Being a content creator in today’s online world, we’re tempted to believe the message that success is a far away outcome only to be obtained once we’ve hit influencer status. And that small numbers (i.e. people) are insignificant. At times I can almost feel the deliberate intention behind the many posts I see throughout the day, the desperation to be noticed, the hope to go viral as if a lottery ticket was just purchased. Breaths were held and refresh buttons were frequented after the click of a publish button.
What Happens When We Stress & Strive For Success
Recently I started to become discouraged over my site’s (lack of) audience, I fervently started researching SEO, I created a FB account, a Twitter account, a G+ account, and I purchased ads on three different platforms. I received a small insignificant boost that disappeared as soon as I ended the ad test. Consequently, I found myself in a bit of an uninspired funk. (Heck, where did these last 10 days just go without a blog post?)
This is because allowing ourselves to stress about our audience, numbers and outcomes is a sure fire way to remove the heart and genuineness right out of whatever we are creating.
The Success Process
Once people have “made it”, I’ve often heard them say that if they happened to have just encouraged ‘one’ person along the way it was all worth it. It takes me 3-8 hours to finish, publish, and share most of my blogs. Honestly, if I’m doing all of that for just one person, I’m not sure how long I would last. But maybe I’m just not as altruistic as some. I think I might just conclude that this is probably not what God has gifted me in.
There is something within sharing, writing, and creating anything that if you’re meant to do it, you could nearly do it regardless of if anyone was reading at all. It’s something you just can’t help doing.
But it’s still a whole lot of work and effort and time. And as much as we love the process (once we can wrangle our bums in a chair for longer than 5 minutes) we do want to know that somehow it’s being used for good in a world that so desperately needs good.
My Organic Success Bread Crumbs
Since my mostly new start (for this blog), a little over four months ago, I’ve received consistent bread crumbs continuing to guide me along without the stress of striving for it, but with just committing to showing up. Numerous people have reached out to share that the things I’ve written have impacted them. I’ve had another blogger reach out to me wanting to help me grow my audience and invited and paid me to be a continual guest writer for their blog. These things, although I’m still virtually unknown, are absolutely awesome and humbling to me. These moments of success and the flow that I feel when creating is what provides confirmation that I’m on the right path, the right path for right now. Not impressive numbers or the ability to monetize.
If five women were to come to your home every week and you were to create something of value for them, you would be diligent to not just show up every week, but to prepare, and to be excited to see these few women! I find it somehow troubling that if those same five women (and only those five women) were to show up for us, not in person, but online, our attitude is very different. We may disregard them as “only five.” We may not be consistent and faithful to show up every day (holding my hand up). We might be tempted to think that what we are doing doesn’t really matter. After all, I only have 5 readers!
God’s Version of Success
God may have (seemingly) large ministries for some and (seemingly) small ministries for others, but they are all ministries, none-the-less. They are all making a difference and only God knows to what extent.
Oprah may be viewed as an individual that is making a huge impact in the world, the ultimate success, but who spoke into her life? Who was the mentor, the encourager, the inspirer behind Oprah? There was the strict Grandmother who taught her how to read at two and a half and got her in front of congregations, there was the father who never stopped pushing her to learn more, there was the teacher that encouraged her to take the newscaster job that she initially declined twice, this then catapulting her into her now, world-changing, career that began at 19 years old.
Finding Your Success Today
In conclusion, it’s definitely of value to work on marketing and growing our reach, but I believe, the heart in it should be less striving for fame or even to reach a level that’s considered to be a success to society, and instead, more of, I’m doing my part to reach out to share that which God has put on my heart to create or do. It is God who is the ultimate influencer and our outcomes are in his hands. There’s something so freeing in that.
If we are using our God-given gifts to create, to do, to be, to share, and to go, and we are faithfully showing up every day, we can be confident and own that we are a success today, just as we are.
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.” Jeremiah 17:7