The Tortoise and the Hare
I had a conversation with a stranger on a boat when I was out living the Internet lifestyle a little bit ago (you know, cruising to Bermuda). We were at the bar and started by chatting about how rough the ride was, and other small talk.
Eventually, the man asked me what I did for a living, and I told him that I was a professional online writer, aka a blogger. You should have seen how wide his eyes got. He apparently blogged about his hobbies, fishing and hiking, although it obviously wasn’t his full time job. He asked me how I was doing as a blogger, and once I told him, oh boy did the questions start coming.
I had a little bit to drink, so my answers were somewhat on the silly side, although in retrospect they were actually insightful. His number one question was how I had so many subscribers so quickly on my sites, even though he had been working at his for almost six months and had virtually nothing to show for it. I asked him if he had ever heard the story of the Tortoise and the Hare. He replied that he had, and then I told him:
“Have you ever considered that maybe you’re the Tortoise and I’m the Hare?”
He sort of looked at me strangely, blinked twice and then said: “What do you mean?”
I explained to my new friend that the Tortoise is slow and careful because he is persistent. However, the Hare is fast-paced and rushed because he is whimsical to the point of risking his success.
The blank stare continued, until eventually he asked me whether I started off as a “Hare.” I told him certainly not and went on to explain that although the Tortoise is slow at first he picks up speed as his careful persistence leads to wisdom. The wise Tortoise, after building up enough experience, eventually can trade caution for risk taking and let loose the creative, whimsical nature of the Hare. Had I started off as a Hare, I explained, then I would have ended up just like the rabbit in the story: completely off course and losing the race for success.
His next question was obvious, and I had the answer ready for him right away. He asked me how he could go from being a Tortoise to a Hare and I replied:
“You can’t transform yourself into a Hare until you’ve mastered being a Tortoise.”
After a small curse at me, my friend began to get up and leave. I said “Hang on a moment. I still have a few minutes here, would you like me to explain what I’m talking about?” I waited for him to sit down and let out a sigh before I continued with my alcohol inspired story.
To become a Hare, you need to master the elements of a Tortoise that make him so successful at racing the rushed, whimsical Hares.
First off, a Tortoise is cautious, but always trying to learn new things, which is exactly what makes him wise. The Tortoise is not afraid to try new endeavors, but he understands that experience is more important than what anyone else says online. This mentality allows the Tortoise to absorb new information and remain open to trying new things without sacrificing his primary goal: winning the race for success. If you, as a Tortoise, cannot stay focused and maintain a strong work ethic while being open to new ideas, then you are never going to be able to successful morph into a Hare.
Once you’re ready to become a Hare, it simply happens. You become more social and far more creative because the vast majority of your time is spent taking risks outside of your own blog. You put yourself out there and you build relationships, but it’s your attitude and wise yet helpful manner that brings the masses to your blog daily.
My friend at the bar left with a big smile on his face, I just hope that he was sober enough to remember my words. Maybe he’s even reading this post, I never did get his name!
How can you take the best of both approaches and create the ultimate successful blogger? Are you a Tortoise or a Hare?Image by Flickr Robobobobo