I’m going to TRY and keep this post as short and sweet as possible as that’s exactly what the last 7 years blogging and vlogging have felt like: short and sweet. That’s what happens when you love what you do, right? Time flies by on wings.
There’s no sign of a 7 year itch (phew) but I definitely have more goals I want to reach in the near future, with my biggest dream being returning to my filmmaking roots, combining my digital career with directing again. That’s the 5 year plan anyway!
A huge goal of mine was met recently when I submitted my book Mumboss-The Honest Mum’s Guide to Surviving and Thriving at Work and At Home to my editor, a book I wrote over 9 months between 10 pm and 3 am which felt like a third baby and it hits the shops on May 3rd ( you can pre-order it here (go on, you know you want to): https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mumboss-Honest-Guide-Surviving-Thriving/dp/0349416699). This books marks a new, literal, literary chapter in my life and I can’t wait to get it out into the world and hopefully help lots of others seize this gloriously stimulating, game-changing digital landscape.
But back to my blog’s birthday!
7 whole years have passed since I went live on THIS POST and it’s fair to say that I’ve learnt some hard and fast lessons over the years time and as cheesy as it sounds, I’ve grown a lot of as a ‘human bean’, as Xander would say.
I blooming well LIKE myself and what I stand for, which feels like an act of courage in itself to admit to (which is quite sad really when you ponder it) but when fellow queens stop me in the street or email me to say they now feel more confident or have their own business or blog thanks to my work here, it warms my cockles and keeps me going.
So a huge thanks to lovely lot for reading, supporting and giving me the guts to keep pushing on!
Here’s to another 7 years and more-and hopefully Mumboss/ Honest Mum the movie x
The 7 Things I’ve Learnt in 7 Years Blogging
1. Be Yourself
Yep that old chestnut again but it’s true: integrity and honesty are everything on, and offline. Be true to yourself. Don’t worry if people don’t like you, negativity says more about THEM than it does about YOU, so go do you. Like-minded, kick-ass people will find you. Like attracts like, remember. Don’t pretend online or put on an act. People can sense dishonesty a mile off, and when you meet your readers (which you might well do), it will become glaringly obvious if you’re the polar opposite to your online persona. Have the courage to be emotionally vulnerable on screen, and yourself, quirks and all. Be real. Be honest. Be you, baby!
2. Be Kind
Be your own best friend first and foremost, and of course be kind to others too. Talk to yourself as you would your closest mate. Self-care makes for a happy mum and a happy mumboss. Hang out with people who make you feel good about yourself as the first rule of thumb. Strong relationships are founded on positive energy. If unions feel like hard work then give them a wide berth. Be open and empathise with others but when people consistently hurt you, with no sign of changing, be kind to yourself first and bid them goodbye. Letting go frees up your time and energy/bandwidth for new, inspiring friendships and collaborations. You’re not here to save the world as my close friends keep reminding me.
3. Take Time Out
All work and no play makes you a total bore, babe. You have to LIVE life in order to CREATE YOUR ART. Go have fun for flip’s sake. Reap the rewards of your hard work, and each new dawn you’re lucky enough to receive. For me, success means owning my own schedule and utilising the flexibility I craved from day one, and the reason I started this blog in the first place to do my thing. Hang out with your kids, go for a walk, meet friends, take a yoga class and chill the f*** out whenever you can. It’s good for the soul, it’s good for your work (you’re more productive when you’re happy) and it’s good for your family.
4. Don’t sweat the trolls and the naysayers
In 7 years blogging and vlogging, I’ve had my fair share of abuse from libel to body-shaming and beyond but I forgive them all. Truly. Read my post about it HERE if you don’t believe me. As Psychologist Hillary L McBride so wisely told me, ‘Hurt people hurt people’. Don’t rise to it, let it go and keep going. Successful people don’t let others define who they are or how they feel. I’ve had the most shocking lies written about me but knowing they’re just that: lies, means they can’t hurt me. Jealousy is rife in all industries but look for the good in everyone, which overpowers negativity and wins every single time. If you’re upset about something, have a cry, then get right back up again, allowing stones thrown to simply make you stronger (which they will, I promise).
5. Push Yourself Out of Your Comfort Zone, Time And Time Again
I love that emotive mix of ‘excitement meets fear’ whenever I try something new, and I chase it endlessly. I need constant stimulation that much I know. I need to feel that I’m learning and growing as much as possible (even in a yoga class)! My Mum likes to remind me that I’ve always been that way and cites the example of me asking my tennis instructor aged 5 how long it would take me to play Wimbledon in my first lesson (!) as testament to that! I’m not scared of making mistakes. Never have been so I crave trying new things and that’s often meant breaking ground. Opportunity favours the brave! Plus the greatest lessons are to be discovered in mistakes and failings. Don’t be afraid of them. Keep searching and sampling lots of things until you find what makes you tick, and trust that creativity means fluidity. The goal posts will always keep moving: that’s the beauty of the arts. Plus, there are no limits to what you can learn and achieve.
If you’d told me I’d have represented an airline, become an ambassador for a global hair brand, collaborated with culinary giants, interviewed superstars and have written by debut book, on my first day blogging back in 2010, I’d have never believed you! When you work with brands too, always over-deliver. Go above and beyond. Brands and PRs need to know they can trust you to deliver and that you can come up with creative ideas that will resonate with your audience.
6. Know your worth
When you know your worth, that self-respect will shine through in all that you do. When you feel confident in your abilities, others will be too. Don’t doubt yourself and remember that faking confidence will trick your malleable brain into actually feeling it, before long. Always say ‘no’ to things that feel viscerally wrong or go against your values. Trust your gut and never underestimate what you can bring to the table.
7. It Takes a Village
It takes a village to raise a baby…and a village to raise a mumboss. I have the most supportive and talented freelance team around me as well as amazing family and close friends with special mentions to my husband, Peter, who is my all-round 5 carat rock and true love, and my brilliant folks (who have liked every single FB post of mine since the beginning of (digital) time! Huge shout out too to my manager Neil Ransome at Insanity makes for the greatest collaborator, protector and cheerleader, and my close pals, particularly my best friend Carlie who keeps me sane and feeling loved, every single day and my sister from another mister, Amancay Tapia who nagged me until I started this blog (I owe you so much, girl). I simply couldn’t do what I do without all of these people. No woman is an island. Reach out, grab any support you can, listen to those you trust (even the things you don’t want to hear-ESPECIALLY the things you don’t want to hear)- and crack on…
So those are the highlights… Happy Birthday darling blog, you’ve given me more joy than I could ever have deemed possible when I hit publish on the November 10th 2010, a broken mum suffering a traumatic birth in dire need of finding herself again. You gave me back my voice, and everything else has been a cherry on top!