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Friday, February 4, 2011

How Cancer Changed My Blog

I was recently diagnosed with testicular cancer. Yes, the dreaded c word. It’s probably not what you are thinking. I don’t look at this health issue as an anchor. I look at this as an opportunity for growth.


I’ve been blogging for over three years. Each year I’ve gone through unique pains.


The pain of no one reading my blog eventually transformed to Forbes.com contacting me and naming my blog one of the top 100 blogs for women. It’s been an amazing blogging journey.


I want to share how a major illness has shifted and improved my blog. It has been a journey that has bruised my ego, but it has also lifted me to new heights.


Blogging is not easy, every blogger will tell you that, especially when also dealing with personal issues. There are so many factors that can derail your progress if you don’t stay focused.


You know that you need to put the important stuff first, but how do you figure out what’s important and what’s not?


You have to see where your present wins are coming from and figure out how to expand on them. I teach people to leverage their superpowers and bloggers are no different. You have your strengths, passions, and the work that puts you in the zone. All of these actions need to be pushed to the front.


Too many people say to focus on your strengths and you’ll be successful. That’s not true. You may be a great writer, but if you write about the wrong subject you are never going to thrive. You must take a holistic approach to your work. If you are crazy about music, but can’t seem to string your notes together then you won’t thrive either. It’s all about creating synergy between your passions, strengths, and focus. All three must be present for your action to be a superpower.


When you do work that gets you excited every day, it’s easier to keep your energy level high and stay productive. You have to have a system. Everybody’s system is different. Leo loves to write in the morning. Darren loves to do work in batches. The most important thing is that they put their passions at the top of the list and so should you.


Blogs are dependent upon people not just following your posts, but also sharing your blog with others. That means you have to find the people who are willing to share your stuff with their friends. This is hard and I struggled with this concept in the first couple of years.


Since my cancer diagnosis, I’ve been more willing to put myself out there to be found by someone like you. I don’t care if I get rejected. The fear is just a little less intense.


Because the fear is less intense, I’m more willing to market my coaching or my brand.


You have to realize that you only have a finite number of days on this earth. If you want your blog to get to the next level you have to find people who will tell their friends about it. You have to connect with people in your niche and find a way to encourage other people’s audience to visit your blog on a regular basis. I know you know this, but it’s a lot harder than it looks. You have to test out a lot of different blogs until you find one that connects with your style.


I could have given up on my blog a long time ago. I have a full-time job, a wife, a kid, and not much time. My cancer would have been a perfect excuse to give up. Believe me, there have been times when I really wanted to do just that.


I didn’t give up because I know that I’m on a mission to help people leverage their superpowers. I want to help people change the world. It’s why I love working with bloggers. They are the type of people that are creative and passionate. They aren’t always sure how to get to point b, but they really do want to get there.


Your frustrations can take over if you let them, and they’ll wreck your happiness and relationships. You constantly have to be working with your emotions and using them to fuel your actions. Don’t not let them hold you back.


You can deal with your frustrations by taking time to process your emotions. I like to do a ten-minute meditation every morning and every night. It helps me set up my day and process my feelings each night. This mental exfoliating process is what keeps me balanced.


You may not like meditation, but you need to take time to process your emotions every single day. When you create this habit, you’ll improve your productivity and creativity. I promise.


As a blogger you have access to your work wherever you go. You can write a blog in any country, check your Facebook and Twitter account in any coffee shop, and build more connections at every comment on your friends’ blogs.


I’ve seen too many bloggers burn out because they go non-stop for too long and don’t enjoy the process. Blogging is a skill that takes time to develop, especially in this overcrowded age.


You have to take time to relax.


After discovering I had cancer and having it removed, I took a short time off from blogging. After a few days I quickly got back to it, but realized that I can’t go seven days a week any longer. I should never have been going seven days a week. I needed more time to relax and enjoy my family and life.


I’ve been blogging, networking and planning six days a week and I feel so much better. Sundays are no longer for blogging; whatever I don’t get done Monday through Saturday can wait until the following Monday. The best part about this new routine is that I get just as much done. I’m a little more focused, and I make sure that I get everything done by Saturday night.


You have to find time to relax that brain of yours. There is nothing wrong with posting seven times a week, but if you are constantly checking your stats, email, and whatever else you do all the time then you are missing out on life. You have to be willing to relax and let your mind recharge.


I’m not writing this post to gain your pity. I’m here to tell you that we have a short amount of time on this earth no matter how you look at it.


Bloggers are one of the luckiest groups of people on the internet. They have the superpower of communication. You can write, podcast, or video cast coherently. That’s a beautiful talent that you must optimize. You are changing people’s lives for the better. It’s up to you to find a way to take your setbacks and make you smarter, stronger and more widely read.


Have you ever been sick or had a family member become sick and had to adjust your blogging work load? What did you do and how did it change your blog?


Karl Staib is a career coach who helps people leverage their superpowers! If you enjoyed this article, you may want to check him out on or join his free 10 Part eCourse to a Happier and More Successful You.


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