It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” -Theodore Roosevelt 

In high school I had this quote taped to the wall in my bedroom.

The tattered sheet of paper followed me to college.

It was a constant reminder that in life there will be those who criticize us, try to shut us down, stop us in our tracks and keep us too scared to reach our goals.

For some reason, I haven’t thought about this quote until today as I was thinking about the “critics” and doing some serious reflection about times when I’ve been critical of others.

But I digress…

Today’s podcast is another weird one.

A few weeks ago I asked our readers and listeners to send me their biggest questions.

Ironically I received several questions from women who want to start an outdoor blog or website but they aren’t sure where to start.

Today I wanted to dive in and give them some advice about how to start a blog, how to navigate the outdoor online space and how to build a loyal online community.

I planned to dive into the nuts and bolts and the nitty gritty technical details.

But then, as seems to be the norm in my life, something happened.

I had an encounter with a critic.

An encounter that turned my life upside-down and made me realize that the first step to starting a blog or website isn’t choosing what you want your site to be about, how you want people to feel when they visit and who your ideal readers are.


The first step to starting a blog, setting up a public Instagram account, or building a loyal Facebook community isn’t any of those things.

The first step to blogging is digging deep to figure out if you’re ready to face the critic.

The snarky little internet troll who is all about telling you how much you suck to try to wreck your day.

If you’re not ready to deal with the troll, then you’re not ready to start a blog.

But the truth is, that we all have insecurities and feelings of doubt.

And sometimes dealing with the troll can actually be a good and positive thing.

But even more important, starting a space online can open doors we’ve never dreamed of -AND- you can use your words, and your influence to actually make the word a happy, more positive place.

That’s enough rambling, right?

Check out today’s podcast episode for my thoughts on dealing with the critic.


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