This past weekend I had the opportunity to hang with two very lovely bloggers:
Dara, of lovedarbie
and Marie of Good Lookn Out
We talked about life in the Bay Area, some of our pivotal life experiences, and some of the challenges we experience as black, female bloggers.
What I Wore:
I love how you can easily dress up a relaxed look with some cute heels and/or a a bold bag. I was definitely going for an “easy breezy beautiful, covergirl” look by pairing the baggy jeans with a relaxed top and nude heels.
Head to Toe- Zara; Bag & Necklace- H&M
We decided to grub on some Thai food while getting to know each other better and discussing some our triumphs and challenges as bloggers as well as some of the other happenings in our lives. (sidebar: i’m seriously obsessed with Thai food. I don’t think I’ve ever walked out of a Thai restaurant without a smile on my face)
Even though, as humans, we are all so different, it’s comforting to revel in our similarities as well. The girls and I clicked immediately and had a really vibrant discussion touching on just about everything under the sun. The challenges of getting exposure as a black female blogger, debating between blogging about what you really like and what your readers are actually responding to, and questioning the balance between personal, style,and inspirational posts were just a few of the topics we got into. I think it’s important to share your story with others, especially with those who are going through a similar journey as you are. You never know who you might help or who might help you. I thought I’d share some of take aways I got out of our day together and came up with 5 ways to foster your passion.
1. Take risks. – I’ve made this point, but I am going to make it again. Both of these ladies have made HUGE moves and have had experience living in many places around the country. These experiences have seriously shaped their outlook on life and provided some inspiration for what they are doing today. To be a blogger, you have to be a self starter and you have to be willing to put your time and energy in something even though you aren’t sure people will be receptive to it. Doing what you love, purposefully, and taking risks to fulfill your dreams and goals can only help you in life. One of my favorite mantras is the idea that one must “fail forward”, essentially meaning..always always try new things, if they work out, great…if they don’t, learn from your mistakes and use them to do better in the future. You aren’t doing anyone any favors by half-assing your work or your passions. Sometimes it’s necessary to go all in and see where life takes you. And you know what they say, with great risk comes great reward.
2. Work smarter – It’s important that you work hard at what you do, but remember to work smarter as well. There are so many amazing tools available to us that are literally at the tip of our fingers and just a Google search away. Don’t feel like you have to take on everything yourself. If you have a question or need some advice, theres probably someone else, somewhere else that has had the same issue. They may not have the answer you are looking for but it may give you some ideas. I’ve learned a ton of things from Youtube alone about everything from calculus to learning how to sew. Follow thought leaders in your area of interest on Twitter, find blogs that cater to your niche, take care of your brain and create an environment that will help foster your creativity.
3. Let people in – Part of being a blogger involves letting people get a peek inside your life. Often times its tough to decide where to draw the line on how much you should share with others. But that is part of taking risks. People want to get to know you and have a connection with you. This is what will keep them coming back to your blog and supporting you. Readers want to like and identify the bloggers they follow and sharing about your personal life will help foster that relationship.
4. Network, make friends in your field – Making connections in your field is one of the smartest things you can do. These are people that are knowledgeable about your area of interest and can help you out along the way. Find a mentor, someone who you admire who can give you advice when you are stuck in a rut or can’t find your way. Networking and making real connections will open doors for you that might have never even considered or thought possible. The opportunity to collaborate and innovate with peers will be invaluable and help you in the long run.
5. Ignore the haters! – It is very important to be who you are, unapologetically. I know I am just full of cliches in this post, but they really do ring true. “Comparison is the thief of joy” is another one of my favorite quotes and it’s true! People only hate when they find something to hate about, meaning you probably have somethin’ special going on there. Keep at it. Don’t try and be like anyone else, compete against yourself and be uniquely you. We all have something to bring to the table that no one else has. Realize that and cherish it. I think there’s value in being the best but don’t let someone else’s “best” define what yours should be.
After lunch we (lazily) checked out a thrift store in SF (while Dara simultaneously gave us photography tips) and grabbed a cup of coffee at my favorite place, Philz!
These beautiful strong women are doing amazing, bold things with their lives and they will continue to inspire to do better and better each day. Can’t wait to do it again ladies. =]
P.S. Thanks for these beautiful pictures Dara! Check out her portfolio, its amazingly dope!