Like most high-school kids, I didn’t really know what I wanted to be when I “grew up”.
But I excelled at the Sciences.
So when I went off to college, I decided to major in Biology.
I wasn’t exactly sure what I’d do with a Biology degree, so I added Pre-Med.
My thinking at the time? “Doctors are well-respected”.
4 years of Physics, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry and Biology.
It was a lot.
But I loved it.
I loved learning – that feeling when things finally “clicked” was addicting.
I stayed up late at the library for 4 years chasing that feeling.
When I graduated, I landed a job at Dana Farber Cancer Institute.
In many ways that job was just an extension of college.
Most of my colleagues were also recent graduates, fresh out of school.
And every other day, for about an hour, one of the oncology docs would teach us about stem cell transplants.
We took notes, and got to ask questions.
I remember thinking, “We’re getting paid to learn?!”
Then about one month into the job, our boss told us we could, “Finally shadow the doctors as they took their rounds!”.
Rounds are when the medical team visits each patient to review their status.
The group was excited.
But I wasn’t.
Why wasn’t I excited?
I was on the schedule first thing the next day.
I walked over to the hospital from our office and joined Dr. Cutler on his rounds that morning.
We visited 7 patients in total.
I hated it.
White walls. White lights. Sickness. Grief. Non-stop beeping from all the machines.
I couldn’t wait to get the hell out of there.
Eventually it came time to apply to Medical School.
One of the most important parts of the application was the Personal Statement:
“Use the space provided to explain why you want to go to medical school.”
I sat down, ready to write.
But nothing came to me.
6 years of “preparation” and I couldn’t write a single word about why I wanted to go to medical school.
The hard truth was, I never really wanted to be a doctor.
I was playing a role.
It was an act.
I wasn’t being my authentic-self.
And when you’re not being authentic, reality has a harsh way of catching up with you.
Authenticity is the moat
That intro was my long-winded way of saying, I’m not an appliance repair man.
When I shared one of my niche sites (ApplianceFixes.com) in last week’s newsletter, I mentioned I probably won’t work on it ever again.
And that’s one of the main reasons why – I have no real experience fixing home appliances.
Sure, I’ve cleaned off the condenser coil of my refrigerator a time or two.
But that’s about the extent of it.
I’m effectively just aggregating content.
I’m watching a bunch of YouTube videos on a given topic, and then summarizing them all into a single blog post.
That’s hardly a defensible business model.
There’s no moat.
How long until a bunch of AI content comes along and squeezes me out?
And what about branding?
Am I realistically going to become an authority on appliance repairs when I have no experience, and no true desire to learn?
How many people are likely to return to “Appliance Fixes.com” in the future?
For a light-read, perhaps?
How many folks do you imagine will sign-up for the weekly “Appliance Repair Newsletter”?
What digital, or physical product might I sell some day?
Any related social media accounts I can grow?
YouTube would probably be a good fit if I actually knew how to repair appliances, and had access to ones that needed repairing…
The point is, this is NOT the type of content site I want to own or spend time working on in 2023 and beyond.
I want to work on sites that have the potential to get traffic from a variety of sources.
Not just Google.
I want to be able to monetize them in a variety of ways.
Not just display ads.
I want to enjoy the content I create, and the content creation process.
Most importantly, I want to be authentic.
In a world flooded with AI content, authenticity becomes the moat.
Your unique experiences.
You become the moat.
With Appliance Fixes, I didn’t even want to show my face on the website. Not a great sign.
The days are numbered for generic informational sites that simply target long tail, low competition keywords.
The days are numbered for ApplianceFixes.com.
Now, who wants to buy it?
Next week I’ll talk a bit more about what I’m doing/working on instead.
But in the meantime, get outside.
Enjoy the weather.
Have a great weekend.
You and I will talk soon.
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