BY MARY-ELIZABETH HARMON
Founding Mother, Chard & Stripes
Years ago, I hired a friend to teach me the nuts and bolts of blogging.
During the lesson, he said he hoped I wouldn’t bother to blog without soliciting debate.
I hadn’t planned on doing that and I cringed inside.
I cringed again—and wasted time and energy running in circles in my mind—when a different friend said I needed to let my readers comment directly on my blog to spark engagement with them.
“Make a decision and then make it right.
There are just no wrong decisions. You could go this way or that way,
and either way will eventually get you where you want to be.”
Last week I quoted Netflix co-founder Marc Randolph:
“Your obligation is to get it right for the future, not to protect the past.”
Again, I think our only obligation—if we have one—is to put love into the world. That said, I think there are things we’d be wise to do to get the future right. The first would be to define what “right” means.
From 50,000 feet, getting things “right” means enjoying well-being, in my book.
Closer to earth, it has long meant things like having sovereignty over my own home, buying the kinds of foods and supplements I want, and going on trips with my man. But there was a biggie that had always eluded me: doing work I loved.
Done with making my health worse, I quit my job to get my work right by making it for myself. Sooo, … things went sideways and I wound up needing to buy food on credit. And soon after, I bid farewell to my condo as I gave it back to the bank and said hello to sleeping on my sister’s couch.
And the years after that were no cakewalk either.
Having suffered to get my work right by making it for myself, it’s a wonder I wrestled with my friends’ advice about my blog when it felt so wrong to me.
Notice I didn’t say their advice was bad, but it did feel wrong.
For starters, by the time I launched my blog it was (as this one is) the closest thing to a home I could lord over, and I didn’t want anyone’s energy living there but mine, no matter how nice they were.
And I had no desire to read and moderate comments—if people wanted to engage with me about something I wrote, they could send me an email (which some of you do with this blog now).
Inspired by the wisdom of Abraham-Hicks, …
I took the stance that there are no wrong decisions and said to myself, “Make a decision, Mary, and make it right.” Then I became firm about not opening the comments section on my blog.
And with a “folks can take it or leave it” stance about all my personal projects, I started to really love what I was doing.
I could have kept my job to do work I didn’t want, and been paid pretty well to boot.
Until and only when I felt good about it, I wouldn’t let folks comment directly on my blog.
Or wrestle with other wrong-feeling advice people gave me—I’d say thanks and keep it moving.
But here’s what’s interesting:
By exuding a “take it or leave it” vibe, I stopped getting unsolicited advice.
Which wasn’t really unsolicited to begin with, according to Newton’s third law:
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
I oozed a lack of confidence about my former blog, and my friends reacted with “unsolicited” feedback.
I guess that tidbit is a separate topic, but might it explain some stuff for you?
If so, consider it a free cherry on top 🙂
P.S. When I was suffering, “right” was all about doing work I loved in the future. Now that I’m living that reality, I’ve redefined “right” to mean making lots of money doing work I love. And in the not too distant future! Stayed tuned because soon I’ll blog about other stances I’m taking to get me there.
Dr. Mary-Elizabeth Harmon is a scientist turned storyteller and Founding Mother of Chard & Stripes, a “school” of prosperity making and word-of-mouth marketing platform for kind people, products and businesses in food, fashion & more. Subscribe to her newsletter here.