Happy MLK Day!! I was fortunate enough to have the day off, and let me say – it was so nice and relaxing, but how do freelancers/work from home peeps do it?! I feel like I got very little done and the day just flew by. How do you stay motivated and on schedule? Please share! I’ll keep today’s post brief. Not to get into the nitty gritty, but I’ve been going through a lot of change right now in my life. And it seems like there’s a lot of change going on in the world as well.
Change is scary.
But it doesn’t have to be.
It all depends on the way you choose to view the world. Me? My new thing is to view it favorably. Accept it and embrace it. I finally finished You Are a Badass and it made me want to grab the bull by the horns and face all of the change that’s happening head on and with a positive and open mindset.
For a while, I was really content. And with that feeling came complacency. I figured I’d make changes in my life, but it would happen on my terms. Well, guess what? The universe doesn’t work that way. Just when you think you have things figured out in life/love/career/anything, the universe likes to throw a wrench in your plans. The lesson I learned is that while you’re sitting there waiting for things to happen, the rest of the world is moving on without you. People are hustling and making things happen every. single. day.
You know the saying “fortune favors the brave”?
I thought hard about it and decided that’s how I want to take on uncertainty in the future. By being brave and facing my fears and the unknown.
My motto for this year is to grab life by the balls and make things happen. (Excuse my language.)
Rather than waiting for change to happen, take control of your own life and create your own opportunities. How’s that for #mondaymotivation?
Tomorrow is technically my Monday, so I’ll be needing all the caffeine I can get after a 3 day weekend. Call me a basic West Hollywood bitch, but Alfred Coffee totally got me with their limited edition Minnie Mouse sleeves. TOO CUTE. You can bet I’ll be going back for more.
Happy Friday, babes! Can I just say I am ready for the weekend?! And it’s a long one too, yay! I wanted to introduce some new topics into the blog – I don’t blog full time, and I figured it’s about time I introduce the other side of my life (the one that takes up the majority of my week) into the blog. I want to start talking about issues that every career gal encounters, regardless of your profession. Today I want to talk about something that has been on my mind a lot lately. The end of 2016 and start of the new year had everyone all like “new year, new me” – tons of reflecting and goal setting for the new year – I LOVE that kind of energy. One thing that I’ve been coming across a lot lately is the topic of mentorship. So let’s talk about it, and get into why you need a mentor.
My 9-5 is in a corporate setting. I sit at a desk, have lots of meetings, and think and talk about climbing the corporate ladder a lot. In this environment, the term “mentor” is thrown around a lot. But regardless of whether you sit in an office or freelance from home, if you’re looking to make moves and grow, you need a mentor. Something I’ve obsessed: every successful person has had help. You don’t get to where you are without a little help along the way.
So now you’re probably thinking: what exactly is a mentor, and where do I find one?
A mentor is someone you trust that can help guide and advise you as you go through your professional journey. They don’t necessarily have to be older, but they often are. They’re in a position to teach, challenge, and support you by sharing their life experiences, knowledge, and networks. These are people that have found success in their own lives and want to see you succeed in yours. They have a vested interest in your growth and success and provide the resources and support you need to get to where you want to be. They don’t do all the work for you, but they dohelp you become the best version of yourself and face challenges in your career head on. It’s like having a coach, cheerleader, teacher, and friend all in one. If it sounds too good to be true, it’s not. It comes down to finding the right person.
As Sheryl Sandberg talks about in her book Lean In, you don’t find a mentor by going up to someone and asking them to be your mentor. I’m not the biggest fan of networking, but there are similar ties to networking. It has to develop organically and feel right to both parties. More often than not, someone who wants to be your mentor will ask you and offer to play that role in your life.
Begin by thinking of qualities and attributes you admire and respect. Make a list if it helps. Then begin to look for these qualities in the people that are already in your network. Try to identify them in people you may not know. Go to events, make introductions, meet as many people as possible. When you meet someone that you admire and respect, be sure to introduce yourself and exchange contact information. But here’s the most important thing – follow up.
You’d be surprised how many people want to help others and offer up their knowledge and experiences. Giving back feels good, and at a certain point in your life it becomes one the most rewarding part of your career. The problem is most people don’t follow up. Sounds so silly but it’s true. I remember when I was recruiting for my first full time job out of college, I was always told to collect business cards at networking events and send a thank you email after. Whenever I had an interview, I was taught to always send a thank you email. Did the recruiter actually read the email? Probably not. Did they always remember who I was? Maybe. The point is, I followed up.
Fast forward a couple years when I began helping out with recruiting at my consulting job and now where I still help with recruiting for my new team. We speak to so many candidates and it continues to boggle my mind how many people do not follow up. It doesn’t hurt to send an email to thank someone for their time or ask if you can take them to coffee/lunch. The worst thing that could happen is… they don’t respond. Not a big deal at all.
To sum it all up: meet people. Find the ones you look up to and connect with. Follow up with them. Let relationships grow organically. Surround yourself with people that are positive and lift you up, and embody the qualities you wish to have and the lead the lives you wish to live yourself.
Does anyone else just love spending time by themselves? Go to restaurants and movies alone? Take long walks by themselves? Stay at home on weekends and not make any plans? (I know, I’m a total grandma). In my opinion, there’s nothing better than some “me” time. It took a while, but I finally learned how to be alone (and kind of love it).
To be fair, I’m not alone all the time. I do live with my boyfriend and we spend a lot of our free time together. However, he travels a lot and is gone often. I’ve also been in almost 4 years of long distance relationships in the past, so I’m more than familiar with the feeling of being together but apart. It’s a strange feeling/totally sucks (a post for another day?).
I’m a firm believer in learning to love being alone. I know this isn’t easy for everyone, especially for my more extroverted friends that love being around people 24/7. Me? I love some time alone to cook a good dinner for one, read a book, catch up on trashy TV, and write. It wasn’t always so fun and easy, though. For a long time, I hated being by myself. I hated being in a long distance relationship. I hated being apart and having to spend time alone. #needy?
But over the years, I have come to really appreciate and cherish those moments – especially because I’ve never lived on my own (unless you count living in a hotel half of the week during my consulting days?). I love my relationship, but I also love spending time by myself. It’s liberating to have a night or a week to myself and do whatever the hell I want to, whenever I want. As you know, I am all about self love. The best way practice this is to spend time by yourself! Go to a cafe or wine bar and read by yourself. Go out to meals alone. Take walks. Find new hobbies and learn a new skill. There are so many things to do alone and who knows, you might even learn something new about yourself.
Confession: I do almost all of my reading on the internet. I get my news from the internet (trying to balance the sources I go to). I read a LOT of blogs – style (obviously), healthy living, beauty, decorating, politics, science, the list goes on and on. I scroll through my social media feeds, and fall for a lot of click bait on Facebook and Twitter. Sometimes it feels like too much, especially when you realize how much of news on the internet simply isn’t fact checked or verified. Or disappointing when I click on a post only to be left feeling unsatisfied and wanting more (hence the click bait). As entertaining as blogs and articles are, it’s just not the same as reading a good book.
I loved reading growing up. I had more free time obviously, but I would pick up a book and not put it down until I finished it. I still try to read as much as I can, but with a full-time job and a blog, sometimes actual books fall to the wayside. I read somewhere (on the internet, lol) that setting small goals is best, so I’m starting small. At least 20 pages a day. Which is HARD for me because once I start, I can’t stop. Unless I fall asleep. But I really do want to read every day. And not just stuff on the internet!! I have a kindle that is collecting dust. Although, TBH I really prefer actual books. Is anyone else like that?
Here’s what on my reading list for now – but I’m always looking for good recommendations!! So please leave them below if you have any : ). I’m making a point to read even more in 2017 – and staying accountable by posting updates on the blog. Who’s with me?
I’ve been getting a lot of messages lately asking for blogging tips or advice. I’ll be doing a Q&A post soon (if you have any questions leave them below) but I wanted to quickly touch on the question I get most often, which is “what advice do you have for new bloggers?”
If I had to sum it up in one phrase: don’t be a perfectionist.
I alluded to it in this post. If you’re trying to start something new, Nike said it best. Just do it.
Who cares if you make a mistake or it’s not perfect? You’re starting from scratch. The only thing worse than doing something to get started is doing nothing. Does that make sense?
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Take your first step. If you’re trying to study for a test, you have to read the first page. If you want to lose weight, you have to go to the gym for the first time. If you want to learn a new language, you have to learn that first word. We all start at square one and go from there.
I was really adamant about just starting my blog and learning how to put posts together on the go. Were my first posts amazing content that changed people’s lives? No, but it was a start. I had zero readers anyway (except my mom, LOVE YOU) and if I was going to fumble around and make spelling/grammatical errors and misformat my posts, that was the time to do it. I still make lots of mistakes. It happens. You learn and you grow. You move on. I could have spent months preparing my blog, choosing between three different blog themes, writing and re-writing posts until I was 100% satisfied. But then I wouldn’t have launched when I did. In fact, I might have never launched at all.
When you’re just starting out at anything, chances are you’re experimenting and learning. You’re bound to make mistakes. But you’re going to get better. When I first started blogging, I didn’t know anything. Arguably I still don’t know anything, ha! I didn’t know how to set up a website, edit my photos, organize my Instagram, look at blog or social analytics… I didn’t know what I wanted to write about, how to write a post, what it meant to “find my voice” or “create content.” Seriously. I was starting from ground zero. And unless you’re a social media maven or digital expert, you’ll be in a similar situation. But that’s what was so exciting to me about starting a blog.
I’m not saying you should be careless in your actions and do bad work. But being a perfectionist, while having its bonuses, can also leave you paralyzed in the face of action and overly self-critical. The point is you are always changing. You learn and you grow. I’m not perfect and I’m not always content with where I am (although I’m trying to be more present and happy with the now). Who cares if the blogging market is “saturated”? I’m on a journey to improve myself and my blog, to learn something new every day, and focus my energy on creating better content. It’s not realistic to look at someone who has been blogging for a long time and hope to start today and be where they are. Not gonna happen. You need to take your own time to find your own voice, figure out what sparks a fire inside of you, and how you want to express yourself. That’s the best part of having a blog, or any sort of “creative outlet” – you learn a lot about yourself and the story you want to tell. At the end of the day, isn’t that what matters? #cheesybuttrue