It’s been a minute since I’ve shared a more personal blog post, so if this is not your thing, feel free to scroll on through. I know I love reading personal and honest posts from bloggers and I’ve been meaning to share more like this with you, I’ve just let the fear of writing get in the way. Thoughts and conversations like these go on on a daily basis with Mike, but since there’s so much that goes on throughout the day, I tend to forget about them. When we get into more meaningful and thought-provoking conversations about our business, personal growth, etc., I’ve made it a point recently, to at least write something down in my iPhone notes. That way I can come back to it and remember why I wanted to share it here on the blog. Again, I’m not the best writer and these kinds of posts may be all over the place, but I think it’s important for you to know, there’s more to me than outfits and shopping. I have other passions, beliefs, experiences, and knowledge I would love to share with you and even open up a dialogue. Today’s topic, Instagram Stories and how it’s affected me.
Ever since the start of Snapchat and Instagram Stories I’ve wondered how people do it. How do people have the time to document their whole lives on video all day long? Because let’s face it, I work (A LOT) and don’t have enough time in the day to get all my to-do list items done, spend time with my husband, cook, and workout (did I mention we have a baby on the way) let alone be able to document it on video for you at the same time. Maybe I should reach out and ask. I may have a few answers to this, but I’ll address those later on in this post. First, let’s talk about what Instagram Stories and Live has done to me, my life, and my business. Not only has Stories and Live changed the social media game, but it’s said to be the number one way to grow your audience on Instagram. This comes from Instagram itself. My Instagram growth is at a standstill these days (I’m pretty sure a lot of you feel the same way), so anything to help, I was all ears. “It’s all about video”, “go live”, “share more on Stories”, is what you would hear from every expert and article. To stay relevant and keep up with the game, I thought okay, I can do this. Talking on video is not my favorite, but you know what, it’s real and we could all use some realness on Instagram. Over the last year or so of being on Stories I’ve talked and shared our lives and to be honest, I’ve loved communicating with you guys, asking for advice, and getting your feedback. I actually really enjoy it, but since it doesn’t come all that natural to me, I don’t find myself making it a priority. It’s hard enough to get on there throughout the day, but also I don’t have a ton to say all the time. My life isn’t that interesting. And it’s just another thing to add to the to-do list, which at this time, doesn’t really have room for anything else. I do however, think it’s important to have that open dialogue with readers and form those relationships, so while it’s another to-do list item, I think I will move some things around to make it more of a priority.
The other side of Instagram Stories, which is what I really want to talk about, is what we’re watching. Stories has unveiled what people’s daily lives look like. Probably not everything, but at least some parts for people and for others, the majority of their days. This is where I’ve had the most conflict. No, it’s not comparing myself to others that go on glamours trips, or everyone running to important meetings, it’s the TIME SPENT talking into their phones all day. I get it, because I watch them, it’s fun to see how people live their lives, some people are funny, or tell great stories. I get it. But, how do you get anything done if you’re talking to us all day long? Do they not have a work schedule? Then I started noticing myself wanting to live that same carefree lifestyle. Where you talk on Stories all day long and sit down to write a blog post in the middle of the day on the couch while watching Bravo, no big deal. Or document errands, shopping, new clothes, lunches, etc. during the day and then finally getting to a blog post after dinner in the wee hours. Why couldn’t I have this more loose schedule where I could hang out all day. I’m a bit neurotic with schedules and stuff, so was I taking my job too seriously? I’m my own boss, so technically I could structure my day however I want. Was I putting too much pressure on being the perfect worker? All these things ran through my head. It’s the comparison game, which social media is very well known for and I was getting stuck in it. Don’t get me wrong, those that run their blogs, businesses, and lives like that, I’m not knocking you. We all do things differently. But, I was in this place where I was questioning myself and how I was running my business. I wanted something different, I wanted my days to look like theirs… so I thought.
I didn’t know I was doing this, sort of sabotaging, until more recently. With more time passing, I realized, this work lifestyle that I thought I wanted, that I saw all over Instagram Stories, is and never will be who I am and how I run my business. While I think it’s awesome that bloggers have a more carefree, easy-going work schedule (or at least it’s what it seems), that is not me. In order to function properly as a person, as a wife, as a friend, and as a dog owner, I have to have structure. When I don’t have some type of schedule, I feel all over the place, things don’t get done, and I become extremely stressed out. Others don’t run like that. Through the time of comparing and getting sucked into it all, thankfully, I had some personal growth and maturing. Instead of comparing and wanting something I didn’t have, I accepted it for what it is. Crystalin, you don’t need to run your business a certain way to be successful or to have a better life. You have to do what’s best for you and your business and own it. I’m thankful for personal growth, reflection, and time. Do I want more for my business, of course. But, does it have to look like anyone else’s life, Stories, blog, or business, no.
The last thing I’ll say because this post is probably rambling on. I had to have a talk with myself (and Mike always reminds me), other bloggers have teams OR their blog is not their sole household income. I think there’s very few husband and wife / boyfriend and girlfriend duos that work together and blog as their full time job. So yes, there’s a lot of pressure. Time management is everything. You can’t just decide not to work today. Or just dillydally on Instagram Stories all day and get around to a blog post. We obviously took a leap of faith and decided to do this almost 2 years ago and we’re so happy we did. We wouldn’t trade our situation for the world. But there’s a lot of work and sacrifice that goes into it. Not to mention the comparing, self-doubt, and mind games you constantly play with yourself. I’m just glad I’ve come out on the other side (at least for right now) and can own who I am and how I run my business. The road to success doesn’t look the same for everyone and that’s a good thing.
I would love to open the dialogue here. Are you on Snapchat or Instagram Stories? Do you have any similar thoughts about it?. I would love to hear from you.