It wasn’t all that long ago that I was a casual kettlebell therapy blogger who was merely dabbling on Twitter and trying to find and otherwise connect with like minded people — ANY people… that didn’t see kettlebells as some type of severely dangerous, off the wall, voodoo exercise modality. This was a personal thing to me. And, of course it was personal. After all, I got my doctoral thesis noted and published by the American College of Sports Medicine on the exercise effects of kettlebells — even presented in Baltimore at the inaugural Exercise Is Medicine congress.
Little did I know that some cathartic blogging and authentic tweeting would lead me……. HERE 😉
5 Ways Blogging Prepared Me For Business
1. Blogging Forced Me To Write… A LOT
This one might be obvious, but there is so much more writing in business than I could’ve ever anticipated. Daily, there are messages, emails, group chats, proposals, responses, rebuttals, threads, and copies that I think on, write on, edit, re-edit, completely erase, re-write, re-think… and, restart…. ALL DAY LONG.
So much of business is done through written communique, written value statements, and written commitments.
It’s so funny that this has happened to me as my worst and least favorite subjects throughout my academic experience has ALWAYS BEEN…….. reading and writing.
Now, I literally read and write (and, speak — more on that in a moment) for a living.
If you’ve ever wanted to challenge yourself in how you can express yourself in a stamped, timeless fashion — keeping contextual and cultural relevance in your thoughts… write. Write a lot. Write, even when people don’t get to see it. It’s a bold step to stamp your words with the permanence of (even digital) ink.
2. Blogging Made Me A Better Communicator
It’s ridiculously easy to take things out of context when anything is released on the internet. And, it’s even easier to read into written words with some rather aggressive emotional content when subtlety was the intention.
This is the blogger’s dilemma… every single post. Will they take it the wrong way? What if they think I’m saying X when I really mean Y? There were so many agonizing moments during my early blogging days when I wasn’t sure if I should hit that terrifying PUBLISH button.
As if dared by the universe… I always did.
I quickly learned that people will take you the right way if you are consistent. If your message is consistent. If your tone is consistent. If your mannerisms are consistent. If your thoughts are consistent. It is perhaps living out this truth that I found myself saying this Chess Board imagery quote… ALL. THE. TIME.
The extended irony became this: Not only was reading and writing my worst subjects in school [ HA! I noticed that grammatical error, but I’m keeping it post-edit — because I can 😉 ]… I also grew up with quite the stutter… oh yeah, I’m also a HUGE introvert. And, so… what blogging did for me was it taught me that communication has more to do with how you convey your thoughts, than what your thoughts actually are. People will take congruent meaning with your intended words when you’re intentions are made clear… not in what you are trying to convey… but, WHY you are trying to convey what you are meaning to communicate. #SayThatFiveTimesFast
3. Blogging Helped Me Experience Growth Mindset
Can you hear it??? “Share Share Shaaaaaaare….!!!!”
PS. Thank you and RIP, Ms. Franklin. #respect
Before I started blogging, I had this weird notion that ideas were meant to be carefully hoarded. The truth I learned was (most recently heard in this phraseology) this: “Don’t be hoarder. Be a conduit.” More or less recently, Matt Villegas quoted me in saying:
And, you can watch his video blog where this originated from, HERE.
In any case, I found that the more that I shared, the more that I said “Yes” to guess blogging opportunities, the more I grew… and, grew… and, just kept growing. Before I knew it, this young punk taking to Twitter new grad “Ben Fung” was seen as some type of social media influencer and being invited to speak here, do things ‘thar, serve as expert over where, and even consulting hither-to-which-where.
Knowing about a mindset of abundance and growth mindset is one thing. Experiencing it, was something entirely-else. See, the real lesson here from blogging was this: “Share valuable truths. Respectfully. Unashamedly. Authentically. The rest, will fall into place.”
4. Blogging Taught Me I DIDN’T Need To Know Everything
There’s this weird cultural value that has evolved through, what I surmise to be a cause of, the education inflation factor. A college degree became the same value as a high school diploma. A masters became the new bachelor degree. A doctorate that of the masters. A double doctorate and/or post-doc as that of the former doctoral achievement.
The worst of this came through in this dualistic social construct that pressures people to “know it all,” AND, simultaneously encourages people to seek this attribute of being “well rounded” — something that has been more recently and quite consistently proven to be a myth.
By blogging, I realized that if there were things I didn’t know… that’s what inviting guest blog post authors was all about. ***GASPS*** Inviting someone else to know more than ME?! Oh wait… yes, yes… I’ve already learned lesson #3 in growth mindset.
Nevertheless, with this regular reminder, I took on this new outlook that I didn’t need to know everything. In fact, far from it. I just need to start knowing, learning really… what I didn’t know. And, surround myself with people that would challenge me in the right ways and make up for my deficiencies in synergistic dynamics.
I don’t need to know everything. I simply need to know who to turn to; point the arrow to them, who know better than I.
5. Blogging Empowered Me “To Be More”
A fairly well known story of my career path is found in when I approached my then mentor and hospital CEO / health system Senior Vice President with the question: “What must I do to make a lasting, meaningful impact?”
With a truth bound posture and nurturing undertone, he told me simply this: “Be More.”
The entire conversation unfolded in essence with him applauding that I was a doctor. But, he dared me to be more. Be more than a clinician. Be more than an academician. Be more than a teacher. Be more than a researcher. Be more than a health provider. Be more than a patient advocate. BE MORE than anything and everything that the world prescribes of your given role, title, or label.
It was a challenging moment to fully absorb. But, I swallowed my pride… and, I began the journey.
In many ways, this conversation birthed the next evolution of my blog. Originally, I started writing on kettlebelltherapy.com. This eventually started to take on a new personality which then transitioned my writing to Blog @DrBenFung. And…. from there, much is history: After some random Twitter interactions and a guest session or two on the Therapy Insiders podcast — formation of UpDoc Media followed.
Some Closing Thoughts
Many of you may not know this… but, when the co-founders formed UpDoc Media, Gene and I had not yet met in person. In fact, we first met in person during CSM 2016 [you can read our reflections here (Gene’s) -and- also, here (Ben’s)] — oh, and it’s fun to revisit this ever popular MEME from that same year 😉
In any case, we gave the first of our series of conference Secret Sessions that year. And, it was there that I unveiled what I finally understood business to be:
Business is behaviors; formed by relationships; measured by numbers; driven by value.
Business, is behaviors. Blogging prepared me for business by teaching me to be cognizant of behaviors AND the motivations behind them. This was done so through the various formative moments along my career path, the people I connected with, the skillful discipline in writing, and the repetitive learnings of new knowledge sets that I had yet to even become aware of.
While my blogging, in it’s most original written form “weblog” has more recently come to pulses thanks to live broadcasting on social media… it’s probably something that will never go away. All these new channels, technologies, and wavelengths in reaching others with valuable truths has only taught me that when it comes to the long term, it comes down to two things: Consistency and Quality.
Incidentally enough, the same goes for business.
View this post on Instagram