Day One – Starting From Nothing

I guess you could say this post was inspired by Chris Brogan. In more ways than one. First, it’s about why I’m excited, and you should be too, about a recent newsletter update of his. And second, it’s because he challenged me. In response to an email I sent him about the newsletter, I admitted to him I had a hard time with content creation. And he challenged me to make this my day one of content creation. So here goes.

Sunday’s newsletter was about starting over. If you’re not familiar with him, Chris is a published author, speaker, and blogger. All of that is mostly focused on using social media and building communities to grow your business. Considering he’s made a career of it, you shouldn’t be surprised to know he has about 209,000 Twitter followers, 3000+ Facebook “friends” and who knows how many people are on his email list. I bet it’s a lot.

Anyhow, Chris’ position affords him access to some brilliant and successful folks and he got some advice a while ago that’s finally started to sink in. An entrepreneur and multi-time bestselling author once told him the secret to his success was always focusing on what would make him the most amount of money the fastest.

Now if you’ve read anything by Chris, or a lot of other well known bloggers, like Seth Godin for example, you’ll know that this advice sort of turns everything they’ve been saying on its head. The community-driven path to success is all about providing value, first and foremost. With the idea that success and money will follow. The Field of Dreams. If you provide value, they will come.

Don’t get me wrong, good, quality work and providing value is important. Without it any fame or success you get is like internet fame. It happens overnight and it’s gone just as quickly.

The pieces of the puzzle that I don’t think these blogs/books/videos are giving you is that simply doing good work and releasing it into the world is the absolute minimum requirement for success. The other 90% is hard, constant work and hustle.

Maybe the authors take it for granted how much easier it is to move the needle when you already have an audience of thousands or tens of thousands or more. History is littered with examples of ideas and products that were superior to anything else at the time but never went anywhere. Success takes more than just being good, or even better, than something or somebody else. The reason that somebody like Gary Vee is Gary Vee and he eats people’s lunch is because he keeps going when they all quit.

I want this post to inspire you to do three things:

1. Go to and sign up for his newsletter. Hopefully he’ll be writing more about starting over and what he’d do, or not do, differently knowing what he knows now. If you’re just starting out, these should be really great, relevant reads.

2. If you’re already doing good work and putting it out there, keep it up. I know it’s not easy, but don’t give up. About three years after starting my own business, I was ready to start looking for jobs. Jobs with benefits. Benefits like regular income. I was tired of worrying about where my next project and money for the “extras”, like health insurance and retirement would come from. After three years, I was close to throwing in the towel. But suddenly everything clicked and all previous years of good, hard work started to pay off and I have momentum now. Right when you’re ready to quit is precisely when you have to keep going just a little bit longer.

3. If you liked this post, please consider subscribing to my site or following me on Twitter @michaelmurphy to get notified of the next one.

Thanks Chris. Today is day one of blogging.