Time has been flying by and I completely forgot to tell you about something exciting I’m participating in this month! A little while ago, Hilary from Dean Street Society asked me to be a part of what she’s calling the “Happy Hour Blog Tour“—30 days of interviews and discussions among bloggers to start the conversation about her new book The 4-Part Entrepreneur Cocktail. I’m so honored to be included in this!
Yesterday Becca from The Dabblist shared some lessons learned, and tomorrow we’ll hear from The Yogipreneur. But right now, I’m going to share about part 4 of the cocktail: saying no to overwhelm (a feeling I’m super prone to!)…
Q: How do you find the hours in your week for blogging? What does it usually mean saying no to in order to keep up with your blog?
If I’m completely honest, I never feel like there is enough time to get everything done that I want to—blogging and otherwise. I consider myself to be a rather efficient person, yet there is always more I could do for the blog, more chores I could do before I go to bed, more freelance projects I could pick up, more coffee dates I could have to maintain my sanity and avoid being a complete hermit (joking…sort of). Chores are always the first to be cut from my priority list, followed by unnecessary social events, and then freelance projects. I definitely make my blog (and now Nellie!) my priority aside from my family and my close friends.
Q: Have you ever felt exhausted or overwhelmed by the pace you’ve set for yourself, your own expectations, the requests of others when it comes to your blog? What would you go back and tell yourself about those times?
YES! As I mentioned above, overwhelmed is a feeling I get regularly. I love to be busy and involved and productive, and sometimes I say “yes” too many times and don’t realize it until it’s too late. Something I’m learning—slowly, but surely—is that not every good opportunity needs to be seized right now. And at the same time, some opportunities are worth stretching myself for. It’s all about balance, which is tough to achieve. I’m okay with taking on a lot of work as long as it doesn’t negatively impact my family. If I find I’m constantly distracted by work when my husband comes home, I know I have a problem on my hands!
Q: What are the sacrifices you’ve made for your blog and business? Did you anticipate them starting out? What would you go back and tell yourself before you hit publish that first day?
The most obvious sacrifice, of course, is income. I do make money through my blog, but not much—and that’s not entirely surprising to me. In all honesty, I’m more surprised that I can make money through my blog than by the small amount that actually ends up in my bank account. I know that as I continue to expand this platform, more opportunities to generate income will surface, and while I welcome that, I’m in no rush. Quality content is what’s most important to me at this point.
If I could go back in time, I might tell myself to be strategic. Blog strategy is something I’ve learned through lots and lots of trial and error. And while there’s nothing wrong with that, there is certainly value to starting something with intentionality. I began blogging right out of college as a creative outlet, and never imagined that this blog would ever be what it is. Now that I’m embarking on a new online venture with Nellie, I’m definitely choosing to learn from the mistakes I’ve made along the way here!
Q: What are the hardest parts that you feel like no one ever talks about? What are the honest truths you want to share to be authentic, but perhaps hold back sometimes because you don’t want to seem like a Debby Downer, complainer or ungrateful, yet you would share over drinks with a fellow blogger one-on-one?
The hardest thing for me, I think, is that a lot of people either don’t understand what I do or really don’t care. Respect is really important to me, and I’ve had to learn to overcome the reality that there are people who don’t really respect my work. “Blogging” sounds so silly and frivolous—and while yes, sometimes it is, there’s something really powerful in getting to create content that inspires, evokes thought, or makes someone giggle. Sadly that’s not how everyone else sees it. Oh—and I don’t know if there is any other job out there where people think it’s okay to ask about how much money you make! I’m obviously open about my small earnings with you here, but it’s sort of an awkward thing to be asked about by a stranger out in public.
Okay, now it’s your turn! Regardless of your profession, how do you keep yourself from getting overwhelmed by work and life responsibilities?