Learning your craft

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This week I have learnt the valuable lesson of learning your craft first, before starting on something you want to do. This week I have been reading a book on blogging and although nothing I have read has been groundbreaking stuff, I keep on having moments of saying to myself “why didn’t I do that” or “that makes sense.”

Writing a blog can seem like such an easy thing. You just sit in front of a computer, write what you are thinking about and then publish it for the world to see. The problem is that just because a blog post is on the Internet for the world to see, it doesn’t mean the world is seeing it. The two most important things with a blog have nothing to do with the words you type, the two most important things are being easy to find and making sure when people come, that they will want to stay and read other posts.

What do people come to your blog for?

I liked the example that was used in the book I was reading. It went something like this – Say you were searching for a recipe on the Internet and you stumbled upon one on a blog, you click the link, you like the recipe but you see other posts and the blog seems to be about the life of the family… lets call them the Smith’s. You don’t know them so you don’t care about their last holiday and at the moment you are in a recipe finding mood, not a mood for finding out about a family you don’t know or care about.

I wish I had taken time before I started this blog all those years ago to think why people would come and what would make them say. I think in life many of us are so eager to just get going with things that we rush in to things. The problem is with something like a blog, everything about it is your image, your brand and you can’t take it back. So if you go wrong to start with, you can’t take it back.

Don’t rush in

So over the next few weeks I am going to be trying to teach myself not to rush in to things, to learn from this experience and make every new start the best it can be. There are already blogs about everything on the internet, putting off launching for a few months isn’t going to affect you but not starting it right might have a huge impact.

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Reaping the rewards of old work

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Sometimes in life we can try and do something, wanting instant results and get disheartened when we don’t get the results we desire. It is very disappointing when this happens, as the reason you are putting the effort in, is to get the results and whilst you are working, you are already thinking ahead to the results as if they have already been obtained.

When we don’t get the instant results, we will move on to something else, cut our losses and forget about the work we did. The thing to remember, is that just because you don’t get instant results, it doesn’t mean you will never get results from your hard work. It is very rarely that work is in vain and whatever happens as a result of your work, you can always learn something from it and grow because of it.

Written Off

I was reminded of this; by the patch of strawberries we are growing in our back garden. Last year we put a ton of work in and got very little in the way of strawberries for our hard work. I’ll be honest, I was a little disheartened and because of being disheartened I didn’t do anything to maintain the patch since last summer. Because I hadn’t put any work in, I didn’t expect a harvest this year and had written it off.

To my surprise this summer we have had an absolute abundance of strawberries. I have had so many strawberries that I have been giving them away and have exhausted all ideas of what I can do with strawberries. I’ve made strawberry ice cream, strawberry syrup, strawberry jam, strawberry icing and the list goes on.

Encouraged

This summer has encouraged me to never give up on old work and never lose hope that it can be used for good and can come good in the future. There is nothing like when something you did in the past that you have forgotten about comes back in to your life and you see it finally being a success.

Patience is key, you can put in the hard work but you can’t always going to guarantee when it is going to pay off or even if it is going to pay off at all. If you can do the work and be proud of what you have done, then no matter what happens you are equipped for success.

Life continues to teach me lessons

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I don’t know if I am like you, but in my day-to-day life I see lessons in loads of things that happen to me. I think life and events can teach us so much, when things happen, some people see them as lessons and some don’t. I’m not saying we should over analyse everything that happens to us in life as that wouldn’t give anyone any space to experience anything or enjoy living, but I think when we can learn something we should try to.

My wife and I brought our house in November 2013. Shortly after this, the oven that was left in the house stopped working. We had someone out to look at repairing it, but they said it would be cheaper just to get a new one. Since that day we have improvised and lived without an oven. We had many things we wanted to do to the house at that time and the oven wasn’t the priority, so we didn’t get a new one.

Getting a deal

I have been in no rush to buy an oven and have not been stressing about finding one. Don’t get me wrong both my wife and I have wanted one but we weren’t about to just go out to the shop and buy the first one we saw. Skip forward to last week and I saw someone on Facebook clearing out a kitchen and selling a very nice oven, I put an offer in of £40 and then drove 12 miles to collect it in the car. The oven was then fitted this week, which only cost us £40 to remove the old one and fit the new one.

The oven we got was spotless and quite new. Instead of paying £400 – £500 to buy a new oven and get it fitted, we got a brilliant oven for £80. This last week it has been such a joy to use it and cook in it. The new oven has made cooking fun and now everyday we are trying to use it. I’m sure the novelty will wear off at some point, but for now we are loving life with an oven.

New and Now

This situation alone has taught me many things in life. We live in such an instant society that wants everything new; I think it is important that sometimes we learn what it is to live without something for a while, as I think it makes us appreciate something more when we get it. It’s taught me not to just go out and try to quickly fix a problem. There will be many times in life when you buy something when you wish you had waited that bit longer. I can point to many times when I have purchased things in the past, only to find them cheaper somewhere else or something better elsewhere.

Regardless of what your financial situation is in life, I think you should be sensible with your money. Even if I have money, I would rather get the most and the best I can for my money instead of just getting caught up in the fact that I have money. I believe there is a difference in spending money and using money, I always want to use money rather than spend it.