In the previous chapter, I provided you ample inspiration about the importance of “starting” your unconventional journey.
Had your fill of inspiration for the day? Want some practical advice instead?
Steps to START with
Below is a list of steps that you can take to start on your unconventional journey. Whether your ambition lies in writing, photography, entrepreneurship or anything else, these steps below will be universally applicable:
- Get a domain name: Register an internet domain for yourself. You can go with something like your-name.com, or my-hatke-ambition.com. Some sites that can help you with domain registration, website hosting, and website setup are: godaddy.com, bluehost.com, wordpress.com. What is my personal favorite? I use bluehost.com for both domain registration and website hosting. And I use WordPress (wordpress.org; very different from wordpress.com) as the backend [instructions].
- Make a Facebook page: When you select your domain, say my-zany-idea.com, make sure that you also are able to create a Facebook page with the same name. That way you will also own the link facebook.com/my-zany-idea. Why stop at that? You can try to register that name at all the important social networking sites: twitter, pinterest etc.
- Share the goodness (both virtually and really): As you embark on your unconventional path, you will keep finding useful nuggets of information. It may be an inspiring book, a new photography technique that you learned, or a fantastic resource for entrepreneurs. Make sure that you share such useful information through public posts on Facebook, Twitter, pinterest etc. Why keep everything virtual? Share those nuggets of wisdom during discussions (Be careful — do this only when you think your friends are really interested in hearing about that. If you force feed others with your new-found wisdom all the time, people will run at the sight of you!)
- Create a blog about your interest: Nothing lands you in the creme-de-la-creme like a well-crafted blog. If you are just starting out in your chosen unconventional path, a blog will announce to the world that you exist. Facebook shares and Twitter tweets are fleeting (though they have their importance), but a blog is more long lasting. Don’t have anything significant to blog about? Create a tumblr of your info-packed status updates (that is a good start). Expand on one of these posts whenever you feel like it (Hey! That is a blog!).
- Write. Paint. Photograph. ‘Enterpreune’… Create!: Most importantly, do what you started out to do. Do not get lost flummoxed by the plethora of individuals who are seemingly more talented than you. First, make your own “shitty” start. Believe me, all those more talented folks did the same too.
What creative people usually suck at
Notice how four out of five steps were related to communicating your work to the outside world?
That was intentional. As you embark on your unconventional journey, it is critical that you keep communicating your efforts to the outside world. By following the above steps, you are doing two very important things — two things that creative people usually suck at:
- Building your personal brand: At any given point in life, your entire social network (not just Facebook) will associate specific labels to you. For example, at this point in my life, I believe that I may be associated with some of the following labels — engineer, medical imaging professional, communicator, pun-creator, writer. Well that is a unique brand that I have built for myself through years of real and virtual interactions. Everyone builds a brand consciously or unconsciously — the important part is to make conscious efforts to promote the labels which you want others to associate with you. The above steps will do exactly that.
- Marketing yourself: Regardless of your unconventional goal in life, you cannot escape the need for marketing yourself. Some people hate blowing their own horn, but you will definitely need other people’s appreciation (and, at a later stage, financial support) to sustain your unconventional interest in the long run. By following the above steps, you have already started marketing yourself!
OK, I have started. What next?
So you have finally moved your lazy ass and made a start. You have taken your first few baby-steps forward. Firstly, many congratulations!
Now that you have done this, let us delve into an emotional and/or spiritual aspect of the unconventional process. It is a motto that you hold unto yourself:
“You are what you want to be.”