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Volleyball And Blogging? Yes. Volleyball And Blogging.

College is supposed to be where you go to learn things that will apply to real-life situations. And it’s true, but not in the way most people would assume. When I started college 10 years ago (10 years? Yikes!), the first thing I learned was not in a classroom. In fact, I learned WAY more outside the classroom than I did in one. And one of those things was how volleyball and blogging are very closely connected, if you really think about it.

I arrived on campus, wide-eyed and still a little introverted (hard to believe, I know). Before I took my first class and WAY before I cracked open any of the overpriced textbooks I thought I needed, I learned how to do stats for the school’s volleyball team on a little program called StatCrew. For those of you who aren’t in the know (which is most of you), StatCrew is the basically the national standard for college sports scoring. And it’s based in the MS-DOS operating system.

NO ONE uses MS-DOS anymore. It was released in 1981 and hasn’t been touched in 18 years. Other than college sports, I think the only other active user of programs in MS-DOS is George R. R. Martin. You know, the guy who STILL hasn’t finished the next Game of Thrones book.

To this day, even after all the other sports I learned to score in no one’s favorite antiquated system, volleyball remains my favorite sport to do stats for, even though other people in the field think I’m crazy. Working in volleyball for as long as I have, has taught me a LOT of things. And most of these things apply to WAY more than just volleyball.

Volleyball And Blogging: Break Out Of That Repetition Rut

The thing about volleyball, both playing and scoring, is it is extremely repetitive. Not all sports are as repetitive as volleyball. For every play, I enter in a serve, the serve reception, the set, and the attack. Then, I repeat ad nauseam until the ball ends up on the court or is shot out into the stands. For the players, they get back into rotation, they await the serve, and they react accordingly.

Simple.

Okay, so it’s not remotely that simple, but you get the picture.

When I think about a ‘repetition rut’, I think about the struggles to get past a good block. I have seen many plays where one team will attack and attack and attack, and get blocked every single time. It’s not until that player finds a new angle, or the setter sets to another attacker, that the team manages to get the ball on the other side of the net.

There’s a lesson there, and it applies to a lot of things in life, including blogging. With blogging, you go through a routine. It could be thinking of a blog post, posting said post, and then waiting for traffic to roll in. Or it could be posting on one social media account after another after another.

If there is something you’re trying to do, and it’s just not, not not working, trying taking it from a different angle. Blog post not turning out the way you want? See if there’s another, better angle to write about the topic. Social media posts not getting the traction you want? Try a different graphic design, or a different piece of content, or even a different time of day that you post it.

Can’t get your theme to cooperate? See if there’s an alternative design available that gives you the layout you’re looking for.

There is always a work-around, sometimes you just have to get creative.

Volleyball And Blogging: It’s Not Always Going To Be Pretty

Some teams win national championships and get all the glory. Stanford did it in 2016. Not my school, but I always back the Pac-12 Conference in the postseason. Some teams, on the other hand, struggle. Some teams can’t string enough good sets together to win one match in 20. It’s hard, and it’s especially difficult to motivate yourself to show up and do the work, even when you feel like you’re failing.

And in blogging, you’ll struggle too. Sometimes I have days where it feels like I can’t muster the effort to tackle that blog post, or rework the design of my homepage. But I know I HAVE to do it. And especially when it comes to writing, remember: it doesn’t have to be pretty. As long as you get something written, you’ll be able to get it into something worthy of posting with a little work.

With a plan to post once a week, it’s not always easy to write up that content. Sometimes it will, and you’ll feel like you’re right up there and WINNING! Sometimes you won’t. But you have to keep going and keep hacking at that little mountain that is your to-do list. You’ll never get to the top if you stop. You’ll never succeed if you don’t even show up to the court.

Volleyball And Blogging: You Need To Show Up, Even When You Don’t Want To

I touched on this a little in the last point, but it’s very important. Even on days when you don’t want to show up, you have to. Say there’s a team out there on a 10 game losing skid. Do you think they’re just…not going to show up to practice? Show up to a game? That they’re just going to throw in the towel and forfeit the rest of the season?

Yeah…no.

The only way to find success on the volleyball court is to show up, each and every day. And to work hard to get better, each and every day.

And for blogging, it’s the same thing.

You have to get better each and every day, or you’re not going to find success. You can’t just play around on a whim for a few days, then take a couple weeks off, and expect passive income to just roll on in. Consistency is key. As I said in 8 Keys To A Successful Side Hustle, don’t do everything at once. That’s the road that leads to overwhelm and quitting. If you can do one productive thing each day, you will ultimately find success with your side hustle.

Volleyball And Blogging: It’s Not Going To Happen Right Away

Just like becoming an elite volleyball player takes years of dedication and hard work, blogging takes time too. Nine times out of 10, you’re not going to burst onto the blogging scene and have thousands of views and followers and email subscribers. It takes time, energy, and effort.

In volleyball you have to work hard to get a little better, each and every day. Volleyball players strive and condition themselves to improve in practice, so they can be strong down the stretch in those close matches that go four or five sets. In blogging, you don’t have to worry about finding a way to get the kill, sure. But you do have to keep working toward a goal you may not see for a while.

Those ladies at Stanford didn’t go into the 2016 season knowing that they were going to win the NCAA title. They didn’t know they were going to play 34 matches and win 27. That was the goal, and they fought to get there.

And as a blogger you don’t go into it knowing for sure that you’re going to make $10,000 a month. You want to, and that’s why you work hard every day to get there.

And when you do? It’s so exciting. And it’s a great motivator to keep going, to keep righting to continue reaching those goals and setting new ones.

Volleyball And Blogging: You Need A Team Behind You

You can’t win a match with a volleyball team of one. You can be the best outside hitter in the history of your school, but if you don’t have a strong setter behind you, how are you going every going to get the ball?

And you can’t succeed in blogging without support. Sure, it can be a little uncomfortable, and maybe even a little embarrassing to share something so personal with your family and friends, but it’s important that you do. You never know which friends on Facebook will be inspired by the content you put out. That’s why I created a Facebook page for Questfor47.com.

Sure, you might have a family member or two who thinks what you’re doing is weird, or doomed to fail. If that happens, then don’t try to rely on them. No matter who they are and how close you are to them, if they clearly don’t believe in what you’re doing, you won’t get the support you need. And that’s fine. That’s their loss. Find someone else to get support from. And if you can’t get that from your personal circles, find a blogging support group online. There are tons of options on Facebook, and you can probably meet some local bloggers in your niche, too.

It’s important to connect with local bloggers either way. Why? Because those are going to be your connections, bloggers you can work with and collaborate with to the ultimate benefit of both your side hustles.

And support can eventually mean outsourcing the things you don’t love doing, so you can focus your energy on the parts of your side hustle that matter. Maybe you’re not a strong graphic designer? Or maybe you just can’t figure out Pinterest. What’s great, is that there are people who are good at the things you’re not, and when you can, bring them onto your team.

Volleyball And Blogging: One More Thing

Okay I lied, it’s SIX things volleyball can teach you about blogging!

Last week, I was in the post-match media availability for the Arizona State volleyball team*. During the presser, Head Coach Sanja Tomasevic said this: “There are a million ways to score the ball.” The response was to a question about moving a girl who played setter last year to the pin, and Sanja said that she wants that player to show her teammates that there is more than just the traditional way to hit the ball over the net to score.

That’s an over simplification. You can drop a line in the comments if you want to hear me ramble more on about college volleyball.

And just like there are a million ways to score the ball in volleyball, there are a million different ways to make money online. If one way doesn’t work for you, find another. There’s no one-size-fits-all formula for this. Not as strong a writer as you are a speaker? Then instead of putting together an ebook, try a video series.

*Want to see an in depth view into a week in my life as a side hustler with a full-time job and crazy life? Sign up for the email list and be the first to hear about how I carve out time to do the things that matter to me.

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