Hello, friends! I decided to write a post on my change of travel plans and give you an update on how life has been going over here! You may know I was planning on WWOOFing (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) in Southeast Asia. If not, the short story is that I thought I could go WWOOFing abroad to learn about agriculture while traveling and share it on my blog. I've wanted to go to Southeast Asia for a long time, so why not now?! This idea came to me when my family and I took a tour of a farm in Hawaii in May of 2019. Truthfully, I thought I was going to be gone in October for about 6 months and be back by May for a wedding I'm in! Well, it's almost February, so clearly life had other plans! WWOOFing is pretty cheap way to travel, so money wise I felt it was doable. I decided to work with Shipt part-time (which has developed to be a great part-time job!) to make money on the side to save up before October. Here's the part I totally underestimated.....the blog.
Learning How to Blog
The first step I felt I had to do first.....redesign my blog. I was hoping I could pay someone to do it. However, I learned it can cost thousands of dollars to have someone create a custom website. So instead, I decided I would do it, which ended up taking months. I switched the design theme I initially used and transported all my old posts and everything else over to a new theme. By the time I felt ready to put my website out there it was the end of October! I hadn't looked at WWOOF stuff since July. I felt "behind" but thought maybe this trip would just be shorter and I'd leave around the beginning of the new year. So, I started creating new content and took a course by a soon to be RD, Emilie Eats, to learn how to drive traffic to my blog with Pinterest. In this course, I learned soooo much more than just Pinterest. I learned SEO (search engine optimization), how to analyze web traffic data, branding, tips on how to pitch to brands and essentially all the things on how to run a successful blog. I walked away from this course really believing that making a blog a business is 100% doable! Even though doubts surface, I really believe in my bones I can do it. It'll take time, but no reason it can't happen.
Fork in the Road of Life
Fast forward to the end of 2019, and I was feeling a bit lost and confused....I was focusing on multiple ideas/projects and not feeling very accomplished. I was getting requests to do nutrition consults, so I started having legality questions since I'm not a registered private practice/should I pursue private practice on the side? In the back of my mind, I was constantly thinking how was I going to plan a WWOOF trip to Southeast Asia before May and continue to create content for the blog? I was also weighing the idea of going to a conference for women in entrepreneurship over my birthday weekend in Atlanta.....I was starting to feel stuck and overwhelmed.
Finding the Right Turn to Take
Thankfully, on New Year's Day Brendon Burchard (high performance coach/incredible person who I've learned so much from!) does a live stream event, and he shared one of his top quotes: "Perhaps the universe isn't giving you what you want because based on all of your distractions it is simply unclear what you are asking for." Whoaaa! That resonated like no other to the point I journaled on it the next day. I realized I am indeed extremely distracted and my focus is on one too many projects, so I decided some decisions needed to be made. Ultimately, I chose to prioritize my blog. Now isn't the time in my life for a private practice, and deep down I knew that but just needed to talk to a mentor to remind me. I also realized one of the worst moves I could make for my blog would be not posting for months on end if I decided to travel. If I had guest posts or content I created in advance to put out there while abroad then it wouldn't be such a big deal, but the truth is - I'm not there yet. So, while I'm sad to not be going abroad soon, I know in my gut it's the right move.
New Travel Plans
But hold up! I do have travel plans! I won't be going abroad, but I will be hopping on a plane at the end of the month to Atlanta, Georgia! Earlier I mentioned there's a women's entrepreneurship conference I was considering. Well, I decided to dive in and do it! I was hesitant for so many reasons, but the main one being: "I'm not ready or established enough to be going to this event." This limiting belief is a load of crap. You gotta start somewhere and one of the quickest ways to grow is by surrounding yourself with people who are where you want to be. The conference is a two-day workshop on how to launch your next 6 figure idea in two days flat. The idea could be a product or service for your business. I have been thinking about what I would want to create down the line that works with my blog's brand aka travel, food & mindfulness. I thought of a cookbook series, but not just any cookbook! A series of cookbooks that focuses on different parts of the world I visit. For example, if I went to India, I 'd learn about traditional dishes and come home to create recipes with inspiration from abroad. I noticed another person's cookbook included yoga, so I thought why not include other things beyond food in my cookbook too! So, there would also be a section on how that part of the world practices mindfulness and their cultural approach to food and nutrition.
This project is more down the line, but hopefully in the near future! For now, I will be focusing on serving up delicious recipes here on the blog with a sprinkle of travel and mindfulness posts too! I also bought professional camera equipment, which has been the biggest investment I've made in my blog so far. I knew if I really wanted to take this blog seriously, it was time to upgrade from my point and shoot camera from high school! Making big investments in something so unknown is hard. I had to literally coach myself into pressing "process order" but this is how I looked at it: women's entrepreneurship workshop = round-trip ticket to Asia, camera equipment = food, housing and tours I would have taken. So, all in all - worth it!!
Flow with the Unexpected Paths of Life
I share all this, because I think we get down on ourselves when plans don't go as expected. Sometimes the universe guides us in a direction, so we can start moving towards the right path but then evolves into something unexpected. However, we may never have started on the path to begin with had we known what was laying ahead would be so challenging and not the original plan. Thanks to the idea that came to me in Hawaii I pursued blogging seriously and entrepreneurship. I honestly, don't know if I would have had the guts to do it right out of college otherwise. The main thing is that we learn. I think failure has an overly negative connotation with it. To me, "failures" are just mistakes disguised as learning opportunities. True failure is not learning or bettering ourselves and just repeating old behavior. I once heard, if you fail/make mistakes then you know you're trying hard enough to know what works and doesn't work - aka you're learning! So while I could get down on myself about wasted time focusing on so many other projects, now I know I'll never do that again or at least I'll catch myself faster! So if you feel stuck and lost - I feel you! Don't beat yourself up. Reflect, learn and progress forward! - Monica