Happy Wednesday you guys! Today is my one year blogivesary! The Savvy Camel is 1! Can you guys believe that?!
Holy freakin’ cow I cannot believe I’ve been at this blogging & influencing thing for a year already! That’s insane! Time really does fly when you’re having fun. Charlie is the stinkin’ sweetest and got me a cupcake, balloon, and super sweet card to celebrate a year in the books! He’s by far one of my biggest supporters. I literally couldn’t do this without him for so many reasons. One, I wouldn’t have a photographer who’s willing to work for kisses (hehe) and two, he gives me endless encouragement and support when I’m feeling discouraged and doubting myself.
I’m gonna open up to you guys today and tell you that I’ve been feeling that way a lot lately. And I hate it. (So to all of you new (and seasoned) bloggers and influencers out there… or really just entrepreneurs in general, just know you’re not alone. This is not easy.) I like to think that I’m generally pretty confident in myself, but I’ve really been doubting myself lately and it’s a vicious cycle because then I beat myself up for not having more confidence. I wonder why I haven’t grown as much or as quickly as this blogger and wonder what that blogger’s doing that I’m not.
A blogger I follow, Yasmina from Dress Well Travel Often, shared the quote “I’m too worried about growing my own grass to worry if yours is greener.” It’s probably been a year since she shared this but it truly stuck with me. And it’s what I’m trying to get back to. I love blogging and influencing so I don’t want to destroy that with comparison and self-doubt.
So right now I’m making an effort to focus myself. And you guys, my community. And here’s why: if I can’t take pride in what I do, I’ll never succeed or have a proper foundation for the community that I’m trying to build. So I’m spending time reconnecting with my love for this and really making an effort to drown out what other people are doing so that the pride I feel for my work will show again. Plus, I feel like you guys relate the most when that’s the case. Of course I am still supporting and cheering everyone else on, but I can’t give genuine support if somewhere deep down I’m only comparing myself to them.
So I want to share with you my struggles (many of which I’m still overcoming) and 7 key things I learned in my first year of blogging. And these aren’t technical skills like “turn your Instagram account into a business account.” These are “I put my heart and soul into something that I want so badly to succeed at” kinds of lessons.
7 things I learned in my first year of blogging
1. It’s hard.
This is hard. Point blank. From the technical side of it to the emotional side of it. It’s hard creating quality content. It’s hard coming up with ideas for quality content. It’s also hard staying motivated and consistent. And it’s hard to invest a lot of emotion into creating things and sharing them with the world. It’s vulnerable. And it’s hard being vulnerable but it’s unavoidable.
2. It takes time.
Despite what people think, you can’t just crap pretty stuff out of your butt. It takes tiiiime to create content. It takes time to build a community, following, and readership. It takes time to find your voice and figure out what your brand is. And it may all change 5 times in the process but if you don’t take the time to find those things then, well, you’ll never find them.
3. It takes courage.
It takes courage to put yourself out there. It takes courage to create things and share them with other people and hope that they’ll like it enough to press the follow button or subscribe. It takes courage to open up to a bunch of strangers on the internet (and even to your family and friends) about who you are, your struggles, your passions, whatever it may be, in hopes that they’ll relate to you and want to follow your journey and support you. It takes courage to collaborate and hope that you’ll succeed so that the brand or person benefitted from working with you. It takes courage to reach out to brands for collaborations. So much courage that I haven’t built up enough to do it myself yet.
4. You will feel discouraged. Push through it. Believe in yourself.
You will feel discouraged. You will feel like your content isn’t good enough, like you’re not interesting enough, like you don’t seem authentic, like you don’t have anything special to offer. Push through those feelings. Remind yourself why you started this. Remind yourself that there is not another you in the world and the right people are going to find you. Remind yourself that all of these things you feel just. aren’t. true. Remember, “doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.” Don’t let that happen to you. This is where I’m at right now, I’m not gonna lie to ya. So I’m putting in the effort to push through it and remind myself that I’ve got what it takes. So do you.
5. You will feel afraid. Push through it. Believe in yourself.
You will feel afraid. You’ll be afraid to fail. That’s natural and human. Push through it though. I’ll be honest and say there are a lot of steps that I haven’t taken because I know if I don’t take them, I can’t possibly fail at them. But if I never take them, I’ll also never succeed at them. Again, “doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.”
6. Don’t minimize what you’re doing (to yourself or to anyone else).
Like I mentioned in lesson number one, when you’re creating and sharing things, it’s emotional on some level, therefore it’s vulnerable. And it’s okay that it means a lot to you. It should mean a lot to you. Be proud! If someone doesn’t understand that what you’re doing is significant to you, you only have yourself to blame if they walk away and still don’t understand. And I say that because I’ve done that more times than I’m proud of. No matter if this is a hobby that helps fuel something in you that your day job doesn’t or something that you hope to turn into a career, let. people. know. Teach people. I’ve come across a lot of people who don’t realize that blogging and influencing is a full time career for many people. When I explain that to them, they see me how I want to be seen-as a dream chaser and entrepreneur, not someone who plays on their computer at night.
7. It’s okay. Push through it. Believe in yourself. It will be worth it.
It’s okay to feel all of these things. It’s okay to admit that it’s hard and time consuming. I’m not a patient person and I want overnight success. But that doesn’t happen without vulnerability and hard work. And without vulnerability and hard work, you won’t learn or grow. So know that it’s okay because you’re learning and you’re growing. But don’t let it stop you or hold you back. You can’t stay in those places if you want to move forward. (Okay Allison, are you hearing this? Clearly need to take my own advice here.)
One more thought on all of this before I end this verbose novel of a post. Even if you do “fail” in the sense that you don’t make money or can’t turn it into a full time job, you haven’t failed if you’ve tried your hardest, learned a lot, and are proud of yourself. And chances are, you’ll probably discover a new passion or talent in the process. That one’s a lesson from Charlie. I married a pretty wise guy. 🙂 I told you I couldn’t do it without him.
(Proof that he works for kisses ;))
I hope this resonates with some of ya’ll. Surely I’m not on this struggle bus alone. I don’t want you to think it’s all negative, though. I love doing this. Even on the days where I’m feeling like this times ten, I still can’t not create content or brainstorm or share. It fuels me, it really does. So if you feel that way about something in your life, keep at it! You got this! Thanks for all of ya’ll’s support this last year! I truly could not do it without you. People say that, but just know that it’s so true. I can’t grow without you, therefore I can’t succeed without you. So from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU!