Hi ladies, Happy Monday and happy end of July! I realized today that Fifteen Minutes to Flawless will hit a year in just two weeks and I can’t believe how quickly time has flown. It’s been an exciting ride and I’m incredibly thankful to have each of you along with me! I thought since it’s the end of July I’d do a little July Instagram roundup and bare my soul a little to you. To be honest, the last few days are the first time since starting FMF that I have really struggled for a few different reasons. Growing a blog is incredibly rewarding but it is also challenging in many ways. You guys have shown you love “real talk” so I thought I would do just that tonight. First I’m sharing all the things that have made and continue to make Fifteen Minutes to Flawless one of the most amazing experiences of my life, then switching gears and talking about the bad, the tough and the rough.
-What I love more than anything is the feedback I have gotten from many of you. When you tell me I’ve helped you get better at doing your hair, encouraged you to explore your own personal style, or have become your favorite source for fashion inspo, I get over the moon happy. I started Fifteen Minutes to Flawless to bring beauty and fashion solutions to everyday girls like me, so when you tell me I’ve been able to help it is fulfilling in a way I can’t describe.
-Another thing I love is meeting new people and reconnecting with old friends, college peers, and coworkers. I consider all of you friends and am so thankful that FMF has given me the opportunity to meet and connect (and in some cases reconnect!) with each of you.
-Seeing FMW grow each month has been fulfilling in a way I can’t describe. I think it’s because it is such a challenge that the growth is so exciting.
-It has been an amazing creative outlet to express my love for fashion and beauty, which I have been passionate about since I was a teenager.
-Fifteen Minutes to Flawless has challenged me to live fearlessly and explore life from new perspectives. I know that sounds broad (and probably a little cheesy?!) but I love how FMF has impacted what I have opened my heart to. For example, I travel weekly for work and my old routine was get to my hotel and catch up on emails. Now, wherever I am I try to find new places to eat and explore in the evening and even meet up with other bloggers. And because I write about fashion and beauty I’m constantly learning more and exploring new trends…it definitely gets me “out of my comfort zone” and I really love that!
-It forces me to think more broadly and long term. Since Fifteen Minutes to Flawless has begun to establish itself I’ve needed to ask myself questions like, “where is this going?”, and “what is the end vision?” Last night I wrote a business plan– the first exercise of this sort I have ever done. It was a little terrifying but so so exciting at the same time. I know if Fifteen Minutes to Flawless is to succeed long term, it needs to have a concrete plan that flows from its mission and vision. I’ve never thought this “big picture” before, and interestingly this new challenge to think more strategically is having positive side effects in my day job. 🙂
– The ability to conceive and create something that is 100% mine from start to finish is a such a cool concept I am still trying to wrap my head around.
-Getting to know other blogger girls and developing true friendships in the blogging community has been an amazing experience. One thing that I really love is just how supportive other girls in the fashion blogging world tend to be.
-I get to play around with clothes and makeup. I’ve always always loved fashion and beauty, and now that I am blogging about them I feel like I enjoy them on a whole new level! I also love how my own style and abilities have evolved since starting FMF.
-Most people are so supportive, but now and then someone will say something negative or hurtful. It’s not typically told to me, but instead told to someone who is close to me. The one that is painful is when people say fashion bloggers are selfish and that I am self centered to have a blog that talks about clothes and makeup. I think this one is hard because my goal with Fifteen Minutes to Flawless is to help you look and feel your best and I try hard to think about this in each of my posts.
-Instagram which is a huge component in this era of fashion blogging has been a great way to introduce new people to FMF, but it is also a cutthroat environment where many people desperately want to grow. It is no secret that if one can grow a large, engaged and authentic following on Instagram it can actually be quite profitable. The secret to growing on Instagram is consistently creating really really good content, but some resort to other ways to try to grow. Often people will follow my page and then unfollow me a few days later; they didn’t follow me because they were interested in my content that I put my heart and soul into; they followed to try to gain a follower to their page and that was it. At first I took it to heart- it felt like my page wasn’t good enough to get them to stick around. Now I am realizing that this is completely normal and par for the course, but it is still not fun. I mean, it’s exciting to see my audience grow when I put so much effort into @fifteenminutestoflawless, so naturally it is tough to see when the reverse happens- even when it’s not a reflection of my content.
-The comparison game. I try hard not to compare but I have met a few girls who have gotten huge in a a handful of months. There are some blogs that have grown faster than I have, and while I’m usually able to avoid comparing from time to time it is hard to avoid it altogether.
-Not getting enough sleep can be really tough. I’d be lying if I said I could count the number of late nights I’ve stayed up blogging and the number of exhausted days at work following these nights! I love getting enough sleep, but trying to stay consistent with my posting schedule and still get seven hours is a constant battle that I don’t often win.
It’s exciting but incredibly overwhelming at times. As I learn the ins and outs of blogging and everything that goes into a successful blog, it sometimes is a lot to register. There is SO much that goes into creating and running a blog, and as Fifteen Minutes to Flawless has grown the time commitment has only gotten more intense. I love it, but at times I have moments of clarity where I see all the things that I need to do and it feels like “how am I going to get this all done and be a mom and work full time?”. And this brings me to my next struggle: balancing FMF with my other responsibilities, first and foremost with my role as Juliana’s mom. (I talked about this here and here.) Trying to give her the time she needs often results in those late nights. It has been difficult to balance being a mommy, fiance, full time account manager, and blogger. I try hard, but the nagging feeling that I’m not giving enough never seems to go away.
-The IT aspects of blogging can be hard for this technically challenged millenial. (In fact, I’m not even sure if IT is the right term here!) It’s a miracle I was able to figure out how to create a blog and get a domain name, ya’ll! When I have IT problems at work I call the helpdesk, but unfortunately FMF just doesn’t have that option. 😉
Whew, sorry this is such a looong post! Even though blogging has its challenges I’m SO glad I started FMF. It has pushed me to achieve in a way I didn’t think I ever could, and is amazing to know I’ve been able to touch and inspire some of you as well. If you are reading this and thinking of starting a blog, do it. Don’t wait…I promise you’ll be so glad you did.
Thank you so much for taking this journey with me and I hope you have a great night!