On a break…

Gentle reader;

This is one of those posts I’ve been struggling with for a while. One of those ones you feel bubbling up inside you, but you don’t know if you have the guts to actually put fingers to keyboard and let it out.

There are always reasons for this, and those reasons are always rooted in fear. Fear of being judged. Fear of being thought a failure. Fear of criticism.

But here’s the long and the short of it: it’s time to make some changes.

Change quote

I’ve been bloggidy-blogging here in some form or another since October of 2008, and before that I blogged in other places. This has been a huge part of my life.

I started this blog for two reasons; one was I need a marketing tool for my newly-launched freelance PR/social media marketing biz. And the other was that I needed to write. Starting at the age of 18, I had a 20-year-long love affair with the theatre. I still love the theatre, but we’re on a break while I raise my son. Still, that creative energy doesn’t just go away. It needs an outlet. And for me, that outlet has been writing over the last (nearly) 8 years. At current count, there are 3 blogs: this one, Cooking by Laptop, and Brunchcouver. I also still occasionally contribute to VancityBuzz, and I am a paid writer for another Vancouver blog.

On top of all that, I have 4 part-time teaching contracts, and a handful of social media & PR clients. Plus, the kid.

So, yeah, I’m busy.

But I was busy before, too. What’s changed? Well, for starters, I’m teaching more than I ever have before (and I don’t want to say no to teaching–I really love it, and the onslaught of work now means I can take July and August off to just hang with my son). As well, one of my clients recently has needed more this month than they have in the past, as we are into a really busy season with them. So, basically what’s happening is, I have tons of paid work. Not a bad problem to have, right?? Exactly. But it leaves little time for (directly) unpaid work, like blogging.

For me, blogging has always been an investment in the future. This blog has been my main source of marketing for new clients and my book(s), and it’s been a highly successful one. My cooking blog allows me to have some amazing food and travel experiences, and I’m grateful for that. But the time I sink into these, in terms of what it pays back in directly billable hours, is negligible.

So, I have to focus on paid work.

But this brings up all kinds of things for me. You see, I’m an all-or-nothing kinda gal. I create a schedule and stick to it. At this time, I’m writing between 6-7 blog posts a week. It’s a big commitment, and when I commit to something, I really commit to it. So not doing it feels like failure to me.

But on the other hand, I’m also aware that some of my blog posts over the last few months have been… less than stellar. There have been times when I’ve put something up because I needed content, not necessarily because I was deeply inspired to write. And the quality may not have been as high.

I feel like it’s time to take a break, and take a step back. I’ve already had one coaching session, and I need some more time to chat with some other friends and bloggers about what the next step needs to be.

One thing I’m considering is combining the two blogs–if I can only figure out how to make food and social media work together?

I feel muddy. I need clarity. And I need a little time to hopefully get that.

So, gentle reader, I’m taking a bit of a break. I’m not sure how long it will be. Maybe just a couple of weeks, maybe a month. My classes all wrap up at the end of June, so I will be getting back a big chunk of time then.

In the mean time, please continue to follow and interact with me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. And I’d love to hear your thoughts or ideas on how I might move forward. You, after all, are a big reason why I do this–so you opinion is incredibly important to me. Please feel free to comment below or on my Facebook page.

Until soon,

~Rebecca

 

5 Quotes from Seth Godin

Last weekend, I took a big trip. I’d been invited on a FAM trip to Vernon (for my other blog), and the drive was about 4 ½ hours.

In preparation for this drive, I made sure Chica (my new-to-me- 2006 Kia Rio) had been tuned up, and I had a new stereo installed in her so I could listen to podcasts from my phone. I then downloaded the 15 episodes of the Social Media Examiner podcast I had yet to catch up on (and a few more) and hit the road.

One of the podcasts was an interview with Seth Godin. Now, I’m pretty sure you know who Seth is. He is one of the leaders and one of the heroes of my Social Media Marketing world. Author of 22 books and a daily blog, he travels the world speaking (I had the privilege of seeing him live last year). Godin is one of my heroes, because in his heart, he’s an artist, and I can identify with that. His philosophies around marketing match my own, and every time I hear him speak, I feel incredibly inspired. I was literally in tears listening to this podcast, and that’s not something that normally happens.

So, I thought I’d pull together 5 of my favourite quotes from Seth Godin, and hope that you feel inspired, as well.

seth godin quote blogging

seth godin quote leadershp

seth godin quote inspiration

seth godin quote creativity

 

seth godin quote success

 

Why You Should Strive for Imperfection in Social Media

Strive for perfection? Hogwash. Especially when it comes to social media.

I feel like there are a bunch of folks out there that are trying desperately to create a brand for themselves that says “I am successful!” “I have an amazing life!” They carefully curate their social media content to that they show us only the best, the most fabulous parts of their lives, but the sad realities are never revealed.

imperfection on social media

I understand why. For someone like me, who is self-employed, too much information could easily kill a potential relationship with a client. If I come across on my social media as, say, unstable, it’s possible someone won’t want to work with me, because they will be afraid that, if they hire me, I might not be able to come through on my commitments to them. So I want to come across as responsible, competent, and, of course, successful.

As human beings, our bullshit detectors are finely tuned. Portray yourself as nothing but perfect, and you’ll find people will start to become skeptical.

Case in point: Gwyneth Paltrow. She’s been in the news a lot this past couple of weeks, because Mario Butali challenged her to take the Welfare Challenge (note: speaking of imperfection, she did write this after the fact). Now, if you’ve ever been on GOOP, you’ll know what I mean by perfection. Everything on that site is perfect, polished, expensive, and styled to within an inch of its life. In other words, I have nothing in common with the person in charge of that site. There is almost nothing on that site that falls within my price range, and even if I could afford it, I don’t really live the lifestyle that would support me wearing a pair of white, pleat-front shorts. Please understand; I’m not mocking Gwyneth. I’m just saying we don’t live in the same worlds. At all. And that feeling creates distance, maybe even animosity.

A different celebrity with whom I do not share a world is Tyra Banks. But I have very different feelings towards TyTy. Despite the fact that she is a model and actress (Harvard Graduate and entrepreneur), and lives in LA, and again, we have very little, if anything in common, I have a kind of fondness for Ms. Banks. Why? Her Instagram feed in particular, an her social media in general, gives the impression of a gal with some quirks. You’ll see her being silly, posting no-makeup selfies, generally being self-depreciating and poking fun at herself. Not all the time. But sometimes. Enough to make us all feel that a real person lives there behind the camera. Does she probably swan around in expensive clothes I could never afford doing things like hosting the Daytime Emmys? Sure. But she seems so much more accessible to me.

Wait, Mom, I'm not ready…

A photo posted by Tyra Banks (@tyrabanks) on

Here’s the thing: to err is human. When we allow people in, allow them to see our imperfection in social media (and in life, generally), it creates a bond. Ugh. Yes. I have also on my camera or phone photos of myself that are not “perfect.” Just like Tyty. But we can laugh at it together, because… that’s life. That’s reality.

Showing vulnerability creates trust. It creates a connection with another human being. And we want to do business with people we know, like and trust. Simple.

Gary Vee Snapchat

One last example. Love him or hate him (and I feel like most people fall into one of those polarized camps), Gary Vaynerchuck is a master at this stuff. He’s a smart, smart dude. He’s running a giant empire, travelling all over the world, making deals, doing speaking engagements, writing books. But you have to see his snapchat (username: GaryVayner). He creates daily short video updates that are not edited in any way, and are simply little slices of his life. He’ll talk about his day, how much he sucks at basketball, meetings, just basically whatever’s going on. It gives the impression that he’s just a regular guy, someone you could easily go for a beer (probably a glass of wine, actually) with.

Feels like this “Imperfection in Social Media ” movement is where it’s at right now, and I, for one, am all for it. It creates a connection, and that’s a good thing.

The challenge, of course, is knowing where to stop. How much is too much? I can’t answer that. It’s something you’ll have to decide for yourself, based on your own levels of comfort, and your business and personal brand. But I want to encourage you to show your imperfections a littel little more today.