The One Habit That Will Save You From The Hamster Wheel

me in hamster wheel

Imagine being caught on a hamster wheel of life and thinking that was all there was. Imagine you’d failed at work-related stuff and all you cared about was sex and drugs and rock ‘n’ roll … and you were in your thirties. That’s where I was in 2002.

By “hamster wheel” I’m referring to working for someone else’s company or institution, Monday-to-Friday, 9-5, and not enjoying it. A lot of us pretend that working is a good thing (job satisfaction, human interaction, career progression, etc.). Still more, however, have given up on that pretence and work for the pay check and nothing else.

I was one of those people and it showed. I had completely rejected the notion of career progression and was freelancing – swapping hours for dollars.

What shook me out of that? Weekly blogging (and daily meditation).

If you have any sort of problem with your business or work life, I would suggest you try blogging. (If you have any sort of problem with you head or your body, I would suggest you try daily meditation. But, for the purposes of this article, I will concentrate on blogging as a live saver.)


Gary Vaynerchuk (I used to think he was irritating; now I think he’s irritatingly correct about most things) says,

If you’re not putting out stories, you basically don’t exist

… and I tend to agree.

I started getting clients contacting me within 6 months of writing blog posts about my design services. If you’re publishing content that is valuable, good things will happen to you.

It’s almost the Law of Attraction or Law of Reciprocity – or call it common sense. But for God’s sake, be consistent. Don’t write 20 or 30 blog posts and moan that you’re not getting any results. Don’t tell me it worked back in 2006 and doesn’t work now. This is not true, I started a new blog last year and it still works. Blog every week for a year and then come to me and tell me nothing’s happening and I’ll try to help you.

What you learn from blogging

Blogging teaches you how to write a good articles and persuasive copy. These skills will help you and your business.

You gain immediate feedback about what you’re writing. Which articles get the most views, the most shares on social media and the most engagement in the comments – this is priceless information.

Blogging also shows you which subjects you should concentrate on in the future. This information will also point you towards the most lucrative areas for product creation.

Creating products that sell

The more you blog, the better you get at it – yet more blindingly obvious common sense for you. But, think about it, this article may be 1,000 words. I’m writing it in a cafe with a nice coffee by my side. It’s not difficult to write this. It’ll take a couple of hours. The average non-fiction Kindle book is 13,000 words and can therefore be written in a fortnight. You can sell that for $2.99 in the most popular shop in the world – Amazon. Here’s how.

Don’t stick with words. Let your entrepreneurial instinct drive you into other mediums. Do audio. Do video. Video blogging will teach you how to create video courses which you can sell for even more money.

But it’s not all about money. Product creation puts you in a different league. Rightly or wrongly, people will consider you an expert if you have a book in print or a course for sale. But you’ll not be able to do this unless you first cut your teeth with blogging.

Writing makes you happy

But how many times have you written down your thoughts on a piece of paper and felt better about it?

Our brains are awesome devices that help us with sense perception, cognition, communication and all sorts of other things. However, they have one drawback – no off switch. In fact, all human suffering is caused by the unchecked mental judgement that we endure almost 100% of the time. As Hamlet said to Horatio,

Nothing is good or bad but thinking makes it so

Alas! However, writing (second only to meditation) can help us with this.

Writing helps you order and compartmentalise your thinking. Recording your failures, successes and goals provides signposts through an otherwise featureless business landscape. Knowing what you’ve done and focussing on where you’re going “turns off” unnecessary thinking.

Read more about the benefits of writing from Gregory Ciotti.

Building your brand

We’ve touched on it before. Your brand, your authority, your expertise, your audience – these increase every time you create content.

If you want something done, wouldn’t you prefer to ask the person who’s written a book on it?

If somebody arrives on your website after having searched on Google they will see you as an authority. And, if you blog regularly, Google will start sending traffic, even after all the changes to the algorithm and our online searching habits.

From Freelancer To Entrepreneur

If you’re interested in any of these points, I’ve written a new book on how I started working from home on my own business after years of mindless freelancing.

from freelancer to entrepreneur

I’ve had some great feedback and reviews.

‘Rob has a free and easy style of writing that makes his books fun to read. I found myself relating to many of the stories in this book and I also found the information to be very helpful.’ TP

‘I like the “warts n’ all” situations he came across and how he tackled them.Very inspiring…’ SW

‘The way he writes is like he’s sitting across from you, telling you his very inspiring story. I highly recommend this book to anyone, especially those who are struggling in life trying to figure it all out.’ AJ

‘Enlightening! Short and to the point, this story of self discovery resonates with me in more than one way. You can read it in one sitting and won’t regret it.’ FH

So, if you’re interested:

You can do it!

You can leave the hamster wheel or put distance between it and yourself through weekly blogging. Write at least 500 every week and, each time, try to make it the best 500 words you’ve ever written.

Did this help you? If so, please share!

Download my 2 free e-books and 2 free MP3s on running an online business & getting clients

Plus a list of my 12 favorite resources for online business

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  1. says

    Its true ! Wish I started it years ago. I’ve only recently started blogging (and SEOing) about 5 months, and I’m seeing good results in terms of people contacting me by finding me in Google.

    What prompted me to start blogging was a website I’d worked on for years was wound down (basically the owner lost interest). A case of way too many eggs in one basket (wish I’d taken Robs advice earlier!).

    You have to put some work into it, looking at what works and doesn’t etc.. But it really is worth the effort. I’ve tried various avenues to bring work in the last 5 months, and blogging/SEO has been by far the most fruitful.

    • says

      You’re right, Louie. Watching what works and what doesn’t is crucial. It helps you get a feel for what to write about. In Google Analytics, go Acquisition > Keywords > Organic. Google hides 90% of this information from us but it’s still really useful. (I know you know that, Louie, it’s just for other people reading this :) !)

  2. says

    very true. also well worth looking in Google Web Master Tools , Search Traffic -> Search Queries. I know you know that Rob :) but hopefully others will find it useful.

  3. says


    Dead on post dude! From writing, to meditating, to the LOA bit. Be consistent and you’ll move into new worlds, or countries in my case 😉 Change your life by going within, clearing the inner world and seeing a better way exists if you desire to take that road.

    Pure karma; what you put out freely returns to you multiplied.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • says

      Thanks Ryan. Or, to put it another way, “As Within So Without” as you have it on one of your blog posts recently! Thank you for the comment :)

  4. says

    Great article Rob, I really need to get into this habit, I just seam to have alot of different things that i end up doing that are not always about my freelance work. Like I have built bed, repaired vehicles, restored a centennial home and oh ya done web and design work. I can’t think of one niche that I can use all these things in. And I doubt people want to read about what the next project “Jason’ is working on. I either need to just do blog posts on specific others blogs or just pick one subject and only write about that.
    Any advise.

    • says

      What should I blog about? I get that question a lot, Jason. I haven’t written a blog post about it for a while so I should write one again :)

      Write every week about what you do. Don’t write to say “I’m brilliant at doing this”; write to explain how and why you do what you do. It sounds crazy that you should give away your secrets and techniques about how you make your money. And yet that’s what actually works. People see that you know what you’re doing and hire you!

      But, yes, concentrate on the web and design work in the beginning. You should concentrate on the one thing you like doing. If you don’t like doing web and design work then don’t blog about that. I hope this helps.