As A Blogger, Here’s What I’ve Given Up To Be a Success5 min read

A few days ago I reached 140,000 followers on my main blog. It was worth about five seconds of joy, a screenshot of my stats, and it was time to get back to work.

This is the kind of life I have been leading in the last seven or so years to be successful as a blogger.

What is a success anyway?

Am I successful? Because I have a certain amount of followers? Because I’m earning enough money to do this as my full-time job?

The truth is that I’ve had to work twelve hour days for a long, long time. Sometimes, I wondered if it was all worth it. Sometimes, I wanted to quit, desperate for the comfort of a 9 to 5 and a steady paycheck.

I’ve disappointed my parents for a couple of years

I’ve always wanted to live a 1% life. To be able to do things on my terms, to by my own boss.

And when I first started blogging, when I decided to self-publish my stories and novels on Amazon, my parents told me to be realistic and get a proper job.

My friends would make fun of me.

The moments of doubt were heartbreaking. When it all felt pointless, and I’d be working 15 hours a day, and there was no one to complain to. Even if I tried to complain, people would tell me that it had been my decision to live this kind of life.

The progress towards success kind of destroys your personal life. You are judged, labelled, misunderstood, laughed at, and then ignored.

No one believes in you after you’ve done it. It’s a bittersweet truth of life. This means that you are your own cheerleader. Good news? You are your own cheerleader.

I’ve had to give up on Netflix and chill

I’m always working.

Most people work until 5 PM then come home, eat dinner, and watch shows and TV for a few hours. Or they spend time on social media.

My parents do it. My friends do it.

But I figured out early on that to be successful as a blogger, you have to write a lot of content. A lot!

You can either have comfort or success, but not both.

And the truth is that the price I had to pay was higher than what I was expecting. A lot higher.

I’ve had to give up on trying to be understood

Nobody seems to care. Nobody seems to even understand what the hell I do all day. I try to explain but when your parents don’t speak the damn language I express myself in, it’s a bit difficult.

Folks tend to treasure stability, security, a steady paycheck.

I call it the rat-race, and running away from it has been my lifelong ambition, and it’s what keeps me in the game.

Stability.

That’s always where human beings want to get to.

They think the only way to get to stability is to work a job, get health insurance, and live a normal life.

That’s stability, right? That’s the main goal?

I don’t want a “normal” life. I want extraordinary, and I am willing to work a little bit more, to want it a little bit more, to interact with others a little bit more, to suffer a little bit more.

And, trust me, when even your girlfriend’s parents think badly of you for not having a steady income, it’s tough to fight for this kind of life.

It’s lonely. It really is. I can’t talk to anybody else about my struggles. The only people I take advice from are the ones I watch on YouTube or follow on social media. You know, the super-successful, the entrepreneurs, the artists, the rebels and rascals of society.

I’ve spent eight years writing before earning a single dime

Yes, that’s true. I’ve spent eight years punching those damn keys, and no monetary reward for it. No readers. Nothing.

It’s true. There needs to be entire years of your life where you’re working insane hours for what seems to be no reward.

And even after that, I still had to give up on another year of my life to have an impact in the blogging world.

I had to give up on who I was

When I first started blogging I was a different person.

I had a lot of ambition, sure, but I had almost no discipline whatsoever. I didn’t understand what it took to be successful as a blogger.

I had to change, to adapt, to overcome, to become a different me.

It happened slowly. Painfully at times.

I had to develop self-discipline, to learn more, to do more, to become more.

I sacrificed the old Cristian Mihai. I had to level-up, to demand more of myself even though no one around me was doing it.

Because this is the heartbreaking truth: almost no one ever, ever, ever demands more of you. Yes, they doubt you, or they mock you, but they never tell you that you could be more than who you are right now, right here.

And, yet, I had to change myself, to learn to demand of myself more than anyone else ever could. I had to dream big and do small things to make those dreams come true.

I had to learn to love the daily grind. To wake up early and go to bed late. To educate myself on various topics.

And you want to know another truth?

I have to give up on myself again because who I am right now is not the kind of guy who is worthy of being where I want to be in the future.


If you think success in the blogging world is easy, effortless, and fun, you should reconsider. Sometimes, it is, and I am not trying to talk you out of trying to be as successful as possible.

But you need to sacrifice a lot if you want to be in the top 1%.

Why?

Because the 1% do the kind of things that the 99% don’t. Because the 1% get more stuff done than the 99% before they even wake up to sit at their desk and write.

Cristian Mihai

Became Internet famous by the age of 23. Never recovered. I write short author bios all over the web. I’m an acquired taste. Don’t like me? Acquire some taste.

71 thoughts on “As A Blogger, Here’s What I’ve Given Up To Be a Success5 min read

    1. I have the steady, and pretty good actually paycheck, but i crave doing things for myself, boss free so to speak. I make the apps, which took a nose dive for some reason this week, but the blog is very very fresh for me. I was a journalist many years ago and now i am a teacher. My hope, at this stage that’s all it is!, is that the two things can come together. Sitting here with my new laptop it feels like i might have all the gear, but no idea!

      1. It all comes down to how bad you want it. Do you truly want it or kind of want it? Is blogging your plan A or B or your only plan? Think then execute accordingly.

  1. I am really inspired this morning, this particular post has strengthened me to keep doing what I am doing. I am also relief, that it’s ok to be different in a society just to get things done in your own way. I don’t want to be normal just like everyone else.
    Just like you, a lot of people have been on my neck to get a 9-5 job and then when I looked at it, I feel I am just going to waste my energy so why don’t I put more effort on my blog? I’ve been doing it for almost four years now on and off in the past though, it shall be successful I pray. It

  2. Thanks for sharing the good stuff as usual, Cristian. By the way, my definition of success is inversely proportional to how often I find myself doing something I don’t want to do. To me, it’s all about freedom and independence!

  3. Loved this post – I find your work very inspiring. I have recently graduated and made it my plan for 2020 to really invest in my blog to create more writing opportunities for myself. I know that writing is the only thing I am prepared to really ‘go’ for as it were. You always produce content which is motivational, so thank you very much!

  4. This post made me get out of bed and sit in front of my computer. Literally. I have a few friends to send this to so they won’t feel like they can’t talk to me about what they’re doing and trying to achieve. I don’t want them to feel they have no support. I blog as well but it is my plan C or D LOL! My podcast is plan A! Thanks for the inspiration and transparency!

  5. Amazing read! Inspiring. People usually do not share what they have to give up to get to a goal. That’s why this post is much appreciated. A few things that you’ve mentioned here do resonate…. And so, thank you for sharing this post with us.

    1. Thank you, Alina.

      Yes, I think we all tend to romanticize success and failure and ignore the fact that they are linked. To be a phenomenal success at something, you are a failure in other areas of life.

  6. Great post with good advice — as usual. I’ve learned that critics come a dime a dozen. Finding those who believe in you and encourage you are the rare gems you need to hang on to. Any successful entrepreneur will tell you it takes a lot of hard work. You continue to show us that blogging can be a business and what it takes to be successful.
    Thanks for modeling the way for us and congrats on your accomplishments!

  7. Reading this today is perfect timing, thank you very much. I am not a numbers chaser in terms of followers, and in all my years of blogging I have certainly had my lows and losses. But the commitment to write remained strong, and I do it for myself first and foremost, and if my writing can make a small difference in someone´s day then that is more than enough for me. It is through writing and blogging that I found myself and my way back each time I lost my way.

    1. We all have our own definition of success. That’s all that matters. If we are honest with ourselves, and if we consider ourselves to be successful, then we are a success.

  8. I love this. I have struggled for yeears trying to make everyone else happy. Then I realized What about me? We hold everyone around us responsible for higher standards, why are we not holding ourselves to a higher standard? Your writing is you holding yourself to the highest standard! You are doing what you love and what makes you happy! As long as we are proud of ourselves for the things we choose to do in life, does it matter if the ones around us are “proud” of us? Maybe if they only accept what we have chosen? Would that be enough? Im still trying to figure that out.

    1. Thank you, Tina!

      Don’t know. I think people want you to be who they need you to be. I think that if we strive for greatness, it acts like a spotlight for their own inadequacies and excuses. Maybe that’s why they won’t accept a way of life that is different from theirs, and they will do anything to find faults and criticize you.

  9. Congrats for the milestone! Very true. Success is a business of trade-offs: don’t trade for it, don’t expect to get it. Struggle, on the other hand, is an instrument of success. 😎👍🏽

  10. Well Congrats to you! Thanks for the post, I love reading it so I did it twice! I am a new blogger and do not expect such sucess but I often stuggle with figuirng out how often should I blog? One or Twice a day? A few times per week? Once a week? I want to create content but i dont want to overload my audience.

    1. Here’s a quick way to figure that out: you post as often as it takes for a proper conversation to develop on the latest blog post. Most folks only comment on the most recent blog post, so when you publish a new article, you wait as long as it takes to have a few comments. Maybe 5-10. Something like that. And then you post a new article. The more popular you become, the more often you can post. This also means that when you’re just starting out, you should wait a few days for a proper conversation to develop. This also means that if you want to post more often, you need to interact and network with other bloggers, so they visit your blog and comment on your content.

  11. Good on you bro- that’s a big number! The size and shape of each person’s sacrifice will be different and that will usually depend on where they are in life. I have to balance my marriage, raising a son, and my “day” J.O.B with getting started writing. That’s on me though because I didn’t take advantage of the free time I had before TL&T (the Lovely & Talented Mrs. Holt) and my son came along. Most of my nights are spent staying up well past their bedtime for content creation and editing. It’s not glamorous but a necessity if I am going to get myself to a place where I answer “professionally” only to myself. Lots of work to do from where I am but it’s good to see people getting stuff done and having something to work towards.

    1. It all comes down to what makes you happy. I am all for people taking educated decisions, or at least not regretting them. That is all. Not everyone wants to conquer the world, and some might not even like it. After all, it’s not the reward, but the price we must pay that matters. Are you willing to pay the price? If yes, pay it. If no, then forget about the reward because it is out of your reach. And this applies to every single aspect of life.

  12. Why can’t we have both comfort and success though? How do you then have time to enjoy the success?

    It’d say this is my new favourite post from you though, and congrats on the new win. I celebrate your accomplishments so far… Keep grinding and pushing, keep inspiring others too🤗

    1. Maybe I can offer you an answer from a seemingly unrelated field: working out. It is tough for me to work out. I am quite fragile. Or used to be. But I work out every single day, whether I feel like it or not. And it’s quite painful, but the thing is that every single time I look in the mirror, I feel this pride. It’s just a moment, but the baseline has changed. Most folks have days when they don’t like what they see in the mirror, I don’t. That’s success. Not a moment of intense joy, but rather a lack of discomfort.

  13. I love this journey of blogging. It’s opened my eyes to learning a whole lot more. Helping me develop so many new found interests in things I was completely clueless about and never knew existed and that in itself is thrilling and exciting, making this journey worth the right, being self-taught, learning, growingly, evolving, having immense personal development. I’m loving the new me, who I’m becoming, the real me that’s always just be hidden, been buried. But finally, she sees the light and she’s bursting forth as a phoenix, she’s never dieing again, rather she’s die to her old self that the new may emerge and flourish. For I know what I want, the life that i seek is merely to go along the path less traveled in my own way, forge against societal norms and carve my own path through life. Having my name forever engraved in people’s hearts and sealed in the sands of time…

    1. Always take the hard road. The road less travelled. That’s where the true adventure lies. It’s in doing what is difficult that we figure out who we are, we test our limits, and from time to time, even overcome them.

  14. The immediate stream of time seems to remain as a vortex being pulled by the suction of the crowd, the herd mentality. Going against the current is extremely demanding. Recall the life of Christ! Truth can cut both ways–like a double-edged sword.

  15. I’m also seeking a stable, self-employed life! It will definitely take some time getting there but I don’t want to rely on a corporation to feel comfortable for my entire life. Corporations change frequently and cause lay-offs, fire people because they prefer temporary hires… No thanks. I want to depend on myself. I like the idea of having my life in my hands. It’s scary yet comforting to think about!

    1. You are the captain of your destiny. We all are. But we must first assume responsibility for it. We must embrace it, even with trembling arms, for it is frightening to know that we’re all self-made, even the unsuccessful.

  16. I love this because it’s real. Doing what you’re passionate about isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. It’s hard work. I love that you showed that in this post.

  17. Success demands that you leave the things that you derive comfort, and focus on the things of discomfort because, in discomfort you will aim high, work hard, be misunderstood all the time and eventually, you will find progress sticking and blooming with you everywhere you go to. That is the concept of success.

  18. For someone who just started punching the keys there’s so much to learn from this, although my goal may be quite different as it’s all coming into place one after the other, the key to success is dedication, discipline and some other core virtues. This’s a great post thanks for sharing.

  19. Wow! Every sentence felt like a parallel to my life. I’m actually working a full time job while pursuing being an Author/Illustrator for Childrens books. I just started this blog. I am growing my instagram. Learning amazon. It’s frustrating, hard, and I feel spread thin. I get this. I’m a stranger but I believe in you! You can do more. We all need to support one another dreams more.

  20. Really good read, and a great ethos with the “if you want more, do more” mind set. We’re embarking on a similar journey with our blog and insta, and I’ve just posted about why people shouldn’t pay for followers (the easy way to hit the numbers, without actually thinking about the meaning of what you’re trying to achieve!)

  21. This is such a great post! I like seeing more of these person posts from you and how you got to where you are right now. It shows your dedication and struggles, which I really like and I can relate to your posts. Keep these up as you are an inspiration. Sometimes I get the feeling you are like a personal trainer, but for blogging 🙂 always being realistic, helpful and motivational. We will keep on blogging! Thank you.

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