After nearly 57 years of wandering this world, I sit here now in an entirely unfamiliar emotional space. This month marks the official start of my entrepreneurial life. Steady pay check? Gone. Daily routine, what’s that? It’s just me and my blog, staring at each other, wondering what to do next. Help us reorganize!
This is a call to re-invention — not just for me, but everyone because we can find strength in numbers. A despairing world, with it’s rotten global economy, needs our collective creative energy. The crazier and more outside-the-box, the better, if you ask me…
Then again, no one’s asking, which makes our mission super-challenging.
Can I believe in myself enough to buck soul-numbing current trends?
To put this in context, consider yesterday’s thoroughly depressing front page Wall Street Journal story: “Risk-Averse Culture Infects U.S. Workers, Entrepreneurs.” Here’s the lead graf (journalistic slang for an article’s opening paragraph):
Americans have long taken pride on their willingness to bet it all on a dream. But that risk-taking spirit appears to be fading.
Gulp. Sigh. It gets worse. The next graf:
Three long-running trends suggest that the U.S. economy has turned soft on risk: Companies add jobs more slowly, even in good times. Investors put less money into new ventures. And, more broadly, Americans start fewer businesses and are less inclined to change jobs or move for new opportunities.
The story goes onto say that we are suffering from the impact of an aging population and the increasing dominance of big corporations over how we shop, source and live. No, no, no — we need to stay youthful and hold onto our power!
So it’s time to make a few calls to action.
First step: Support small businesses. I’m dedicating myself to shopping small businesses, from the little stores and restaurants in my neighborhood to the Saturday farmers market. Might be a bit more expensive because the small guys don’t rack up the volume to offer deep discounts. But I believe that what goes around eventually comes around. If I am generous in modest ways, my positive karma will be eventually rewarded.
Second step: Shop smarter in big stores. Have you heard of the “buycott” app? Install it on your mobile phone and iPad so that you can scan product bar codes to get the 411 on the manufacturer. Click here to read more about it. To be honest, I’ve installed it on my iPhone but keep forgetting to use it. Patience — it takes time to develop new habits. I will learn!
Third step: Build a personal power base. This is the issue for me now. While my blog traffic steadily grows, I’m not exactly sure why. That should change soon; I just shelled out $597 for an online Google Analytics training course. Hopefully, it will help me decode the traffic patterns for this site. At the moment, I go to my Google analytics to see this:
Okay, great. I get 13,539 visitors a month, who stay an average of 1.37 minutes. Hmmm, how can I become more useful and get you to stay longer? Until I find that answer, I’ll remain like the neurotic blogger (redundant phrasing) in this cartoon from a recent issue of The New Yorker, haha!
Be part of my recovery! You can do that in two ways. For starters, it would be a huge help if you subscribed to my blog. That way, I can email you whenever there’s a new post or other potentially interesting stuff going on. Subscribe to my blog — just click on the link at the end of this post. ^_^
I also need a clearer idea of what type of posts vibe most with you. Would you like more blogging about my journey as a recovering daughter of impossibly strict, demented Chinese immigrant parents? What about super-simple vegan, gluten-free recipes? The how-to posts on journalism and writing usually do well — more of those? Or maybe other types of how-tos? Or more on creativity, art, parenting, pets, restaurants, holistic health, relationships?
Anyways, hope you’ll feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts. Note to first-time commenters: You don’t have to use your real name. Make up a user handle you like. As for shy folks, you are always welcome to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the meantime, remember, we are an entrepreneurial community. One people. We stand together.
You are not alone.