Today, we’re continuing our blogger breakthrough series with a story from Krista who comes to us from Canada. She has a blog called A Life in Progress, it’s alifeinprogress.ca. She’s going to tell us a story—a beautiful story, really, of her first experience of a viral post. It’s actually a post that went viral a number of times and the impact that it had upon her blog. A bit of a theme because last week was about viral content as well but this is a very different story. I love this story because it talks about how Krista went from procrastination fear to showing up regularly and pushing through that. It is a beautiful story and I encourage you to listen to the end. I’m going to come back at the end of the story and just pull out some of the nuggets of gold that Krista mentions in this story because it is a beautiful one.
I’m going to head over to Krista. Again, her blog is at alifeinprogress.ca and you can find the full transcript of today’s show notes, as well as links to her blog over at problogger.com/podcast/267.
Krista: Hello, I am Krista from Central Alberta, Canada. I write at alifeinprogress.ca. I help other messy humans like me show up through comparison, perfectionism, and fear so they can show up fully in their imperfect and beautiful lives. Again, you can find me at alifeinprogress.ca.
I started vlogging three years ago. I had been showing up weekly to my blog for about 4 ½ months, when a post of mine went viral for the first time. I say for the first time because initially I was contacted by the BBC London about my post, What if All I Want is A Mediocre Life? and after they shared it, my post spread throughout Europe.
About a year later, some minimalist bloggers in the United States picked it up, and the post took off again for a second time. Having recently emerged from a time of crisis in my life when I wrote that mediocre life post, I was just practicing showing up myself through perfectionism, comparison, and fear to take imperfect action. I was super clear on my mission or my why. But I actually, knew absolutely nothing, about building an online platform or business. Good thing, I’m a very curious and stubborn person.
I did step out and begin to offer my work as a holistic health and joyful living educator in my small community. I was super hungry to write and connect online as well. Facebook has always been a perfect fit for me. I started a Facebook page and began to offer incredibly imperfect live videos just to serve and share my working heart. Time was really limited because I was actually homeschooling my youngest at that time still. Also, I had been a master procrastinator for most of my life.
My goal wasn’t actually to make anything in particular happen but to just have fun and practice showing up through fear. I needed to learn to take baby steps and honor my wiring. By that, I mean I’m a very strong introvert. I need a lot of time to potter, think, and breathe. I opted out of hustle from day one.
That particular post, What if All I Want is A Mediocre Life?, I actually wrote that one day in tears. For most of my life, I wrestled with feelings of never being good enough. I had come far. My 40s we’re certainly a healing time in my life. But on that day, I was struggling and I wrote it in tears just super honestly and I never expected anybody besides my 12 siblings to actually read it. It was a reminder to myself that who I am is enough. I’ve always found freedom in truth telling. One of the ways that I practice loving myself is actually just telling the truth. I know that it opens up space for other people to tell the truth.
When that senior journalist from the BBC London contacted me, I was rather surprised, and that is an understatement. I live in a very small town in Central Alberta and I certainly, wasn’t expecting something like that. We had a really good chat. I did an interview with her that became part of a series that BBC created.
Following that, I received countless requests to reprint my article in multiple languages. This very simple honest post had hit a chord with people across the globe. Although, people closer to home had no idea who I was or what I was up to.
The first year after launching A Life in Progress, my business and my blog, my Facebook page just slowly, slowly grew to about 1,000 followers. and that first thousand is hard to achieve. But after some minimalist bloggers in the States shared my post, so thank you, no sidebar and becoming minimalist, it quickly grew to about 12,000.
In my second year of blogging, I received many opportunities to guest post or write for other people including for Maria Shriver’s, The Sunday Paper, which was fun. I just kept plodding along, slow and steady, and walking up my values.
I just have entered my fourth year. I just hit my three-year mark at the end of August of blogging. I’m very clear that my growth has only come because of collaboration or connecting with other people including those who initially shared my work. I’ve made beautiful friends online, gleaned from others, offered encouragement of my own. I’m filled with gratitude for the privilege of sharing my mission online to a growing and quite engaged community. I sometimes feel discouraged or not enough still, but when I pull myself back to my mission and just show up, I find joy in my work and amazing door of opportunities continue to open up to me.
This year, I think I’m going to work more closer to full time. But the past three years, I’ve only worked part-time. I’ve opted out of hassle. But I do have fairly steady client work.
Having one post go viral, even twice, didn’t alone or in it of itself, drastically changed my life or income, but showing up consistently did. Nonetheless, having that one post go viral did give me a voice I may not have otherwise had. It enlarged my circle of impact. Last year, I think my Facebook page grew to about around 35,000. I launched another page and grew that really rapidly. It helped people get to know the real me—a messy human just like them—and helped thousands of people feel heard and seen, and that’s very powerful, I think.
If I was to offer another, say newer blogger any tips, this would be it: I think this world is incredibly noisy. I do not think that we need more people trying to look, act or be the same, we need honesty. While there are many moving parts to building an online business or community and the work never ends, I encourage you to do the messy work to unearth your unique voice and vision as this will be what sustains you when things go hard, or when people are mean, or you get a little stuck in the mire comparison and fear, it happens. Just show up slow and steady, take imperfect action and remember to enjoy each step of the journey. Sounds cliche, but I actually believe in that. Look for opportunities to build meaningful connection online and serve your community well whatever the size. Also, don’t be afraid to shift course as you go. I really think that we find our path by getting our hands dirty. Don’t be afraid to just be you–raw and real. Finally, I would encourage you to loosen your grip on a particular or precise outcome so you can open up to joyful possibility–that’s definitely one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned over the past three years is this gift of opening up to joyful possibility.
I set goals and track them. I time block to make space for my deep work. But I never could’ve envisioned some of the opportunities that have opened up to me simply because I showed up. There are definitely, days I wished that I would write something else that people would get super excited about.
Some days, I do feel frustrated or in some seasons with algorithm changes or periods of stagnating growth. There are days that the best thing I can do is to just shut it all down and take a break. I do try to build a life and business that permits that. Baring your soul and becoming an entrepreneur calls you to growth. It definitely, does. But every single day, I’m grateful that I had the courage to sit down that day—2 ½ years ago—to pen that very honest, simple, truthful, blog post.
Darren: Thank you so much for sharing your story, Krista. Beautiful theme going on, unintentionally, in the podcast over the last few months. Back in episode 263, Mim talked in her story about being vulnerable and in episode 255, I talked about vulnerability as well. It’s certainly a theme today from Krista. I love how honestly Krista shared today both in this episode but also on her blog.
The story will resonate with a lot of us because many of us do have issues with procrastination which she mentioned and fear. I just love this as a story of showing up with that fear. I’ve talked in previous episodes about having wobbly courage. You don’t ever really overcome the fear, but showing up with that fear is wobbly courage. I also love that she talks about being a bit of an introvert there and needing space to think, breathe, and potter because I can relate to that as well.
Let’s just pull out some of the tips. I did take a few notes as I listened to Krista’s story. I listened to it two or three times because there was so much in that last few minutes that I think will help many people.
Keep persisting. “Walking out my values,” was something Krista talked about doing. I love the fact that she really did blog from understanding who she was and not feeling like she had to show up and be someone else. “We don’t need more people being the same. We need honesty,” I think was the line. That’s a great quote—one that I’m going to add to my little quotes. “We don’t need more people being the same. We need honesty.”
“Do the messy work to unearth your unique voice and vision. Show up slow and steady.” These are the lines I wrote down. I just think we need to really ponder if you are someone who is struggling with procrastination, if you’re someone who struggles with fear, these are great lessons. “Take imperfect action,” something that I first heard Jadah Sellner talk about. Taking that imperfect action is better than no action at all. “Building meaningful connection online,” and being open to shift course as you go. “Don’t be afraid to shift course, to loosen your grip on a precise outcome and be open to joyful possibility.”
These are just great words of advice and I hope that somewhere in the midst of these things, there is some encouragement for those of you who do struggle with those issues of fear and procrastination. There’s hope. There’s hope for all of us who do struggle with these things.
I want to commend it to you, bookmark this episode, and listen to it again if you ask someone who does struggle with those things. If you know someone who struggles with fear and procrastination as a blogger or in some other area, I encourage you to share this episode, Krista’s story, with them as well.
“Show up, take imperfect action, and don’t be afraid to be you. Be raw and real and be honest.” Great advice there. Thank you, Krista, so much for sharing with us today.
Again, you can find Krista at alifeinprogress.ca. You can find today’s show notes at problogger.com/podcast/267. Next week, we’re going to take a little pause in this blogger breakthroughs series because I’ve got a great interview with Craig who is from Podcast Motor. Podcast Motor produced our podcast for us and they’ve got some exciting things coming up.
We’re going to do a podcast next week on Podcasting for Bloggers. I’m going to interview Craig and give you some tips on that topic. Then we will come back and do two more episodes of this series before we resume our regular podcasting.
Thank you so much for listening today. I’m going to pop a few links in the show notes today too. Some of those other episodes that you might want to listen to on the topic of vulnerability, episode 263 and episode 255. Thanks for listening. Chat with you next week as we talk about podcasting.
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