You’re busy, so I’ll get right to the point. Here’s one of the most important lessons about blogging and your platform.

Your platform isn’t for you.

It’s not yours.

Your name might be on it. It might be your smiling headshot that folks see each day on your blog or your twitter profile, but the platform is not for you.

It’s for other people.

It’s for serving other people.

Readers, friends, family members, this is why we blog.

Not to get, but to give.

If you don’t share your platform, it will suffocate you. I speak not from theory but from experience. I used to think my platform was mine. I got lost in things like New York Times bestseller lists and affirmation and attention.

But then I learned that my platform is not for me.

It’s for others.

Like Terry.

She’s a survivor of addiction and trafficking. She’s also the barista at Thistle Farms in Nashville, an amazing organization. Last week she was trying to win a scholarship to go to Texas for Barista School.


At the time I wrote this, she was in second place.

My platform became about Terry. I’m not sponsored by Thistle Farm. I didn’t get anything out of trying to help her win other than knowing that you and I got to help change the entire arch of Terry’s life by doing something as simple as sharing a platform.

Voting ended yesterday. The results will be announced soon.

I’d love Terry, who lost years on the street only to bounce back with a comeback, to see her votes skyrocket today.

My favorite thing about this was how different Terry looks from the other people in the contest. She is not hip looking or a young 20 year old, she is a survivor. She has scars and heartache and is daring to write the next chapter. She is why I write, because people who were living on the streets can get new starts and dare to chase dreams regardless of their age.

Dare like Terry.

And when all is said and done, own your platform, don’t let it own you.