There’s a refreshing sense that people get from THE TRUTH, and most of everything I read about making money blogging is so rosy and peachy. “Follow your dreams, find your niche, be determined and you too can make money in 4 months!” Sure, but there’s MUCH more to it. What I write here will be different. I’m not going to write what you want to hear so I can sell something, I’m going to write what you need to hear, and what you need to do to follow my footsteps. The goal is to add value to others, and challenge myself as I challenge you. Together we will be refreshing, memorable, and honest. Let’s get to it.

The Inspiration begins
I started my first blog as a way to get some creative authority over the writing that I’d been doing. Working as a District Manager for Journeys, I send an email every morning to my 20 stores outlining how the district performed in sales and KPIs the day before. It didn’t take long for these emails to soon get broad and much more in depth, and as my boss would put it, philosophical. I got great praise on the things that I was writing from my team, my supervisors and from my peers! My view was that this morning email is a form of motivation for the day. I was gathering data and info from everywhere to pour into these messages. To keep all the quotes and data organized I started a note in my blackberry, which then migrated to my iPhone 5, then to my iPhone 6s, and now lives in Evernote as I recently made the jump there as I started the third chapter of the note which si titled “Wisdom 3”. My inspiration for these morning messages came from anywhere, and I got more and more creative over the years. As I did, the messages began to get long, became stories and metaphors, and had insightful quotes built in. I would scrutinize over the formatting and title getting it all PERFECT before clicking send.

As time wore on, the criticism of them being too long got louder and louder. I also started to notice that my fanbase has shrunk considerably. I had a few that still loved my long form daily inspiration, but that inspiration wasn’t spreading like before. All of this was starting to take the joy out of writing these emails. Max effort is going into them, but the effort is not really going in the right direction, and thus can’t be fully appreciated. Hindsight makes me see now that these critics were right, and I was likely abusing the opportunity to write for a captive audience. The messages started to be MY inspiration, not theirs. I was writing for me, not them.

As the joy of writing the morning emails wore off, they started to get smaller, more results driven, and less about theories, and story telling. At the time I didn’t know this, but I had an itch to write that these morning messages had been scratching for 6 years!  I put my heart into into these messages and felt very accomplished for it.

At this point, I’m a writer that doesn’t know that he likes to write, with no where to write what I want.

This goes on for a bit over a year, and then I go to a powerful self discovery class called The Landmark Forum with my wife Michelle (much more on The Forum later). The day before we fly to Houston to attend the class, I stumble across a podcast called The Tim Ferriss Show via another podcast called Masters of Scale (both GREAT listens, go check them both out). The first episode of Tim’s podcast that I listen to is an interview with Blake Mycoskie, the founder of TOMS. This episode hits home being as I’m a shoe salesman! He and Tim get to talking about what they call “journaling”. I start to feel the urge to write come over me as I have began to open up to myself a bit pre-Landmark Forum (known to happen very often). This urge is so compelling that I pull off the interstate to a Target in Hammond LA mid-podcast, and buy what would become my first journal. Brown faux leather with the word “NOTEWORTHY” stamped across the front. I write my first journal entry on 7/5/17 in the parking lot of the Target. The entry is about the podcast episode and how, “I enjoy writing and ‘journaling’ but never do it because it makes me uncomfortable or I’m scared of what people might think.”

There it is. The beginning of what you are reading now. It took 3 things to get me here; Work frustration, perfectly timed new podcast, powerful class. ALL THAT just to feel comfortable putting pencil to paper. All that to discover that at age 32 just writing things down brings about an incredible peace of mind that only a person that journals can understand. These pages have now become a version of a therapist. So much so that I now write a sort of journal specifically for others to read; a blog.

So I ask you a question now, and it’s one that is NOT rhetorical; How can this story be your inspiration to do something that you want to do? What is this something, and what’s your honest reason that you’re not doing it? No judgement. Any and every reason is valid because it’s real.
Hit me up at nickjames.blog@gmail.com and let me know! I’m just here to listen. If you want advice, just ask for it and it’ll be in your inbox. If you don’t want any advice, just tell me the story. It helps to get it off your mind and into words. It helps even more when the words go to another human being.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for sharing 🙂
-NJ

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