Steven Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families describes the Circle of Concern and the Circle of Influence. I love this analogy because focusing your energy within the Circle Concern only makes those concerns grow larger without impacting your circle of INFLUENCE in any positive way.
If we subscribe to the idea that your energy and focus creates growth this means our focus should be in the Circle of Influence. That is what you can control. Your reach of influence. The other things are the things that you cannot change.
How does this apply to blogging?
There are a lot of things that you flat do not have control over as a blogger. How exactly Google decides to rank you. Or WHEN Google decides to finally rank you, for example. What are some other things we cannot control, but can certainly be concerned about if we let ourselves.
Cannot force people to read.
Treat you nicely.
Click an ad.
What can you control? Plenty! You CAN control yourself. You can write more articles. Ask for guest post spots on influential blogs. Connect with others in your field via Twitter, Facebook and blog comments. Do keyword research to make sure relevant ads appear with your articles. Write open-ended blogs with questions to encourage feedback from others. All of these things you CAN control.
Proactive Intention and Action Creates Positive Results
As you focus your energy and attention on these things that you do have control over, you will begin to see the other things you thought you were worried about fall into place. Guest posts and incoming links add up and Google increases your page rank. Engaging your community more frequently and regularly means that they leave comments more often. Thinking about your content means higher quality content and increased revenue.
But not because you focused on the uncontrollable. These things happen because you focused on the controllable. What you directly had influence over. As a result, that influence increased. Your confidence increases. Your reach increases. Because your focus was realistic all this time, instead of wasted on what you couldn’t change yourself.
What Jaeli Taught me About Acting with Proactive Intention
I saw this in action a few months ago when Baby Jaeli needed help. If you didn’t hear the story you can catch a little bit of it on the Jaeli page of this website. Basically, the level of help that she needed was way beyond what I could do by myself. What any one of us could have done by ourselves. I had two choices – 1) Sit and moan and cry about how horrible the situation was or 2) Do WHAT I COULD. And _I_ could do was little more than put the information up on my blog and tweet it out to my friends.
And you know what happened? Each of them, acting within their Circle of Influence, did what THEY could do. They retweeted. Blogged. Emailed reporters. Hosted MomTV shows w/the story featured. Starting Facebook Cause Pages and invited all their friends. And TOGETHER those individual circles of influences added up to a life-changing miracle of generosity for Jaeli and her family.
What things have you been concerned about when it comes to your blogging and writing? List them out. List them ALL out.
Now look over your list and circle anything that is not within your circle of influence. See if there is a way to rework that into a proactive comment.
In other words, if you have on your list “I’m worried about increasing my traffic“, I want you to circle that off your list and write beside it “I will apply SEO basics to my new posts this week” or “I will share my new posts via Twitter and Facebook every time I publish something new”. If you feel comfortable doing so, I’d love to see what your list looks like!