We are well into this year and 2017 has been a whirlwind (in a good way). The first quarter has been extremely busy. I started this blog in January and didn’t anticipate all the work that it would entail. I knew my reason for starting The Urban Wallflower, but didn’t realize how much my passion would spark all kinds of different ideas, connections, and great opportunities. Thinking about where I wanted my vision to take me was scary. The fear of the unknown and what I CAN accomplish versus what I may not. Isn’t that crazy? I was honestly more afraid of really going far. You never know unless you make that leap. Here are 5 things that helped me get through these last three months as a new blogger building a brand.
All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them. – Walt Disney
Understand your Passion.
When I began, my thoughts were all over the place. I found that in whatever you want to do you have to have a game plan and really determine what your passion is and where it comes from. Figure out your WHY. I had to ask myself questions such as how can I help others? What is my target audience? What do I want to convey to them? My main goal for creating The Urban Wallflower was to create a platform to spotlight creativity and personal experiences in hopes of inspiring and motivating my readers to cultivate their own passions and build their voices. As a mother, leaving a virtual footprint behind is also important for my children. I want them to look back and say “That was my mom and she was dope as shit!”
Everyone needs a team.
When I say ‘team’ I am not strictly talking about a group of workers. I am referencing a good support system. This can be family, friends, or even strangers that believe in your vision. Drake can keep his famous “No New Friends” mantra because tenure does not always lead to true support. I have been constantly reaching out to like-minded people to help me and give me simple guidance. The small circle of friends I have continually give me constructive criticism and that is a vital part of learning and growing.
I was so stubborn when it came to grasping that the first leap is the most difficult. I had every excuse in the book as to why I just wasn’t ready to start. I made a blueprint of what achieving MY goals would look like, and with some encouragement I finally leaped. Everyone’s blueprint will not look like yours. There are ample resources to reach your goals. For example, if you don’t know something, RESEARCH the hell out of it. Like many others I know, I have taken small steps to level up on relevant information. Turning off the radio for a while, and listening to podcasts has been my new thing (sorry Tuesday twerk mix).
Some days I am not feeling it. We have ALL had those days. I keep daily reminders in front of me of my WHY. My big goals for the future and my smaller goals that will help me get there. This is a marathon and that takes practice, sacrifice, and hard work. The more consistent you are with what you do, the more people notice. On those days where I may feel a little discouraged, I take a small break to regroup. My brain is always ON, so when I need to alleviate some pressure I do a quick brain dump. Similar to journaling, I write everything down on paper to organize. There is something about writing things down and being able to cross them off that makes me feel accomplished.
It’s okay to be YOU.
During this process of writing and brand building, I learned how important it is to be authentic. An audience usually can feel when the effort is disingenuous. Some of my favorite bloggers and creatives all gave me the same advice which was be authentic in everything you do. Trying to mirror someone else will limit your creativity. They say imitation is the best form of flattery, but you are doing a disservice to yourself. I can’t measure my goal success to the success of others doing something similar. I try to be unapologetic about being ME in all things. By doing so, I realize that I am organically building an audience filled with people who are truly interested.
We are into the 2nd quarter of 2017 and continuing to build on the foundation of goals we set for ourselves in January. Time to grind and shine. Let’s LEAP.