20140221, Bill Peng, The First Milestone, A2 (With Evaluation by Jason Lee)

About one and half year ago, after I retired from the officers team of NTUTM! I decided to move on. I was trying to test an idea: “Am I able to use my interests to generate money?” If it is true, then that might means “I have the ability to turn my interest into my life time career.”

In order to test this idea, I decided to start a project about running an personal studio. I chose the field of presentation and slide design. It was an interesting decision since it is neither my major nor the course or training I had taken. It just started with a simple idea: “I am interested in presentation and slide design, and I ‘believe’ I am good at this.”
The project started with writing a blog called “SlideArtToasters” and I set a goal and check-point for myself : I want to exam how far  I can achieve after writing 100 articles in my blog. Therefore, “writing 100 articles in my blog” has became the first milestone in this project.

After I started, the challenges and frustrations came.
First, seldom people actually read the article I wrote. Well, “seldom” often equals to “no one”. Besides, the article I wrote is hard to read and unable to convey my ideas. Partly because of my poor writing skill. Moreover, there are some competitors in this field that are far ahead of me. They are already the experts in this field. It is hard for me to find the suitable niche and competition advantages.

During the process, I gave up this project for at least 3 times, because it seemed hopeless. However, every time I gave up, there’s a voice told me that : “hey, Bill, cheer up, you haven ’t see the first milestone yet, keep going!” So I kept writing the articles, promoting my blogs, and bettering my writing skills. I tried to divide the big challenges into smaller ones, and solve those problems little by little. At those hopeless moments, the First Milestone “Reaching the first milestone” had became the only reason that kept me going. Gradually, I regained my confidence to go on. Nothing inside the journey was the magic or the great turning point. Every changes came from the devotions and efforts been made. 

As the problems gradually being solved, I was also getting closer and closer to my goal. Eventually, I reached the first milestone last month, “100 articles in my blog”. Right now, the SlideArtToasters is getting better and better. Its fans page has more than 1,700 fans, and more than 200,000 people has visited the blog, and it is going to held It’s fourth workshop. Now people are willing to pay 1,500 dollars to participate in an one day workshop. The tickets were sold out within a day, and the price is still growing XD! 

All these may not be a big deal at all, comparing to those great things done by those great people. But compare to the moment I started, it does achieve something. And most important of all, it gave me confidence and courage to go on. So here is what I want to share in my story : Sometimes, to start of something new is just like the start of a long journey. When you see your first milestone, you will know you are in the right track. But before you see the first milestone, you need to have faith, belief or confidence beforehand. If you believe your are interested in writing articles, just start writing your blogs. If your hope to become a traveler in the future, just start your journey. If you want become a great designer, just start designing something. And if you believe you have the skill of translation, why not start translating something interesting?! Remember, you will never be ready to start, so the best time to start is always “Right Now”.

In NTU Toastmasters, we all share a common faith that one day we will shine on the stage. Although the goal seamed far, but here, NTUTM, is a good place to find your first milestone. I would like to use a sentence to summarize my stories today, The First Milestone “To start, you don’t have to be good; but to be good, you have to start.” wishing we all can reach our first milestone, and fulfill our dreams eventually. Toastmasters of the evening.

—————- Individual Evaluation by Jason Lee —————-

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