One of my goals is finding new ways to use technology to create an impact in people’s lives. You see, eight years ago in August 2010, I started a blog that changed my life. Clicking “publish” on my first post, when I was a graduate student with no blogging experience, was a big step for me. With no training in technology or business, and no blogging community, I had only my expertise in psychology and my passion to make an impact in the world as my adrenaline. I put in the long hours and hard work to build the blog. At that time, very few people were blogging and technology wasn’t as prevalent as it is now. Just for context, Instagram wasn’t launched until two months afterwards in October 2010.
From experience, I know that following your dreams takes courage, belief in yourself, and the right support. When I started as an entrepreneur and blogger, I knew no one who was on an unconventional route, so I started seeking a community of fellow women entrepreneurs to empower me on my route. Early on, I realized that you can’t do you your dreams alone. You need a supportive crew to help you along the way.
Along my path, I discovered the movie, Dream, Girl. When the movie’s Creator and Director, Erin Bagwell, reached out to me recently about the movie’s release online for free for all to see, I had to invite Erin to be back on The Self-Discovery Retreat. For those who may remember, Komal Minhas (producer of Dream, Girl) and Erin were on the site back in 2015.
If you could describe your 2017 in a few words, what would you say?
For me, 2017 can be summarized as “making bold moves.” It has been a year of growth. A year of getting the courage and taking action. The year I “went for it” and turned big ideas into reality.
This is the time of year when people send out yearly updates in holiday cards, so think of this as my personalized holiday letter to you. With the holiday season upon us and 2018 around the corner, I have been reflecting on 2017 and all that has happened on my personal journey, especially my big move.
What has been the biggest cause of frustration and/or stress in your life?
The first word that comes to mind for me, a female founder, is “money.” During a recent conversation with a friend, I realized that money is keeping me awake at night and a daily stressor. Perhaps it is for you too?
There are so many challenges facing entrepreneurs! It takes a lot of hard work and perseverance to turn a dream into reality. Many of us just roll up our sleeves, don’t complain, and keep moving forward! But lately, I have been called to voice the financial struggles.
For as long as I can remember, I have been an older sister to two of the most strong, talented, and beautiful of women. I love them dearly. They inspire me daily to be my best self. So because my sisters and others are reading and learning from me through my blog, I wanted to share a story that serves as a good reminder that it’s not that you fall that matters, it’s that you get back up!!
For the past few months, I have taken a break from the blog after regular posting. During that time I was going through a lot and my mental energy was being depleted. So to empower myself, I disconnected and took a much-needed break to recharge. Truly speaking, I was exhausted from work and personal stuff. So instead of posting online on the blog, I spent my time with notebooks and my camera, envisioning the next steps for the online space I have spent the last seven years creating. Now, I am renewed and energized. Making myself a priority in the busy world of entrepreneurship was exactly what I needed.
The world needs our kindness. As you know, I am on a mission to use my platform to spread positivity and kindness globally. Earlier last month, my sister discovered The Kindness Diaries on Netflix and simply told me I had to watch it. So, I did. If you haven’t seen the series, it is about a man (Leon Logothetis) who travels the world relying on the kindness of strangers.
An online presence is commonplace these days. The online environment can really help you thrive by connecting with others!
Since starting my blog six years ago, I have talked to many people who are fearful of showing up and being seen online. Due to this fear, they either don’t put themselves out there or if they do, they do it in a way that doesn’t showcase their strengths. It takes courage to put yourself out there and be seen on a global stage; one bad occurrence may stop you completely. I can relate.
Here you are a smart, strong, beautiful young woman who graduated and is now working hard to make your way in the world. You are ambitious and have this fire in your heart to make the world a better place. You want your voice to be heard and have the capabilities to lead. Yet, on your rise to the top, you are having a hard time being taken seriously and being seen as more than a just pretty face. Sound familiar?
On my personal journey developing a career as a professional woman, I have been dealt many waves to de-stabalize me along my way; some involve criticism, some relate to unequal power dynamics. These waves can get me off my game, faking me out to believe I am unworthy or that my voice doesn’t matter.
“You’ve been dealt a lot of waves on your path,” a friend commented recently while talking with me about my first years as an entrepreneur. Without hesitation I replied, “Good thing I’m an amazing paddler!”