Rewind- How I found my niche and what I am doing about it.

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Ready, Fire, Aim

Decisions are pretty simple for me. I either study something to death and master all the reasons why it won’t work or why now is not the right time to do it or I just plunge in with no planning or organization and flounder along. So, if I have accomplished anything in my life it is from making snap judgments , taking impetuous actions and making the best of it.

The Need to Blog

Ralph Carlson Blog was one of those ready, fire, aim decisions. I couldn’t explain why it was important. I didn’t really understand what I was doing. I did feel confident that it was important and I started. I didn’t know any of the technical aspects of blogging. I had never been an effective communicator or somebody you liked to be around but somehow I felt that I had something to communicate and that I would find an audience. I had a mission.

One Last Obstacle Remained

From that naive start, fast forward to one year later. Over that time, I have learned much about the technical aspects of blogging. I self host my blog, work hard to understand SEO and carefully study the advice of the big guns. My blogging has become, arguably, technically competent. I have some returning readers and the number is growing but until last week, a big obstacle still blocked the path. I hadn’t defined my audience. I didn’t know my niche.

Documenting a big adventure

Last week, the fog cleared. I realized that I was on a life mission to recover from bad career decisions and even poorer financial ones over my life. Choosing the path of an employee left me powerless to control my life. Starting the blog was a continuing part of my transition from employee to entrepreneur that began in 1995 when the world changed on me.

I know that many people face the same difficulty because my generation and the baby boomers that followed were lulled by the false promises of employment. Now as their careers wind down and they can no longer avoid facing the limitations of a retired lifestyle, I think that many people are just like me. They are not ready to give up. They are not willing to accept the limited income that their life choices so far have given them. They are looking for fulfillment, whether from making more money or helping other people. I don’t have all the answers but I am already on the trail and I know that my experiences can help others who are ready to start.

This blog like my life is a work in progress

I will be revising Ralph Carlson Blog to reach this audience. As I said earlier, this is another ready, fire aim act so don’t expect a sudden and dramatic change. I will be working this out on the fly. The first step is a new about page giving a more detailed account of my back story and direction for the blog. The second step will be a series of posts highlighting decision points along my path. I will look at the potholes that caused me to change course and about my thinking then and now. A possible third step is talking about developing an action plan – but maybe that should go elsewhere.

Be a part of the adventure

As I move forward, I will appreciate comments and suggestions because I still need lots of help. I need better marketing to help my audience find me. I continue to mess up with technical issues. Finally I need to develop my activities as a business owner with an eye to producing income. So I ask my readers to join me on the journey, either as guides and advisers or contributors and trail-mates. Leave comments or send emails and be part of the adventure.

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{ 17 comments… add one }
  • Steve Scott Site April 29, 2010, 9:43 am

    Even if you think something won’t work out for you, try it anyway. You know what they say … if at first you don’t succeed, try try again. I’m glad that you’re experiencing blogging success and starting to live the life you enjoy!
    .-= Steve Scott Site´s last blog ..From Google, With Love… =-.

    • Ralph April 29, 2010, 9:51 am

      That is my current philosophy. And keep rubbing in that living the life you enjoy stuff as you travel the world. Keep those post going because they emphasize the power of this path.

  • Jean Sarauer April 30, 2010, 8:13 am

    I read your About page and love your “finish strong” motto. I think the transition you’re making with your niche is a good one. It’s true to your circumstances and there are SO many people sharing similar experiences. More than ever, retirement is a time of vitality and taking on new challenges, sometimes by choice and sometimes not. I’ve got a few years before I get there, so lead the way!
    .-= Jean Sarauer´s last blog ..Top Blogging Mistakes Revealed =-.

    • Ralph April 30, 2010, 8:27 am

      Thank you so much for your encouragement, Jean. I feel very strongly about this audience and Hope that I can be a guide and mentor to help them make a better life.

  • Justin Matthews April 30, 2010, 9:42 am

    I can’t wait to read more about what makes you tick. you are very intersting. I too started blogging with not much information or thought, but it has worked out well.
    keep up the good work Ralph
    .-= Justin Matthews´s last blog ..You only have 24 hours to… =-.

    • Ralph April 30, 2010, 9:50 am

      Justin,
      I am dying to find out too.

  • Lee April 30, 2010, 12:21 pm

    Hi Ralph,

    Certainly not only did I enjoy this article but I now know we probably have a lot more in common than I ever thought. That said I look forward to watching you grow in your journey and hope to be someone who can learn from you.

  • Ralph April 30, 2010, 1:22 pm

    Lee,
    I hope we can learn from each other along the way.

  • butterfly May 1, 2010, 4:30 am

    it is good to see people like yourself thinking of yourself and your directions. I love it. Congrates. Keep up the good work
    .-= butterfly´s last blog ..Signs =-.

    • ralph May 1, 2010, 6:29 am

      Winnie
      Thanks
      .-= ralph´s last blog ..Nostalgia – Beautiful Mid-Century Modern House =-.

  • Karen May 1, 2010, 1:20 pm

    Hi Ralph,

    Congratulations for sticking with blogging and then having the courage to try various niches until you found something that works for you. I think we all have our own unique voices and you certainly have lots of life experience to give to your readers. It could have been so easy to give up, but you didn’t. I think that’s shows great character on your part.

    Feel free to friend me on Twitter and I will do the same – we can all help each other out to spread the great content around.

    I’m looking forward to the wisdom of your future career life stories.

    Thanks,
    Karen
    .-= Karen´s last blog ..Major Benchmark Today – My 100th Post =-.

  • ralph May 1, 2010, 1:31 pm

    Karen,
    Thanks so much for the encouraging words. I do stick with things. It is making them work that is difficult.
    .-= ralph´s last blog ..Nostalgia – Beautiful Mid-Century Modern House =-.

  • Dave Doolin May 1, 2010, 1:46 pm

    Our stories are similar: I invested an enormous amount of time and money into an education and technical skills which are, more or less irrelevant to success in 2010 and beyond. At least 15 years wasted.

    I’m making up for it now.

    You are too. It’s awesome.
    .-= Dave Doolin´s last blog ..Saturday Morning Surfing: Collecting ideas… or throwing them in the trash? =-.

    • ralph May 1, 2010, 2:48 pm

      I have to say it feels better to know I am not the only one. Adventures are always better with company.
      .-= ralph´s last blog ..Nostalgia – Beautiful Mid-Century Modern House =-.

  • Hansi April 15, 2012, 5:59 am

    Wow. that’s interesting. I can see how some folks feel their ‘careers’ screwed them. Mine certainly did. In fact I’d been shafted many a time while I was a probation officer. But the place did pay-off for me, with an OK retirement plan. And I was able to go back and work for the fuckers in retirement, which enabled me to do home up-grades and world travel. At 65, I’m still working for the ass-holes, but on my terms when I want, (what a screwed-up organization to need part-time help so badly). Why am I doing that? To be an entrepenure while still an employee. The need/desire to make money, even in retirement, and old age is a big part of my life, and defines who I am in a way. This allows me to be a “Hansi” and pursue dreams/visions on my own terms.
    Looking forward to see where you take this.
    Follow your bliss.
    Hansi’s last Blog Post ..Twistables

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