank!)
This time Robert wants to know: "How blogging had changed YOU" (and I suggested to add this little cute button How has blogging changed you
to every contribution so all posts can be found 'tucked together' at TheGoodBlogs).
So how has blogging changed me (and my business)?
I won't state the most obvious. As conversational
blogger web-publisher (wink to David Armano) I meet many nice and interesting people all over the world, straight here from my keyboard. I always like to meet new people (hence my networking 'addiction'), so nothing really new there, just a new way to go about it.
Personal change: started to accept my 'double Dutch English writing voice'
As a 'stranger in a strange land' the local language can be daunting. Although the education system in The Netherlands started teaching us English when we were 12 years old and all English and American tv-series and movie-pictures were/are sub-titled (versus voiced-over like in Germany) it is completely different to have to speak, read, listen, write etc English on a daily, hourly basis when it's not your 'First language'.
Reading and listening wasn't the hardest part, not for a fervent reader like me; talking and writing English - being in business - feels rather uncomfortable. I want to do it properly, correct, without too many mistakes (yes, I know, trying to be perfect again).
At one point (roughly a year ago) I'd even asked others if they knew 'tuitors' who could teach me better English. Both Richard C and Lesley (and even Alice Spink - pr and marketing editor - who I had in mind to ask to do the 'job') advised against it. They all feared it would 'destroy' my own unique English.
Having written my 'début' business novel in English did help to 'get over that feeling of not-good-enough'. Specially when one customer, who kindly enough bought a copy, told me later she could 'hear me talk when she was reading my story'.
Blogging in English, in my own double Dutch English, helped even more. I learned - from many others - that it's the content that counts, being authentic; not if it is written in perfect Oxford English.
Business change: more consistency of and clarity in vision, focus and aim of our business.
We (business persons) all think a lot of thoughts about how to grow our business, what our goal and/or aim is. Now, I don't know about you, but my thoughts tend to go faster than I can 'think' sometimes.
Last year November Richard C let me use his (pilot) software program to write one of those 'dreaded' business plans. But, of course, his program is quite different. It forces you to sit down, stop and think - think hard and focussed - of past, present and future of your business, your business and personal strengths (and weaknesses), how to overcome them and much more. Then it transfers all your thoughts into the most effective and readable business plan (including tasks-lists and responsibilities for tasks) I ever seen. That was the first real focussed realisation of what we can become. We are implementing it since and with great success (i.e. we're getting 'richer' with less but consistent focussed effort and with more 'ambassador'-customers).
(At the moment the program is being developed further and when it's ready for release I will definitely help to promote it - the least I can give back for this gift.)
With conversations at Adam - Monk at Work - Kayce, Kent Blumberg and lately also Stuart - Conscious Cooperation - Baker the focus on and clarity in proper growth is becoming a continuous progress (as it should be).
Blogging - sorry, web-publishing - is not just writing your own posts, it's the discovery of like-minded focussed and freely shared - prompting for even - ideas. Even the comments you make on other bloggers post need focus - that's IMHO the least you can do to acknowledge the fact you've learned something new today.
And our business just keeps on growing - focussed and with clarity in our vision.
One more 'change'
Personal and Business change: there's a place (blog) for everything
Blogging made me realise I can have different blogs, it doesn't have to be written down in 'catch-it-all-in-one'. That's counter-productive, unfocused and even not friendly to my 'readers'.
My first blog: Wood You Like - Natural Wooden flooring - FAQ weblog is for interaction with our customers.
It wouldn't help my customers if I pepper that blog with thoughts and ideas how internally we are changing our business practise - they only want the results of that.
That's for this (Kiss2) blog.
The third blog (Stop/Start) is my own coffee-corner. For little quirky things that IMO don't belong on a blog that focusses on business concepts (or on weblog for our customers ;-))
Well, that's me or better, the chances blogging has made to my world. I'd love to hear from the three mentioned above (Adam, Kent and Stuart) "How blogging has changed them"
(Update: Adam - Monk at Work - Kayce 'contribution' - see also his comment below)