You know how people always start off their end-of-the-month posts by saying how fast the month has flown by? And how they can’t believe it’s already June (or whatever month it happens to be)?
This is not one of those posts.
This month has been a tough one for me, filled with work, hustle, and very little play. Looking back on May, I can’t believe all of the exciting, stressful, overwhelming, and amazing things that happened this month.
But we’ll get into all that in just a bit!
At the end of last month I shared with you all of the exciting things that had happened in my first month of blogging. I loved writing that post, but this month I wanted to take a bit of a different approach.
My ultimate goal is to be as transparent, authentic, and “real” with you as I possibly can be. And this is the reality: As I moved from “Blogger” to “Blogger and Business Owner” this month, things got tougher, busier, and more hectic than I ever could’ve anticipated.
The truth is, being a “Solopreneur” is tough, and it takes a lot out of you. This month has been filled with both struggles and successes, and I’d like to share a bit of both with you today.
Booking and working with your first few clients is always scary, no matter what kind of work you do. I was lucky enough to work with my first 3 clients in May, and I got to experience what it’s like to have a career where your performance directly correlates to your ability to pay the bills.
Although it might seem like I have it all together, the truth is that a lot of the time, I’m just winging it as I go. I think a lot of us are. But when you have people turning to you as an authority, or as their “Coach”, it gets scary. It becomes easy to second guess yourself.
“Do I really know enough to be teaching other people?”
“What if they’re not happy with my work and ask for a refund?”
These are all very real thoughts that ran through my head this month.
But you know what? The more you do something and the more you put yourself out there, the more your confidence will grow. Diving in head-first and getting your hands dirty is the quickest way to improve both your skills and your confidence. I learned that first-hand this month.
2. Never feeling like I’ve done “enough”
I have a feeling this is something a lot of entrepreneurs struggle with.
When your work ethic, effort, and hustle is the only thing landing you clients, making sales, and securing a paycheck – how can you reach a point where you ever feel like you’ve done “enough”?
When you set your own schedule and hours, when do you call it quits for the day? Do you take weekends off? How many hours do you work each week?
These questions were a big struggle for me this month. I’m just getting my business “feet” underneath me, so it’s hard to feel satisfied with how much work I’ve gotten done or what I’ve accomplished that day. It also seems like whenever I check one thing off my To-Do list, another 5 things get added (anyone else feel that way?)
One of the ways I’m trying to tackle this problem next month is to force myself to focus on the “Big Picture” when it comes to my blog and business goals. I’d like to tackle my work-related tasks starting with those that are most heavily related to my Big Picture goals, and then move to the smaller, less-related tasks after that. If you have any other tips for this, please let me know!
3. Turning off
Oh BOY has this been a struggle this month.
If I thought my over-thinking, over-analyzing bedtime brain was bad before — it’s NOTHING compared to what it’s like now.
There are nights when I lie in bed for 3 or 4 hours, stirring over everything that went on that day, what’s happening the next day, what I need to get done for my blog, what post I’m going to write next…
Oh, and I wonder if so-and-so ever got around to emailing me back? I better check my email … (reaches for cell phone at 2 in the morning).
This inability to wind down and “turn off” has made for a very sleep-deprived month. On the one hand, I love that I’m doing work I’m so passionate and excited about. But on the other hand, I just wish my brain would SHUT-THE-HECK-UP sometimes.
I won’t get into this in too much detail, but in my efforts to be as real with you as possible, I want you to know that my second month of blogging has come with its share of health issues. I’ve been dealing with a chronic health problem for over a year now, and this past month finally saw me wind up at the hospital.
Thankfully I was able to get an appointment to see my family doctor this week, who will hopefully refer me to a specialist to get this all sorted out. I’d be forever appreciative of any prayers and positive thoughts you can send my way over the next few weeks, friends.
Another reason I wanted to bring this up is because I want you to know that if I’m ever slow to respond to your email, or if I’m hard to get ahold of — this is why. For the most part my health is very manageable, but sometimes it does get the better of me!
5. Feeling overwhelmed + like I can’t keep up
I used to think that when I had a full 40 hours a week to devote to my blog, things would be gravy. But what used to seem like endless amounts of time, now feels like the blink of an eye. When did the days get so much shorter!?
I constantly feel like there are never enough hours in the day to get everything done. Part of that stems from the whole “never feeling like I’ve done enough” thing I mentioned earlier, and the other part stems from the fact that if I’m succeeding in one area, it seems like I’m failing in another.
For example, I wrote 4 guest posts this month (yay!) BUT traffic on my own site was lacking. I worked with my first few clients (yay!) but didn’t manage to write as many new blog posts as I would’ve liked.
I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to find the perfect balance. Even just 2 months into my blogging journey, I can already see myself hiring an assistant to help me manage my business in the future. How crazy is that!
SUCCESSES IN MY SECOND MONTH
Let’s move on to the good stuff, shall we!? I’ll try to keep this short and sweet, because I’m sure I’ve already kept you long enough! (the Word Count is telling me 1200 words already — oops!)
1. Working with my first few (amazing) clients
Yes, I struggled to feel confident when it came to client work this month, but I was also incredibly blessed to work with some super amazing ladies. There’s really nothing better than hearing glowing reviews and recommendations from your clients — it makes all those feelings of uncertainty and inadequacy disappear.
To the lovely Sara, Brittany, and Nikki — thank you for being my firsts, and for being so wonderful!
2. Learning to use Adobe Illustrator
This month I made the investment in an Adobe Illustrator course that Jessica from Love + Color is putting on. Canva was working for me for a while, but I knew I needed to step up my images/graphics game.
I’m about halfway through the course, and I’m loving it so far. I’m the furthest thing from what you’d call “artistic”, so when I can create something that looks half decent, I’m pretty proud of myself.
Now that I’m learning the ropes when it comes to Illustrator, I’ve been slowly re-doing some of the graphics on my website and social media accounts. I’ve been working on creating blog post graphics and Pinterest images that stand out and will be recognized as “mine,” if that makes sense. (How am I doing so far?)
It’s still a work in progress, but I think things will only get better as I continue working through the last few weeks of the course. If you’re looking to learn a more “high end” design program, I would highly highly recommend Adobe Illustrator and Jess’s Masterclass.
It only seems fair to mention a health “success” after sharing one of my struggles, right?
Let me just start off by saying that I am not a gym person. As in, before this month, I had only been to the Gym once in my entire life — and that was for a free trial session.
That isn’t to say I never exercise, or that I don’t like exercising. I’ve just never felt comfortable exercising in front of a bunch of strangers, which is why I avoided gyms at all costs.
But two months ago I moved into a new condo building that has the most AMAZING gym ever (overlooking the pool, might I add. Pinch me). Which I’m happy to say I’ve been getting a lot of use of lately!
Along with my inability to “turn off” and get a decent night’s sleep this past month, I’ve also gone through periods of waking up at 6 AM and not being able to fall back asleep. So what do I do?
Yep, I drag my sorry butt down to the gym.
OR to my den, to practice yoga. I’ve been getting back into yoga this month, starting with Yoga with Adriene’s 30 Day Yoga Camp series. I’m proud of myself for sticking to some sort of fitness routine this past month, amidst all the craziness, late nights, and up-way-too-early mornings.
P.S. You know those super annoying people who SWEAR by waking up ridiculously early to fit their workout in first thing in the morning? Yeah, I used to hate those people. And now — I hate to say it — but I’m starting to agree with them.
So babes, those were some of my biggest struggles and successes from this past month. I’d love to hear what areas you’ve been struggling when it comes to your own blog and business, and where you could use some words of encouragement and motivation.
I’d also LOVE to hear all about your exciting and well-deserved successes this month, so let me know in the comments everything amazing that’s happened for you this month!
Right, I’m off to bed now. It’s 10:04 PM, I’m sitting here writing this all out by hand in an attempt to “wind down” before bed by cutting off all electronic use at 8 o’clock. Oh, and I popped a Melatonin pill about an hour ago, which I think is starting to kick in. Here’s hoping this brain of mine can shut up long enough for me to fall asleep!