Happy Friday, beautiful friends!
Today is a special day because it’s my blog anniversary (well, it’s actually tomorrow haha!). Lizzie in Lace turns three – YAY! This has been the craziest and most extraordinary year yet! Below, I’m sharing important seven things that I’ve learned this past year.
Top c/o (love this and this) | Skirt (best seller! I’m wearing the petite – also available in light pink, yellow and blue) c/o | LC Lauren Conrad Heels (old – similar here) | BaubleBar Necklace (sold out – similar here) c/o
Looking back on my old posts (year one, year two), I can see that so much has changed but my heart has stayed the same. I still remember the way I felt before I started this journey. I was terrified of what people would think if I started a blog; terrified of sharing photos of myself for the world to see and even more terrified to share my inner most thoughts. I was afraid of being vulnerable and sharing a part of myself that had been hidden for so long with not just people that I knew, but with many whom I don’t and may never know personally. I had no idea what the outcome would be or even if starting a blog was worth my time, but I gave it a shot and never looked back. Hitting the publish button of that very first post was terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. I had no idea that this was a pivotal moment that would change the course of my life and that while chasing my lifelong dream of being a fashion designer, I would find another passion along the way that I loved equally, if not more. Life has a funny way of working out sometimes. You think you have your whole life planned and then it changes in an instant. A new path emerges with different opportunities and as a result, new dreams are created. This was one of the biggest risks I’ve ever taken and has inspired me to take even more risks because I see just how amazing the outcome can be.
This past year was the biggest and most life-changing to say the least. I crossed off so many things on my blogging bucket list including migrating and re-designing my website (why did I wait so long?!), working with a handful of my dream brands and attending my very first NYFW (my number one life goal!) among other things. I had the opportunity to design a phone case that has since been picked up by a handful of huge department stores, got to share my story on the Style Collective podcast and was featured in InStyle magazine and on a few street style websites. This was also the very first year that I saw my worth and decided to make this a full fledged business making it possible for me to stop substitute teaching to focus more on the blog and my second business. While I am not completely full time yet, I am closer than I was in the previous years. Looking back on my first post, I honestly never thought this blog would go anywhere. I just wanted to share my outfits and the things I am most passionate about with the world, but in return I have found so much more. I found a community of uplifting, encouraging and positive women that have supported me and cheered me on in my happiest moments and have cried with me and picked me up in my lowest. For that, I am forever grateful.
With that being said, I’m going share with you seven things I’ve learned this past year 🙂
Being Patient Pays Off
Unlike so many other things, blogging is one of those things that truly takes a lot of time before you start to reap the benefits (to put it into perspective, it took me three years to get to this point….. and I am talking hours upon hours upon hours spent on social media, researching, editing, shooting, writing, marketing, styling, etc.). Success does not happen overnight despite what people may think. It’s something that you have to keep doing over and over and over. You have to put in a lot of time and effort into it and will likely not see things happen right away….but that doesn’t mean they aren’t happening behind the scenes. Each post, comment, and photo is a step in the right direction. It’s like losing weight…you won’t see the results right away, but after consistently pushing yourself at the gym and making healthier choices in the food department, you’ll notice a difference and realize that you have been moving forward all this time and didn’t realize it. You have to really love what you are doing to do it without getting paid. The old adage “Do something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life” definitely applies to blogging. Wanting to do it as a career is not for the faint of heart and like any other business, there is always risk involved. If you are doing it to make money, get free clothes, go on trips, or to get press, I would highly suggest changing your outlook. This is a labor of love and if you put in the time and effort, then you can create your own fairytale life.
Always Be Consistent
If I could give anyone a piece of advice, it would be this. Be consistent in everything you do….your style, editing, posting schedule, EVERYTHING. I often get asked (and by often, I mean everyday), “How do you start a blog?” — “How do I get more followers?” — “When will I start making money?” My answer is ALWAYS to be consistent, patient and willing to learn. Consistency is key in blogging especially because you have to be able to offer something to your audience. You can’t just post whenever you want and hope that people come flocking to you. If you are consistent, everything will fall into place. When I started blogging and was researching like a crazy person day in and day out, this was the one piece of advice I got from other bloggers. I didn’t understand why it was so important at the time, but I took heed to their advice and did it anyway. People want to have a connection to you and if you are never available or not offering them anything of value, there is no reason for them to show up. Give them a reason to want to visit and take criticism constructively so that you can grow and apply those things to yourself personally and professionally. If you only take one piece of advice from this, let it be this.
Learn How to Manage Your Time Efficiently
Over the past three years, this has been my biggest issue. There just simply aren’t enough hours in the day. On top of that, it’s hard for me to say no so I end up with an overwhelmed and overpacked schedule to please other people. Managing your time is so important when it comes to running a business because there is always a never-ending to-do list of tasks that need to get taken care of (especially if you are like me and do everything on your own). You don’t get your time back so it’s important to dedicate it to those more crucial things rather than using it for something less important. There will come a time when your schedule is out of control and I highly recommend scheduling every waking second of your day. I am so serious when I say that I have a time slot that says “relax” and “read a book.” If I don’t, I will work right through it. When you have pressing deadlines and things that have to get done, managing your time well will be your saving grace.
Don’t Be a Workaholic
On that note, don’t be a workaholic. I am no stranger to 16 work days (I wish I could say differently). I’ve been working 2-3 jobs at a time since I was 18, but now that I’m getting older I realize what this is doing to my body. I never worked this much because I wanted to, but because I HAD to to make ends meet. After all this time, it’s still wired in me that I NEED to work an insane amount of hours in order to survive, even when I’m in a completely different position in my life than I was years ago. This is something I have struggled with immensely because I knew that I never wanted to be in that position again and to feel as hopeless and helpless as I did at one time. However, this is all mental and I have had to force myself to think otherwise. With that being said, this is very first year I’ve ever felt burnt out….not from blogging, but from everything I’ve been doing and I’m actually surprised it didn’t happen sooner. When you work for yourself and are incredibly passionate about what you do, it’s easy to let the hours get away from you. However, I think that in order to be successful, one must be healthy and that means that you have to make time to relax and take a break. I have learned that it’s okay to say no because as one person I can do everything and be everything to everyone. Doing too much all the time can really take a toll on your mental and physical health and I speak for this personally. Do yourself a favor and create that schedule I talked about above. Make specific work hours and stick to them like you would any other job. You have to give your body time to rest and free your mind of all things related to work.
Don’t Give in to Comparison
This is also the first year that I have had to deal with comparison issues. As my account has grown, so have my self doubts. I have never been a confident person to begin with (that is actually my goal for the year!), but social media takes it to a whole new level. I found myself comparing my photos, my hair, my body, my follower count, my opportunities, my height, my size, my style, literally everything you can think of. I just ripped myself apart. Luckily, it didn’t last long and I came to my senses before it could wreck anymore havoc on my life. We are all different and we are all good at different things. Each one of our journeys is different, but that doesn’t make it any less important just like looking different and being different doesn’t make you any less beautiful. Comparison is a trick of the mind. We compare ourself to things that are not even real life. Instead of comparing yourself to others, think of it as healthy competition. Use those “comparisons” to push you further and help you grow. It’s important to focus on YOU and what you are doing, where you are going and how you will get there. When you are busy focusing on yourself, there is no time to focus on other people.
Be Confident in Yourself
This one has been particularly hard for me in the past, but this past year has prompted me to go in the right direction. My self-confidence issues stem from when I was younger and was criticized about various things like my height, my body, my eyes, my teeth, my hips, my hair, my laugh, my smile, my shyness, my jokes, the way I dress, the way I apply my make-up, my artwork, my music, etc. Of course, I realized that none of these things were true and sometimes people say hurtful things because they are hurting inside. The only difference is that sometimes these things come from people we love and because of that, we start to think they are true even if they aren’t. Because of this, I always pushed myself harder trying to seek approval from those people and ended up always feeling disappointed and like I was never going to be good enough. I can’t tell you how many times I cried myself to sleep…until one day I saw the light and removed those toxic people from my life. I realized that I have been good enough this whole time and was robbed of this for so many years because I believe what others said to be true although it couldn’t be further from the truth. I realized that I had accomplished so much in my life and had a reason to be proud, not to be ashamed. I realized that although I have flaws like everyone else, I also have things that make me uniquely beautiful. I realized that even though a handful of people that I loved were never supportive of my dream, hundreds of thousands of strangers believed in me and showed me support when I needed it the most. I also realized that even though my blog is still relatively small, that my words can still have an impact other peoples live and to me, that is something that matters.
Nurture Important Relationships
The most important thing I have learned this year is to nurture your relationships….allll of your relationships. This means answering questions, replying back when people comment and making this community a safe place to do so. This means reaching out to other bloggers and creating friendships. Support one another, share advice and form genuine relationships. This means setting aside time to spend with your spouse and family. When you are passionate about something, it’s really easy to get wrapped up in work and forget about everything else, but it’s even more important to show those you care about that you love and appreciate them. This means showing kindness, having a good attitude and sharing a loving heart. You see, you get back what you give. If you give out negative vibes and don’t show other people that you care, then that negativity will come back to you. But if you spread positivity and are genuinely interested in other people and their stories, then that light comes back to you in an even more meaningful way.
So what’s in store for year three? I’ve already been implementing changes little by little. You can expect more personal posts, more motivating posts and of course, a lot more fashion posts 😉 I will be incorporating more beauty and travel posts along with the introduction of my youtube channel. I hope to grow my photography and editing skill even more this year and I hope that year three brings about the most incredible opportunities yet.
To those of you that come back day after day and have supported my dream from day one, I cannot thank you enough. And to those of you that may have just stumbled upon my blog, I appreciate you so much. Your comments make my day and mean the absolute world to me! I just cannot put into words how incredibly grateful I am and much you all mean to me.
P.S. What do you think of the sunset rooftop photos? They were totally accidental and last minute lol! I also edited them a bit differently. Let me know your thoughts <3