Upstaged by an 11 year old…

I’ve been working hard on my blog this month, waking up quite early and sleeping at around 1:00am most days of the week.

The end of each day feels very fulfilling because I’m one step closer to achieving my goal of having a blog with useful content.

Then came an 11-year old with a great idea.

He was watching me work many hours: learning (I was doing an online copywriting course at the same time), writing, making mistakes and correcting them, checking the daily statistics, ensuring that all my posts are optimized…lots of work.

No excuses…it’s time to work

Step 1: Make a decision and hound mum

As we had dinner four weeks ago, this boy, my son, announced that he wanted to start a blog. He’s business minded and has been talking about the businesses he wants to own.

The aim of his blog is simple: write stories that he can sell one day. That’s all.

Once his decision was made, he went to work and wrote 4 stories within a day.

He writes a story every 2 days since then and now has a collection for his blog.

Finally, when he felt that he had enough stories to get started, he made a request, “Mum, can you help me set up my blog and how much will it cost?”

You can guess that I went silent for a few moments. At that time, I was wondering how to let him down politely. It didn’t seem fathomable to me that he could just set up his blog and write those stories at his age! I was limited in my thinking of what an 11-year old can achieve once he makes up his mind.

I tried letting him down politely but he didn’t give up. The whole of last week, he asked me the same question each day: “When can we set up my blog?”

Persistence wins, all the time!

He finally wore me down. I caved in and told him I’d help him at no cost as we would create a free WordPress site.

Come Saturday afternoon, we sat down and created a free WordPress blog for him. He typed in his first story, made a few corrections, asked me and his brother to read it, then clicked the “Publish” button.

Total time taken to create the blog and post the first article: about 6 hours (I fell asleep as he typed).

Step 2: Starting is just the first step

However, this is not what Made me write this article today. What happened after he published his blog was even more amazing. And I’m not just saying this because I’m his mother…

First, he made a list of everyone he could think of, including my friends and his brother’s friends. Then, he requested for permission to call them using my phone because “You (mummy) have got unlimited phone credit…” Finally, he sat down with his list and made calls.

His phone message was simple, “Hi. This is Gee. I’m calling to ask you to check out my blog called…” If he didn’t get someone, he sent a text and then called later to find out whether the person had received the text.

On Sunday evening, he did another round of calls to remind people to check the blog.

Total time taken for this marketing = about 3 hours spread across Saturday and Sunday.

I didn’t own my phone from Saturday evening to Sunday night as most of the calls and messages were for him. And on Monday, I became his secretary as people called to give their feedback about the blog!

Did he stop there?

Step 3: Take more action

No. On Sunday night, went back to work, and wrote another story on paper. Then we sat together and went through his strategy to get his blog noticed. His goal is to one day write a book and sell it so the blog is testing ground. We also agreed that he will work on the blog two evenings a week to post articles and reply to comments.

His age once again: 11.

His blog: www.thegeewriter.wordpress.com.

Lessons I got

That got me thinking about a lot of things that apply to business:

  • This boy doesn’t care about what people will think of his stories. He has an idea and he’s taking action on it. NOW!
  • He came up with a name for the blog and declared it to his brother and I. This was done way before we acclimatized to the idea that he was going to blog. His brother and I have been watching him like a specimen in the lab…tumeshangaa!
  • Once he decided on his goal, he got moving by writing the stories on paper first. He then worked on getting the blog up and running by hounding me until I complied.
  • He didn’t start by finding out different courses to boost his skills. In his words, he’s going to learn as he writes. I told him that I won’t correct his articles as they need to be original so he’s waiting for feedback from people so that he can improve his English and writing skills.
  • Persistence was a common theme all through. He never gave up, not even when mummy seemed like she wasn’t going to help. Each evening when he came home from school, he would hug me as usual and then ask, “So can we create the blog today? I need to put these stories there”.
  • He never wavered from his decision -  he had a one-track mind – I’m going to write these stories and put them on a blog then I will sell them. He knows exactly what he wants (write stories), why he’s doing it (make money), how he’s going to do it (through the blog), and who he’s going to ask for help relentlessly (mummy dearest and everyone he can get his hands on).
  • No one was exempted from hearing about his blog. He put himself out there and told the world about it. As I write this article, it’s Monday and his goal for the day is to invite his classmates, teachers and headteacher to visit his blog, comment on the articles and follow the blog. Even the school bus driver has been added to the list.
  • He’s focused and willing to do what it takes.
  • He’s implementing the READY, FIRE, AIM! philosophy where you don’t start by getting the aim right. Instead, you fire the moment you’re ready. You then learn from the action and set your target right and fire once again. Repeat this until your results match your goals.
  • Everything is kept very simple – sometimes we adults over-complicate life!

Total time taken from idea to implementation: 1 month (and it took that long because mummy delayed him).

Taking these lessons further

How many grownups are able to say the same about our dreams?

How many people reading this post are that determined to succeed?

What limitations have you placed on yourself as you grow older and acquire more things to worry and fuss about?

It doesn’t mean that my son will achieve his goal of making money out of his blog. It also doesn’t mean that he won’t achieve it either.

What is most important is that he’s taking action on a decision he made and not allowing anyone to kill his idea. He’s not bothered about copywriting, SEO, statistics, getting traffic to his blog using social media, and all the bells and whistles that go with blogging. He’s just concerned with getting it out there.

With this kind of mentality, what kind of achievements do you think he’ll have in the future?

I felt humbled and prayed to God to give me the courage and wisdom to nurture my two boys into the success that is destined to be theirs. (One day, I’ll write a post about how my other son decided to become an artist and taught himself how to draw within 8 months of daily practice.)

Today, I feel upstaged by this 11 year old. I mean look at all the work I’ve done in the background and all I needed to do was just start the blog and write and write and write?

Oh boy!

You can guess my answer when he asked me whether we can compete and see who gets the most comments on their blog!

BTW if you’re reading this, you have to help me out by Commenting to this article. Seriously…we grownups can’t let the kids win ;-).

I do have to pat myself on the back for getting my third blog setup and running optimally as I helped my son work on his!

How about you?

As you complete reading this article, do yourself a favour. Stop planning. Just take the next step and get your business out. If you’re still procrastinating on starting the business, or you’ve started a business but have kinda slowed down or given up: READY, FIRE, AIM!

That’s all you have to do today.

And, as always, I’d love to hear your thoughts about this article in the Comments below.

Image credit: akarakingdoms at www.freedigitalphotos.net.


If you’re still worried about making mistakes at startup, then join me for a 90 minute teleseminar where I will explore the 3 Most Common Startup Mistakes That Kill Businesses Fast (and how you can avoid them…). This is a workshop that everyone that’s new to business or has had business failure should attend. And since it’s a teleseminar, you can attend from anywhere in the world.

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About The Author

Caroline Gikonyo

Caroline Gikonyo is a Business Coach at New Dawn Solutions. She helps professional women start and grow successful businesses while reducing the time spent working.

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