Blog baristas – forging a new path

As a kid I’d set up my parents laundry room as a restaurant, and serve imaginary people. Growing up I had many ‘ventures’ which included knitting squares to make blankets for Save the Children, making perfume by bashing my mum’s prized roses to death in a bowl with water to make rose water, lace making (didn’t last long), lino cutting, watercolour painting, ballet, tap, ice skating and learning trumpet and clarinet. I was very fortunate that whatever I wanted to try, my parents let me try even though we didn’t have tonnes of spare cash lying around.

Some things stuck for longer than others, I was part of an award winning choir for example… but something inside of me said there was more to me than a normal kid. I had above average drive, but less than average follow through. A daydreamer who went from one thing to another. I had entrepreneurial spirit from an early age, with service as my big motivator. But started off super motivated, only to lose it almost as quickly. As an empath and people pleasing tendancies, my energies were often overtaken by the needs of others.

As a tween, I got a job at age 14 in a book shop and earnt money babysitting. At 16 I was a waitress (always forgot the tea spoon, broke a couple of caffetiers, too heavy handed with the plunger) to earn money to pay for ice skating lessons. I got the train each week from YPM to BTM and skated with an Olympic coach. I distinctly recall sitting on the train with my yellow Sony Walkman with a mixed tape of Neneh Cherry and Dina Carroll.

By the end of my stint which lasted 2 years, I could just about jump and go backwards without falling over. Always pushing until the last bit of motivation had left the building. So I guess, as I got older, things would stick around slightly longer than in my flighty years.

Getting to the point of knowing what I want to do with my life, age 42(ish)

Now I’m grown up, and have two children of my own, I can look back and see the creative process of finding my path. Trying something out. But I’d always beat myself up that my passions were short lived, as a kid that’s a heavy weight to carry. As an adult I can approach things with curiosity and just ‘try’ without the guilt trip, without judgement. I’m a big believer in turning all experiences into an opportunity to learn and grow. All these years I’ve been searching for my ‘thing’ and I’ve finally found it through clarity of thought (going sober), intentionally sticking to whatever I set out to achieve, and pivoting where needed.

I can do whatever I want, I just can’t do it all.

When I started my blog 6 and a half years ago it was a hobby. A place to call my own in the blogosphere, to connect with other bloggers, inspire each other and relay my thoughts and opinions. As with other past-times I started strong. But as a people pleaser and exhausted mama, I found it hard to ‘fit’ blogging into my life. I still couldn’t say no to my family, friends, kids when they needed me. Also blogging is complicated. It’s not just one task (if only). It’s many small tasks, some of which are tedious and mind numbing. There’s lots to learn and a ton of work behind the scenes to make a blog look good AND be seen by lots of people.

80’s child – how we grew up

Growing up in the 80’s too, I loved my telly. What a time suck that can be. When I came home from school the telly was on immediately from 4-6 without fail and there we’d stay til tea. Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Home and Away, Neighbours. We had the freedom of being able to go outside as kids, but we didn’t always take that opportunity.

When I started blogging sometimes the blog would win, and sometimes telly would win. “That’s life” I told myself. The telly habit was ingrained. Once I had kids I watched a lot less ‘my’ stuff and more Peppa Pig.

Yes I love my telly, and it doesn’t mean I have to watch all the things!

And I desperately wanted to turn my blog into a business, like I’d seen other bloggers do really successfully. I just couldn’t see how I could write about all the subjects I wanted to write about, and make my blog into a niche. And I told myself I didn’t have time. Hello facebook scroll/time suck/ Peppa Pig/Netflix.

However, when I did set myself goals and took action, I learnt a hell of a lot. I know a lot about social media. And I know a lot about blogging.

Getting serious, becoming intentional

Getting serious sounds so boring doesn’t it? OMG it’s anything but boring. I’m fired up, ready for this next step. Because I’ve launched a business that matches up my entrepreneurial spirit with what I love (and it means my blog can be my hobby and fun space).

Blog Baristas is made up of me and Tinuke Bernard (fellow blogger, amazing photographer, knows a lot about Apple) of Circus Mums blog. We met at the Epson event in Covent Garden last year and have Vicki and Michelle as mutual friends. Between us we have nearly 17 years of experience in blogging and social media.

We’ll help you froth up your social and expand your reach. JOIN OUR FREE BLOG BARISTAS FACEBOOK GROUP.

I adore blogging and there’s NO WAY blogging is dead . Did you know that if you grow your business on Instagram or Facebook they could take down your page/account at any time? That’s your business, blood, sweat and tears GONE. You must own your website and quit building your biz on other people’s territory.

Blogging is still very much alive and will continue to grow. Don’t listen to the people who say it’s all in the DM’s, videos, podcasts; although they’re all great strategies too, obviously. Side by side with blogging.

Different people consume content differently. I prefer reading blogs and watching the video attached to that blog post, that’s my preference and I know I’m not alone.

We also need to encourage each other not to take the easy way and just watch the video. Our concentration span is shrinking as it is, because we’re digesting shortened content and not reading enough books or long articles. We say we’re time poor, when in fact we’re just poor in intention.

I still love my telly and now plan which programmes I want to watch and enjoy it all the more. My favs are Location, Location, Location. Love it or List it. Anything with George Clarke. Basically anything to do with home reno/wow homes. That’s my bag.

Setting my intention for 2020

I bit the bullet and signed up for B School. Maybe you’ve heard of Marie Forleo? Oprah titled her a thought leader of our time and I’ve been wanting to sign up for 2 years. 2020 is my year and Marie is my thought leader of choice. It’s a huge expense, but once you’re a B Schooler, you’re a B Schooler for life. When incredible entrepreneurs like Denise Duffield-Thomas take the course every year, you know you’re on to a winning course.

So for the next 8 weeks I’m busy doing B School. Not just busy ‘being busy’.

This next 8 weeks will change my life and launch our business. 8 weeks of intentionally starting, working through, and finishing this course.

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