Back in the day, when I was writing QuietMornings WithHim.com, I was using Blogger.
After gaining more information about blogs in general, I moved to WordPress.com. With WordPress, I felt like I could truly design my blog around my personality and mission. It was easy to work with and intuitive. When I wanted to make a change or add something, I found it and applied it with very little effort.
Then I started to want more! (As other bloggers have suggested, WordPress is like crack cocaine!)
As I became more familiar with WordPress, I soon found out that there were limitations. However, they were there on purpose, to pull me in. There were certain design elements, like custom themes and premium features that could get a blogger addicted and end up spending a lot of money!
Thankfully, my wife is better than my will power. It turns out that things like groceries, electricity and clothes for our boys, are more important than premium blog themes.
That was until a couple of weeks ago, during our date night, something changed. I was in awe and here’s how her opinion shifted.
Nicole’s shift from blogging is a hobby to blogging might actually generate income, started over a year ago with a book by Michael Hyatt, called Platform: How to Get Noticed In a Noisy World. As well as buying the hard copy, I purchased an audio version. (Which is obviously a great way to get your spouse to read a book that they would never pick up!)
Throughout Platform, Hyatt discusses a number of benefits to blogging, social media and other online branding and marketing techniques; for businesses, ministries, non-profits, etc. He backs his writing on clear evidence, which is incredibly valuable. After reading (or listening to) Platform, it’s hard to ignore the importance of an online presence.
Soon after that, I started following Hyatt’s blog, MichaelHyatt.com.
Each day, I would read a unique post that would help me in my ministry role, but also in my hobby of writing. I would often discuss what I was learning with Nicole and perhaps, reference back to a lesson or piece of information from his book, Platform. That way, it was something she could connect the information to.
That, and I kept writing.
Over time, the number of followers and subscribers increased and Nicole noticed. Writing was obviously really important to me. So much so, that it was worth getting up at 5:00 AM each morning to put out a post, without stealing from family or work time. Then people (including her mother) started reading my posts daily and enjoying what I was writing.
This was becoming more than just a hobby.
That brings us back to our date night a couple of weeks ago. We were discussing our finances and how we could make some more money without stealing time from our ministry or the boys. She asked, “what about your blog?“
I could hardly believe what I was hearing!
After further discussion, we decided I was going to start investing in my writing a little more seriously. This meant that I wasn’t just going to upgrade my WordPress.com blog to some premium theme. Oh no, I was going to make the full move to self-hosted WordPress, otherwise known as WordPress.org!
By the way, I could get into all the reasons why WordPress.org is the Ferrari of blogs, but instead just read this post by Michael Hyatt: 7 Reasons to Convert Your WordPress.com Blog to WordPress.org
This past week, I have been working with BlueHost (as per Michael Hyatt’s suggestion HERE) to change over to self-hosted WordPress. I could get into all sorts of cool techie features of my blog dashboard and what plans I have for advertising and actually selling a book or two. But in reality, for now, it looks the exact same as it did before.
What I want to highlight, is my relationship with my wife throughout this process. For the fellas out there with big dreams and grandiose ideas, I can obviously relate! However, our wives cherish our ability to provide security for them and our children.
I believe this is part of God’s design for the married couple.
For Nicole, I needed to show her over an entire year, that I was committed to this hobby. Through numerous conversations, she had to be slowly convinced that this wasn’t just a passing fad. I had to prove that I was willing to keep up this endeavour outside of my work life, not stealing time from my ministry to benefit myself.
More importantly, she needed to see that it wasn’t going to steal time from our boys and her! No laptop at the dinner table. No iPhone on date nights. Family time is family time.
If you have a dream and you want your spouse to see value in it and invest in it; it takes time. Be patient and show them that it’s important to you. Furthermore, make sure you show them that your work and family responsibilities are even more important.
Do you have a hobby or recreational activity that you want to invest more time and money into? If so, how are you convincing your family that it’s a worth-while endeavour?