Mistakes I’ve Made in My Career

One of the things I haven’t talked about often, but have meant to are the mistakes I’ve made in my career. Most people will avoid such things, and for good reason, but I think part of teaching others about blogging must be to highlight mistakes so that you can hopefully avoid them, and while many of my mistakes are only mistakes in hindsight, they are still worth noting.

Hopefully, this post will help you.

Darren Rowse and Bloggy Network

When first starting in blogging, I was given an opportunity by Darren Rowse to write on his laptops blog. After he came back from vacation, he offered me a part time position. Instead, I took a full time position with Bloggy Network.

Had I stayed with Darren part time, and taken a part time role with Bloggy Network, I probably could have made ends meet, given myself a fair bit of day to day variety, and maybe had even been one of the first full time employees of b5media.

Was this a mistake? I am not certain, but I’ve always wondered what my life would be like today had I gone that route. Even back then, Darren was a strong brand, and could have influenced my career in interesting ways.

Looking back at my situation at the time, I shouldn’t have been so quick to rush in to the first offer that was sent my way. I had tons of time, passion, and a fair bit of skill that I could have leveraged better.

More on Bloggy Network

After two years of working for Bloggy Network, I got a big complacent, as most people do. I thought too much of my value, and in doing so, I feel like I sealed my fate with that company. Don’t get me wrong, I was still producing great content, working on amazing things behind the scenes, but I wasn’t doing enough profit oriented tasks to remain one of the most valued assets of the company, and when time came to scale back, I was part of a deal in selling a variety of sites to Splashpress Media.

I should have done more as an employee to generate revenue, rather than taking on tasks that put me “behind the scenes”. I also should have pushed harder to stick to projects that gave me enjoyment, so I could leverage my passions. I was on quite a few projects that I didn’t agree with, or didn’t fully enjoy, and I think that was apparent to everyone involved.

Splashpress Media

I wasn’t too excited to be joining Splashpress as I had felt like I was being betrayed by Bloggy Network, a company I had been with since its inception, but I quickly adjusted to my new roles. Mark Saunders, Mr. Splashpress himself, once told me that he saw me climbing up the company ladder quite quickly, and that there were many things we could do together.

After blogging for a while, and managing far too many sites, I felt like the projects I had proposed when first joining the company weren’t getting any traction. Eventually, I felt like I was just a cog in the wheel, and was starting to get restless.

I should have fixed the problem myself though. If I had been smarter at the time, I would have requested Mark transfer some extra money to my account each month so I could hire the help I had needed to complete my projects, rather than waiting for resources to be assigned to me. My biggest problem was that I was waiting for resources and changes to occur, rather than taking the initiative and making things happen.

PicApp

A great company, with an interesting idea. As always, I was hired in part because of my passion, and breadth of ideas. I found myself in a good position, but realized two things early on. The first thing was that I wasn’t good at marketing in a traditional way. I could get people to write blog posts about PicApp, or allow me to use their blog as a platform, but being aware of the numerous marketing opportunities that were around me eluded me. I didn’t understand how difficult marketing was. The second thing was that the people already employed by PicApp had the rest of the community management aspects covered, leaving me feeling out of place. Hiring a community manager that they didn’t need lead me to realize that they really needed another marketing specialist, and so I stepped aside.

The only mistake I made here was not having a better understanding of what they needed, and what I could give to them. Had I understood my own marketing limitations better, I probably wouldn’t have taken the job, instead only consulting on the various blogging related questions that they had.

Now

Of course, I will probably make more mistakes going forward, but right now, the biggest “negative” in my career is how much I’ve let my personal brand fade. I’ve been so busy with College Crunch, a great project, that I have neglected all of the things that brought so many previous great career opportunities in front of me. Not sure yet what to do about this, but I am content with every facet of my current career, other than not being in the spotlight.

Hopefully, these lessons are not lost on you, and you’ll be able to see the opportunities you have, weigh them properly, and make as few mistakes as possible in your blogging-related career.

7 thoughts on “Mistakes I’ve Made in My Career

  1. JamieO

    The important thing is that you learn from those mistakes and are better prepared for similar situations in the future. Take the bull by the horns so to speak.

    One of my own mistakes in the past was that of poor perspective about my career. Over the course of 3 years working at one company I changing roles every 8 – 12 months. I felt like I was just fighting fires wherever they needed me to go.

    Until I began to see a pattern to the direction my career was going – one that I didn’t like. At that point, I started communicating my interests to anyone who had potential to influence the types of roles I was staffed in. The result was a reasonable feeling of control over my own career path and getting staffed into roles that were more in line with where I wanted to grow.

  2. David Peralty Post author

    Part of the reason that I’ve made so many mistakes in my career is my focus on the rate of pay, and the reason for that focus is due to the responsibility placed on my with regards to providing for my family.

    Back when I first started blogging, any pay was good pay. Now I need mid-four figures just to make ends meet. Currently, with Sabine in University, we are still running in a monthly deficit. With my interests not linked to profitability, I have to take on careers that drive revenue, and thus pay the bills, especially with the economy as it is today. I am looking at changing that equation though, but it will take some time.

    Thanks for the amazing comment though! 🙂

  3. JamieO

    Life is all about choices – and there aren’t any that you can’t work past if your priorities change. Decide where you want to be in 3, 5, 10 years and what it will take to achieve those goals. Just don’t pay so much attention to your moral compass that you miss out on the journey before you. I don’t remember which comedian said it, but remember that “If you take life too seriously, you’ll never get out alive.”

  4. Jason Cohen

    You can’t beat yourself up over choices like this. You did the best with the information you had, period. That’s all you can ever do; even getting lots of business advice doesn’t necessarily help.

    When I sold my company, some said to hold out for more money (after all it was sure to grow in another 12 months) while others said to take the money when it’s offered. I did the latter, and it turned out we had a massive recession. But it could just have easily been the opposite and I would have left a lot of money on the table.

    Doesn’t matter. You do the best you can and, as other commentors have said, learn and try something new.

  5. WTL

    Living life is *about learning from our mistakes* – no one really learns from successes. You can feel good that you’re made them and are cognizant that you have made them. Live and *learn*. That, my friend is a good thing.

  6. Dominic Rivera

    Life is about connecting the dots… and when you connect it, you will see the reason why things happen.

  7. Ecommerce Help - Tyrone Shum

    Reading your blog post, sometimes I can’t help but think that sometimes we tend to look over oppurtunities because of glistening choices. Be it in SEOs, Pay per click ads and the likes, once in a while we are all bound to make mistakes. Although be it big or small, we are all entitled to get over it and find a way to make things right again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *