Will This Make It Into Your Blog? (and other interesting questions)

For those of you keeping count, this is blog post #160. This blog is about to turn three years old, so why not answer a few frequently asked questions as we approach this milestone. We celebrated the 100th post milestone with the 100 lessons learned, so today we move to your questions.

#1. Will this make it into your blog? (Typically when we are in the middle of a conversation and you say something interesting and/or embarrassing.)

Maybe. That is one hazard of being in a relationship (personally or professionally with me). If I do use it, I typically will ask you first and sometimes make it generic enough so that only you and I will know it is about you. Some people seem horrified at the thought of making it into this blog, while others welcome the idea. Don’t worry, we can still hang out either way.

#2. How do you come up with ideas for the blog?

I simply live life and try to notice things that happen all around us. The idea may be a phrase someone says, or some lingering concept after a meeting, or something I am wrestling with either personally, or some idea or issue that comes up when consulting with or coaching others.

#3. Do you have a process for keeping track of ideas?

I didn’t at first. Writing down ideas help, and I have moved to keeping a list on my phone and computer where I can jot down simple concepts or phrases that may need to be fleshed out later. These ideas kind of float out there for a while and finally land at the most interesting times. Before I kept a list, I would have great ideas that never materialized because I would forget them.

#4. Why do you write a blog?

As someone who presents a lot, writing has been that other discipline that I have always wanted to do and a blog is a good way to start. Blogs are also a great way to spread ideas and meet new people. My goal is to post about once a week, so if you haven’t heard from me in more than a week, feel free to check in.

#5. Do you have any rules or guidelines for you blog?

Yup. I try to write about either lessons learned, provide guidance, or reflect on interesting things. I am not interested in being snarky or delving into controversial issues. A question I often ask myself is “Will this make the world a better place?” Obviously not every post is earth shattering or profound, but the overall goal is to help people to Know Themselves, and Change the World.

#6. What is your favorite color?

I used to think it was green, but more and more I find myself drawn to blue. 

#7. What is your favorite blog post?

That is a hard one. Each one seems to have a purpose and reason when I wrote it. Sometimes I have to browse the older posts to make sure that I not already written about my next big idea. When I go back and read some of them, I am reminded about the “why” I wrote it, and there are times when that post really applies to something I need that day. It is weird, as if the me from the past is passing along some nugget of truth to me today.

How about a few of my favorite ones (in no particular order)?

Silencing the Narrator (3 part series)

Badfriend.com

Fear

For When You Ship

Three Lessons I Learned in the Navy

I Remember When

The Adventure Within (the Adventure)

Rocks, Remembering, and Reflecting

私に好意的に見てください(please look favorably on me)

If you have other questions that I didn’t cover here, feel free to leave a comment and I would be happy to provide additional answers.

Also, which post is your favorite?

What is in it for you?

We all need to earn a living right? There is work to be done and bills to be paid. Unless you are the heir to some fortune; we get up each day and head to work.

But money is not always the primary motivator.

A sense of accomplishment, making a difference, helping others, learning a new task, leading a project, or creative expression tend to be higher on the list for many people.

While coaching someone recently, they paused and asked a direct question.

“What is in it for you?”

Their question made me think about my own motivation and why I do what I do.  I thought about my sentence, or the guiding articulated reason behind a lot of my actions. It helped me develop a reply.

“Helping talented people find the right position that fits who they are.”

But their question was more profound than they perhaps imagined. It remained with me long after our time together. The question spurred others.

Why do we blog?

Why do we consult?

Why do we coach others?

Why do we create?

Sure sometimes it is to make a living, but not all of our hard work generates income. Except for a few rare cases, blogging doesn’t create cash-flow. Not all consulting is on the clock and billable. Not all coaching arrangements come with an invoice. Creativity is not always for the pursuit of an immediate reward.

If you are interested, Dan Pink does a great job of explaining some insight into what motivates us in his book Drive, and below is a 10 minute video summary of the book.

As you contemplate “What is in it for you?” Understanding your motivations and even your sentence may be a good place to start.