Wedding welcome gifts are the first impression your guests will get on your wedding weekend. They will set the tone for the big event, while extending your gratitude to them. In this post I share my 5 tips on how to design your very own custom welcome gifts!Read More
I've been wanting to write this post for a couple of weeks now and finally was able to put my thoughts into words. You may have noticed recently that I have been very quiet on the social media scene. And there is good reason why I have decided to say good-bye to the noise and distractions.
My normal routine upon waking would consist of opening my eye's, giving my body a good stretch and within minutes of rising I would already be "plugged in" for the remainder of the day. It would start with checking my emails before I even brushed my teeth, then right onto all my social media platforms. I was exhausted before I even got out of bed. Well, let me re-phrase, mentally exhausted... By the time I was my pouring my coffee, the thoughts were already filling my head of how my business nor I was just not good enough. Think about that with me for a minute, within moments of starting my day, I was already setting myself up for failure with these negative thoughts about myself and my business. Even typing that out makes me feel such a sadness. I just want to go back in time and give myself a big hug and say out loud, "Stop listening to all the noise."
As time went on, I eventually became my own worse critic. Somewhere on this journey, I started to believe that faster was better, that quantity over quality was favored, that taking on work that did not align with my business model was "OK" for the time being because at least I was "working." Then enter the burn-out, the moment when I not only took on to much work for one person, but work that was no longer satisfying my wallet or my heart. I was lost and so consumed by the noise, I didn't even realize it.
A couple of weeks ago, I woke up and realized that I left my phone in my office. So instead of starting my morning off with checking emails and social media, I laid in bed and went over my plans for the day. I then proceeded to slowly rise, brush my teeth, go outside with my dogs, check on the garden, make a cup of coffee and did all this without the noise. The noise that I would normally already have within minutes of waking. This experience gave me a taste for something I had been yearning for but had no idea how to get there. Was I indeed addicted to the noise that I was now despising? I no longer wanted to feel inadequate because of who I am "friends" with or who shares my work. I wanted to break free from the labels we get based upon the number of likes, friends, shares, collaborations, partnerships, shout-outs and true high-school feeling clique's. No thanks! No more! I didn't want to be sold another online course on how to gain more followers. I was not interested in buying into someone else's idea of pay me hundreds of dollars and I will make you an over-night success. Noise, it was all noise and it was crowding my mind, taking up valuable space. Space that I wanted to save for my clients, for my work, for myself.
I now have a commitment to myself that when the noise starts to take up to much of my time, I close down the laptop and disconnect for a short while. And when I say disconnect, I do not mean that I walk away from my work obligations, I actually get busy with-in my work. I dive into creating something fabulous and unique for one of my Bride's or put some writing time into my blog. Anything that helps me ease away from the pressure's of keeping up is medicine for my soul. I am looking for true and authentic connections, not one's that are based on what I can do for you or vice versa.
And while I really do love what some of my social media outlets have done for my business, I now approach it in a very different manner. I am so appreciative for what it has brought me thus far, like some really amazing business opportunities and honest friendships. These are the things that keep the noise away, my clients, my friendships, my family, they are what is truly important in my life. I will continue to be present online but I will close it down when the first feelings of the pressure start to seep in. I am a work in progress as we all are and this is my attempt at being the best possible version of Malissa.
And as far as my phone... It's best left in the other room at night. I really am enjoying the quiet start to my days.
Photos by Love and Light Photographs
For the past year, I've had a running list of idea's that I knew I wanted to blog about, eventually... The one topic that kept coming up for me was how I define success, what does being successful look like? I feel like the success talk is much like the money talk, no one wants to have it. Success should not be something we are embarrassed about, hide from or even feel the need to exaggerate. Your success and victories should be celebrated no matter how small they may seem. Here are a few ways I learned to embrace the process of accepting my own successes.
IT'S NOT A NUMBERS GAME
I've been there, I've done it, I'm guilty as charged. I have compared away, whether its the number of followers they have, number of blog posts, amount of times they have been published, number of likes, numbers, numbers, numbers! I thought in order for me to be/feel successful, my numbers needed to be off the charts, that the amount of followers would equate to the amount of work I received. #FALSE
Yes, of course as my following grows I do tend to feel encouraged and the amount of likes I receive may shift from day to day. But I can now attest to the theory, that the amount of followers equals the amount of work I receive is false. (At least for me this is true) Hand raised high; I am busy, I sometimes receive more inquiries that I can answer in a promptly time frame, I have enough work for my two hands and small studio space can handle at the moment. Numbers no longer control my image of success. Instead, the time and care I can offer each client is how I define my success. When a client sends me a message reassuring me that I am meant to do this, that is what makes me feel successful.
FORWARD IS A MOTION
Don't get me wrong, yes I have semi-mastered the non-numbers game of thought but that doesn't mean I still fall into the comparison game from time to time. I am only human after all, and definitely not perfect. Gauging your success on someone's portrayal of their success is a negative place to let yourself drift into. Here are some tips for when the self-destructing starts to step in.
- GET BUSY! This is when you need to dive even further into your own situation. Recognize your journey is exactly that, YOURS.
- STAY FOCUSED on you and that special gift you are offering to the world. What keeps you unique? What are you offering to your clients and customers that is needed? Reminding yourself why you began can jump start the motivation train.
- SHOUT IT OUT to everyone, letting them know who you are and what your business has to offer. Compose an email and send it other's within your industry introducing yourself. Get out from behind the computer and meet other creatives. Join a meet up, one where you can chat among other like-minded individuals. If you are looking to find one in your area you can check out Rising Tide Society, to locate one near your home town.
- KEEP MOVING, even one small step at a time. Because in the end, forward is forward no matter how big of a jump or little a step. Forward keeps the energy going.
- BE YOUR OWN BIGGEST FAN. Everyone loves a cheerleader, be the best at it!
In the end, we will all have different definitions of success. For some, success may very well be a certain number of followers, while the next may say it's the amount of inquiries they receive in a single day. For me, success is the end result of each gift design I hand over to my clients and customers. Success is the thoughtful email they send to me afterwards. Success is the feeling a gift I designed gives someone who is preparing to start chemotherapy or the Bride that needed help with saying Thank You to her best friends. Success to me will always be a feeling and not a number.