4 honest truths I would share over drinks with a fellow blogger – dean street society style

the 4 part entrepreneur happy hour blog tour with hilary rushford of dean street society - desiree east

Greetings, my friends! The Holidays are officially here, and I’ve been doing much reflection over the last year, re-assessing what I’ve accomplished in 2013 and planning ahead for 2014. Whew! It’s been a whirlwind of goodness and excitement, and I’ve also been finding time to wind down, relax and spend much needed time with family and friends.

I was so thrilled when dear colleague and fashionista, Hilary Rushford from Dean Street Society invited me to be a part of the Happy Hour Blog Tour (along with 29 other FABULOUS women) to start the conversation about her new book, The 4-Part Entrepreneur Cocktail.

The 4-Part Entrepreneur Cocktail is the book, tribe and toolkit we all wish we’d had when we first launched our blog and hit ‘PUBLISH’. Today there are many women who desire to be bloggers and entrepreneurs, which means they’re looking to us — those of us who are already doing it — for a glimpse of what could be, and whether they’d love and thrive in the experience.

This blog tour is about sharing a piece of our story. If you are pondering starting your own business or blog, started but don’t feel like you’re getting traction, struggle with having enough time, finding your voice, or making it profitable, these articles are little gems of advice from your favorite entrepreneurs and bloggers, sharing what they’ve experienced and learned when they were just starting out.

Today, I share my story…so, grab a fresh cocktail, ladies (and gents). It’s time to get real.

book-vertical1. MOTIVATION

Do you ever have days/weeks/months when you don’t feel like blogging?

Ummm. Yes.

I still yet have to master what most successful bloggers like to call their, ‘Editorial Calendar’. Once I learned how important this was to productivity, I immediately created an editorial calendar, with a list of topics and ideas that are probably as long as Santa Claus’ naughty and nice list.

BUT, regardless of this long list, there are times where I just decide to not blog on a weekly basis. And if you’ve been following me for awhile, you’ll notice that is very well true. And I’m okay with that, mostly, because:

1) I usually have other priorities in my life and business that need attention. That, and I truly believe in taking little mini digital vacays. Yummy. So good for your soul.

2) I really haven’t found my weekly groove, just yet – it’s right there at my finger tips – but, I’m not one to rush it. I’ve always been a true believer of organic growth, and I have faith that I’ll find my groove soon.

3) I’ve always been one who blogs when inspiration strikes, and when that inspiration strikes, it’s like my little fingers just can’t stop typing. When I do have the motivation to do a blog post, it’s the real me talking, and it’s not a forced thing, where I’m creating a blog post just for the sake of hitting ‘PUBLISH’.

That said, if there was ONE tip I could give in regards to getting motivated to create a blog post, it’s this: Go outside and connect with nature for a few minutes. For me, that means walking out to the beach and wiggling my toes in the sand. Come back in and clear your space. Take 5 minutes to clear the clutter. Put some tunes on and perhaps, pour yourself a glass of wine and light a candle. And voila – you’re ready to go!

2. YOUR STRENGTHS & DNA

Were you always a writer? Loved layout and design? Photography and Photoshop? Which elements of blogging were “so you” before you began and which weren’t? Which parts might people not know you’ve really had to work at, or even think about how much time and training it’s taken you?

I never thought of myself as a writer, but I’m beginning to believe that all of these years keeping personal journals have given me my authentic voice as a blogger.

And I’m also beginning to show an underlying appreciation for all of those seemingly endless ‘all-nighters’ I had to pull off during my college years. I had spent those faithful years writing a plethora of essays in MLA format {puke}. Imagine what the painstaking process of writing 25+ paged research and thesis papers will do to a young person’s soul…edit and re-edit. Repeat. {puke. puke. puke.} — spending my time doing that was never my favorite thing to do, but I (surprisingly) did them well.

Design and Layout, Photography and Photoshop: love, love, LOVE! One of the first things (courses/software programs) I invested in, even before I started blogging, was HTML and Photoshop. I fell in love. It’s like the mathematical gods and design goddesses met and fell in love.

I will say the ‘techie’ parts of coding (HTML/CSS, etc.) that one has to get used to can be one that is either loved or loathed — if you love solving puzzles (like I do) then this coding business will be a real treat for ya. Same goes with Photoshop and any other design programs out there, if you can get past the technical stuff, then go for it! If you are the type of person that doesn’t have the patience for getting lost details I would definitely suggest hiring someone out to do the work for you.

Photography wise, my camera and I go hand-in-hand like peanut butter and jelly. I’ve always loved photography and I’m a bit of a camera nerd (my husband will attest to that). And, as you can see, I’m a visual person, so I’ve got photos all over this blog, here. It’s my ‘other’ way of communicating and interpreting how I see the world and it’s one of the things that come natural for me.

3. SAYING YES TO PROFITS

If you offer products or services, did the blog come first or the business? How do you make budget decisions about investing in conferences, courses, coaching to further your blog?

It’s all about the money, honey. Or is it?

When I first started blogging, it was all about the love. I was a hobby blogger, and I started this blog as a way to put myself out there as an artist and share my love for travel. As I connected with the online community, little did I know that sharing of my artwork would serve as a vehicle for healing. When I started this blog, I was just getting back on my feet from the Great Recession. Ugh – it still hurts my stomach when I think about it. I briefly talked about how I survived this time in my life, last week:

The Power of Manifesting Your Desires Into Reality

And you can find my very first blog post here, which was published on December 1, 2010:

Hello World!

influencers_blog post by desiree eastI fell in love with blogging, and I fell in love with the fact that I could connect with such a vast community of artists, travelers, and creative entrepreneurs from around the world. I had to share my love of the creative process with others, and I thought the blogging platform would be the perfect way to do this to connect with like-minded souls who are part of the creative movement. And here I am.

In 2012, I decided I wanted to transform my ‘hobby’ blog into a site where I could help others tap into their creative wisdom. That’s when I put my head down and started to go full steam ahead with turning my love for creativity into a business.

How did I get the funds to start?

I’m a bootstrapper at heart. As you may or may not know, I am a Professional Landscape Designer by trade, and that’s my bread and butter. Whatever extra cash flow I’ve saved from my design work is what’s been able to keep me afloat as a newly established professional blogger. When I feel I have extra resources to invest in my Creative Coaching business, I budget and prioritize my needs as I see fit.

Amazing Blogging Community vs. Shiny Object Syndrome

Here’s the deal. As an up-and-coming blogger, I have been exposed to a world of extremely talented and intelligent entrepreneurs and with so many great offers, it’s hard to say NO to learning that ‘very last thing you need to catapult you to the top’.

It’s a disease, I’ll tell ya.

And I know I’m not the only one who falls into this trap of being a ‘life-long learner’. Go ahead, raise your hand – are you guilty of this, too?

Saying YES to profits, means investing in your business and doing it in a strategic way that doesn’t leave you in a ginormous hole of debt. In other words, stop spending money on program, after program, after program – especially, if you haven’t followed through with each module and action step. Stop it, already.

Saying YES to profits, means spending quality time on developing your business and being your own guru, by using your talent, skills, education, intelligence and strengths to get to the next level. You’re a smart cookie, yeah? You’ve got this!

Saying YES to profits, means valuing your talents and gifts and sharing it to the world in exchange for money that is flowing toward you as love and gratitude. In other words, you have a right to make profits, and when you provide things that improves people’s lives, it creates a positive, healthy flow of abundance.

4. SAYING NO TO OVERWHELM

Have you ever felt exhausted or overwhelmed by the pace you’ve set for yourself, your own expectations, or the requests of others when it comes to your blog? What would you go back and tell yourself about those times?

Exhausted? Yes!

Overwhelmed? Totally! Isn’t that what happy hours and girls nights out are for? *wink*

Can you give yourself permission to say NO to things/projects/social events/collaborations that don’t jive with your bigger vision and also, say NO to the things that will ultimately give you a nasty ulcer that will rot your stomach lining out?

Here is one simple thing you could do to calm the {bleep} down.

OR…

Having a crazy week? Try this – even a kindergartener can do it.

If there was anything I could tell my (past) self it would be THIS: “Go at your own pace…it’s okay to have high expectations, but remember you could still have high standards and take time out to take care of yourself. Remember to re-connect with the things that keep you grounded and centered, because that is when your best work reveals itself. Burning the candles at both ends will not get you to where you want to be faster…it will only leave you burnt-out. Work hard, play hard, and also indulge in self-care, because you also deserve it.”

As two of my coaching mentors, Stacey Morgenstern and Carey Peters say, when it comes to making sacrifices, “It doesn’t have to be, ‘either or’ you could have ‘both and more’.” 

ONE LAST TIP: Being part of a community of like-minded bloggers could make a world of a difference when it comes to dealing with highs and lows, and especially when it comes to overwhelm. Most successful bloggers are some of the most honest, generous people you’ll meet on this planet. If you have a tribe where you could share your successes and failures, your hopes and fears, and your dreams and goals, having that support will remind you that you are not alone in this ever-evolving journey called, entrepreneurship. So, if you haven’t yet, don’t forget to connect with the lovely ladies below, who are part of this Happy Hour Tour! Check out what Maria Romaine had to say yesterday, and tomorrow, Erin Souder of House of Earnest will be sharing her blogging wisdom with us!

happy hour friends

IF YOU ARE NEW AT BLOGGING OR THINKING ABOUT STARTING A BLOG, WHAT IS ONE THING YOU WOULD LIKE TO KNOW OR LEARN ABOUT? IF YOU HAVE BEEN BLOGGING FOR QUITE SOME TIME NOW, WHAT IS ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU WOULD TELL YOUR PAST-SELF? PLEASE, LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW!

cheers_xo-desi

P.S. DID YOU HEAR? I HAVE A FUN CREATIVE WORKSHOP IN THE WORKS. GET ON THE LIST AND JOIN ME AND OTHER CREATIVE BLOGGERS ENVISION OUR DREAMS FOR 2014, WHILE RAISING MONEY FOR DISASTER RELIEF, TYPHOON HAIYAN. ENROLLMENT STARTS SOON!

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CLICK HERE to sign up for updates to 'VISION BOARD DREAMS' workshop!