Two days from now I will be in Key Biscayne Florida, wearing a bathing suit cover up layered over a tank top and leggings for the Mom 2.o Summit white party. An out of office email response will appear to anyone that sends me “teacher” work emails as I take two work days off to learn, network, and absorb all of the fantastic content during the conference. A conference that marks my first social media conference as someone who is ready to engage with content, brands, and site curators as a self employed freelance writer instead of just “a mom who blogs” as a hobby.
A conference that marks a new priority. A new intention. A new path to explore.
Setting up Your Brand
Leading up to the conference I have been in what I can only describe as a “ramping” up mode. Spending HOURS to create new business cards after learning about HOW TO WIN AT BUSINESS CARDS with Laurie Smithwick. I have spent entire weekends trying to create and then revise (and revise some more) a media kit. Of course, after the HOW TO CONNECT WITH SPONSORS AT MOM 2.0 class with Laura Mayes, and after reading COUNTLESS posts about how to create a media kit, I know that more revisions are in order.
I have even been purchasing e-books about the business of blogging. I happened to see a tweet on Saturday (as I sat in my hairdresser’s chair) about Tara Ziegmont’s e-book called 25 Simple Ways to Make Money Blogging. I bought it. I then saw a tweet about Nikki Hughes‘ ebook Your Blogging Business: Tax Talk and Tips from a Bookkeeper Turned Blogger. I bought that too. I have been reading post after post about different platforms, lessons learned, and trends. (and no, I am not linking to affiliate links although that IS one of the possible ways to make money). I have even been trying to spread my wings and create more video content because the word on the street, although blogs are not dying, is that video is compelling and engaging.
I have even been brainstorming future domain and website names….because…well you never know, just in case.
Remembering Your Purpose
The trick amongst all of this though, and the thing that I believe to be the KEY to any success in ANY career, is to remember my purpose. I can not go willy nilly in every direction, trying to be all things to all people. I cannot start creating content that is not authentic and meaningful to me. I know that I need a direction. A focus to move forward and grow. But I also know that these things take time. Just like training for a marathon, there is a lot of legwork, foundation and relationship building that needs to happen first. I cannot rush those things. I cannot go to a conference and expect, poof, for freelance work to land in my lap.
Knowing What I am Good At
I have had the opportunity recently to spend a lot of time talking in person and on the phone with parents of students that I work with. Thinking about next steps. Thinking about how best to nurture their child and how to best foster self confidence in students that have potential, but need opportunities to feel successful in order to shine. I am good at facilitating those conversations with parents. am a big picture kind of gal. I ask great open ended questions that can prompt thinking and reflection. I am good at building rapport and developing relationships around a common goal.
This space is no different. Next steps need to be scaffolded and planned. Building relationships is about building trust, not about trying to get the most business cards. Building relationships is also about putting yourself out there, past your comfort zone. For me that means not just spending time with people I know already, but forcing myself to engage with new faces. Not because I “want” something…but because with every new face comes a new story. And with every new story comes new learning. And with new learning…well….what else could be more powerful as a tool for setting your path?
So this…this place of finding my path…this is a good place for me. The rest…will come. In time and with effort.