Owning a small business has taught me a lot of things, but above all it’s taught me that organization is key. Good thing I’m obsessed with planners right?
I’ve tried a lot of different methods over the past three years to keep up with everything I need to do for my business. From crazy to do lists to completely separate daily planners, I’ve tried a wide range and have found that simplicity is better. More often than not I would highly recommend just adding all your work things into your main planner, but sometimes a bit more space is needed.
I still add in daily to do items and big deadlines into my main planner so things aren’t being missed, but found that a clear overview was lacking in my original setup. I was having a hard time looking farther than a week or two ahead and needed a better way to track the big picture.
So when Erin Condren finally relaunched their monthly planners
, I had to scoop one up. I’m still working on the setup so I’ll be sure to pop some photos on Instagram
or write another blog post about my progress, but I’ve fount it to be a really helpful tool at creating a game plan. I made myself some specific font stickers to make repeat events easier to document. I now feel like I know what’s going on, what will be going on soon, and where there are gaps to fill with a sale or new releases. I’m even contemplating recoiling my main planner to add this new book into the back of it to keep everything in one place.
The most important thing about planning is being open to change. What’s worked for you may not always continue to work for you. And that’s totally ok. It’s better to adapt then stick to a routine that isn’t working anymore.
Guys. I’m the product photographer for The Planner Addict Box
. The cat’s out of the bag and I’m so freakin’ pumped about it.
So here’s how this crazy twist of events came to pass. As I casually scrolled through Instagram one day, I came across a post by PAB looking to hire a few positions. A product photographer was one of them and it got me thinking. “Hey I like product photography and basically do it daily in some form. Might as well apply!” So I did. And then proceeded to go on a cruise for a week and completely forgot about the whole thing. I didn’t even tell Alex I applied just in case my pipe-dreams of becoming a paid photographer were too lofty.
When we finally got back into port after one amazing week forgetting any work back at home, I checked my email. And I got the job. Of course I told Alex immediately and he thought it ridiculous that I nervously didn’t tell him I had even applied. We celebrated in our stateroom on the ship and headed back home. I had photos to take.
I’m on my second month of photographing their monthly subscription box and I absolutely love it. It’s the type of work I get geeked over. Constantly thinking about new ways to photograph items, flat lay setups, and the best way to showcase a collection. And it’s something I’m good at, but almost never found out.
That’s the thing. I didn’t think I wanted to be a freelance photographer. If it wasn’t for that Instagram post, I would have never found out that I do in fact want more of this. So I’m on the hunt for more clients. I don’t have a clue what I’m doing or where to find them, but I’m on the lookout.
So that’s how I became a freelance photographer accidentally on purpose.
Follower counts are basically soul crushing. No matter how important they are to your business or online success, it’s nearly impossible not to check your stats. Plus if you run an online business or are trying to get into the blogging world, they basically become an obsession.
And it drove me nuts. I constantly kept updating Instagram just to see my count not get any higher but actually lose followers. It left me uninspired, let down, and like no one liked me. It started to affect my content too. I didn’t want to post anymore because I got it in my head that no one even cared in the first place. That’s a seriously self-destructing attitude. So I took a step back, just like you should, and approached follower counts differently.
My first tip seems easy enough, but is definitely the hardest of the lot. Just stop looking. What you don’t know won’t hurt you and nothing can be more true than ever changing follower counts. There are plenty of other ways to track platform growth beyond followers. Look at whether your content is getting more engagement. Have you gotten comments this week on your blog posts? See if your videos are getting more views than past ones. Just avoid looking at that one silly number that seems to determine success on the internet.
Better yet don’t look at others’ follower counts either. This became my ultimate downfall. It felt like I needed to keep up with people creating the same content as me. Like if I didn’t match follower for follower they were better than I was. That just isn’t true. There is no way of truly knowing what or how brought about their success. There isn’t a formula to follow. Each person’s online journey is different. So just don’t look at the “competition” because there will always be someone with slightly more followers than you anyway.
Focus on your content and you won’t have time to worry about followers. When it became my obsession to refresh pages, I basically would stop creating new content. It’s a vicious cycle of refreshing, feeling bad, not posting, not getting followers, repeat. So I started to focus on my content more and found that I am too busy making new things to really think about if my followers are growing or not. I’m throwing myself into my work more so now than ever. And it’s producing quality content that will naturally increase followers.
Remember why you started. If it was to become rich and famous from the internet then you approached things all wrong. But most people start blogging or making YouTube videos because they want to share their interests with other people. If you’re doing that, then you’ve won. Sure it would be nice to sit back as ad money comes in from your latest post, but as long as you’re getting what you had hoped to receive when you started the whole thing, then you’re a success.
Now I know follower counts are still important no matter how hard I lie to myself and say they aren’t. But they’re also a disease that can crush your creativity and destroy the quality of content you produce. So take a step back, focus on the content, and the follower stuff will figure itself out on its own.
Our bedroom got a new addition recently and I’ve been in #shelfie mode ever since. Plus with a new budget keeping our excess spending in check, I had to get creative with how I decorated it. Didn’t want to spend that precious eating out money on decorations. Girl needs her noms.
After adding a few things here and there of items I already owned, a formula for shelf-decorating success started to pop up in my head. Some super simple rules to follow to decorate a new shelf with items you already owned. And it’s basically a no brainer.
First up, find a few bins. I shamefully have a box full of them in our basement waiting for their future storage glory. I picked two that matched and toted them back upstairs. I chose two different sizes for a bit of of an unbalanced look. You can store anything you want in them (blankets, movies, etc.) but my squishy collection
demanded a spot. Plus it adds a fun pop of personalty and color.
Next find a few travel or life souvenirs. This Tardis Alex made me out of a beer box to ask me to be his girlfriend. It lights up and everything. I’m still quite impressed to this day so I love having it out on display. It’s an interesting element to add to the shelf, but also sentimental as well. Win win.
Then add some plants. A living element does wonders to the look of a shelf and brightens up a space. I’m a big fan and in a quest to put at least one plant in every room of the house.
Pile on more trinkets, collections, or mementos. We all have things we collect, so why not put some on display to spark conversation and add personality to a space. My Gilmore Girls figurines
demanded it really.
Stagger your boxes so they don’t weigh down one side of your shelf more than the other. Then pop in some old magazines, a few of your favorite books, or in my case planner supplies. We all have them so why not give them a second life?
Photos are also a super easy addition to styling a shelf and you probably have a few printed up here and there already. Or it’s a great excuse to finally get a photo printed to put in that frame you bought a while ago.
Keep it simple.
Let your shelf breathe. You don’t need to jam pack it full of items and things. I love leaving a section blank or with just a few items to make the shelf seem lighter and with room for potential. Kinda like I didn’t try and style it at all, it just sort of happened. Plus Tardis loves this thing and lays on it constantly in the open spaces.
A lot of these items you probably already own so grab a few, lay them all out, and start styling your shelf.
If we ever meet in real life, I’m sure within the first ten minutes I’ll try to convince you to start a blog. I’m a big fan. This space has done wonders for me over the years so naturally I’d want to spread that blogging magic to anyone who will listen. So if you’re on the fence or just getting started, here are a few things to help you along the way.
Get yourself a blog template. I wish someone had told me about these sooner. The biggest mistake I see with young bloggers is a poor blog layout. Your content could be amazing, but appearance is everything with blog first impressions. The default options are garbage really, so find yourself $20-$30 and invest in your new hobby. Etsy is full of them (that’s where I found mine) and the creators are beyond helpful in providing tutorials and assistance in setting the template up. Blogging will look exactly the same to you on the back end, but will look oh-so-pretty for any new readers who might come your way.
Find blogging groups on Facebook to join to learn more tips and tricks starting out. Plus it’s a great way to meet new friends who share the same interests as you. None of my real life friends blog despite all of my best efforts, so it’s nice to have places to go to share ideas, issues, and find people to collaborate with.
Engage in the community you’re trying to create content in. I made this mistake for years. I sincerely thought, “If I write it, they will come.” They definitely did not come. So read other blogs and comment on them. Not with your own blog link, but actually engage with the authors. You’ll quickly become immersed in the community and you’ll find yourself getting more views in no time.
Don’t expect magic to happen overnight. I’m sorry. Tons of blogging advice gives the illusion that if you follow these tips you’ll be the next big blogger. And you might be. But there’s also a really good chance it’s going to take time and a lot of hard work to carve out a solid place for yourself in the blogging world. Don’t give up, but don’t expect to have PR companies filling up your email after just a few posts. Be consistent, create engaging new content, and be yourself. It may take time, but it’s about the journey more than anything anyway.