Happy Friday, gorgeous gals!
Today is not only the best day of the week, but it also happens to be the best day of the year...(well, almost haha!). It's my two year blogiversary!! Holy smokes, the time has flown by! I still remember my days before the blog, always wondering if it would ever come to fruitation. I remember reading other blogs (blogs that are HUGE now) and wishing that one day I could be that brave...that one day, I could stop caring what others thought and take the risk to go after my dreams (I talk about this in my very first post). I envied those bloggers because they were courageous and put themselves out there for the world to see in the name of fashion. My dreams have become a reality because I took that leap of faith and I'm here to share a bit about my journey thus far and some important lessons that I've learned over the past two years.
Top: Tobi (similar here, here and here) | Skirt: LC Lauren Conrad (similar here, here, here and here) | Shoes | Clutch: Anthropologie (old - similar here, also love this and this) | Necklace | Rings
As I read back on my one year anniversary post, I am literally in tears. I recount my first year by talking about what I learned and setting goals for my second year. My big goals were to grow my social media (mainly Instagram), get invited to NYFW and transition to full-time blogging. The funny thing is is that I had forgotten all about these goals until I re-read this post and realized just how far I have come this year. I have experienced exponentially more growth in all areas than I could have ever imagined and unknowingly hit these goals while I was trying to reach others I had set for myself. It's so humbling and awe-inspiring at the same time. These past two months, especially, have been INSANE for me and the domino effect just keeps going. I have prayed over this soooo much and the things that have happened have just solidified that this is road that I am supposed to be on. I never thought in a million years that I would get the opportunity to live out my fashion dreams and I'm just so grateful for all of you that have pushed me, inspired me, and supported me in this crazy journey.
Going forward in year three, I have a lot of goals. I would like to redesign the website including the terrifyingly big leap to Wordpress (so if any of you are WP enthusiasts, help a sister out!), introduce more engaging content writing-wise, manage my time better and continue to grow in all areas including this blog, social media, photography, relationships with readers and other bloggers and make this my REAL full-time gig. Below, I've outlined twelve things that I've learned on my blogging journey thus far that I'd like to share with you! I hope that these will help and inspire you :-)
It's About the Journey
Sometimes, we get so caught up in the end result that we forget to enjoy what is happening right now..at this very moment. We forget to take pride in those little successes and achievements that ultimately become bigger successes and achievements. My wise words for you, dear friend, are to celebrate everything both big and small and to slow down a little bit to enjoy this exciting journey! Your time is so precious; enjoy every second!
Don't be Afraid to Take Risks
I'm no stranger to taking risks....I've jumped out of airplanes, moved to another city by myself, flew across the world alone on my very first flight and thoroughly enjoy riding the scariest roller coasters. With that being said, behind the tulle skirts, sequin tops and pink dresses, I am also a free spirit at heart and naturally crave freedom. I recognize that taking risks is not an easy feat for everyone. In fact, it's super terrifying! But let me tell you, that there is not one time that I have regretted taking a risk. Sure, it's scary but I find that by getting out of my comfort zone and taking a risk, I have just opened up another door and another opportunity that I may have never had otherwise. Someone once told me that you have to get uncomfortable for anything to happen and 100% swear by this.
Patience is a Virtue
Patience is such an important factor, especially in something like blogging where you may not make a dime for years. Blogging is time consuming and there isn't much of a return at first, but I truly believe that if you stick with it then things will start to happen. The problem is is that many people want things right away and if it doesn't happen, they think they've failed and it's just not true. You just have to push forward, remember why you are doing this and most of all, believe in yourself.
Consistency is Key
When I started blogging, I remember reading articles where other bloggers talked about consistency and how important it was. I can now finally attest that this is, in fact, true. Be consistent in your branding, writing, posting schedule, etc because it makes a huge difference in EVERYTHING. Are there days when I don't feel like posting? Yes, but I still do it because I know first hand how important it is in the long run. Bottom line: Be consistent.
Time Management is Hard
If there is one thing I struggle with, it is time management. Since I have a hard time saying no, I have the tendency to take on too many tasks and there just aren't enough hours in the day. I have realized that I am only one person and cannot possible fulfill all of these crazy, tedious tasks. The last few months have been completely overwhelming (in a good way) and I have recognize that this needs to be a priority in business and in life. If you have any tips, send them my way!
This year, I stepped out of my comfort zone and shared some personal posts with you. I didn't realize how crucial this was until I gauged the response. And it totally makes sense! I love reading what other people are thinking and feeling and feel like I can relate to them on a deeper level. I think that sharing yourself with others is important in building relationships and building a community and I look forward to sharing more with you this year.
This is my number one driving force behind this blog. I love it so much that it doesn't feel like work to me. In fact, I look forward to it most days. Am I making tons of money? Heck no, but I am the happiest that I have been in a longggg time and that counts for something, right? I'd rather be broke and happy than the other way around. I feel like if you are so obsessed and passionate about something, then you will do anything to make it a reality. This is especially important if you've ever felt burnt out. Remember why you are doing this!
Keep Growing & Work Hard
This past year has been the epitome of growth. I have grown as a person and as a professional, my personal style has evolved, and I am constantly trying to make improvements and seeing what I can do better. I also realized that blogging is HARD. You are a hundred different people in one and it can be completely overwhelming. I am not a night owl but for the past few months, I have been up until midnight every single night trying to get things done (this is why I need time management help). It is so so hard, but I wouldn't have it any other way.
Don't Give Up
If you are super passionate about a goal or dream, go after it! You WILL get knocked down, you WILL have roadblocks, you WILL hear "no" countless times and you WILL have people that don't support you but if it's something you truly love, all of those things will be worth it. It's easy to walk away and wonder "what if," but taking the road less traveled has always proven to be more satisfying.
Don't Compare Yourself to Others
It can be really hard to see others "succeed" when you feel stuck, especially in blogging where everything is out there for the world to see. You see others growing faster, getting amazing opportunities and looking "successful" on the outside and wonder "why can't that be me?" The funny thing is that it is YOU! Remember how this is about the journey? We are ALL on our own journeys and will get different opportunities at different times. You will get ones that others won't and vice versa. And those people that have a ga-jillion followers? Just think about how much longer they have been doing this and how much work they have put in to get to that point. Did you know that you have people that look up to YOU? Yes, you do! I remember being what I thought was "so small" and looking up to other bloggers. The funny thing is is that I have now made friendships with those same bloggers and have been told that they looked up to me! Just know that you will get "there" too. It just takes time. I've found a helpful strategy is to not compare yourself to others but to yourself. Always try to outdo and better yourself :-)
I think that it is SO important to remain authentic, especially in the blogging world where things can easily change. Remember who you are, where you came from and how you got here. Above all, just be yourself :-)
Relationships are EVERYTHING
THIS is the most important aspect of blogging...ever. Relationships are HUGE as they will be the deciding factor of your future successes. If you are a blogger, you will have relationships with brands, readers and other bloggers and it is soooo important to remain not only authentic, but be sure that you also conduct yourself in a professional, positive way and never lose integrity. Also, I think it's really important to not only reply to comments, but to also leave thoughtful comments on other's blogs. I believe that if others are supporting your dreams, then you can support theirs as well and make some new friends while your at it. After all, we're all in this together ;-)
I know that this was a long post, but I hope that it helped you in some way or another. I want to sincerely thank you for all of your unconditional support and encouragement throughout the last two years. It does not go unnoticed. You all have grown to be what I consider friends and I understand that this is impossible without you.
Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart <3
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If this is your first time, welcome! If not, welcome back! :-)
*Sorry ladies, no feature this week due to the novel written above lol!