When I first started blogging back in 2011, I wanted to make $1,000,000 as a blogger. But my motivations have changed. Sure, I’d like to become financially independent. I’d like to sell more copies of my books. But what I really want to do is teach and serve 1,000,000 people.
The photo is of Chicago because Chicago is one of my biggest audiences. And I’m thankful that Chicagoans are finding value at Hip Diggs.
I’ve Always Been A Dreamer
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been a dreamer. As a teenager, I started writing songs. I dreamed of getting a record deal and traveling the world with a band. I dreamed of being famous and making millions of dollars.
I kept chasing that dream as I went to Nashville to try to sell country songs in my 20s. By my late 20s, reality began to settle in. I needed to make a living. I’d be better off to take a different path in life. I returned to college and became a college professor. But I still had a dream.
I continued to write and shop my songs. I also started writing poems and stories. When I started my first blog, www.danerickson.net, in 2011, I began work on my first novel. When I self published, A Train Called Forgiveness, in 2012, I still had that dream of making money from my writing. But something has changed…
It’s Not About Money, It’s About Serving Others
As someone who has learned to live a simple life, money has less value to me than it used to. Of course, like anyone, I need to earn enough money to pay for the basics. But beyond that, I don’t crave riches. I’d rather help as many people as I possibly can.
Really, I’ve had this attitude for quite some time. Although I still hope to sell thousands of copies of A Train Called Forgiveness, I know I’m successful if my story touches just one person. And it has. Many people have sent me messages telling me how the book has helped them to come to terms with wounds from their own past experiences.
Wow! I knew that if I could reach 10 people, I could reach 100. And if I could reach 100 people, I could reach 1000. And if I could reach and serve 1000 people, there are really no limits.
Then Enters Hip Diggs
I struggled with www.danerickson.net. I kept changing my focus. My book sales nearly came to a halt. I was just about ready to give up blogging. But I had this domain called Hip Diggs. I’d originally bought it because I’d thought it would be cool to blog about tiny houses.
But something else began to surface: simple living and minimalism. So in October, 2014, I wrote my first post. I reached about 100 people in the first week. I was inspired to keep writing.
That first year at Hip Diggs, I was reaching 50-100 people a day. By 2016, I was reaching 100-200 people a day. By 2017, my audience increased to more than 500 on most days. It continues to grow. I realized that I was beginning to serve more people. Making money from blogging became less important. Teaching and helping others became the greater goal.
To Serve Is To Succeed
Think about this:
If you sell $1,000,000 in meaningless trinkets, have you truly become successful? You may have made money, but have you created anything of value? Have you helped others in a significant way?
But if you serve 1,000,000 people by teaching them something they can use for the rest of their lives? Then you’ve really done something of value. If your story can heal thousands of people who have lived through abuse, then you’ve succeeded on a greater scale.
I’ve come to realize that to serve is to succeed. If I could help 1,000,000 people save $100 a month by living more simply, I’ve just helped saved $100,000,000. That’s much more valuable than money in my own pocket. But here’s the kicker. If I have a product or service that only costs $10 or less, to help you save $100, it’s a win-win all around.
So yes, in the end, I could potentially make $1,000,000 or more. But that’s not the point. The point is that the true accomplishment comes from my willingness to serve others. And I long to serve others because I want others to live more simply. I want others to live more simply because I believe it will benefit the greater society, and our planet. And it all starts by serving one person. You.