Life Lessons I Learned from the Great Online Marketing Scavenger Hunt

scavenger-huntA few weeks ago, I took on the challenge of Danny Iny’s Firepole Marketing: The Great Online Marketing Scavenger Hunt.

What is this all about?  It’s a set of challenges to complete for points, skills and prizes. It’s about rummaging through all the resources out there online and making use of them to get one’s blog into making more sense and meaning.

It’s about reaching out there in the open and achieving the goals of your blog. And of course, by doing the challenges, we earn points from which a winner will be determined.  There’s a bunch of goodies at stake including a Borrow-my-Brains session with Danny Iny (valued at over a thousand dollars).

Little did I know that in the process, I would learn something about self-confidence that’s worth sharing with you. Why is this so?  Because scavenging through online is like real scavenging- going through unchartered territory, encountering people of different faces and personalities and most of all- it’s getting oneself a huge amount of patience, courage and creativity.

Indeed, as I reflected going through the experience, it struck me that there are lessons in the challenges that I ought to be using for myself in self-improvement and self-confidence.

You may not be into blogging or online entrepreneurship, but I am pretty sure you are reading this because you are into self-improvement.  Let me share with you three basic lessons I have learned in this project and find a new perspective about your personal life.

#1. Be adventurous by trying new things.

I have long been a believer of tested-methods and therefore I am always careful not to go the untrodden path if only to lead me to failure.  But who said unknown paths are surely a failure?  Who said there’s only one way of doing it?

I learned that I needed to remove my ‘skeptic’ mask and try loosening up a bit. This does not mean I am leaving my wisdom behind.  What it means is opening up to new ideas but still keeping your discretion handy.

There are rules that are meant for some areas of our life, but not everything.

Take for example this challenge I plunged into: Post about the Hunt in your blog.

My first reaction was: No way! How in the world will my readers take this?  As the twist and turns of the challenge went, I found myself tinkering on the idea of writing this in connection with one of the blog’s favourite topic- self-improvement.  Hence you are reading it now.

Along the way, I had an epiphany.  Since when have I allowed myself to be adventurous in the arena of self-improvement?  It seemed to me that I have limited myself into well-known directions taught by the self-help gurus.  It dawned upon me that there are truly basic principles about personal change.  But that should not hinder me from sticking into trying one option only in order to improve myself.  Nobody said that.

Take for example, ‘dreaming big’.  I have kept in my mind that the secret of success is about sticking to my goals.  I have planned everything to make this blog succeed and become a great community.  But there seems a realization along the way.  I also re-kindled my long lost dream to become an author.

Realizing this, I had an internal dialogue whether I should stick to my plan or change my mind.  But in the end, I really did not have to change my mind.  I just had to change a few steps and tweak the plan to listen to my heart.

Though nothing is final, it opened my eyes to the process of finding further what is it that will work for me.

By being adventurous and trying new things, I get more options in achieving my goals.


#2. Learn to trust more.

I have always thought I knew how to trust.  But the last few months, I have realized that I have not been able to put forward friendship among acquaintances because I did not have enough trust.  I kept too much for myself.

You cannot blame me if I am also too cautious about anything online.  Everywhere you have a scammer here, you have a profiteer there. I needed to be careful in making decisions.

And here goes the challenge asking me to reach out to stranger bloggers.  Huh? There goes my snobbish attitude as if I’m in the A-Blogger list.  But in the spirit of fun, I went ahead and thought, ‘Let’s see what happens…”

Though the challenges have started for a few weeks only, I found that meeting new people, even if online only as new followers on Twitter was like getting some love and attention. What makes this community enjoying each other’s company is the ‘passion’ attached to most of us who wanted to do something out of the challenges.

Now I do not want this enthusiasm to die among the passionate players of the game.  I thought I’ve got to start something to keep that burning heart aflame out of these bloggers.

Now you see some life skills coming out of me from this challenge!

By seeing learning how to trust others, not only do I give them the chance to be part of my world but I also give myself a chance to see a different world- their world.  In the end, we share our worlds together.


#3. Defy conformity.

From my last testing under the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, I was an ISTJ (introversion, sensing, thinking, judgement). This personality type is briefly described as

  • a “trustee”
  • decisive in practical affairs
  • guardian of time-honored institutions
  • dependable

That would explain why people who know me personally would say I’m a square.

Having been blogging for the past two years, I have already picked up a good sense of rules especially for niche bloggers.

And here goes the challenge that tells me- find a fellow participant in the challenge in your niche who can guest post on your blog.  Er, what?  I have accepted once a guest post proposal.  But I resolved not to do it again because I thought it was a huge responsibility having to review and perhaps make suggestions on the article if ever necessary.   Also, I did not want the ones proposing to be disappointed if they do not get traffic from my blog.

Then suddenly, I started thinking, “Why not?” I read somewhere from Firepole Marketing’s recent preaching- it’s not all about guest posting.  It’s also about networking!

Although I was already organizing some mastermind meetups which I feel is some form of networking, I thought it was more of ‘talking’ and ‘planning’.  Then why shouldn’t I be open to this idea of guest posting exchanges among fellow blog neophytes as an ‘execution’ part of the networking?

Flexibility makes us more humans because we can use our judgement when to follow the rules as intended and not as it is written. Robots can’t do that.


What we need to be winners

In the end, it is consoling to see that at this point in my life, I am still learning and re-learning things. To be a winner, we need:

  • enthusiasm by trying new things
  • help by learning to trust others
  • to be sensible to understand the more important matters

Which of the three lessons do you think you should do more in your life? I want to hear from you and let’s compare notes!

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