31-Day Blog Challenge: Living Authentically
Day #5 of my Blog Challenge
I began the pre-launch phase of my business last August and officially launched in January 2017. In the past seven months of being a first-time entrepreneur, I have immersed and overwhelmed myself with information. As I connect myself and my business with Pinterest, Instagram, and other social media platforms, it's easy to feel inadequate. There are people out there running seemingly successful small businesses with thousands of followers, while I struggle to be seen. The biggest thing I've noticed is how perfect all their photos look.
We've become such a visual society. I remember the early days of Facebook when I would post a pun or a joke I came up with and it would incur several likes and comments. Now, news feeds are so bombarded with photos and videos that text-only posts are being quickly scrolled past. Even as I write this blog, I wonder, "How am I going to get some nice photos to insert between paragraphs?" Photography and visual design is important. I'm not discounting that. My observation has only been that the photos are overriding the content. The most successful blogs and businesses are the ones who can curate quality content AND pair it with professional photos. That is my goal. Until then, my cell phone camera is my best friend.
Live and Post Authentically
It's amazing the internet has given us the ability to reach others and make some money on the side, but the most important thing for me is to make sure I live and post authentically. I'm not saying all those picture-perfect profiles aren't authentic, but for me to feel I need to create something identical to be successful . . . that would be inauthentic. Sure, I get style inspiration from hundreds of sources that will influence some of my design choices. That's what art is. But in the social media realm, I just don't have the energy to pretend!
My Life is a Mess and That's OK
Crafting is messy. I don't have a beautifully organized craft room with white shelves and pegboards. Here's the unedited cellphone pic to prove it. I make my scrapbooks and cards in the corner of my bedroom, usually on the floor. I don't buy all the latest embellishments and papers at the craft store, although sometimes I wish I had the funds to! Instead, I save everything and have accumulated an eclectic assortment of scraps from old greeting cards, envelopes, magazines, etc to draw from. I'll admit, sometimes I'm jealous of how put-together other creative entrepreneurs and scrapbookers seem to be. But when I see how unique and lovely one of my scrapbook pages turns out, I'm extremely proud of what I made. On my own. With my own ideas.
Add Your Own Flair
I encourage you to find the areas in your life where you can live authentically and add your own flair! There's nothing wrong with seeing an awesome idea and replicating it; that's often why the creator shared it in the first place. But I can tell you, it's truly an amazing feeling when you look around your house and can say, "I made that" or "That was my idea." Be proud of your own unique style and never apologize for the low-quality photos you post online. We all have to start somewhere.