Last month marked the one year anniversary of taking my blog full time. I talked all about what led to this decision in this blog post and video – just watching that video again brings back a flood of emotions!
It’s been one year since making a huge career leap, and it’s been a year full of success, struggles, and so many rewards. Olay is inspiring to tell my story of how I took my blog full-time and some valuable lessons I’ve learned this year.
Let’s Rewind – The Cliff’s Notes Version of How I Quit My Day Job
I had a ten-year career as a teacher. My career began fresh out of college at 23 years old. I spent eight of those years teaching and directing high school theatre, and the final two years teaching part-time junior high theatre. Along the way, I married my husband, I started a hobby blog, and we had our first baby. I grew my blog and social media some more. I started to feel pulled in so many directions. I didn’t know you could make money with a blog, but that happened for me. We had another baby. Work-life balance was the worst I ever experienced. Throughout it all, something inside me always drew me to my blog.
I quit my full-time job high school job, taught part-time junior high, and then I found myself at another crossroads two years later. I was either to teach full-time again or walk away and be a full-time blogger. I chose the blogger route. Here we are just over a year later.
Since then I have been able to provide a full-time income for my family. This year has been an incredible ride. But if I hadn’t trusted myself to be fearless to face anything, none of this would have ever happened.
Some of the Biggest Lessons I’ve Learned This Past Year
I know many of you reading are not bloggers and do not intend to be, but many of you are dreamers who want to build something big. The biggest lesson I’ve learned from this career change is that there’s never the right time to do anything.
Some of the other big things I’ve learned this past year are…
Sometimes it’s hard to be taken seriously.
The words “blogger,” “influencer,” or “Instagrammer” can leave a puzzled look on people’s faces. It can also elicit a few eye rolls. To an outsider, this all may seem easy. I post pictures and write blog posts and brands just send me free things and money. The truth is there’s so much work that goes into running a website and four social platforms. I also work on marketing, negotiating contracts, photography, videography, editing, emails, writing, proofreading, SEO, graphic design, affiliate marketing, and so much more. I also try to always be approachable for my readers and followers so I make sure to respond to comments and messages. The work quite literally never ends. I rarely clock out. I’m not complaining by any means, because I live for this dream! It’s just not all glitz and glam.
I was always meant to be a working mom.
I am a dreamer and a go-getter. I’ve always been determined and had a strong work ethic. When I had kids, I felt torn because I wanted to be with them all the time, but I also wanted to have my identity and to be able to provide financially. I know everyone is called to do something different, but this was how I felt. What I realized taking my blog full-time and owning my own business is that I always wanted to work. I just wasn’t working in the right job.
Never stop learning.
Along with being a go-getter, I’ve always craved to learn new things and improve my skills. The second I start to get too comfortable in my own strengths, I become stagnant. I’m uninspired to create and write, and it inhibits the growth of my business. I know we all get busy, but anyone can carve out 30 minutes a day to listen to a podcast, watch a YouTube tutorial, or read a book if it will help you grow and improve your skillset. Never stop learning!
Stay in your lane.
No one successful is paying attention to other people. They do their own thing, and they do it brilliantly. We all have our strengths and gifts, and staying in your own lane will always bring more success. Social media makes it so hard to avoid comparing your success to others, so it’s imperative to step away when those inadequate feelings creep up. I like to tell myself I’m in my own little bubble and I am the master of my own universe.
Time is money.
Like I said earlier, there is never a right time to do anything in life. Time is money, and you could be missing out on some of the biggest opportunities of your life by sitting around and staying in your head. Just get out there and do it. Be fearless to face anything.
I’ve really started to find myself and my purpose this past year. Despite the struggles and lessons I’ve learned, there are lots of things to celebrate.
I’ve landed incredible partnerships, I’ve grown my audience even more, I’ve connected with so many amazing women, and I’ve traveled to incredible places – all while bringing in a sustainable income for my family. I’m so thankful that I listened to my gut and followed my dreams.
If you’re finding yourself at a crossroads, I hope this encourages you to take the next step in pursuing your dream. You’re worth it.