Last week I sent out a survey to my sweet readers asking you who you are and what you want. My interest was spurred by a deflated sense that the internet is started to become very, very crowded, with lots and lots of noise. An intuition that is being supported by one of the most knowledge names in the digital world.
For those of you who don’t know my story, I have never been one to lose myself into the online world. I consistently read exactly 3 blogs: Gala Darling, because she is the first blogger I ever encountered, and due to this fact, feel some kind of loyalty to her; Alexander Franzen, because I love the way she writes short, sharp and helpful bite-size pieces on how to be a good and simple, and down-to-earth writer (and person); and Nirrimi Joy, because I adore her free spirit and openness.
What these 3 all have in common is that a) they are all women and b) they’re all doing it their way. No rules, no expectations. Their making they mark, by sharing their words and worlds in their ways. I do read other blogs from time to time; my clients, for example; and my friends. Or when I’m researching something. But my loyalty is far from easy to acquire.
This stream of thought made me wonder and question whether others were feeling disillusioned with the direction that many blogs are taking, and how we are sharing value through social mediums. Which is why I took the question to you.
Here is what I learned:
50% of you are working full-time, but dream of creating something more meaningful and fulfilling in the world.
30% of you are proud parents.
20% of you remaining are creative professionals, freelancers and self-employed in some form.
1/3 of all of you, are still trying to figure out what your ‘thing’ in life is.
These answers made me want to ask more questions like “Do you dream of something more because what you are doing now is unfulfilling? Or because there’s a social trend to overachieve and never be satisfied with enough?”
I ask this question because I think it’s too easy to be influenced by the messages surrounding us. And when we all share the same social media space, chances are, we are all receiving the same messages. So many coaches and entrepreneurs tout for us to follow our dreams. But how many of us actually know which ones our dreams, are and which ones have been manufactured by the expectations created by our environment?
And “Is it possible that your ‘thing’ is right in front of you, but you’ve just not learned to value who you are, and what comes naturally? Also, maybe your ‘thing’ changes over time. Which means you get to have more than one ‘thing’ in your lifetime, which obviously totally takes the pressure off?”
I believe I have more than one ‘thing’ in life. One had been wild psychedelic trance music festivals. I submerged myself in that world for 5 years, not coming up for air once, not until I was completely done. Another one as been travel. It started young; and I’m not sure if it will ever end, but it certainly is changing and evolving alongside me. My favourite ‘thing’ for me has been writing. I’ve been doing it in many forms for about 10 years now. I also have a ‘thing’ for baking, and loving my people, and for making. Each expression of my ‘thing’ changes in loudness, depending on what I choose to focus on. I don’t know what my next ‘thing’ will be. But I can’t see myself working as a mentor, like I am now, forever. Give me 5 years: I’ll show you a whole new ‘thing’.
The candour and honesty in your answers also reinstated my belief in the innate wisdom and strength of you, my reader. It was so refreshing and relieving to learn that:
80% of you said that you were weary of being sold to online. I hear you loud and clear. Me too!
70% still loved reading blog posts, but only if they are written with authenticity and truth.
60% were craving access to videos and podcasts that you could watch and listen to without being online.
50% of you enjoyed being part of an online Facebook community where you could interact with like-minded souls.
And 75% of you were sick of big all-inclusive, expensive online courses, that felt inaccessible due to price, time-constraints, and the fact that you all have lives outside of the internet. (Ha! I am so happy to hear that!)
Thanks to your valuable insights, I feel so excited about the new direction that we can start taking things in our online space. I have learned that my desire for more simplicity, honesty and authenticity is echoed amongst all of you.
And that no-one wants to feel like a walking cash-machine that needs to have something to purchase at all times. I also learned that what we are all craving is more community and more connection. A space to feel safe, to feel understand and to belong. All of this makes me overjoyed to know that as I change, and the space that I create for you and for me, evolves, I am leaning in the right direction.
I’m feeling enthusiastic about what the rest of the year holds for all of us, as we move forward. Change is in the air. Thank you for being a positive driving force, and requesting all of us to reach deeper and become better.
Image from UrbanOutfitters.com