Cocktail Hour // Saying No To Overwhelm

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We are really excited to be apart of  Hilary from Dean Street Society's Happy Hour Blog Tour! She asked us to be a part of this tour to open up conversation on the topic's of her new book "The 4-Part Entrepreneur Cocktail." We're so excited to get our hands on this book and hear about her experiences and what she has to share! She's asked us to share a little bit about some of the things that us as bloggers don't always talk about. We often talk about how we want to be as open and honest with our readers as possible, there is definitely a delicate balance to it without pouring out negativity but not presenting a perfect picture. One of her four main topics is "Saying No To Overwhelm," we felt like we can really relate to this as we're going through some changes and re-structuring and have found ourselves in over our heads in the past. We are learning how to find balance, how to say no and how to find a balance between creativity and work. Here are some of the major things that we have found helpful over our last year of blogging, we hope this is insightful and helpful for you, and if you have any other questions, please feel free to ask and we would love to incorporate them into our next friday post or a maybe keep this conversation going a little longer! 

Plan Ahead // Just this past month we've started working on the blog 3 days a week in a studio together and it has been a dream! We are using that time to do everything for the blog: taking & editing photos, writing posts, responding to emails, networking online, and brainstorming. We didn't always have 3 days a week to spend blogging so we used to get together 1 day a week at Tegan's house, take all our photos for the week and then edit and post from home in our free time. Even just having that 1 day to focus only on the blog made a huge difference in our posts, traffic, and really every aspect of the blog. If you are blogging on your own we would definitely recommend picking a day to only focus on the blog. This obviously means saying no to a better paying job that we could be doing throughout the week. It's been so worth while sacrificing that extra money we would be making somewhere else to work towards something that we really love!

Setting The Pace //  We definitely have felt overwhelmed with what we have gotten ourselves into before. Let's be honest... We're not always the best at planning and are quick to over commit. We had a few times where we would do a month or two worth of posts last minute in two days because we were so obsessed with sticking to our post schedule that we ended up posting things that we weren't very proud of. We have had someone with more business experience help us this Fall and we have been learning how to set long term goals and work backwards from there. Making time lines and thoroughly planning every detail before we start working on projects. 

We wish that we could have learnt earlier on how to look further down the road so that we could have allowed ourselves the right amount of time to do certain projects. It's been so good to start looking at the big picture and set bigger and more long term goals. 

Change Is Good //  One thing that we wish we knew before we started was something that Grace Bonney talked about at the Alt Summit Conference. She talked about not being afraid to change things, and that people expect and want change (most of the time... minus the random haters). We were also so stressed if we didn't have a recipe for this weeks "Mmm Monday" because how could we possibly post anything other than that on a monday?! When she made that point at the conference we all looked at each other with wide eyes, finally feeling free! Most of the time no one is even going to notice the changes that may be earth shattering to you. We can't wait to share our new content with you and break out of the mold we've put ourselves in this past year. We've realized when you don't feel like theres anything you HAVE to do there is WAY more room for creativity which readers always love!

Honesty // I think one of the hardest things about blogging that no one actually talks about on their blog is followers. Every one wants them, we need them in order to grow and be successful as a blog, and we know what it's like to compare your stats page to someone else's. We are so grateful for all of our readers and friends and family who support this blog, we wouldn't be able to do this if our blog didn't have followers! It can be hard to find the balance between networking and making real friendships. We have met some amazing people through this blog, it has become a place where we can connect with other bloggers and girls who can relate to us, and have made some really great friends.

Comparing yourself to other blogs can be a really dangerous thing, it's great for helping you find formats and layouts and get inspired by what other creatives are doing but there will always be blogs out there with better photos, better content and ideas, focus on doing what you love and blog about that, if your content isn't inspired by ideas and topics you love, it can become a pain! We have experienced this with getting tied down to our routine and feeling a lack of inspiration, we are learning how to evolve and change and not be afraid of it! I think this goes for whatever you do in life, if you are passionate about it, people will notice, and there's no reason why you shouldn't be successful. As cheesy as it sounds to follow your heart, chase your dreams, there is definitely something to that, and we feel completely blessed that we get to do what we love and share it with all of you! 

We have loved the first few posts on this virtual blog tour, yesterday Maria Marlowe shared her story on what motivates her and we love how passionate she is about what she is doing! We can't wait to hear tomorrow from Becca from The Dabblist Blog and the rest of the month, it's really inspiring to read honest and insightful posts from some really fantastic bloggers, and hopefully they are helpful and meaningful to you!