I’ve always imagined myself excelling in Corporate America. Something about being the only woman at a round table meeting with all men thrills me. I love the politics of it and being only 26, it’s allowed me to meet and work closely with a lot of Houston’s development movers and shakers. There’s an obvious stigma regarding why people blog, which is usually to create their own lanes and escape their dead end jobs. But when people ask me if I plan to blog full time, my answer’s no. Outside of the obvious reasons for why blogging in itself is difficult, you can only imagine how much time it takes to work for a company roughly 45 hours a week and still make time to create what you envision for yourself. It’s indeed a hustle. Here are four things that help me shine at my 9 to 5 while building my brand –
Make The Time
It’s without a doubt difficult to balance both. There are days where I don’t post because I have so much going on at work that needs my attention. There are also days where my job takes a backseat because I’m doing so well with The B Werd that it takes precedence. Balance never looks the same two days in a row. You make the time when and where you can. Whether you’re staying up later than usual or waking up earlier than you’re used to, you’ll need to squeeze it in at some point. I’m no good after 10 p.m. on a week night (hell, weekends too) so I started waking up closer to 6 a.m. to make sure my posts were ready to go. That includes my photos being ready, my products being linked and a cup or two of coffee so I’m not missing errors while proofreading. It’s equally as important to me that I excel with both my brand and my career and it’s not fair to either of them to receive less than what I’m capable of giving because I’m half-assing the quality of my time management. Outside of the weekdays, I spend a large portion of my weekends ensuring I’m staying on top of what I know my brand needs as well as taking the time out to create content that might come in handy on a day where my career simply doesn’t allow me the time to get a post up.
Decide on Your Plan
As much as I’d like to boast about having a super successful planned-in-advance content calendar, I can’t. But I do have somewhat of a plan. My plan is, write when you can and shoot outfits on the weekends; and so far it’s worked for me. Of course I throw in meeting with graphic designers to create media kits, emailing you all back, pitching to brands and searching for exposure opportunities and all the other time consuming things that go on behind the scenes. Because this blog is creative for me, it’s difficult for me to plan content too far in advance. Your plan may look different, but most importantly you need to decide what days you’ll be uploading your YouTube videos, or editing your podcasts and stick to those routines. If you’re working a full-time job your time is already limited. It’s incredibly important that you utilize the free time you do have. I used to wait on the perfect time to make the perfect decisions out of fear that I’d make a mistake and that only held me up. Get decisive and stick with it. Trust me, you’ll inevitably get things wrong whether you take your time or not so you might as well get out of your own way and move quickly.
I’m not a walking business yet, so I don’t have a team of paid professionals that I can delegate work to. Regardless, I’ve got a team of people (they’re actually friends and family) who can and will help. My best friend is a graphic designer. I have three friends who are photographers and have taught my friends who aren’t how to get the perfect iPhone shot. I have open conversations with my boss about what I’m building so she understands and supports time I might need off. I’ve been so blessed that the people around me believe in me more than I believe in myself that they often offer before I have to ask. Get so passionate about what you’re doing that people feel apart of something special by helping you. Allow the people in your life to contribute. Before I’d insist that I’d handle everything because it was what I was so used to. I had to get over being “nice” very quickly. This is about getting things done.
Sit Things Out
It’s just something that you’ll have to do sometimes. There are many weeknights I have to pass on happy hours to make sure I have content scheduled for the next day or times where I have to skip brunch with friends because I’ve agreed to shoot photos. You’ll have to prioritize what’s going to contribute to what you’re building. Not only is your free-time so precious, but you’re funding a business you created. You’re continuously investing in items for your business like cameras, ring lights and apps, buying clothes and shoes for outfit posts, purchasing tickets to attend blogger seminars, and paying your photographer for their services. I weigh the pros and cons of a $60 brunch that takes four hours of of my Sunday when I could be working. When you’re working towards building something for yourself, think twice about how both your time and money are spent.