As a blogger, hustler, entrepreneur and hopefully all around girlboss, people ask me how I became inspired to create and curate a blog. People also ask “Annika, how do you possibly have the time to work a full time job and be building a brand”? Well, to be completely honest and transparent, I am really motivated to make this work because it makes me happy! I find so many times in life a big decision spurs creativity and passion. For me, this HUGE decision was surrounding the choice of MBA or no MBA.
The process of deciding not to do my MBA was a really emotional one. The whole thing took about six months or so for me to really realize what I wanted. I think this made me dig deep because for so long I had this concrete plan in my head of what I “should” do, which I kept telling myself was what I wanted to do.
In the plan I had set for myself I had come to a decision point, the point where the MBA prep would start. I did all the things I was supposed to do: did my research on schools, joined a GMAT prep course and booked my exam date. Throughout the entire process I found things to be almost painful. Looking back now this is so interesting because I if I am doing something like blogging, even if it is hard work and late nights . . . I LOVE IT and it actually GIVES me energy. Whereas when I was doing all this MBA prep, it drained me right out and actually made me question so many things!
My pivotal moment happened while visiting a good friend in London. She said, “Why do you actually want to do your MBA?. . . You don’t need it”. This struck me like a pound of bricks. At first I thought about the same old reasons like international experience and a good network (which she pointed out that I have a good start on and that those things can be achieved without the $100k price tag). It got me thinking about what the reasons were for driving me to go and spend a heap of money, consume a year or more of my life and take on some massive stress!
After some major inner searching I came to a root cause; I felt like having my MBA
. . . would make me enough and I would somehow be more worth it. . .
This was a troubling but liberating realization.
I realized for many years I had been doing things because I thought I should be, not because it was necessarily the thing that would bring me the most joy or passion. I took a step back and thought about what I really wanted: Flexibility, an international life, and a creative business. These are the things that drive me, and things that inherently make me happy, why wouldn’t I take them into consideration? This is when the blog was born.
Maybe it is just me, but I would bet that there are many people similar to this. We put pressure on ourselves to be enough. There are, of course, the pressures that we get from society and many that we get from ourselves but there comes a time that you should just do it for you because it makes you happy.
Being a blogger who also works a full time job can definitely be a challenge at times! For anyone out there who is considering starting a blog or even for those who have and are looking for a few tips here and there I can share a few:
- Do it because you’re passionate! Like I mentioned above, if you’re not passionate, the tasks and time commitment will drain you.
- TIME BLOCK – You’re busy, we are all busy and yes, we all have 24 hours in the day (minus sleep and cocktail hour ;)) make good use of it! I love watching TV as much as the next chick but if you want to build a brand you better get your ass in gear!
- Network – I love to network. Networking supported me in my MBA research and in my decision not to do it. Networking is also so important (online and IRL) to grow your blog and your brand! Networking is how I met the FAB ladies @lipstickandmuffinmedia !
I challenge everyone to think about the passions and goals that you have. Are you taking yourself seriously and doing things for you?
Annika Friesen is a lifestyle blogger from Toronto, Canada. The blog Fernweh Society specializes in travel, career, fashion and girlbossin’. You may find her running around Toronto cell phone in hand and jacked up on espressos or sneaking off to the airport for a jet setting adventure. Annika lives with her other half Dustin and their frenchie Karlsson.
Follow her on Instagram @fernwehsociety