April 28, 2019

Experience with documenting your progress publicly?

Daniel Heinz @danielheinz

Hi there,

some of you might struggle to keep track and lose motivation from time to time. Procrastination is another factor that keeps holding you back from doing great.

My question would be, if anyone here publicly „challenged“ himself and shared his progress in a blog or wherever.

If so, did it help? And how detailed are your posts?

I already saw a few people doing this. Sometimes it even went viral. Some might just share what they’re working on, others go into detail and even show monthly sales and profits over a period of months or years.

Would love to hear your opinion!

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    It's great for self-motivation and learning. Forces you to ship (at least) weekly improvements, encourages you to be clearer about your thinking, prioritizes tasks which actually move the needle so you have progress to report on. Also, the practice in clear communication (via writing/video/whatever) is invaluable.

    Where people stumble is by looking too much at the content analytics. Content takes a long time to get going, regardless of platform. So if you're doing it for the easy and instant attention, you're going to get discouraged and give up. Instead, commit to doing X updates per week for Y months, and limit yourself to looking at analytics once per week (or less).

    If building an audience is important to you, then you'll need to sit down and think properly about what your content is offering to your readers. There are plenty of worklogs and tell-all blogs, so there's a bit of finesse in finding a valuable angle. I think maybe the easiest way is to write for an unusual audience (since it's so hard to currently find unusual content). But the reasons in the first paragraph are sufficient value to do it regardless of whether anyone reads it.

    The only way it can "go wrong" is if you are creating sloppy or careless content which makes you look unreliable and amateur-ish. Folks will often go out of their way to research you before a big meeting (hiring, sales, funding, etc), and your forgotten content can easily come back to haunt you then.

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      Oh wow I just realized who you are...
      Guess which book is on my reading list :D

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        Totally worth the read and easily done in a day. You should put it at the very top of your list as the value to time ratio can't be any better.

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          Sounds good ;)

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        Hah, happy to hear it. Give me a shout if you have any questions/problems with the book stuff.

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          Alright, thank you! ;)

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      Thank you for the reply!
      My intention doing this would be building a following (which will definitely take a while), force myself to deliver, keep track on my journey and eventually educating people.

      I personally love stories of people who chase their dreams and show the obstacles and rewards.

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    I join in a daily standup here on IH and it's amazing for posting progress, accountability, getting feedback, encouragement, etc. Highly recommend

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      Thank you!
      Will definitely try this out in near future.

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    Nice post. I suck at writing, copywriting, etc. So I'm highly discouraged by leaving my sloppy verbiage out there, haha. BUT, I'm amazing at answering questions. So I bought an app called Grid Diary. I customized the app's questions to be 1/4 for daily routine stuff, 1/4 for personal growth, 1/4 for business growth, and the last 1/4 is mixture. It's helped me remember my mistakes, successes, etc. And it's private to myself.

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    Thanks for your question!
    I have the same thoughts. Previously, I always started a blog and reported there - what I was doing, which difficulties I was challenging etc. But, as many people did, I just stupidly lost interest in talking to an empty room because I did nothing to show my blog to people.
    That sounds stupid, I know. And it's stupid. Because, as it turned out, the blog requires marketing too.

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      So would you prefer starting a blog but market it this time?

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        Blogging without marketing just doesn't make any sense - except if you already have a huge audience, thousands of followers what is not my case.
        So, I'm thinking to start blogging but it will not be about what I'm doing, it will be rather articles that can help end users to solve their problems - I think it's the only way to market it.

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    You have some platforms for publicly shipping: WIP chat, Makerlog, makers.

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      Wow this looks awesome!
      Thank you very much!

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    I've wondered about doing the same. If you decide to do it, what medium works the 'best' for 'long term gains'? Do I just blog/tweet it on a personal site? Do I set up a blog on the new product site? Do I use a third party like medium/etc? You can use any one those, but is anyone better than another.
    I would think doing it on your personal site might be the better way so you can begin to market yourself and not as you still have content even if the product does not go well.

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      Yep... that’s what I was asking myself as well. Doing it on your own site would probably take way longer to accumulate readers but building up an emails-list will be much easier.

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    I personally think that talking about your experiences building something people cannot see is not very rewarding. Also, I would be thinking if I actually should talk about what I'm doing instead of actually going there and doing it, but this is personal.

    Now that I've released my product, though, I'm talking about it a lot =)

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      Thanks :)!

      That’s a very good point. Often people don’t see what you see and your vision seems crazy to them, so doing this would need carefully crafted content.

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    I tired a few blogs on medium (and here for that matter). I lost interest because I felt like I was speaking to an empty room (little to no response). I realise that it takes discipline and getting a following isn't an event that happens overnight, it just came to be a realization that it wasn't a priority for me any more and I'd rather focus on shipping than talking about it.

    Just my opinion though and my current cicumstance, I know tonnes of people find it really beneficial.

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      Thank you!

      So you basically stopped completly and just focused on shipping the product?

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        Yeah for now. Dont feel like I can be an authority figure on starting a business until I can get some bigger wins under my belt. Still working on it ;)

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          Good luck on your path! :)

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