Where shall I start? 4 1/2 years into the Sugar Plum Sisters, I can recognize that some of my known “Laurel-isms” are only getting more obvious while some other quirks are mini revelations! The common thread is that blogging has been a personal study on growth for me and I thought I’d share some of these with you.
More of a confirmation, but I’m a people pleaser. By nature, I am at peace when I feel everyone likes me (so..I’m sure you can guess how
often not often that is!). It sometimes makes me crazy while writing a post. What if this offends someone, what if they misinterpret what I’m saying. By the time I’ve edited, re-edited and re-edited again, the post can appear highly PC, ambiguous or sometimes watered down. It’s something I consistently struggle with. Boldness and sensitivity is a finicky thing that I haven’t yet mastered. That being said, blogging has given me the chance to become more forward and remain true to my values/beliefs and practice accepting that not everyone will agree.
The hustle is stretching me. When Pam and I first began blogging, we heard a lot of talk about “hustling” and it felt like a foreign concept to me. Going out and rustling up contacts, connections and, ultimately, work felt very counter to what I was comfortable doing. In fact, it brought back memories of my ill-fated days as a realtor (yes, I tried my hand at real estate years ago. Two words: short. lived.) Blogging as a business, not just a hobby, is …work. And when building a business you have to go out and find those relationships. They aren’t gonna come looking for you.
Putting ourselves out there has been scary and there have been moments of rejection that have quite simply stung. Some days have felt like we’re throwing 100 things at a wall to see if anything will stick. The cool thing is that the connections that have “stuck” have been incredible and have worked in ways that we couldn’t have even imagined. They have been worth waiting for. I am learning that fear and excitement are not mutually exclusive. They can work together! I think that the sliver of fear is what makes me try my darnedest to please those brands that we have partnered with. The greater feeling of excitement is what spurs us to keep reaching out to both brands as well as all of you, our readers. So what have I learned in this? The feelings of rejection might be a bit dramatic and I am beginning to categorize them differently. A “no” can be one of these two things: 1. Not a good fit. It often comes down to a difference in our values/expectations/ideas. If they aren’t aligning, it’s ok to recognize it and move on and 2. Some are a “no” for right now. Timing is everything!
Balance can be elusive. I’m in a weird place right now and often struggle with the teeter totter of meaningful posts and more topical posts. This huge life event of going through the “c” word affected me and how do I balance that new more reflective perspective with my lifelong love for design, fashion, travel? The light hearted vs deep. I seriously drive myself nutty sometimes. I recognize that the little things still matter… who doesn’t love a great recipe, an online steal or gift ideas? It’s a joy to feel like we can be a resource to make life a little sweeter. It’s just this balance that seems to be all elusive. I’ll say it again… I’m in a weird place and I’m still figuring it out!
Old habits die hard. Not much has changed since my high school days. I’m a procrastinator. Always the best of intentions but…if burning the midnight oil really was just midnight I’d be ok. I’m a squirrel when I’m sitting in front if my computer and barring the removal of Google it’s probably not gonna change anytime soon. After all these years, I think I’ve come to terms with it and might even dare say I work better under these conditions!
Having a platform is fulfilling. I’m a terrible journal writer, so it still sometimes surprises me that I enjoy sharing my thoughts on our site. What kind of sense is that? I really do find it therapeutic to write..err..type things out. Maybe the editing process gives me the chance to think things through a little more? I’m not sure. But the fact remains that I love the sense of community that we experience through the Sugar Plum Sisters.
There is still so much to learn when it comes to blogging but it’s been pretty fascinating to learn more about myself and how I tick. I’m not sure I would have experienced these areas of challenge and growth if the SPS hadn’t come to be. Here’s to never getting too comfortable!