Posted by on May 22, 2020

Have you ever tried to form a new habit? What approach has been successful for you?

Six months ago, I was inspired to start sharing more content online, but it wasn’t something that came naturally to me. Here’s a brief rundown of my journey so far, and some lessons I’ve learned therein.

First Phase

Last November, I bonded with a group of 30 other like-minded CEO’s at Global Leadership Academy, a 5-day immersive program by Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) in Washington, DC.

Though my classmates hailed from different parts of the world, our common bond is that we were all past EO presidents and/or regional leaders, and we all have the desire to keep growing.

At the end of the event, a small group of us felt compelled to continue sharing more of our knowledge and learning experiences with the world.

We formed an accountability group and called it the “Share the Light” challenge. Each person was to publicly share a meaningful post daily, for 60 days (weekends and holidays optional). It could be on your blog, Facebook, Linkedin, YouTube, or whatever platform, as long as it was public, meaningful, and had your name attached to it.

The penalty for missing a day: a monetary fine that went to charity.

The goal was to develop a new habit. Perhaps this challenge was subconsciously inspired by my recently having read Atomic Habits by James Clear.

Results: By the end of the initial challenge, I had a YouTube channel with around 26 videos and 50 subscribers, plus the early beginnings of a blog. It wasn’t my intention, but an interesting result.

I’m still learning.

Second Phase

My day-to-day business got busy, life took over, and it was tough for me to keep publishing content daily. I continued posting about once or twice per week, but the momentum had waned.

I had lunch to catch up with another long-time entrepreneur buddy, Jermaine, and the “Share the Light” challenge came up in conversation. He said he had also tinkered with the idea of blogging. I encouraged him to share nuggets from his journey of building an 8-figure-revenue business from scratch. I knew his story could inspire so many others.

I also needed a push to resume posting more regularly, so we decided to hold each other accountable. I was hesitant to commit at first, because I remembered how taxing it was for me to publish daily (I’ll go into more detail about this in the next post).

Regardless, Jermaine and I started another 60-day challenge with similar rules. Little did I know that the pandemic would start about 2 weeks into our challenge.

While the economic shutdown certainly disrupted my business and home life quite a bit, I didn’t stop posting.

In fact, the daily writing, recording, and publishing probably helped my clarity of thinking even more. It also helped me lead others, calmly and effectively, through this scary time.

Results: During this 2nd challenge, I started also writing articles on Linkedin and Medium. And I launched my blog on EthanKing.com.

I’ve been a guest on podcasts, and have been invited to give virtual keynote presentations.

And I’m amazed that I have a small YouTube channel now with nearly 600 subscribers.

I’m still learning.

Third Phase

My original “Share the Light” crew recently met a few times (virtually) and the desire for another challenge came up.

I didn’t know if I was ready for a round 3, especially with all of the uncertainties surrounding the pandemic, but I also know that the only way I grow is through discomfort.

So we’re doing it again, but with a few different twists this time:

  1. Each person committed to sharing at the frequency that’s right for them, right now (1x/week, 3x/week, etc). This also allows time to prepare more insightful posts.
  2. Each person committed to cross-share or promote each post on at least one other platform too, because what good is it to share light/knowledge if no one knows about it?
  3. We’ve opened it up for others to join. My friend Sina is leading this initiative, and you can learn more here.

This keeps evolving.

I’m still learning.

In my next post, I’ll go more into some of the challenges I’ve encountered, and the lessons I’ve learned through this exercise of publishing content for the past 6 months.

My hope was to form a new daily habit, but it seems 2 or 3 times per week is more realistic for me.

How do you feel about sharing your thoughts with the world? How have you formed new habits that stuck? I’d love to learn in the comments.

“No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others…”

Matthew 5:15-16 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

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