Last week, I finally spilled the beans and announced that I'm officially working for myself now - blazing my own trail as Chief Dabblist in the wild west known as the internet.
This year, I've been connecting with some amazing blogger businesswomen all around the world who are making it happen their way. One of those women is personal stylist, brand mentor, and blogger business woman Hilary Rushford of Dean Street Society. I was honored when Hilary asked me be a part of her Happy Hour Blog Tour for the upcoming release of her book, The 4-Part Entrepreneur Cocktail.
I'm one of 30 blogger entrepreneurs getting together for virtual cocktails during the month of November, sharing my journey, joys, and struggles as a blogger turned businesswoman in hopes of inspiring others. Yesterday we heard from The College Prepster, and tomorrow I can't wait to see what Thoughts by Natalie has to share!
So, seeing as I'm just 2 weeks into this new life called blogger entrepreneurship, I thought I'd share some lessons learned.
Image captured by Jamie Oliveira for one of my next projects - coming in January! I partnered with Jamie earlier this year when I knew I wanted beautiful videos but needed an expert video artist to help me with my vision. Jamie is able to capture the beauty I want to give to the world through my craft, and I'm so grateful to have her on Team Dabblist.
I have found that, as an ambitious woman who is friends with other ambitious women, we feel like we need to do it all. We can have the babies, make a healthy dinner, clean the kitchen, answer emails, and blog about a DIY we did during naptime right? No way, that's crazy. One of the best pieces of advice I've gotten in the past year is this: you can do anything, you just can't do everything.
So, I've had to really prioritize what it is I want to accomplish each day (in my personal life and in my business) and, this is the kicker, ask for help if I need it. And this isn't restricted to bloggers who are already making a lot of money and have some financial wiggle room. What I know to be true (and have experienced for myself) is that when you are doing what you love, people want to see you succeed and will do what they can to help you get there. The Dabblist is not the result of just me, I have a community of people helping me bring my vision to the world. And all I had to do was ask.
The scene from my new office (aka my bedroom) last Thursday morning. I realized I was leaning on coffee a bit too much to get me through the day and it was contributing to my overwhelm, so I recognized that and switched to pu-erh tea for a healthier buzz while I'm still figuring out my rhythm.
The morning of my first day as my own boss was a little weird. I was anxious, and very quickly realized that if I'm not careful - the dark cloud of overwhelm will take over. So each day is a practice of saying no to overwhelm, and getting the job done. This is done by knowing what my body needs to function at it's best, and I've realized that it all starts with a healthy morning regimen. This means getting a good night sleep, drinking a green smoothie or juice first thing, meditating for 10 mins with my Calm app, and kitty snuggle time. I'm working on checking social media just 3-4 times a day, which is a daily struggle. And I break my times of pure work into 90 mins increments, making sure to move my body in between with a short walk, a moment in the sun, or a dance party in my bedroom. These have kept the overwhelm monster at bay.
A close-up from a card I received in the actual mail (a rarity these days) from a dear friend who checks in with me regularly to make sure I'm feeling supported.
Working for yourself can be a lonely and isolating profession, full stop. So I don't avoid turning into a greasy-bunned gargoyle, I make sure to reach out to my community for support and love on a daily basis. When I told my story last week, literally hundreds of you (from all areas and time periods of my life) emailed, tweeted, instagrammed, and called me to show support. And I am grateful for every one of those interactions. Community is the fuel we need to keep going. Because this is hard. There are days you will cry and feel like giving up. But, when you are honest about where you are to your community, you open yourself up for the support and love you need to keep going so you can climb that next big mountain. Reaching out also makes you a better community member. When you receive love, you are more able to give it.
Date night. Tim and I were feeling crazy that day, and had trouble chilling out at dinner before our show. But because we had this date night on the books, we followed through and had a great time. I put on a dress, and snapped a picture - mostly because I was proud of myself for getting out of my yoga pants.
Yes, you can slow time down. It really is possible.
When you get busy, the days zip by. And, to be honest, that scared the crap out of me. Last week, I pulled two 15 hour days, just out of fear that time was slipping away beneath me like quicksand. The more I worked, the faster time seemed to go by.
But what my mentors have taught me is that, when you focus on the details of life, time slows back down and you can live more in the moment. Some things I recommend doing to slow time down are:
- Spritzing some homemade linen spray around your workstation and take deep inhalations while the aroma settles.
- Buy some fresh flowers and arrange them beautifully at your desk. When feeling crazy, take 30 seconds (set your phone timer) and look at all intricate details of the flower petals.
- Take 60-90 seconds to take some deep, cleansing breaths. I like to breathe in for 6 seconds, hold it for 6 seconds, and then breathe out for another 6 seconds. Total game changer.
- Eat a small piece of dark chocolate, but taking 2 minutes to do so. Savor every nuance of the flavor, how it feels on your tongue, and how each of your senses interact with that experience.
- Wash the dishes! Seriously, the meditative state I get into with just my sponge and some dirty plates brings me right into my body and back in the moment.
Photo captured by the incredibly talented Rosa Delgado, under the crescent moon in the Oakland Hills at sunset. Swoon!
A lot of the fear behind making the big leap into doing this full-time was knowing (and telling myself consistently) that I am worth it. Battling those feelings of being a fraud, and knowing that this is what I love doing it and seeing it as a gift I can give the world and also as a gift that the world is giving back to me. This community we are creating together. I am worth it - to be here facilitating it. I am worth living a happy life. You are worth it too. Acknowledge those fears, and move forward. If you are reading this and feel a tiny spark inside of you, then give yourself the permission to fan those flames girl. This is your only life. Dive in!
Join our tribe of courageous, wild women
Don't worry about whether you'll fit in. You belong, sister! I'll send you weekly-ish emails about expressing your authentic self, sisterhood, and living with the seasons to enjoy with your morning cup of tea (or, if you're like me, a killer cup of coffee).