In the #BloggerLife, I need to accept that success won’t come overnight. I’ve never been the best at exercising patience, but if I’m looking to build something that’ll last and make its mark on the world around it, I need to build it right, giving it whatever time and effort it needs to grow into something magnificent.
To this end, I often tell people I’m working with a 25-year plan. Oprah was around my age when she started the Oprah Winfrey Show in Chicago, a then-little known radio personality who producers were giving a shot with a regular TV time slot to build her audience. Through the decades that followed, she built that chance into the empire we know today, with millions clinging to her every word as she shares intimate moments with some of the most powerful and influential people known today!
That’s how I see my brand — something eventually growing beyond the bounds of a blog, letting me tell stories that people wouldn’t hear otherwise. Even in the moments where the momentum’s at a standstill, the Gmail inbox devoid of anything interesting and the brain struggling to come up with an original thought, I’m learning more and more that there’re only 24 hours every day, and with the few available to hustle on the side diminishing as I grow older, I need to appreciate what I did accomplish in a day — not lament the things I didn’t.
But patience isn’t easy — it isn’t easy at all. Today’s world doesn’t lend itself well to long-term strategies — we’re taught the value of immediate gratification, asked why we should wait for things tomorrow when we can have them today?
I’ve seen what rushing looks like, though — you get your invites to the hottest restaurants and liquor tastings galore… but no one takes you seriously. Too many lifestyle bloggers I’ve known found themselves trapped in the chasm of showing their face everywhere but nothing of substance to say… and there’s just too much of value in my life to sell it short like that.
So pardon the cliché, but sometimes you’ve got to stop and smell the roses. Sometimes you’ve got to remember that you often need to crawl before you can walk, building the skills you’ll need to handle the bigger challenges down the road.
For a long time, I was hungry. Hungry to be the best blogger out there, hungry to prove I was deserving of everyone’s attention — that I wasn’t just another name that’d be gone by tomorrow.
But I’ve grown. I know now that I don’t need to be everywhere doing everything for everyone to notice. I know now that I don’t need to say “yes” to every invite, working only with brands interested in building stories with me — not ones looking for another faceless blogger to share their prepackaged material, no questions asked. I don’t have to be any sort of blogger but myself, more than any number of followers, fans or subscribers — with time, with practice, a blogger whose words spoken from the soul inspire others to lead the lives they’re supposed to.
Nothing of true value in this world was ever accomplished overnight — while life’s too short to do things we don’t want to, sometimes we must in the name of a greater good. In the baker’s dozen years I’ve spent sharing stories online, I’ve grown from an aimless high school student not knowing a damn thing to a proper storyteller looking to create something special.
Reach for the top, everyone, and take your time doing it — no one else will take your journey for you. Don’t half-ass it, don’t try to cut corners — life can only hold you down if you let it, but win each little battle along the way, and eventually you’ll take the war!
Good luck, Godspeed, and make your life amazing,