Saturday, May 18, 2013

inspiration...know thy self

In my previous post I revealed that I was attending the ALT For Everyone conference this week. I really had no idea what to expect. My signing up for it was last minute, providence that came out of a "woe is me moment" with my friend where I was trying to explain that even though I have blogged for 7 years (eek) I really had no clue about how to get others to read my posts. This blog was created to be for me, to organize and share my inspiration for what the Domesticated Desk brand could one day be if I ever had the chance to develop it. Well that chance is right now. A move to a new city has created a chance to develop this brand idea, and with that, the only thing out there right now is THE BLOG. dun dun dun....All my insecurities are raging right now. At one time I didn't really care that I had no comments or that there was no one reaching out to chat. But slowly it became a nagging feeling cloaked as "social failure". Was my mom my biggest fan?! (yep, always will be too!! she rocks!) Why doesn't my husband read it? (oh yeah, he is holding down the fort) Why are these ladies gushing about what that blogger is doing and I feel like I am talking to a wall? (sorry if you are the wall and I just didn't know that you read this, so please say hello!!)

But regardless, progress and learning are the only solutions. So here is what I have learned thus far:

1. These ladies (and maybe a few gents?) really know how to connect! Learn from them.
With the speaker talking through slides, a chat room for everyone to get their comments in, and question boards being filled, my brain was about to pop. And here are these ladies taking names, getting numbers, sharing jokes and having a blast. If this was a party, you would find me near the punch bowl. But to my credit, I did get my questions out there, even if they were a bit juvenile for this crowd. And I did make some connects. (on to next point)

2. "Never under estimate the power of a hello." -Michael Jager
My mentor spoke on this at one of our staff meetings at my last job. He told a story of how he found himself near the back of a punk show, feeling like the oldest person in the room. He notice another guy hovering in the back, so he said "hello" and a friendship and wonderful collaboration was born. Ding!! Being shy, this can be so hard for me. Wa Wa.. Especially in a networking situation. But a hello is simple right? It says so much, like: "let's chat."/ "you look nice!" / "save me!!" So that is what happened. Some lovely people reached out after I made some honest fear ridden statements in the chat room. Ding!! New friends.

So this is me, "helloing" you.

3. "What do you really really really want to do? -Oh Joy
This question asked by key note speaker and blogging guru Joy from Oh Joy blog. It hit me like a ton of bricks and made me cry that night. Like the title of this post, know thy self, I needed to reflect a bit more. What direction am I taking? Is this what I want? Being without a job has it's own insecurities. You can't boast about where you work, or name drop the clients you are working on. But that awkward question "So, what do you do?" or "Where do you work?" and I run and hide. Inside, I say,  "But I am starting this brand! I am working for myself! I am doing something! I blog! And, yes I avoid the couch before 6pm each day!" But to know myself, I need to be honest. And this conference gives you so much information and then it is up to you on how to proceed. So how will I proceed? Do I even want my blog to "get big" or change my content for readers and advertisers sake? Is that even the point of this blog for me personally? Good question, let me cry some more and get back to you..

4. Be true to my gut.
I think when I hear, "you have to have really good original content" I get lost. I don't design DIY projects at home, so DIY is not the right direction for me. So am I currently creating original content? Is it good?  I do desire to put things out there that helps someone, connects with someone or makes them smile. So how will I create content that interests other while also being true to myself? One lovely lady told me to just stay true to my gut and others will find me. Nice! But until then, my goal is to loose the lazy butt—darn netfilx and too many magazines hanging around—and start to work harder and more efficiently to push stronger original content on this blog. So here's to me knowing myself and pushing this puppy forward. Ding!!

**Side note on the above picture that I am quite proud of. I repurposed (not DIY :) my coffee server I received for Christmas. Our coffee machine is angry right now, so no homemade coffee. I decided to enjoy it on my desk instead and use it to hold my business cards, favorite pens and pencils and some fake flowers. So double side note on the fake flowers. I always hear Oprah's voice in my head from like the early 90's where she said fake flowers were the worst thing for a home. But flowers for me have love/hate extremes. I LOVE getting them, but I HATE when they die a quick smelly death. So most of the time fake (with a cringe) for me. Don't judge. ;)


  1. Loved this post! I right with you in feeling all these same things. You are doing great, keep it up!

  2. I'm listening!
    I love your blog – it's so wonderful to catch a glimpse in to your beautiful mind and space...
    And as a junior blogger (and shy girl!) I share the conflicting frustration of keeping a space for myself, and sharing it with the world...
    You're wonderful, Rachel! Keep at it!

  3. Aloha Rachel! I was at Alt for Everyone and loved it!
    I am a DIY blogger (dont hate me, lol) but I think every blog can stay true to themselves and have an audience and connect with people. One of my future posts with a sponsor (coffee) I said - my favorite day of the week as a WAHM is when I get to have coffee with my 2 sisters in law- I am less isolated, my toddler has a blast, and I have coffee talk. It was not a lie- it was me in a nutshell. And nothing to with DIY! I am off my soapbox now (sorry) and will go on to stalk your blog, loving it so far!!

  4. Hi Laurel! Thanks for sharing! Content was a BIG question mark for me going into the conference. I was in Oh Happy Day's talk and she really helped outline what original content can be and that helped me so much! I want to make sure that I am putting things out there that people enjoy to read and I enjoy sharing. Sometimes all it takes is for someone to say, "go with your gut!" I changed my fourth lesson to reflect this more clearly :) Thank you so much for reaching out and reading!

  5. eamillikin: thank you for reaching out and all your kind words!

  6. I love your recap of what you learned at Alt for Everyone, definitely some things to take away and things to think about. I'm so glad I caught your comment and we are collaborating together. Looking forward to following you on your blog and reading what inspires you!

  7. Rachel, thanks for capturing so many of the questions that nag me as a blogger. I just made a big career shift to free myself up to pursue my own projects and I've been really questioning whether my blog should be one of them and if so what am I going to do about it. Alt was so perfectly timed not only for the expertise and ideas but for the connections to other bloggers who are working through the same issues. So, hello!

    (And I love that shot of your desk!)

  8. Hi Glad Girl--Congrats on making such a big step! I know it can be both scary and exciting at the same time. I am happy we both found ALT just in time to give us a gentle push. Keep reaching for your goals and thank you for the hello!