It’s been almost four years since I traded my boring sucky, yet stable and well-paying, government job for my wildly fabulous and at most times unpredictable life in New York. From my mother’s unexpected death, to bouncing from Manhattan couch to Brooklyn couch for 8 months, I’ve got a ton of not-so glamorous stories to tell you. But…I have no regrets and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
As spontaneous as my move may have seemed, when I think of it, I did a lot of things to prepare myself before uprooting my entire life (I brought my boyfriend with me to New York). When I finally made the decision to quit my comfortable 9-5, I was pretty much over life. Like OVAH!
I had been at my job for over six years and had never been promoted yet I was the girl who trained all the newly hired managers to do jobs I was more than qualified for. I had just traveled from Baltimore to New York for yet another amazing opportunity but I felt like I was moving in circles. That was January 2012. By August 2012, I was officially moving to New York. How, you ask?
Well. There’s a certain set of behaviors it takes to do anything against the norm. Society will have you believing that in order to live a comfortable life you have to give up your soul, your sanity and forfeit 65 years of your own life for someone else’s dream. I’m telling y’all, they are lying to us!
After blogging for five years, I am finally a full-time blogger (read: my primary income comes from my blog). But if you want this life, you’re going to have to work for it. So. How did I get here?
It’s so cliche. You know, “nothing worth having comes easy.” Or, “dreams don’t work unless you do.” Well, they’re right. It’s going to take more effort than you can ever imagine. You’re going to have to skip a few cool events because you’ve procrastinated on a deadline. On Friday nights when the girls are at happy hour, you might be home writing your next viral blog post. And these are just two examples of the type of discipline I’ve had to adopt in my new freelancer life. Your non-blogger friends may not understand. My boyfriend complains all the time about me and my computer being in a loving relationship. Which brings me to my next point.
Balancing acts will become your second talent
You will burn out quick (and then die of a slow death) if you don’t learn to balance your life. At times I feel like there are so many things going on I can’t breathe. It feels like everyone in my life is pulling some part of my body looking for attention. And rightfully so, they’re the people who love us. So put dates on the calendar and honor them just like you would that important business meeting. Make your friends your clients too!
Talent isn’t enough…
As of 2013, there were 152,000,000 blogs in the world (says the Internet). And that was three years ago. I’d love to say that your great voice and ever-s0-magnificent street style photos will get you the fame you desire and deserve, but that’s just not true. It will take a million and one 30-second pitches, and maybe some dinner dates with the people that matter. Whenever you are out at an event, make it a habit to meet at least three new people. Schmooze with everyone you come in contact with. You never know where someone will end up next year. That lousy makeup counter is probably not her last stop in life. And if they remember how friendly and nice you were to them, they could be the person recommending you for that HUGE blogger campaign that could catapult your blogging career. Besides, being nice is what you’re supposed to do anyways. I’m sure that’s in the bibles somewhere.
If it’s not on the schedule…
Sometimes we can get distracted and off track with various disturbances (gurl, social media can be the devil), but that can easily be fixed with a schedule. Making a schedule helps you control the time you spend on doing one thing. But don’t focus so much on time that it overpowers your work, but keeping an eye on the clock won’t hurt anybody.
Fail to plan and, well you know the rest…
Having a game plan beforehand will set you up for major success because you aren’t spending extra time figuring out what you need to do every hour and minute of the day. Make goals and take some time each night before you go to bed and go over your list. Determine what you need to do in order to check things off of your list and complete your goals. This will help cut out any loafing around on what needs to be done. Also consider the amount of time it may take to do these things and carve out a window for that time, so you save even more of it. Next thing you know, you will have time to get something extra done (like go to happy hour) and things will move along faster.
KICK FEAR’S BUTT!
I cannot stress enough how important this is. Fear comes in many different forms. Not only will you create a 500-page book of excuses, your friends will also be fearful for you as well. So keep your dreams close, guard them like the gold they are. It’s natural to want to scream your ideas to the world, but sometimes the world isn’t ready. This means your great idea might be a secret for a while. Which is ok, because when it’s ready…BOOM!
Although I wrote about my experience, you can easily replace “blogger” with whatever your dreams are! So here’s where I ask you to share your story. If you liked this post you can thank me by leaving a comment or sharing this post on social media.
Disclaimer: This story is brought to you by smartwater, who believes in making progress every day little by little and sip by sip. That’s how you move up up up.