This past week marked a HUGE milestone in my world and attempt at blogging. I reached 100k followers on Instagram! Ok, so maybe that doesn’t sound insane when there are tons of people with millions of followers. But for me, as a business woman who set her sights on self employment 2 years ago, it marks a monumental day.
In some ways, it kind of helps me justify my pursuit to follow my dream. I’ve struggled along the way. Trying to figure out what exactly it is that I’m doing! I have my social media / marketing business & this blog. But figuring out what that means hasn’t always been easy. Some days, I’ve woken up wondering if I should keep doing it, or go back into the corporate world. But most of the time, I’m excited by all of the opportunities that have unfolded and the potential I see in the future.
When I launched Revenge Bakery, I had no idea that it would grow into what it has become. I’m so excited to keep sharing my journey and adventures along the way with you guys! Over the past year, I’ve also learned a ton from blogging and being my own boss. I had to zero in and decided to focus on 5 Lessons that I think most people could learn from.
Take Care of Yourself First & Foremost
Have I ever told you I’m a major stresser? One of my biggest issues is overworking myself. I struggle with turning work down and taking breaks. I’ve learned the hard way that stress is success’s biggest enemy. It’s important not to ignore your physical and mental health, no matter how busy you get or how many obstacles you encounter.
I’ve learned to take more breaks and turn down more work. That old saying “work smarter, not harder” exists for a reason. I take a break every work day at around 9 or 10 AM to workout for an hour. I also take a mid day break to hang with my dog outside most days. Just to decompress and shut off the noise of the internet.
Focus on What Makes You Happy
This applies to both work and your personal life. I’m a firm believer in doing what you love. You’re more likely to be successful doing something you’re passionate about. Even if it seems random or like it’s not an actual business idea, you can find your niche!
I literally have turned my love of food, travel & music into a job! I’ve diversified a bit and do work with brands & companies that aren’t part of my original plan, but it’s really exciting being able to figure out new ways to expand a business.
It’s also important to take time to do the things that you enjoy. If you’re not super set on your direction or are stressed out at work, it’s even more important to take time to do the things that you enjoy and spend time with people who make you happy and motivate you.
You Can’t Win Em’ All
I feel like this has been one of the hardest lessons for me to learn and accept. It’s a constant effort. Whether its business or people, everything won’t always go as planned. You won’t get every job you want or be successful with all of your attempts. I’ve tried a few things over the past year that flat out didn’t work. Companies didn’t want to work with me. Brands weren’t happy. Ideas I had didn’t pan out.
The harder part: not everyone is going to love you. That can be a tough pill to swallow. Whether it’s brands, people on the internet, followers or even friends. A lot of times as you grow and change, not everyone is going to be supportive or on board. But that’s ok! As long as you’re being genuine and true to yourself / your path, haters can kick rocks. True allies will still be there and support you and encourage you. Brands, followers & everyone else you work with that are truly “meant to be” and in it for the long haul will continue to grow with you!
Dealing with negativity comes hand in hand with success. As shitty as it sounds, the better you do – the more negativity you’ll see. It also just comes down to a numbers game. If you know 20 people – chances are 1 of them is going to disagree with you. If you’re working with 50 people, chances are at least one of them is going to send you negative feedback, gossip or just be pain in the ass to deal with. Magnify that a little – if you’ve got 100K+ followers , you’ve gotta brace yourself for some criticism.
People love to be assholes online. It’s just a weird fact. They enjoy stomping away on their keyboard, coming up with (what they think are) witty, cunning jabs. I’ve learned that most people who talk shit – don’t know what they’re talking about. If someone disagrees with you online, it’s usually because they’re missing information and making assumptions. For real, I’m not just saying that because I think I’m always right. I’m not.
For instance: I’ve had a ton of people comment that they think I’m “fake for trying to be a model”. Newsflash: I’m no model. I don’t want to be a model. I’ve never tried to be one. I have a great deal of respect for models & know I couldn’t do it! However, I do work with a professional photographer who helps me create quality photos (shoutout Arielle Levy). The only billboard you’re going to see me on is for Dominos – telling everyone how much I love cheese.
Another example: I had a client who thought I was “rude” and aggressive for using exclamation points in emails. To be fair – this still confuses me. But, in his mind he interpreted an “!” at the end of a sentence as “yelling”. I use a lot of ! in my sentences! Just for emphasis & fun! No, I’m not yelling! Haha. I tried to explain the miscommunication to him – but he just didn’t get it. It drove me crazy for a few days, but I forced myself to move on.
Don’t Give Up
Cliche, I know. But would you believe me if I told you I literally cried on the floor of the shower recently, wondering whether or not I totally F’d my life up leaving my corporate job? Blogging & being self employed can be really hard.
I’m tired… like all the time. It’s hard work being in charge of your success, because it never ends. There are no weekends. There have been times where I’ve felt like I hit a wall – a super massive one. I’ve felt like my blog and business aren’t progressing fast enough or aren’t go anywhere and have felt totally sick of it all. I literally left my stable 9-5 that I made a predictable income and had health insurance + benefits, to be completely unsure of how much money I’d make month to month.
Instead of quitting, I like to take little pit stops. Sometimes, you just have to shut it all off for a few days and focus on something else. That’s why I’m glad I have a few different businesses going at once. If I start feeling underwhelmed by one, I focus on the other one for a few hours or the day.
Surround Yourself with Positive Vibes
Literally one of the hardest parts of the past few years has been making “people choices”. Whether it’s employees, clients or even friends. There’s literally NO POINT in surrounding yourself with people who you don’t like. Sometimes we don’t have an option. I’ve hired people who don’t give 2 sh*ts about my business. And that sucks. I’ve learned to find people to collaborate with that have similar mindsets and want similar end results. If something isn’t working, guess what… I’m the boss! I can do what I want. I can cancel a contract with a lame company or not renew a contract – whenever I want!
When you own your own business, it’s important to surround yourself with people who want to help you and improve your business. Oddly enough, the same is true about every day life!
BIG Thanks to everyone who’s supported me along the way. I can’t wait to continue growing Revenge Bakery & sharing the adventure with you!
xo – Erin