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200+ thought-provoking stories and counting.

I write and publish two stories per week. Every week for two years now. Here’s what I learned.

Eight powerful lessons.

Over the past two years, I have written 200+ stories. 

I email my subscribers twice a week my stories on Tuesday and Friday. I post them on the same day on Medium, and when time is on my side, I add them to my website.

Here’s what  I learned along the way.

#1. Impact on the move.

Writing is about the journey, not the destination. Most writers will tell you that it’s the process that they enjoy most. A book is great and an ambition I will fulfill, but what I want most is finding inspiration and then sit down to write my story.

I discovered that I’m most in a flow when I’m on the move. A change of environment, a moment of travel, or a new place to discover works well for me. My brain gets pumped up when I move.

#2. Learn from your audience.

I’m blessed with an engaged audience. I have a few hundred readers. Quality readers, I know, would leave if they were not engaged anymore, and that’s fine. People who know me somehow and like what I have to say.

Most of the time.

I never know what feedback to expect. I write stories where I believe I’ve shocked the world, and not much happens. Then I write a story that seems trivial, and one comment after the other comes in. 

My audience provides me with quality feedback. The likes are nice, but that’s not measuring my success. I rather have two good pieces of feedback than 100 likes.

#3. Consistency is key.

Consistency pays off. I post twice a week. Writing these pieces has become a habit. It’s in my system to write, edit, and publish content weekly.

On top, over time, my content grows, my writing gets better, and my learning is continuous. 

Rhythm, flow, and habit are good qualities to have. 

#4. Inspiration is everywhere.

Inspiration is everywhere around us. 

All the time. 

As long as you have a curious mind, are willing to look at the obvious with different eyes, and constantly challenge your thinking. 

Every piece of data can turn into information we can share with our audience.

For example.

I write this from the airport, sitting next to a lady with an open mic and without earplugs. So I overhear her entire conversation. She’s only one meter away. 

She’s discussing a loan application for one Mio. EUR, which she expects to be turned down. I’m not surprised.

She openly shares names, conditions, and what needs to get done. If you’re so careless with confidential information and not prepared to have an essential conversation without anybody overhearing, a lot of other stuff is most likely wrong. 

Her sh#t inspires meā€”just an example of the start of a story. 

#5. Make it personal.

I receive the most feedback on stories where I’m sharing something personal. 

My readers like to hear stories connected to an insight. When that story is something I’ve experienced or learned, it creates more reactions. 

People want to relate to someone, and when they learn that people like me are faced with the same struggles, challenges, mistakes, and lessons learned, it creates a connection.

That doesn’t make it easier, though. It’s not always easy to assess what’s off-limits or not. 

#6. Soft sell vs. Hard sell.

I’m writing because that’s what I love to do. Writing my stories is always a highlight of my week. I never dread the moment to write or get bored.

I’m writing primarily because I hope my readers take something away from every insight. 

Helping leaders, teams, and businesses grow what I call my purpose and business in life. 

My insights are like little seeds I’m planting. My readers know how to get to me if they need help nurturing those seeds. 

I should probably do more hard selling, but it’s not my style. It doesn’t come naturally to me. I realize I may lose business because of that, but I’ll take that for granted.

I also realize that I’ll have to do more marketing once I go online with my products. I promise I will keep it tasteful.

#7. Experiment a lot.

Life is about experimenting. Life is about pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and aiming to overcome your fears.

Push yourself to places or experiences you’ve never been to, and you’ll be guaranteed to learn. You may not always like the result, but you will consistently have grown.

Whenever I run, I try to finish strong, pushing myself over the limits. It doesn’t always work, but I always try. 

Why would you slow down at the end of your run when you only have a short distance to go? You might as well push harder and see what happens.

Finish strong is one of my mottos.

#8. Your turn. Your life.

I end my insights with a short ‘your turn’ question. I hope answering the question I ask will help you understand your learning.

That’s the goal.

You own your destiny.
If you’re living someone else’s life, you’re on the wrong path.

Therefore…

Your turn: are you doing what you love to do? If not, what stops you?

Do more of what makes you happy!

Erikjan

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Erikjan Lantink
Business & Leadership Coach

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