I returned home from Alt Summit SLC in January feeling motivated. Inspired by the panels I attended and the participants I met, I left Salt Lake City with a can-do attitude about blogging and some extra pep in my step. With a little bit of direction, I actually believed I could find my place in the blogosphere and make Bunny & Dolly bigger and better.
Naturally, I had hoped that Alt Summit NYC would be equally motivating. Instead, I left feeling somewhat discouraged, my head full of questions:
Why haven’t I had my “aha moment” like the creatives and entrepreneurs who addressed the group?
Why haven’t I found my calling like Kathleen of Tate’s Bake Shop, Bob of McClure’s Pickles, or Stephanie of Coral & Tusk?
Why haven’t I discovered my passion like Jen of BRIKA?
I shared my frustrations with my dad when he picked me up from the train station in New Jersey. I vented to him that I felt lost, unsure how to get to where I want to end up on this blogging journey — perhaps not even sure where I want to go. That despite my hard work, I still wasn’t the success I hoped I’d be. (Remember, I started blogging way back in 2007!)
I suggested that my readership numbers have dipped because my content isn’t interesting or informative enough. That I don’t know the right people who can help me promote my work. That maybe I should throw in the towel and start something new.
On the verge of tears, I looked over at my dad in the driver’s seat hoping for encouragement, but instead of feeling sympathetic towards my crisis, he was also feeling frustrated — frustrated with me. You see, I have a history of feeling like a failure, and he was tired of listening to me mope. Tired of me talking about giving up.
“Many of life’s failures are experienced by people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” – Thomas Edison
It’s now hard for me to remember exactly what was said during our conversation because it became quite heated, but the gist of it was that I have to sit down and create a plan of action — and then I have to follow it though. I have to reach out to the people who can help me or offer me some direction. Basically, I have to hustle.
Truthfully, I thought I was hustling. It’s not like I have a whole lot of extra time on my hands. I’m not sitting at home twiddling my thumbs (or doing laundry). I’m writing. And writing. And doing research and editing photos and writing some more.
“Good things happen to those who hustle.” – Anais Nin
But maybe I’m not doing the blogger hustle. At Alt SLC, Jenny Komenda of Little Green Notebook was asked how she, along with panelists Camille Styles and Merrilee Liddiard of Mer Mag, found success (and subsequent fame). Her honest response: “You have to hustle.” If you don’t write that proposal or reach out to that brand or put yourself out there, somebody else will.
I’d like to add this: I imagine that having resources like time and money to invest in your blog helps a lot. But if you don’t believe in yourself or your brand, nobody else will. And that’s what I’m currently struggling with the most.
“Everyday I’m hustlin’.” – Rick Ross
This month’s desktop wallpaper by the talented (and super patient!) Mariah is a reminder that every day I’ve gotta hustle. But I also need to take some time to reevaluate why I’m blogging in the first place. What is my personal mission and vision? What is the purpose of this blog?
I’ve recently updated my About Page to better communicate my blogging goals with you. It’s a work in progress, and I’d love your feedback. For instance, when reading it, what do you understand Bunny & Dolly’s mission to be?
Download this month’s desktop wallpaper here!