This past month was the 5th year I’ve been writing this blog. Since then quite a lot has transpired. First a few numbers: 5, 500, 500,000. What do these represent?
- 5 years of consistent articles.
- 500 individual posts of actual content. (not what I had for supper or that I brushed my teeth)
- 500,000 words. (posts averaged in at around +/-1000 words)
Now you might say, so what, and I quite understand that. However, just to put things into perspective: Most blogs have a life span of about as long as a may fly. Even worse, many (this includes even people “who say” they live and breathe blogs) post like mad at first. Then within a few months or there about, maybe – put up an article once a month. Then possibly once a quarter. Then it seems they abandon them altogether. The web is littered with them.
500,000 words at first blush may seem uneventful – until you put it into a proper context. Think of it from this perspective: Over the last 5 years I’ve written on these pages the equivalent of 25 hardcover business books. The average business book today is approximately anywhere from 18,500 to 25,000 words. (Yes there are the 35-50K varieties however, those are the more academic or scholarly work genre rather than the norm.)
Most people are stunned into a state of paralyses on what or how they’ll come up with the ability to type or construct just one book. Usually the plan is for at least 18 months to complete the project. In that period of time, I’ve typed the equivalent and published for actual viewing approximately 8 complete books. Along with, while most would sit back and contemplate what their next pen to paper would be, I would have written the equivalent of 8 more. When shown through that prism, the 500,000 now makes me blush when I look back.
As we were looking back there were some other milestones there we were quite proud of. I’ll list them as I write but they’re in no specific order.
First: This blog is read in over 60 countries. That is absolute amazing when I think of it. Some will say: “You talk about people gaming the systems all the time. How do you know those ‘hits’ aren’t just spammers or bots from other countries hitting or pinging your site?” It’s a very fair question and here’s the answer…
The reason we know why they’ve been actual readers is when we released my first book, A Fist Full Of Mark’ers. When I released the book I made a downloadable PDF version available to a very select group. You either had to be a subscriber or a reader of other particular sites where my writings show up. The only way to download the book was through a 3 stage click-through process. A process bots don’t do. (This was intentional as to not kid myself with fake numbers) The result?
During the week of Christmas (the absolute worst time to launch something without fanfare) the book was immediately downloaded in over a dozen countries within 24hrs. It was actively downloaded from our site in over 40 different countries within 72 hours of its launch.
No Facebook®, no Twitter®, no nothing. Just a, “Here you go, it’s ready, hurry, only for a limited time.” That’s how we knew the audience was real. Along with documenting and posting the results during the launch with breakdown numbers from other sources and more.
All upfront and posted as to show I or we weren’t making stuff up. Which is also the reason why I use that figure “62 Countries” and graphic on the blog rather than trying to get “likes,” and more. Plus – I can back up what I’m saying with real verifiable stats. (Again, we posted the results and #’s along with detailing data points while it was happening in real-time.)
Second: I’ve tackled some or written on subjects that in some ways is considered taboo. Whether it comes to social media, the motivation industry, financial markets, business experts, and more. I’ve been willing to write about why far too many of both the people or the ideas were (for lack of a better term) full of it, and said so.
Many times I’ve been called on the carpet by the supporters of unicorn and rainbow thinking. However, I make my case and let the chips fall where they may. I haven’t been correct every time yet, I’ve been far more right than my detractors. At least I’ve been willing to argue my point, and when proven wrong, I’ve said so – publicly.
Third: I have found people who charge you big money to listen to their expertise on what you should do whether it be in business, life, financial matters, and more to be stunningly absent of not only content, but rather contradictory or anathema to everything they profess.
I have been left slack-jawed and seemingly unable to speak (for those who know me well, they’ll tell you that doesn’t happen often) when I have either been beside, in front of, or listened through the media so-called “experts” explain why one should do X, or why Z is transpiring. I swore one day I saw unicorns prance about when they were speaking.
Although that may seem eye-opening, what was more blinding were the people asking the questions or listening to the dribble seemed to be even more vapid in their questionings. They appeared even more enamored with it than the people spewing it. I still shake my head just thinking about it. Yet – they are paraded daily as if they are infallible soothsayers. Even though anyone with more than a cursory understanding of life or business can see they’re absolutely clueless as to what is causality as opposed to, what may be correlation.
Fourth: My writings have been either featured, or referenced in some of the largest media sites across the web. I have been chosen out of who knows how many thousands to write articles for a start-up idea by one of the foremost marketing names in the world. I have seen articles I’ve written posted on the both the front pages or leading article within the business sections not only here in the U.S. but in other countries.
My writings have also been read and passed along by real traders in real-time on the floor of the stock exchange where I’ve heard what was in my articles professed by some of these very traders on television interviews from the floor.
Since then I have now been a regular contributor at the #3 web site for real traders active in the financial markets. A site whose creator and owner actually wrote and created some of the very charting programs as well as the technical analysis coveted by Wall Street itself. (To be part of this crowd, with a voice, for a kid that quit high school, is at times humbling upon reflection.)
I have presented a workshop (and probably will do more) at the Carnegie Center on the business of writing. This was hard to imagine or even contemplate the idea when I first started, let alone go through with it, and think about doing more.
I’ve released a book, and about to release another. I’ve created a podcast that has been successful and is expanding far greater this year. (more details will be released so stay tuned) I was one of the lone voices when everyone else was proclaiming the iPad® was destined to be a “fad.” I wrote and stated publicly it would revolutionize the print media space and more. And so far that seems to be on track.
I was one of the first to state and release my own personal app for my writings along with a few others including Seth Godin and Guy Kawasaki when people thought apps were also “a fad.” back in 2010. Back then it was looked upon as if, “Who will use or want these things called apps?” Yet, mine has been there since the beginning – ad free! Now it looks like a no-brainer. However, back then, it was anything but.
There is so much more I could add but (and this is a very big but) it’s never really all about what you’ve done – it’s about what you’re going to do next. And here is where things I believe get even more exciting.
I have workshops (both high-end as well as more financially accessible) planned on a wide variety of topics that I believe are not being addressed, but in a way I believe will shake up the industry. I believe I’ll be releasing some products that will by all means make my material unmistakable from anyone else. Some will love it, some will hate it, some will shrug. However, one thing that will be certain is you wont confuse me with anyone else. (Maybe I will live to regret it, but – such is life!)
So as I wrap up this post I just want to express one theme that I’ve always made clear. I am no one with special thoughts or special anything. I like many others grew up in a dysfunctional environment, in a city that is now a virtual ghetto, quit high school, did all the wrong things, at seemingly, all the wrong times.
All I’ve done different is when push came to shove – is to pick some of the hardest places to be successful -and try. I tried in all the places where people said, “You can’t do that, you don’t have X, Y, or Z!” and didn’t listen.
I listened to myself. I learned what I needed to learn, and put it into action. Nothing more.
So here I sit, writing and preparing to speak across the country this year. Professing my ideas and ways to help individuals realize their own dreams. Where public speaking is considered more frightening than death. (as surveyed by leading authorities) And writing the equivalent of over 25 business books and having articles published or read around the world.
Remember, all this is coming from someone who has probably made more assaults on the use of proper punctuation and grammar usage than most literates can bear. Let alone the fact, that without spell checker – has a hard time spelling kat.
Yet here I am – and I’m just getting warmed up. So can you – If you decide to.
© 2014 Mark St.Cyr