I’ve been thinking about starting a blog for quite some time now. Probably on and off for the past two years. That might come as a shock for some of my closest friends because I haven’t been vocal about it. At all. However, I have been rigorously thinking about it and this past week I finally pressed pen to paper, or well... I pushed buttons on my keyboard and I published my first post. I took the leap, I was blogging, and it felt great. Yay! But why did I start blogging, and why did it take me so long to start?
My blog journey began roughly two years ago after finishing my bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. By that time, I was tired with school and I wanted to get some practical experience and start my professional career. It took one month passing since I finished my bachelor’s and I was bored out of my wits. I know, what an ungrateful a-hole I was. I’d gotten so engulfed with finishing my studies that the amount of freedom I got after finishing hit me like a brick wall. No class, no homework, what now? I graduated in the fall of 2016 and at this time Norway was still recovering from the drastic fall in oil prices. The engineering industry was to put it mildly not hiring. No work in sight. So, I decided to join my family on vacation in the Balkans, which is something we’ve done regularly since fleeing the war in the 90’s. Despite being bored with my job outlook I was enjoying the vacation. Enter fate, destiny, random chance or whatever you want to call it. I got an acceptance letter to a master’s degree in Innovation & Entrepreneurship. Honestly, I didn’t even remember applying for it. I was overjoyed at first, but the feeling turned to horror as I saw the reply deadline. It was the day before I checked the email, I was too late. Worse still, I was thousands of miles away on vacation. Stupid I thought to myself, why did I turn off my email notifications. But the acceptance email came down like a divine sign from the internet gods, an escape from jobless boredom. I had missed the deadline, but I truly wanted this now, I just felt it, a gut feeling telling me this was the right move and I was willing to gamble on it. I was at a crossroads, the first path led to a safe but boring future waiting for the job market to be better and hoping for a lucky break. The second path was two more years of college, in a city I didn’t know. But this path was also unknown, exciting, and full of opportunity. The gut feeling that told me this was the right move felt like the opposite of boredom, it felt thrilling. So, I gambled on that feeling. I replied to the email pleading to be accepted despite my late reply and I booked a flight for the next morning. I didn’t wait to see the result of my apology, I was gonna show up and make it work somehow. I then also apologized to my family for leaving them early and twelve hours later I buckled my seatbelt on a plane headed to Oslo, Norway.
Thanks to a bit of luck and a kind faculty the gamble paid off. I got accepted to the course, my gut was right. Sure, at the start it was simply a better option than waiting for the jobs to appear again but soon enough I really enjoyed my studies. I worked hard and applied myself. I even founded and ran a startup during the time, Streets of Oslo, and almost two years later in my last semester I was left with yet another choice. Another crossroad, arguably less grand but still important to me. This time on which thesis topic to write about. I could have gone the safe route and chosen a topic based on the job I was looking for. ‘How to apply innovation methodology to corporate companies’ was an idea I had, obviously to attract corporate employers. I don’t think any less of that choice, it’s a smart choice but I wanted to write about something academia had brushed over. I don’t really know why, but I did have a gut feeling again and trusting in it had paid off before.
This led me to ‘social media personal brands.’ Working with my startup had led me to explore the topic, and I wanted to learn more about it. Most, if not all people have an association to personal brands. Although it’s become synonymous with bloggers, people often overlook that personal brands can be anyone, and bloggers are only one version of them. Politicians are another, celebrities a third. People previously gathered around these celebrities and world leaders, but now thanks to the internet they mostly gather around “ordinary” people. People like you and me have become the main personal brand. The more I read about the ‘blogsphere’ and personal brands the more intrigued I became. I did end up writing my thesis on personal brands and along the way I learned how they could be a good creative outflow, lucrative, and freeing. Since delivering my thesis I couldn’t shake the thought of starting a personal brand of my own. I had written page upon page on why creating a personal brand was a smart business move, but I was afraid of taking the leap myself. I was afraid the content I would create would not be good enough. Afraid I was a bad writer and I kind of am. Most of all I was afraid of failure. I had a choice between being afraid of failure, or betting on my gut feeling again.
This week I finally took the step and posted my first blog post. I’ve started writing about something I find very interesting, which is technology trends and how they impact the business world. It’s a mix of technology and business, just like me. I enjoy it and I hope someone else will too. If I also end up building a personal brand in the process, then great!
Until next time,