On the day of Venus transit, this blog crossed 100,000 page views, a couple of weeks before the second anniversary. For a subject as dry as risk management, that is an achievement. My sincere thanks to all the subscribers and readers whose smallest click on the post motivates me to write more. I didn’t start of as a writer, but the slow and steady growth in readership has made me one. With an average of 8000 page views per month, it is time to celebrate.
Since I started this blog with the aim to build awareness and change perceptions about risk management, specially in India, the song “Winds of Change” is dedicated to all my readers. For the next generation, we definitely need to bring changes in practices of business ethics, corporate governance and risk management.
In the last two years, I learnt a few personal lessons from blogging. These lessons are not about how to blog better, but life in general. So here goes.
1. Don’t give up your hobbies
Sounds simple, but with age we generally give up our hobbies due to various constraints. However, the hobbies of our childhood in some ways define us and one never knows how the dots connect in future.
My mother encouraged me to write from childhood. In my teens I wrote poems and essays. Most were deeply tragic, outrageously wicked or completely radical thoughts. My father got perturbed on reading them, since he believed I was going to implement my creative ideas. I was that mischievous! Over time, as the focus on career increased, I stopped writing. I picked up writing again with this blog after a 20 years break. It was an absolute challenge. My writing is still not as decent as I wrote during my teens. It is an art one forgets with time without practice.
Now blogging is the in-thing and being able to communicate well is the key to success. No one told us that during our school days, the focus was on qualifications. In the present environment technical skills have become secondary. Times change. The best way forward is to integrate hobbies with career aspirations.
2. In adversity, persevere
Blogging is a humbling experience. There is a lot of sales talk about how good and easy it is, but it takes a lot of persistence.
I think most bloggers start for two reasons – either they love writing and sharing ideas or they wish to build a name for themselves in their chosen field. The initial idea is we have got it made and can crack it easily. Nobody tells a new blogger that they will be publicly making a fool of themselves, consistently, till they get the hang of it. Moreover, with all the competition, most readers will ignore you. In real life, we target a deal with at least 60:40 odds in our favor. In blogging world, less than 1% read the post, let alone appreciate it.
It taught me one big lesson. In adversity, I must not count what I don’t have. I must focus on the goals I wish to pursue and doggedly work on it. Every time I failed, I attempted to understand the reasons for failure and restarted. Hard work makes one luckier.
3. Be authentic
Blogging is about personal branding, hence be authentic. What I write is what I am. There is a lot of advise given on building a personal brand and developing a social persona to get an audience. The problem with that approach is that my personal brand is not different from another’s image. Hence, how will the readers differentiate and respect me?
For instance, my thoughts are uniquely mine, if I try to mimic someone’s writing style or thoughts, then it isn’t me. If I like to be someone else, who is going to be like me? It takes courage, because putting radical thoughts in open forums is sometimes equal to begging to be killed.
However, my authenticity determines my credibility. For example, if I value honesty as a trait, then not only my friends but my worst enemies should vouch me as honest. The measure of my success on personal branding is when I stand for certain values and traits, my competitors and enemies acknowledge those traits. A well packaged public persona goes only so far as most readers see through the game plan sooner or later.
I started writing this blog on my parents marriage anniversary. As I have lost them, this was my way of thanking them. I wanted to share some of the ethical values they inculcated in me. It gives me a sense of satisfaction that there are still some takers for it. I hope in the years to come, I can learn something more from blogging, career and life, and be able to share it with you.
Thank you once again for your continued support and faith.