HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
The best blog post you will ever read is quite a claim, isn’t it?
But that is how strongly I feel about what I’m about to tell you.
Much sharing today in honor of this new year.
But it isn’t about paint colors or furniture or painting your brick fireplace.
It’s partly some of my story of how I got to be where I am in the world of blogging but more-so about the people who got me there.
And a blog you must read (not mine) My hope is that by the time you get to the end of that blog post, you will feel encouraged and inspired as never before.
The new year is a common time for self-reflection, renewal and resolutions we intend to keep but very often don’t.
Why is that?
This is what I think.
As sappy as this may sound, I think that every day should be New Year’s Day.
Sorry. Did you just throw up a little in your mouth after reading that?
Yeah… me too. ;]
And while I can say with 100% certainty that I don’t feel like this every day, it’s my aim. Pinning it all on one time of the year is a recipe for failure. It’s like crash dieting to fit into the dress you need to wear in one week.
It’s quite difficult and not very healthy either.
In addition, deep down, we doubt ourselves and often sabotage our best efforts before we even give them a chance to succeed.
We have an innate fear of failure; fear of making a mistake or being judged harshly.
But what I’ve discovered in the last two years is that if one doesn’t go out on a limb sometimes, there will be no chance of flying. Birds don’t fly buried deeply into their nests.
And maybe you already know this, but I believe with all of my heart that failure is your friend, not something to fear.
Believe me when I tell you that I have had many failures in life, however, each one taught me a valuable lesson that I needed to learn. Sure, it didn’t feel like it when I was going through it, but after I was able to look back in the rear view mirror, it was clearly a blessing.
Risk + Failure = Blessing.
Jon Morrow often recounts how his first two blogs were miserable failures. Third time lucky and massively successful! That blog which I recommend very highly if you’re a blogger or are thinking of becoming one is Smart Blogger.
BTW, there is no affiliation/compensation whatsoever— because I’m just not that smart. ;]
Still, my blessings are many this year and next year is already promising to be just as if not even more amazing.
But, it wasn’t always like that. Far from it. The reality is, that I’ve frequently suffered from depression, low drive and crippling self-doubt.
Surprised? Well, it’s true. While my disposition is exactly what you see here because that is my personality, the other has been a lifelong struggle.
Here’s an incident that made me crawl back into my shell for a time:
About 5 or 6 years ago, I used to read Vicente Wolf‘s blog. He would sometimes ask questions and this one time, I proudly gave a fairly lengthy answer that I felt might be helpful to him and/or other readers.
It included a link to my portfolio; not the one here, the old one on my first website. I published the comment and forgot about it. But several weeks later, I remembered and went back to see if anyone had responded.
Indeed someone had.
And what he had to say horrified me.
He told me that my designs were terrible and that I needed to go back to design school.
WTF? Of course, I was mortified. Providing some small measure of consolation, I saw that another commenter had come to my defense. I did that too. I said that my clients were “soccer moms” with mud rooms and with fairly conservative, young-traditional tastes in Westchester County, NY. They were all very happy with what I did for them. It was not meant to be the haute couture of interior design.
Not that I should’ve had to defend myself. Frankly, if it had been my blog, I would’ve taken the idiot-troll’s nasty comment down. Flame comments are not allowed on my blog.
While I knew that Troll’s remark was not true, a part of me doubted that. And perhaps I always will, but I think that I’m getting better now.
I did stop reading Vicente Wolf’s blog after that.
Not long after that, I began this blog…
I was all gung-ho.
Laurel Home was created from nothing, all on my own.
I did it on my own because I couldn’t find anyone to help me! But help, I needed! (and eventually got)
It wasn’t until I got the help that I was able to begin to right the ship and turn it around. Although, I am very glad that I did start it on my own because I learned how my blog works. It’s something I recommend highly
But what happened is that I moved in December 2012 and in June 2013, I realized that my phone hadn’t rung in six months.
That is when I found wordpress expert Eileen Lonergan. I’ve mentioned Eileen many times. I still work with her and can’t recommend her highly enough.
By the time 2013 ended, I was beginning to see the results of that help.
But there was still much to learn and do. And then I found badassmomma interior design mentor and blogging guru Alycia Wicker. Alycia gave me more information that I needed–specific to interior designers.
And she told me about Jon Morrow and to get his headline hacks PDF, so I did.
I started following Jon’s blog and when he announced in the summer of 2014 that he was going to have a blogging course, I clamored to sign up.
He’s a darn good sales person too, but definitely, the best $2,000 I ever spent!
Deerfield Beach, Florida
Shortly after I started the course, I went to a seminar he gave in Florida in October 2014. Luckily I was one of his students who received an evaluation.
Jon told me exactly what I needed to do with my blog to take it to the next level and beyond.
And that’s what I did.
But here’s what you need to know and why this is the best blog post you will ever read.
Jon has a rare form of muscular dystrophy. He wasn’t expected to live past the age of 2 (he’s now 34). He’s completely paralyzed except for the ability to move his face and talk.
99.999% of the people like him who manage to survive are living in a nursing home.
Sounds pretty depressing, huh?
Nosiree! Jon is a millionaire many times over with a staff of full-time employees that he supports and he lives now in Texas in what I’m sure is a beautiful and comfortable home.
And he did it all from being one of the most bad-ass-bloggers that God ever created. In fact, he even helps his folks out! Not too shabby for a dude who writes blog posts with his mouth.
Jon Morrow and me (duh) at the end of the Florida Smart Blogger Seminar.
This week, Jon launched a new blog that explains how he did it.
And I get chills writing that because if a young man can create something big out of nothing and as he puts it, “can’t freaking move,” then anyone can.
And that means you and me. Every one of us.
I don’t ask for much but I’m insisting that you read his first post. I promise that you will see your life in an entirely new way. If you wish to not be inspired, then don’t read it.
Jon is proof of how blessed each of us is. Even when the shit is flying fast and furious. And it does, for everyone at times.
Okay, this part is hard for me.
It’s difficult because it sounds like I’m bragging. Oh well… here goes…
There was a time, when I felt that everyone was doing (a lot) better than me and hearing their list of accomplishments made me feel like even more of a loser.
Yes, that’s right.
I know that some of you may find that difficult to believe, but it’s true. And no, that’s obviously not the bragging part.
How did I change that mindset?
I’m not exactly sure, but certainly the illness and subsequent death of my dearest friend two years ago, had something to do with it. Plus:
- The very real possibility of being destitute, along with some members of my immediate family is a powerful motivator.
- Maybe just finally getting to a point, where I realized that I didn’t have a lot to lose.
- And you guys. You spur me on. Your kind words and encouragement are my food and water and sometimes the air I breathe, too!
I am awfully proud of myself. It’s a dream I never thought possible to have come true. But I have turned this blog into a thriving business.
And with the help of Eileen and Marsha Stopa who is my blogging coach, (and Jon’s primo assistant) I am finally making a good living.
Like, really good. :]
And on March 5th, I am going to be giving a workshop at the Design Bloggers Conference that outlines very clearly exactly how I did that.
I’m so excited about that and yes, I’ll be giving out the recipe for my “secret sauce.” AND, for those taking the workshop, you can sign up to get a written version of my workshop for free.
The Design Blogger’s Conference. is in LA this year. My talk will be at 1:00 and will repeat at 4:00.
However, the workshop rooms are not that large; there is a capacity of only 60. I understand that there have been a record number of sign-ups so if you want to get in, please don’t tarry.
Also, if you sign up for the conference by January 9th, you’ll get the early bird price.
In addition to me, there are some fabulous other workshops and incredible speakers! This promises to be the best Design Blogger’s Conference ever!
By the way. How did I get the gig?
Pretty simple. I asked for it. :]
It’s taken me 60 years to figure that one out. yeesh!
Sure, I had to write a proposal and get accepted by the committee, but it never would’ve happened if I had sat around on my boney arse waiting for them to approach me.
And there’s one more.
This one I was asked to be a part of.
I am now officially one of Veronika Miller’s Design Hounds.
Woof!!! (Is my makeup okay?)
If you don’t know who Veronika Miller is and you’re a design blogger, she is definitely one to suck up to! lol Veronika is way cool, so it should not be a problem.
Oh wait. I lied. There’s even more!
I was asked to be on a panel about color trends. (can’t wait) ;] It’s in Orlando next month at KBIS (Kitchen and Bath Industry Show)
So get ready for some posts about kitchens and baths!
I recently found out that another member of the panel is
HOLYCRAPBALLSOFFIRE!!!, I almost feel entitled to say the F-word, however, I will only say the F-word on this blog if the word “cancer” comes after it. But that is how excited I am.
I do think it’s only fair that we get to sit in alphabetical order though, don’t you? haha!
The fabulous Amy Wax, another New York color specialist and blogger is also going to be on the panel.
Here’s to a wonderfully successful, prosperous 2017 for all!
Please share with us if you like, something you’ve overcome or have done, will be doing or want to do!
Don’t be afraid of sounding silly or weak.
We’re all silly and weak.
And that includes the ones who sound/look “perfect.”