Are you entitled to have a blog? Six questions to ask yourself before you start one.

Possibly. Well, if we're speaking candidly of course you have the right to blog. However, knowing why you're blogging is even more important than what you're going to blog about. Just because you can write about something doesn't mean you're entitled to a blog.

What is it that makes you unique in your work environment, school, neighborhood, or family. When you identify what that is you may have discovered why you should blog. Because that one thing, whatever it is, adds value to those around you. It's something you do naturally and you could teach it to someone else. Often, people try to pick a topic to blog about instead of taking on the role of a teacher or coach in what they already do well. What can I learn from you? What would make me better as a person, employee, leader, home owner, parent, etc?

Now, you may be the leading expert on a topic and able to lead an entire community in conversation around that topic. Most people are not the worlds greatest expert but they are successful at something that comes naturally to them. Reflect on what comes naturally to you and break it down so that I can learn from you. Can you observe others attempting to do what you do and offer coaching tips? A blog like this will last. Anyone can start a blog but few can make it longer than six months, a year, or even two years.

Check out this great infographic titled "How we are Blogging".

So remember these things when you think about starting a blog:

1. What do I naturally do better than anyone else?

2. Do I have a strategy of how often I will post?

3. Is this something I want to financially invest in? (Don't invest financial resources unless you're committed to two years of consistant writing).

4. What blogging platform would I like to use? (Wordpress, Blogger, Typepad, etc...)

5. Who do I know that could help me? Do I know anyone already doing a great job?

6. Again, what do I naturally do better than anyone else?

The biggest challenge to blogging is not design or building an audience. Neither of these will make a blog last. The biggest challenge is consistently writing on a weekly schedule. Are you up for the challenge? I'd like to see you try.

Four questions to ask about your friends who influence you

  Your close friends say a lot about you. I don't mean they talk about you I mean they are a reflection of what you value. It's not uncommon to get comfortable in a group of friends and the entire group can flow to decisions that change your values. Often, our fear of isolation keeps us in a group of friends who influence us but we'd prefer to be making other choices.

Do you ever evaluate your friends? You might look back on this time and realize you were living out something you're not proud of (kind of like those awkward family photos, which is one of my favorite sites).

Here are a couple of questions I have begun to ask myself about friends who influence me:

1. Does their faith have action? - This might not apply to you but I am looking for friends who believe in something and therefore act. And this has to be outside their own address, meaning they care about others outside their own family. Faith without action is dead so do I see my friends being a blessing to others?

2. Do they ever have enough? - I'd prefer to have friends who add value to my life. By value I don't mean more expensive stuff. I find value in encouragement, conversation, support, challenge, and laughter. It's difficult to be friends with someone who never has enough possessions. Not one of us is void of wanting more but having influencing friends who constantly want more just increases our discontent. Which brings me to my next question...

3. How do they spend money? - Could it be true your financial peace is a reflection of your friends? Sure it can. Most people I know who would like to be debt free are stopped short in their effort by the fear of what their friends will think of their lifestyle. And so we spend money to keep up an appearance of a group of friends.

4. Are they consumers or producers? - I greatly enjoy friends who push me to create. To do something new. Friends that stretch my assumption of what could be. It stirs something in me to be around people who want to be creative and bless others through their creativity.

Friends have a significant influence on our lives. It's important that we ask ourselves good questions about our friends because it's easy for a group of people to drift into a lifestyle we feel like we have to keep up with even though it's not something we want.

What questions do you ask about your friends? What kind of questions would you hope your friends ask about you? Please leave your comments below!