10.07.2015

Personal: I'm Done Chasing Perfect

I put on my pink rain boots during Hurricane Joaquin and got out of hibernation in my home (now that my children are in school, I'm becoming quite a hermit in my home because I love being home alone with no noise or distractions. Nothing pleases me more in my life right now than to be in my home) to attend a great conference in Raleigh sponsored by Vend Raleigh.



Motivational speaker and author, Lara Casey, was inspiring with her keynote address. VendRaleigh always puts on a good conference. She told us that we had to stop chasing perfection or it would run us into the ground. Her story is real. It hit home.



Lately, I've been beaten down. I'm tired.


Tired of what? You ask.


Well, I think the answer is simple after I heard her speak. I need to now refocus and reenergize. Isn't fall a time for renewal? Or is that spring? Regardless, the time is right now to make these changes.

I've tried to be a good parent. I've tried to be a good manager of our home. I've tried to be a good wife. I've tried to be a business owner who owns a blog. I've tried hard to be successful in everything that I do, but yet it, all of it has left me feeling exhausted and exasperated. Some may even say I am downright crabby, at times.  

Why? Because after hearing Lara speak at the #2015Illuminate conference, I realize I have been chasing the idea of being able to do it all. I haven't been growing my business instead, I've been spreading myself too thin. 




Being a stay-at-home parent has its own challenges, but owning and publishing a blog has a lot more behind the scenes to it than just writing a story and hitting publish. It's these behind the scenes things that are extremely important to the success of a blog that have run me into the ground.

It's the technical things like "alt-tags", "SEO',  and the need to do always do something different for impact such as change your  "share-a-holic" button so that your twitter handle can be seen if someone shares a post.  

There is always something new to read and learn. Managing social media for a blog can be a full-time, draining, "suck the life" out of you job, and it's a vicious cycle where you feel like you are on a hamster wheel.

If you devote too much time to these tasks then you have no time to write content for the blog.  As you try to manage your children and your household, a week goes by and you still have no new content.

Honestly, time goes by so quickly and you feel as if you have accomplished nothing in a day, or at least, that is how I feel. My to-do list gets longer, and the pitches for stories increase daily.  And there is one more important detail we must not forget. No one is paying me to write unless I have a sponsor or an advertiser. As bloggers, we are self-published. We don't get a salary to taste that new pink cocktail at 5 pm after a business day like someone who may work for a magazine. 

There is also a good chance that I would have to pay a sitter to even attend so now we're spending our money to go an event to taste that pretty new pink cocktail. I just can't do it all, and I just can't do it all and not make some type of profit. I don't think they teach you to work for free all the time in MBA school. I do not have my MBA, but thanks to VendRaleigh speaker, Belinda Briggs, it was affirmed to me that every smart business person needs to price for profit. 




I love the community that I have built around HinesSightBlog and OutaboutNC. I love talking to each of you on the social media platforms, but it is time for me to get back to finding my "why" and "purpose" for doing this blog. This blog is an extension of me and who I am. You either like what I talk about or you don't. I can't work like a dog to bring you to this space. And this blog will either grow on its own or not, but I can't drive myself into the ground trying to build it. People have to come because they want to be there.

As the founder of the #OutaboutNC community, I've now teamed up with the NC Blogger Network to develop and manage new blogger campaigns in N.C.  I am Campaign and Tourism Development Director. I will continue to be on social media, but I'm stopping my version of  "chasing perfect" today.

 I'm going to go back to the written words I said when I published my very first blog post.

"Some people may exercise, or eat a whole box of cookies to de-stress  Well, I'm going to write. I'll probably eat some cookies and exercise, too, but being able to write my thoughts and experiences help melt my tension away.  I don't care if I'm writing for my own entertainment and I'm the only reader.  I'm going to fantasize and pretend there are millions!!!  My goal is to write and share"

In the past four years, I was able to get beyond one reader, but I've spent so much time trying to market a blog that I've had no time to write.

As I approach my five-year-anniversary, I realize things have got to change. My purpose now is to nurture what we all have in common. I'm starting two newsletters, and instead of spending hours trying to pin posts, eight hours editing photo images, or beating Facebook insights, I'm going to focus on what I think I do personally do best. Storytelling, finding hotels, and finding good hotel packages where your money goes farther both in and outside of North Carolina.  It will be a very short newsletter with suggestions. Nothing fancy. Nothing wordy, but just straight good recommendations. Each newsletter technically has two audiences, and you can sign up on my sidebar to receive them. They will not be regular, maybe once a month in the beginning so don't worry about a lot of spam.

Newsletter One: HinesSight Hot Hotel Picks. This newsletter is for my travelers, and for people who want to know where to stay. I'm not going to tell you what to do, but I am going to tell you where to stay in London, Greece, Asheville, Charlotte, Nashville, Richmond...you get the idea.

Newsletter Two: OutaboutNC. This newsletter will feature photos from our community and will focus on hospitality and tourism in North Carolina only.

Newsletter Three: Beauty and Healthy Living; This is for my lifestyle readers  and it will include Beautycounter specials, Young Living specials, recipes, tips and more.

Lara is right. Once you find out your "why am I doing this?" then you are living your life with purpose. When you "Make It Happen: Surrender Your Fear, Take the Leap, Live On Purpose", the title of Lara's new book, you feel relieved, happy, and peaceful. 

I had lunch with this guy yesterday. My family is a priority. I wrote this to my personal facebook friends.



 I forgot how delightful my child is when he is just alone with no sibling and me. Great lunch at Cameron Village after his doctor's appointment and now back to school. Kids really do need time alone with their parent. I forget that way too often. I can always count on this one for a good lunch. He is just more expensive. No kids meal for him. He just devoured a chicken salad sandwich on a croissant. He told me he loved croissants and I told him we could soon fly to Paris...direct. Two peas in a pod conspire to spend Will Hines money in Paris.

I see a hotel post in Paris post coming up....

If you already subscribe to my posts, that won't change. I'm not going to stop blogging. I'll be here, but I'm finished with all the behind the scenes hoopla that goes along with it. You'll get every recipe, story or whatever is in the feed that publishes.  You will see that subscription under "Want my post by email." These new newsletters will not be information on this blog. You can sign up for those below.

Thanks. 2016 is going to be fun. I can't wait to start looking at hotels again. Hallelujah!

And P.S.  I did not edit or alt tag a single photo or prepare them for Pinterest or make a pinnable graphic in this post because I'm just done "chasing perfect" and just don't feel like doing SEO right now. OK?  Those who blog will certainly understand. I'm now taking that extra hour and exercising.

I may now find some time to read Lara's book.



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