As you know I’m on vacation, and the time away has given me a good opportunity to reflect on the past year; especially on the things I’ve learned in the process of building OneMint, and I thought I’d share them with you because they’re useful lessons in all walks of life.
Talk is cheap
Building OneMint has taught me the true meaning of this phrase. It has made me realize how easy it is to criticize anything, and how tough it is to achieve the smallest of things.
These days I think a lot more before I criticize anyone, since I fully realize that the only thing coming in the way of OneMint’s growth is me, and if I’m so good at giving other people advice – why not use it to build my own blog. After all, nothing stops me from doing that right?
The flip side of this realization is that I’m far more impatient with others than I used to be. Recently when a friend suggested that a video we were watching on You Tube was really amateur I told him quite curtly to shut up, and start talking only when he’s made something half as good himself.
Obviously this isn’t going to go down well with everyone, but then to hell with the folks who will criticize anything on the drop of a hat, and never take any initiative on their own.
Be true to yourself
I set out on creating a blog that will attract smart people who realize that there are no shortcuts, no “tips” that can make them a million overnight, and I’ve been guided by the principle that I need to provide people with facts that will help them in making the final decision.
Unfortunately, for every person who is willing to work hard and take the trouble to understand their finances, and make smart decisions – there are a 100 others that want quick tips, and shortcuts.
I used to wonder if I should change direction and start giving out tips, and making decisions for people in a bid to increase readership, but I’d never be happy doing that.
I’m glad that I didn’t go that route because I’m happy doing what I do, and OneMint already clocks about 200,000 page-views in a month, which is a reasonable number for any blog.
These days, I have no hesitation in telling people that they won’t get any tips from me, and though I get several emails of this type, I don’t fall in to the temptation.
Giving out recommendations might increase the readership, but I know that it’s not the right thing for me or the person seeking out the advice, and I’m glad that I’m building readership while being true to my beliefs.
Every person is different, and deserves to be treated accordingly
I’m amazed at how many emails I get from people who demand information, and write as if they’re doing me a favor by requesting information. In fact, I just received an email from someone who sent me a list of 5 mutual funds and wants me to send their NAV to him. If there was a please or thank you in his message, I must have missed it. Some of the messages I get are truly ridiculous, and I’ve learned not to mind them, and simply tell them I don’t have the time to Google stuff on their behalf, or if the message is too bad then I just delete it.
On the other hand, there are people who are courteous, and go out of their way to reply to me even when I’m unable to help them. Needless to say – I give more attention to their comments, and emails, and I’m sure everyone else does that as well.
If you think a “Sent from my Blackberry” signature eliminates the need to insert an odd please or thank you in your message – do yourself a favor this coming new year, and talk to your mom to get your Ps and Qs in order.
Working on OneMint has been really great, and it’s been something that I’ve truly enjoyed every bit. The fact that I’ve learned so much has been an added bonus. I hope the blog continues to grow in the coming years, and everyone associated with it benefits as much as I do.