Quite a lot, I would say.
You can learn what you’re capable of and you can also learn what your strengths and weaknesses are with regard to growth.On the 1st of April I decided to tag along and try the April Platform Challenge offered by Robert Brewer on his blog My Name is Not Bob. I was honestly prepared to try anything that might help me improve my presence on line and through social media. Sure, I knew tackling a task every single day for 30 days might be a lot with my new work schedule but I wanted to try, even with the expectation that some days would be difficult.
What I didn’t realize was that it wasn’t the tasks which would be difficult…it would be my resistance to change that might stand in the way.Robert Brewer did a terrific job directing us in this challenge from the very first day. He asked us to break free from our norm in order to expand our minds and our comfort zones so that we could benefit from new ways to reach out, promote ourselves and also meet other like minds.
“Comfort zone” are two key words for me. I like my comfort zone and I prefer to remain there, especially with all the changes that have been happening in my life lately. I will hold strongly to what I can to avoid change if I have to. But, I knew this challenge would be good, if I could stick it out. It was for a great cause, my writing platform, so who was I to argue with an attempt to make my platform better?So how did I do?
I hit the gate running and kept up a good sprint for awhile. I defined myself and my goals. I got off easy with certain tasks I had already completed on my own, such as a Facebook profile and my blog. There were tasks I enjoyed which caused us to reach out to others in various ways, such as reading other blog posts and commenting thoughtfully, searching for yourself on the web (which I did and this is what Idiscovered), sharing someone else’s blog post or article via your own social media (I enjoy sharing), connecting with new contacts through social media and creating a time management plan.But there were some tasks I did resist during the challenge. I’m still admittedly reluctant and I have decided to wait until I feel they are right for me. That would include creating an account with other social media sites like Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Goodreads, Pinterest and RedRoom or joining social media management tools. I am too busy with my writing and with my day job and my family and my blog and my private investigation work on the side. Facebook is enough for me these days and I can’t imagine adding other forms of social media to actively participate in every day.
However…I did check out RedRoom and I admit I like the site. It’s my cup of tea. I’ve also checked out Pinterest off and on and while it looks like fun, I’m just not sure yet if I have time for it. I did get some great ideas from other writers on how they use Pinterest and it would be interesting to give it a try. I’m just worried how much time I might spend playing in that particular social media sandbox when I really don’t have the time to spare.This challenge included 30 days and 30+ tasks (some had sub-tasks) and was a month well spent on learning new ideas for platform building. When something is called a 30-day challenge you might think that would be it, correct?
Nope. This is not the end.At the end of this challenge we were asked to make a list of tasks for the month of May and towards the end of May, one of those tasks should be to make a task list for the month of June. Just like a “diet” is not a diet but rather a “life change,” this platform challenge is just the beginning of the tip of the iceberg. We must continue to work towards change, growth and improvement; even more so for someone like me who enjoys staying cozy right where I am. I’ve made my list and I’m pleased with Brewer’s advice: I get to decide what the tasks will be.
If you have started your own blog or are trying to work on your own platform, you might want to check out Brewer’s platform challenge. Make sure to read his post about how to brand yourself before you begin with Day 1 of the challenge. About half way through the challenge you’ll receive some tips with regard to SEO along with a link to an earlier post with more detail about improving SEO.Go ahead. Check it out. If you are interested in building your own platform, I urge you to take the challenge yourself.