Two years ago I read an article in a prominent business magazine discussing the importance of having a blog for anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit. The article expressed how blogging not only builds brand awareness, whatever that may be, but it also broadens your network ten-fold. We all know it’s not so much about what you do – it’s who you know. Equipped with this new knowledge, my passion for writing and storytelling, and my desire to do something “more” with my life, I started Mother’s Guide to Sanity. At the time I was still working around the clock and barely making my day-to-day obligations, but I knew if I made time for this new venture it would lead to amazing opportunities – and it has. Not only has my blog given me a voice in the online world, but it has also renewed my faith and confidence in myself from a business perspective.
These last two years have been a roller coaster and opened doors for me I never thought possible. My continued success in the blogging world coupled with my extensive experience in the corporate world has allowed me to start my own freelance business where I write any business-to-business or business-to-consumer materials, as well as consult small businesses on how to grow their brand and network through blogging and social media. I’ve also been invited to host speaking engagements where I discuss topics ranging from budgeting and forecasting to marketing and product launch and establishing your brand in today’s market. Lastly, I landed gigs as a contributing writer for Dot Complicated by Randi Zuckerberg and Scary Mommy by Jill Smokler, both of which are NYT Bestselling Author’s. As if this wasn’t enough, I launched a second business with Rodan + Fields Dermatologists. This is all in just two short years.
If you are thinking of starting a blog (or a business) here are some helpful tips I’ve learned over the last two years.
- Believe in yourself. The question you need to ask yourself right now is, “Why NOT me?” All you need is confidence, the Internet and a voice. Don’t depend on others to believe in you. At first many won’t understand what you’re doing or look at you like you’re crazy, but remember it’s not their job to believe in you – it’s yours. They’ll come around eventually.
- Don’t be afraid of failure. Failing is relative. Make goals for yourself, which are attainable, and when you do meet some – it’s a win! When you’re realistic with yourself and your timeline for success you’ll find it easier to meet your goals. If you don’t meet a certain goal, pick yourself up and keep going. Your next big break just may be lurking around the corner.
- Don’t take things personal. Everyone has an opinion and that’s just what they are – opinions. When you put yourself out there, there’s always someone who will try to discourage or discredit you. Sometimes feedback can be a gift but it can also be a curse. Try to surround yourself with positive, likeminded, and supportive people.
- Use the Buddy System. Work is always more fun when you partner with someone. I encourage you to buddy up with a person you admire and make them your accountability partner. My success would not have happened as quickly or have been as sweet if it wasn’t for my new friends and business partners encouraging me each and every day.
- Network. Go out. Meet people. Join groups. Attend conventions. Every city has Associations, Fundraisers, Networking groups, etc. Spend a few hours a week connecting, whether that be in person or online. Be social and your business will grow. Also, always ask how you can help someone else, even if you’re unsure if they can help you. Karma is real – and helping others grow their business will only ensure the growth of yours.
- Talk – A lot. Always speak about your new ventures to anyone who will listen. Use social media to connect and inform. Even if no one responds with a “like”, don’t worry because they are watching.
- Step outside your comfort zone. I can’t stress the importance of this enough. Once you have the confidence to do this, you’ll soon find new talents you never knew you had. At first I was afraid to put myself out there because of how judgmental people can be, but for every negative comment there have been ten positive ones.
- DON’T GIVE UP. This is MOST IMPORTANT! Rome was not built in a day. Those who only strive for instant success and gratification will not succeed. Look at everything as an investment. Do research on people you admire and I guarantee most of them were not an overnight success. You want to build a business with a strong foundation, not build a house of cards. If you give up to soon or try to take short cuts, you’re just setting yourself up to fail.
Treat any new venture like a business and it will reward you like a business. Mother’s Guide to Sanity is far from being a profound pool of knowledge and it doesn’t dramatically change other people’s lives, however it does spread joy and has opened many doors for me. No, I haven’t found a cure for cancer (yet!), but I’ve met amazing people, sharpened my skills, started a business, and made a lot of parents laugh along the way. What more could I ask for?
Here’s to the dreamers!
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