Hi. This is Morty Lefkoe with another edition of the weekly podcast, Conversations with Top Personal Development Bloggers. Every week we have a conversation with a blogger who has a slightly different take on personal development. There’s so much valuable material being offered by personal development bloggers.
This is the best place to find out which ones might provide you with just what you’re looking for. What’s unique about each blogger, why they started writing their blog, how their personal experiences inform their writing, why you ought to be reading their blog, and more.
Today I have the pleasure to talk to Simona Rich who writes a blog called, Know yourself and Grow.
Morty : Hi Simona, how are you today?
Simona: I’m really good. How are you?
Morty: I’m doing great. Where are you coming from today?
Simona: I am currently in London but I may shortly leave it for another country.
Morty: Okay. But you’re in London now. Do you have any idea where you’re likely to be going?
Simona: Before going back to India I am thinking of visiting some European countries that I really love but I haven’t visited for a long time, like Malta or Portugal or Italy or Spain, these countries I really love and I miss them very much.
Morty: As somebody who writes a blog and makes a living from that you can live any place in the world I guess?
Simona: Yes, that’s true. I’ve been working as a fulltime blogger for four years, but I started six years ago.
Morty: Okay, we’ll get into that. What was the impetus to start writing your blog?
Simona: The reason I started writing it was because, firstly, I worked in different jobs when I came from Lithuania to UK and I realized that I really don’t like when someone tells me what to do, I really dislike my managers. I realized that I should be working just on my own. The last job that I did was a call center job, and it was good in terms of pay but it was a boring job and it was really hard.
And one day when I was walking to the bookshop after work was finished, I got this strange question in my head, “Is this all life can offer me?” It just came out of nowhere, and it just stopped me in my tracks. I felt that something is changing in me after that question, but I didn’t know what and I continued to walk into the bookshop. And basically I found a book by Robert Kiyosaki called Rich Dad, Poor Dad, it totally shifted my perception about money and life, and I realized that I could actually do more than just working in a call center job.
So I started researching about how to work for yourself, and I started different kinds of businesses. Some of them were successful some not, but I still couldn’t find something I was really passionate about. And then suddenly I realized that I should do something online, because I always liked traveling, but then I didn’t know what to do online. And one day I realized that actually I had been writing all my life in terms of poetry and diaries but I never shared it with other people. So I thought why not just share my insight, my knowledge, my writings with other people. And that’s how my blog was born.
Morty: I got it. It’s interesting now that I’ve interviewed so many people that it’s very similar how, like you, many of them had worked for a company, and even though you might have been successful it just wasn’t satisfying, it wasn’t nurturing, it was boring, and people then started figuring out what should I do and next and some way or another they got to personal development or writing, etc. So how long have you been writing the blog now?
Simona: For around six years.
Morty: And what is your background in personal development. You were interested in working for yourself and you were interested in writing, but what got you focused on personal development as opposed to all the other topics or subjects you could have been writing about?
Simona: Because I was always an introvert, I always liked to analyze life, observe people and understand them. And I came from a poor family, we had some difficulties in my family, my father was an alcoholic, so I had to overcome my own limiting beliefs, my own childhood traumas. And then when I finished school I came to the UK on my own, and it was tough to establish myself here, so I was just learning by myself how to become independent.
I also finished my long-term relationship that I really shouldn’t have been in that relationship but it was just a situation where I was kind of dependent on him. So I learnt to become independent, and that was really hard. So I just went through many changes in myself and I wrote about it to myself, and then I thought why not share it, because that’s what I really liked to do, to reflect on life, on the changes that I go through, and observing other people, observing how life works. So that’s basically what encouraged me to do this kind of job.
Morty: Were there specific personal experiences that you’ve had that are useful in writing your blog that you call upon regularly?
Simona: I quite often mention independence and the need to go within when you have some difficulties, because what most people do is that when they feel imbalance they try to find balance by being supported or by leaning on other people, but that’s a mistake that further imbalances you. So what I teach people often is to go within when you perceive yourself to be weak, because that really strengthens you rather than relying on others and trying to search for help externally.
Morty: Very good. Okay. Who is your typical audience? Do you have any idea of the analytics of men, women, any age group, any specific demographic?
Simona: Usually it’s 50% men, 50% women. What I’ve noticed is that more mature people tend to read my blogs, so the range of age would be 35 to around 45 years old. But of course I do get 16 year olds and 20 and 25 and 65.
Morty: Great. How often do you post your blog?
Simona: Every Tuesday and Thursday I release regular blog posts, and then on Saturday I do some announcements in terms of if I’m doing some 30-day challenge, or when I do some changes in my blog then I also post that.
Morty: What would you say is unique about your blog? If you’re familiar at all with any of the other personal development bloggers I think each blogger has some sense as to what makes theirs unique, is there anything you could say about what you think is unique about your particular approach?
Simona: I can see what my readers tend to write to me is that the reason they read my blog posts is because I sound genuine and it feels for them that I really care about their trying to teach people through the things that I overcame. They also see that I sound very simple, so it’s easy to understand, I write to the point, so these are the things that people tend to tell about my blog and why they read it.
Morty: Okay great. Thank you very much. Is there anybody in particular who has influenced your thinking, any role models?
Simona: That’s a great question. At the moment I’m really interested in Arundhati Roy, the author of God of Small Things.
Morty: She’s an Indian.
Simona: Yes, she’s from India, she lives in Delhi. Now she writes more political books, she tries to let the world know about the things that are happening in India, that corporations don’t allow poor people to stay on their land, and all of them are asked to go to slums, and she talks about these issues. And it’s so amazing because she’s one of a few people who really tries to enlighten the world about what’s happening in India, and she has such huge opposition but she doesn’t care. She really doesn’t do it for herself, she just does it because she feels it’s the right thing to do. So she is someone I look up to.
Morty: Thank you so much. Yes I have heard of her. Do you have a long-term goal for your blog, what you would like it to accomplish perhaps along the line?
Simona: I let my blog to be led by my readers. At the moment many people request me to have a forum because I notice that it’s like a community forming through the comments, so I may have some forum, that’s a kind of long-term goal. And also my readers request me to publish books in paper because they actually want to touch the books, because all of them are e-books. So I may also get published. That’s another goal.
Morty: What do you now have on your site, what do you offer, some books or courses?
Simona: I have a book about a life debt, which was an upgrade. I have had this book for a few years and people did find it very useful, so I keep updating it with new information about how people get into touch with life and they get stuck in life and they do not know how to move on. And so I just list the main reasons why that happens, and how they can repay the debt of life, and how they can move on.
Morty: So this book is available for sale on your site?
Simona: Yes, it is.
Morty: It sounds like you accept comments on your site? Do you usually respond to them?
Simona: Yes, I used to respond to every single comment, but sometimes now I get so many comments that I can’t respond to all of them, but I try to respond to as many of them as I can.
Morty: Yeah, I have the same, I used to respond to all, but now any of them that ask any questions or that seem to have a misunderstanding I try to respond to them, but sometimes there’s just too many in one week.
Simona: Yes. And what I’ve notice is great about the readers is that some readers when they ask me a question and I don’t answer on time some other readers try to help out, which is beautiful, I love it.
Morty: Yes, that’s happened a lot. That’s exciting. What would you say your mission life is, and how does writing a blog contribute to it, how does the blog fit into what your life’s about?
Simona: My mission is just to help people through my knowledge. Whatever I know I want to share so that they would know too and they would be able to help themselves. At the moment I’m very interested in some topics that I haven’t even written about, but I just keep researching them, and then when I have enough information then I just let all of the people know.
Morty: What are a couple of the topics you are researching or thinking about writing about?
Simona: At the moment I’m very interested in, you probably know about this, you could say a disorder, psychopaths. I was never aware of them, and then I had some friendships and I had some women, for example in India where I live, telling me exactly what they’re going through and all of them tell almost the same thing, it’s like there is some kind of agenda or something. So I started researching about why people behave this way and then I came across books about psychopaths and that’s just amazing. People must know about these kind of people, and most people are not aware, they know them but they don’t know who they are. So that’s the topic that I’m researching.
Morty: Okay. Thank you. Is there anything else you’d like our audience to know about you and/or your blog that we haven’t covered? Basically what I’m trying to do is to expose personal growth bloggers who aren’t known by people interested in the field, so if there is somebody else who is doing some good work out there, who’s writing about things I’d be interested in that I don’t know about. So is there anything that people ought to know about you to have them potentially interested in following you on your blog, anything I haven’t covered that you would like to say?
Simona: If people resonate with this interview then they can of course check out my blog. I do try to teach people how to be able to live, how to be independent and become abundant so that they would be able to also do what they love in life rather than just staying in the jobs that they hate. So I try to share everything I know about, everything I went through that enabled me to work for myself and enjoy my life.
Morty: Very good. Thank you so much for being with us today. What’s the URL for your blog so people can visit it?
Simona: It’s Simonarich.com.
Morty: And you may be writing from the UK or Portugal or Spain or Italy or anywhere, who knows where you will be next, and you might end up back in India.
Morty: Well thank you again so much for your time today. I look forward to getting your podcast up, your interview up so a whole bunch of people can find out about you.
Simona: Thank you very much for having me today.
Morty: Have a great day.
Simona: You too.