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Sometimes you win some, and sometimes…you’re two and a half months late. I got so hyped in planning fall editorial content (and *ahem* a wedding and honeymoon *ahem*) that I totally missed a very important date: the third birthday of Coming Up Roses! WOMP. Pass the champagne now, por favor.
I can’t believe it’s been three years already – but then again, I can. You know how time flies? Time flies in everything except the things that absorb 85% of your mental capacity. HA. I kid, I kid…CUR is not my life. But in a way, it is. It became a huge hobby and cathartic escape during college and has become what it is today: my full time job. That in and of itself still blows. my. mind. Because the growth that has needed to happen, both to the blog and to myself, for it to get to that point? It’s been a lot.
In the spirit of anniversaries and birthdays and blogiversaries…happy birthday, Coming Up Roses! Here are 10 things I’ve learned in three years of blogging with CUR.
- Comparison is a no-good trap. It’s a joy-suck, and ain’t nobody got time for that. The second you start comparing yourself to other bloggers, you’re behind. If you’re doing things right, you should barely have enough time to keep track of your own brand, blog, and biz, because it should be booming. If it’s not, and if you notice other people’s are, you’re spending too much time focusing on others’ games instead of your own. Boom.
- People will never stop thinking you have all the time in the world. I couldn’t even tell you how many people have asked me, “So now that you’re just blogging, you have time for coffee Thursday, right?” “You can spend the day with me shopping because you’re a blogger, right?” “Can we Skype tomorrow? You live on social media so that’s not a problem right?” LOL THO, folks. Y’all. Being a full-time blogger and online entrepreneur means I have less time, not more. Why? Because when you’re just starting out in a create-your-own-income kinda career, chances are your income isn’t all coming up roses yet (get the pun? HA). Especially because…#taxes. Often, I’m working 10-12 hour days. So no, I don’t have all the time in the world.
- Some people will never stop thinking that you can and should work for free. You shouldn’t. Brands, read this. Bloggers, read this. Point blank period.
- Being your own boss can be really, stinkin’ hard. Lordy Lordy, sometimes I lack SO MUCH DISCIPLINE. My biggest issue is setting my own schedule sometimes, just as it’s the biggest blessing. It’s a blessing when I need to work around other people’s schedules and my own desires…I have that freedom oftentimes. But my biggest issue…holding myself accountable to my to-do list. When you’re a full-time blogger, with the exception of deadlines from brands, many other deadlines are relatively flexible. Except they’re only *loosely* flexible, because for stuff that has to get done, it’s gotta get done at one point or another. Some days I wish someone was just telling me what to do when, because when you’ve got a TON to do and a TON of ideas and a TON on your plate, it requires a ton of discipline and discernment with regards to prioritization.
- You can have a lot of skills, but you will never have #AllTheSkills. Don’t sweat it when something is just not your cuppa tea! When you were in grade school, chances are you were better at English than you were at math, or vice versa. Maybe you could whip out a history midterm paper in two hours in the middle of the night in college, but all the studying in the world wouldn’t save you from a biochemistry lab. Same in blogging. Running a successful blog is like running a successful business – it’s comprehensive. There are many moving parts, and pieces evolve dynamically daily (I mean hello, it’s the internet in 2016. Ha.). If HTML code makes your head hurt, don’t give yourself a panic attack in the backend of your website – hire out. If your graphic design looks like a little kid got Paint-happy on your computer – hire out. Knowing when to admit your own inferiority in one area allows you to rise above in another overall.
- Ask, and offer. Never stop being curious or asking questions. If you’re feeling majorly overwhelmed, ask for support from your people. If you’re unsure whether or not to try a new product or service offering for your audience, ask them what they need. If you’re concerned about compensation for a given branded project, ask the budget…and if it’s not in line with where you’re at, ask for more. You won’t have if you don’t ask. In the same line, when you’re in a position to offer more in whatever sense, do it. Don’t do it at your own expense, but never shy away from an opportunity to offer.
- There is no shortcut to actual success. Rinse aaaaaand repeat that one, folks. Anything or anyone that attempts to give you a hack to the top or a secret formula to success is full of it. There is no elevator. Success is a stairs-only kinda game, requiring actual work, smarts, strategy, and luck. Granted, that last tidbit is the gamechanger for many’s success trajectory – how quickly they seem to go from Point A to Point B. Some are smarter or more strategic, sure. But others? Pure luck. Timing.
- Community trumps competition, every time. If you want to build something worthwhile, build a community. The second you start competing against everyone around you is the second you start hating your job. Foster community day in and day out, and approach everything a positive mindset. It’s the only way.
- If and when you become a “role model” for someone else, it will singlehandedly be the most transformative day of your life. One day my intern called me that and I cried. Because holy s***, what an honor and what a responsibility. Remember: In blogging, you are not invisible. You are on a public platform, becoming a public figure. People will notice, even when you don’t think anyone is watching. They are. They see you. When you’re off stressing about how you “only have 5,000 followers on Instagram,” close your eyes and imagine all 5,000 of ’em sitting in an auditorium as you walk out to center stage. There. Now is it “only 5,000 people”? Nope. Nix the numbers game and focus on being the absolute best, most authentic version of you for the people who are opting to follow along in your journey. It will transform your “game,” and more importantly, it’ll transform your life.
- It’s the weirdest, most beautiful, hardest, best thing. Blogging is straight up weird, y’all. And it’s also really beautiful, and really hard and really great. It’s weird when people lose their sense of email logic altogether, and it’s weird when you’re walking around Target Snapchatting your cup of coffee and every other shelf or when your Instagram husband can’t eat on date night until you’ve successfully photographed your margarita in multiple configurations against your nachos for the ultimate #TacoTuesday shot. It’s beautiful when you meet people online who become your best friends. Like Nina and Tiffany. And it’s beautiful when you meet people who you want to become greater friends with, because you see Nina-potential and Tiffany-potential in them, too, for beautiful friendships all around. Like Molly, Chels, and Rachel. It’s hard when you don’t have a guaranteed income. It’s hard when people assume they deserve their own paycheck, but you don’t deserve the same. It’s hard when one social media algorithm change tomorrow can change your entire strategy AND paycheck indeterminately. It’s hard when growth isn’t as fast or steady as you’d like, and it’s hard because there is no guide book, tell-all worksheet, or Glassdoor review to put everyone on even playing fields within an ever-changing industry. But it’s the best. It’s the best being a part of such a whirlwind. It’s the best watching a community blossom before your very eyes, because honestly you guys that read CUR day in and day out are absolutely the best and the reason why I keep doing any of this. It’s the best knowing that people look up to me and that I look up to them.
Blogging is the best. And that’s what I’ve learned. Whether you’re a blogger or not, I’d lovelovelove to hear from you – because you keep this lil’ blog’s lights on with your amazing support, and I couldn’t be more grateful for it. I want to make sure you can count on CUR for what you want and need as your MWF pickmeup, whether that’s with regards to your own blog or biz, style, beauty, home, relationship, or daily life in general! So…
What would you lovelovelove to see on CUR in upcoming months?
In the spirit of blogiversaries, I want to celebrate by stockpiling my editorial calendar with exactly what YOU want to see. So drop your thoughts and requests in a comment below – I gotcha covered! 🙂 Aaaaaand for the blogging alums in the house, what have YOU learned thus far in your own blogging journey? Do any of my above lessons resonate with ya, too? Let’s talk all things blogging in the comments below.
Shop everything I’m wearing above in the widget below (these boots have been on *MAJOR* repeat – they’re the comfiest things!):
Shop my Purposeful Planner here – it’s my absolute favorite! (And my intern’s, too!). PLUS, they just re-launched with 2017 planners, so go get yo’self one STAT.
AAAAAAND LASTLY, there are literally ALL THE GIVEAWAYS happening right about now…Enter to win:
A MacBook + Sephora gift cards (last day to enter!)
MARRIED AF tank (for bride-to-be’s and newlyweds in the house!)
Anti-Aging Skin Serum (ends tomorrow!)