Ten years in and what do I know?
Among the numerous thoughts that have been running amok in my head of late is one on repeat. Ten Years Woman – you’ve been blogging for ten bloody years! That’s quite phenomenal and, apart from the one I have with my husband, it’s the longest love interest I’ve ever had. If you missed the story of how the blog and I began by the way, here’s the condensed version.
So what to do to celebrate ten years in “Da industry”?? What indeed…
This blogiversary happens to coincide with a period of self-reflection that has me questioning numerous things related to blogging, social media and everything that goes along with it. I’m pondering my place within it all, what feels right to me, what doesn’t, how I define my success, the longevity of earning a small but perfectly formed living from it and just a general “Am I hitting this right?”
I N A S S U M P T I O N A N D C O M P A R I S O N L I E S G R E A T D A N G E R . . .
I guess I’m having a *taps computer screen* and enquires “Helloooo… Is There Anybody There?? How Am I Doing?” moment. How is what I do received and perceived? Should I or could I be doing more to ensure a secure future in this online playing field?
Am I strategic enough and should I do more of what my peers are doing? Are the things that my peers are doing working for them? I don’t know… I can only assume. And in assumption, as well as comparison, lies great danger… and a lot of precious time wasted.
You see, I can always continue this blog as a hobby project. If my earnings from affiliate marketing and the occasional brand sponsorship ceased tomorrow, I can still write a blog. But it wouldn’t look anything like this one.
This blog is my blossom in (very slow-mo) bloom – it has to evolve, live and breathe. Running it in it’s current (and future) guise requires a monthly outlay that sometimes has me worrying about it’s survival in an always developing environment.
As a surviving business my running costs are pretty minimal compared to some. As well as subscribing to the various services needed to keep it functioning, technically healthy and fit for reader purpose; it requires funds for for photography, domain hosting, video editing, occasional copy contribution and various image editing tools.
Like any business owner, I feel a sense of responsibility to keep it’s head above water and at a minimum, keep the costs covered. Thank god I don’t employ staff – I couldn’t deal with that stress of that!
But then up pops that nagging voice in my head that states, surely, employing some additional help is the only way to grow? If I want to free up my time to drive forwards and do the creation and strategy part, I need some assistance. What to do?
And that’s where I’ve decided to stop. Right there.
Do I want to be frequently travelling away from home to go on lots more trips and events? Do I want to hand some responsibility for what I’ve spent ten years creating to someone else, even just a little bit? Do I want the additional pressure and let’s face it, the additional shizzle, that usually goes along with being on that kind of trajectory?
Nope. Not one little bit.
I adore, am inspired by, admire and lets face it, practically stalk, a fair few bloggers who are running their businesses this way. I think they are bloody amazing! In my eyes they are super blogging goddesses who are setting the world on fire by getting out there and creating a whole business based around their passions. Who wouldn’t want that? Unless that wasn’t what they wanted.
At the risk of sounding like Tom Cruise in Jerry McGuire with his ill-fated mission statement, here’s what I want…
I turn 49 next week and I want to finally accept where I am in blog business life and be happy and content about it. I want to carry on being inspired and inspiring others. I want to keep creating beautiful imagery and proffering my opinions and passions for style, home and life and sometimes share the meanderings of my innermost thoughts.
P E A C E I S T H E O P P O S I T E O F C O M P A R I S O N
I want more honesty and less assumption. I want more self encouragement and less self doubt… and a lot less comparison. Google “What is the opposite of comparison?” and stare hard at the third entry down. It says “Peace is the opposite of comparison”. That’s what I want.
I’d like to believe that I can carry on doing what I do from a heartfelt perspective, do the things that feel right and good and continue to thrive as a small business. I want to know that it’s possible to succeed by staying true to what Online Stylist has always been about instead of forcing it into something I don’t want it to be.
Do you think these things are possible or am I chasing some kind of hashtagged, gentle life fairytale?
Alongside normal OS content as usual, I’m thinking of launching a Ten Years In series to start some discussion on honesty, perfectionism, the definition of success, self-doubt and yes, that evil other little blighter… comparison.
Here’s to #TenYearsIn and now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to raise a glass of fizz to still being here! Thank you as ever for always being here with me!