6 Reasons Blogalicious Can Transform Your Life in a Powerful Way #BYOE15
I’ve been blogging for so many years, but I’ve never been so moved by a group of people in my life until I attended Blogalicious. It’s something about being in a room with hundreds of like-minded individuals who all know and understand how awesome this digital space can be, that will make you want to jump out of your body and dance. For years I stayed to myself, stifled my own creativity, and eventually losing that motivation that once propelled me towards my blog every moment of the day. Blogalicious was the cure to that burn out, something that I was truly hoping for when I set out to attend. I discovered 6 reasons why Blogalicious has transformed my life. I found that missing piece to getting back to the very thing I love, and for that I’m so grateful.
This year’s theme for Blogalicious was #BYOE15, Build your Own Empire. A motivating essence that was thick in the air of digital influencer and content creators, who desired to turn their blogs and digital products into fortune 500 companies and money making vehicles that would eventually make them legendary to their community. It is indeed possible and not as complicated as many would think, and that was the message that we all should have received from that weekend.
You Are Enough!
I actually received much more than that. I know that with consistency, much effort and attention to detail, I could make money off of what I do. I’ve made money, not as much as I would like most of the time, but it has been done. This weekend was an opportunity to be amongst my people. I desperately wanted to know if I, a lonely lifestyle blogger in Richmond, Virginia, had what it took to mingle with other bloggers, digital influencers, and those who love blogging and social media as much as I do. I realized that I am not the extrovert that I thought I was. I discovered that I am more of an ambivert, as creatively I like to be alone with my thoughts, create what feels good to me, shying away from the masses. However, when I’ve released my creation and it’s all finished and complete, I am then ready to socialize and run my mouth with the best of them. If there is something inside of me that I haven’t started to conceptualize yet, I want complete isolation. It is not until I’ve gotten my creative fill that I feel comfortable being among the people, being my usually bubbly and talkative self. My mind is blown!
I also learned that my voice is ok. It’s not about being perfect or showcasing the extent of my education to impress people that I’ve never met. It’s about telling my story, how I want to tell it. It’s about being ok with who I am, never apologizing for my quirks and imperfections, because that is what makes me authentic. I encourage people all the time about accepting themselves, loving their flaws, and being true to who they are. However, when it comes to my work, my business, and what I put into the digital space, I often seek absolute perfection or nothing at all, because I know how vicious the internet can be and how some people will dedicate entire weekends to dragging you with memes and screenshots. I always assumed that if my content was above reproach, than I would be respected more. However, that idea leads to me being inconsistent because I eventually put out nothing, after several days of research, filming, or interviewing, for fear that it’s not my very best or that it won’t be received well.
If You Want To Read It, Then Write It. Create!
In Ty Alexander’s (http://www.GorgeousInGrey.com) workshop “You are More Than Just a Blogger: How to Tell Your Stories in Color”, she talked about being a better writer and living in your truth. She touched on not just planning on writing, but actually doing it. It may not be perfect, but with practice you will gain a better understanding of where you are as a creator, what your authentic voice sounds like, and what you need to work on. I value that advice, because self-editing is a huge obstacle to my creative process, but not in a good way. I needed to hear that and her session was incredibly great.
It’s So Easy to Make Friends When You’re Comfortable Being Friendly
I volunteered to be on the Blogalicious Social Squad, which gave me behind the scenes access to the conference and an opportunity to help the event go smoothly. I got to meet some amazing people and I was thrown absolutely off guard about the amount of support and love that everyone showed towards one another. I loved the energy and the compassion that the community shared, it was captivating. I was drunk with excitement while getting answers to questions that plagued me for years, but I also got a sense of accomplishment while helping others as well. I met two ladies in particular that truly touched my heart during that weekend that I vowed to stay in consistent contact with and build a friendship. These ladies were so open and kind to me during the conference, I couldn’t help but feel as though we knew each other for years. Jameelah, one of the first to approach me is such a fun woman and she has an incredible spirit, she is a lifestyle blogger, mother, and wife as well. I felt drawn to her immediately. We laughed and acted silly every single time we ran into each other, and I knew instantly we would be friends. Janesia, with her tiny self, was immediately my sister. We discovered that we were born on the exact same day, we are both secretly ratchet, and also happily married. She has a great non-profit she is working with, and I can’t wait to share more details about that in the future. I adore these ladies, and it’s so great to know I have friends outside of my area that understand this passion for blogging and social. That was a blessing within itself. I told myself I would be myself and open to the possibilities and look what rewards I reaped from that dose of fearlessness.
Knowing Who & What Your Obstacles Are, So You Can Rewrite Your Life
As a Social Squad member, you also get the great opportunity to assist a speaker or two with their session. It was such an honor to work with the lovely and very straight-forward Uneeka Jay, Founder of Dare to Rewrite, LLC. Her session Life Rewrite: When More than Your Blog Needs a Makeover, was an impactful hour of understanding that if you are truly passionate about your brand and your business, you have to ensure that it doesn’t crumble because of life and life’s obstacles. She has been through a lot in her life, our paths are very similar from childhood to now, but it was her willingness to persevere and create the life that she wanted rather what she was given, makes her a force to be reckoned with in my eyes. It was in her session that I learned that I seek validation from my peers in order to know if I’m going down the right path professionally. I often retreat to my introverted side, because I don’t feel 100% together, therefore vulnerable to criticism and hatefulness. I avoid that. She gave attendees an opportunity to step outside of the comfort zone with a complete stranger to reveal our inner truths. I could have died, I was holding back tears so hard. I gained perspective on the fact that it is I alone that is holding myself back and I learned that it is I alone that can stop it. I also gained an accountability partner from the experience as well. Someone who was once a stranger, but now we are holding each other accountable for being our best selves. Check my virtual partner out at @shikshik on twitter, she’s awesome. Please follow her and support.
It’s Bigger than What’s In It for You – Think about Your Community
I also attended the Masterclass by Marie Denee, of Curvyfashionista.com. Her session, Reputations, Relationships and Returns gave me the confirmation that I needed. She touched on developing relationships with brands, being professional, and also being authentic. I was floored because some of the issues she talked about, before the conference I had no idea were so common. I was under the belief that I was making things more complicated for myself when it came to communicating expectations and working with businesses and brands, but she made it clear for me. I need to stick to my guns and be true to myself. I set the level of expectation through my communication and my actions. However, it’s perfectly ok to address issues without fear of burning bridges and losing opportunities. I set the stage, which was far what I thought before, often trying to learn on to mold myself rather letting the opportunities that fit me, come to me.
— I'esha GaptoothDiva (@GaptoothDiva) September 12, 2015
Even If They Judge Your Book by Its Cover – You Can Still Be a Phenomenal Read
It was the Mayor on Saturday morning that gave me goosebumps. She got on that stage and was the most relatable female politician that I’ve ever seen or heard from, I couldn’t even get to my first session on time. Her speech was filled with so many motivational points, I couldn’t contain myself. She also have issues with peers judging her based on how she looks and her style choices. She doesn’t care. She makes no apologies to anyone for being herself, and strongly suggest that we do the same. Sticking to our truth and our guts, is what has always transformed our lives, and she pushed that so deep into my psyche, I am in awe. I needed that push that she delivered, and I couldn’t imagine a better way for me to receive that message. It was inspirational!
— I'esha GaptoothDiva (@GaptoothDiva) September 12, 2015
Overall, I couldn’t have been more blessed with this opportunity and I can’t wait to come back again next year. These are my 6 Reasons Blogalicious Can Transform Your Life in a Powerful Way #BYOE15.
It was my Social Squad coordinator Jana, which I have to give much love and respect to. Not only did she make it an easy first time experience, but she worked her behind off and that did not go unnoticed. I was thoroughly impressed with her level of calm, professionalism, and compassion. I never met anyone that cool before. However, it was our little discussion on day two of the conference that I will hold dear to my heart. She noticed something in me, and I grateful that she talked to me. I was emotional about our little chat because she really touched my heart and made me feel like I was definitely in the right place at the right time, despite my incessant need to be on point and be perfect. It was her words that shook something inside me that let me know it’s ok, and that I’m good the way I am. I had no idea that I was going to be so affected by her taking the time to tell me something so honest, especially because of how busy she was, but it was a jolt I need and I will never forget her for that. I joked to her privately about her thinking I was crazy and severely OCD, for wanting to be on point all the time. Nevertheless, she got to me in a very good way. I should probably tell her that I realized it was my hormones making me so mushy (I just found out I was pregnant at the conference and I had no idea), but she’ll probably just shake her head. LOL , it is because of Jana that I would volunteer every year, because she made it that much more amazing and easy. I appreciate the opportunity.
I made a friend, whom I gave a ride back to Virginia. Her name is Anne and she is also incredible. That was a huge leap of faith for me, because I shy away from new people until I can determine where I put them in my life. However, she had a huge spirit that made me want to talk to her more, laugh with her more, and share stories. We had an awesome ride back home, and I’m grateful for her words as well. She told me I had something special, I just needed to put it out there. It was her ideas and her cheering from the back seat that sealed the deal for me. Just a stranger over 24 hours before, we spent a three hour car ride and a brunch entrée learning that we are not alone here in Virginia. I spent it learning that I never have to be again. Thank so much Anne. Follow her and support her at @notasupermom
Blogalicious is a genuine community of people who understand the passion and desire behind content creation and blogging, and they aim to provide resources and education to a diverse group of people to ensure that that community thrives. If you haven’t been before, I strongly recommend it.