4 Things Blogging and Shaving Your Head Have in Common

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4 things shaving your head and blogging have in common

Let me take you on a little journey, back to an ashram in India, when I was 20 years old.

I had been in India for about a month and a half, and I was seriously thinking about shaving my head.

About 8 months before, I had done something very stupid. I had gone into a hair salon and gotten my gorgeous curls chemically straightened. I was envisioning myself with a head of long, wavy locks that reached the middle of my back. Hair that was almost mine, but better. I still remember looking at myself in the mirror, and thinking that my curly hair actually looked pretty good. But I went and got it straightened anyway.

But no one told me that dying hair and then getting it straightened was a bad idea, and that it would fry my hair beyond recognition.

So I had to get half of it chopped off.

Back to India – I had a head of medium length, frizzy, semi-fried hair that felt like a symbol of my resistance against my true self. I had gone to such lengths to change my hair that I had destroyed it. And, being in India, where thoughts of shaving your head feel pretty normal, I knew the hair had to go.

I went in the bathroom and started cutting it off, chunk by chunk.

Then my friend Erin, who had been taking a nap in our shared room, woke up. She opened the door to the bathroom, took one look at me and said, “What are you doing?”

I told her, “I’m cutting off all my hair.”

Then her face broke into a huge smile and she said, “Can I help?”

After a few hours, our red plastic trashcan was full of my hair, I was a proudly bald backpacker, and I felt more beautiful than I had in months. Even now, when I look back at pictures of myself from that time, I look radiant.

Of course, this was pre-Facebook, so no one at home found out about it until 2 months later when I got off the plane. But I digress.

Here’s what this whole experience taught me that I can now apply to building a business:

1. Trying to change the basic tenets of who you are only leads to disaster.

If you’re going to blog and build a business, you have a chance to make your life exactly what you want it to be. But the only way to make this sustainable is to create content based on  who you are and what you’re naturally built to do.

Trying to create something based on who you want to be instead of who you really are is a recipe for disaster.

I read other blogs all the time and get scared. With all of the information out there, who will care about what I want to say? But then I remember that I am unique. And no one will write and teach exactly the way I do.

2. Sometimes you have to take drastic measures to stay true to yourself. And while they may be scary, they’re worth it.

Shaving my head was great, because it allowed me to start over and grow my hair back the way it was meant to look. But it was an extreme decision that felt a little scary at the time.

Being a blogger is scary. You have to put yourself out there day after day. And it’s even scarier to own your own voice, to sound different, to say what you really want to say. But if you don’t, what’s the point?

3. No decision is final.

Even though it took a few years for my hair to grow back, it did. And now I have long, beautiful, curly hair. Shaving it off was the reset I needed, and having a shaved head was temporary.

Blogging decisions can feel really final. Changing your focus, rebranding, even publishing a truly vulnerable post can feel like a monumental, seismic shift. But the great thing about the internet is that you can always get better. If you make a “wrong” decision, you’ll learn from it and choose differently next time.

4. When you surround yourself by people who get you, blogging becomes easier.

A lot of other people wouldn’t have had Erin’s reaction. In fact, most people probably would have panicked if they’d seen me chopping off my hair. But she didn’t. She jumped in to help.

Many people won’t get why you blog. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been asked, So you can actually make money from your blog?

But if you build relationships with other bloggers, with people who truly get it, the whole process becomes a whole lot easier.

If there’s one thing I want you to take away from this blog post, it’s to know yourself. And do whatever it takes to maintain your authenticity. (But hopefully you won’t have to shave your head to do it.)