It has been almost a year since I started developing Mahdi Earth. It has been a good year and I have really enjoyed having a creative outlet to discuss the things that I am passionate about. I have had ups and downs with it all and I have learnt a lot.
The biggest highlight was getting acknowledged by Eckhart Tolle on Instagram when I stated that there is no wrong way to meditate. The low-light was the number of hours I spent swearing at the computer, trying to work out domain codes, address transfers and page access. (All to no avail, I might add – I ended up getting someone else to do it.)
Below is a list of my stand out lessons from the last 12 months:
1. It's daunting to put yourself entirely on display for the first time.
Don’t ask me why I never thought this would be the case beforehand. When I was dreaming up Mahdi Earth, I was already picturing myself with a network of like-minded people who had their own online ventures. We would share our views of the world and discuss project ideas over drinks on balmy Saturday afternoons, in picturesque locations. I would tell jokes and everyone would laugh. Oh we were fine friends…
I sort of forgot about the whole starting out thing. Although I have always been interested in healing and spirituality, I had never really had too many other people in my life who were also interested in it until a couple of years ago. So I never really spoke about it much until recently, and that meant that there were a lot of friends, work colleagues and family members who didn’t know this side of me existed. To put it all out there was daunting.
I felt vulnerable but I managed to do it anyway. Some people were very supportive when they first read my work. Others were very silent and have since taken a step back from my life (which I took as them thinking ‘wow, she’s even crazier than I thought’). I sincerely appreciate the support of the people who have been there for me and I allow and accept the choice of others who have not.
Through all this, I have exposed who I truly am and I can’t do any more than that. I have no plans of changing any time soon.
2. Some days you will hit a home run, and others, you won’t leave home base.
Sometimes I will sit down and write what I consider to be good. I’ll include a witty lines, add some stand out pictures and pat myself on the back for a job well done. But when I post it, I’ll get no response from anyone in return. Tumbleweeds.
Then, on other days, I’ll write up something in no time and think it’s not that great, but other people will think it’s wonderful. I find it to be a bit of pot luck sometimes. What I have learnt from this is that it doesn’t really matter what sort of response I get as long as what I write is authentic and has a positive message.
3. Before you know it, you have come a long way.
When I think about Mahdi Earth, I still feel like it is in its infancy. There is plenty more I'd like to do with it, and it is always evolving. I’m still yet to become best friends with my like-minded Saturday afternoon pals too. But when I think back to where I was a year ago, man, I have come a long way!
I have learnt how to develop websites, Facebook pages, email subscription lists and blog posts. I have learnt social media strategies and watched how it is done by some really talented people. I’m no expert now, but I have certainly picked up a lot.
4. Your skin gets thicker as time goes on.
That’s not to say I don’t feel like I’ve been kicked in the guts sometimes for whatever reason. It’s just that I bounce back from it quicker each time. Whenever I start to feel down about something now, I just remind myself that the stuff I write is from the heart and good for the world. That’s some pretty big shit and not too many other people can claim to be doing the same each day.
5. You have to be your number one champion.
If you aren’t your own champion, no one else is going to be either. No one else cares more about the success of your project than you.
6. There are always going to be people who can do stuff better than you.
Some people are skilled at web design, some a wonderful writers, others just have the X factor. I’ve learnt to be inspired by these people, not jealous. We’ve all got our own little bit of brilliance to share with the world.
7. Having someone/some people to do the project with is not a bad idea.
I know it may not seem like a good idea to let someone else have some control over something that you are so passionate about – it’s your ideas and your dream. But I have seen it done well and have to admit that I have found myself wishing that I had someone to help me with Mahdi Earth on more than one occasion.
I work full time as a senior manager in my company, and by the time I leave the office in the afternoon, my brain is dead. I would love to create more content and interact with people more on social media, but I often don’t have the energy. If I was working with someone else, we could share the load a bit. They could also bring fresh ideas and inspiration.
8. There are some bloody good people in this world.
I have met some beautiful souls through social media. People who I have never met in person but who write really heartfelt messages on things I share. They are just good people. They offer nothing but support and expect nothing in return. I like those people!
9. All that glitters is not gold.
As with all things, there are also some negative aspects of social media. In the blogging game in particular, I have noticed a lot of fake niceties and popularity competitions. It appears many people only comment on other people’s social media for their personal gain and what they get in return.
People say complementary things to other people who have a large social media following, whether they like what they see or not, in order to 'get into bed with them’. And often the people with the large following will say something plastic in return for good PR. (This is not everybody of course, there are also some genuine people.) I much prefer authenticity, but each to their own. And I must hand it to them – what they do works. So whether they have good intentions or not, they are achieving what they set out to do.
10. I wish I had paid more attention in English at school.
…Or I had a really rad editor who was available 24hrs a day and worked for free.
I know mistakes are inevitable but I would love to know that most things I release are error free. I wagged a lot of high school and feel like it has never really caught up with me until now - I completed four tertiary degrees (including a masters and a doctorate) since school and never had a problem getting by. But now that I am writing creatively, I wish I had a deeper understanding of grammar and had larger vocabulary. Having more confidence in these areas would allow me to play around a bit more and mix up the way I write.
So, stay in school, kids!
Have you put yourself out there lately? How did you find it?