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.

Why Chase Perfection? Here's a hint. You don't have to do so.

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.

I pride myself as an expert in North Carolina and on topics of Raleigh, but google doesn't know that. Only I know that and perhaps a few of my readers.  It's the technical things like "alt-tags", "SEO',  and the need to do always do something different that runs me into the ground. 

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.

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 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. 

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.

When you are done chasing perfect you will free to live. Why you need to be done chasing perfect.

Post Update: I was done chasing perfect that year. I slowed down on blogging, and felt more free. I became the PTA President of my children's elementary school, and even traveled without blogging. I spent a good bit of my time building an online community for my social media #OutaboutNC. and focused on my next steps for when I'm ready.  I took some classes. I got some support. I accepted that I could not be perfect.

In 2018, I've devoted more time to the HinesSightBlog so it can be a top North Carolina travel blog and I've decided to focus on giving my Southern spin on hotels, food, and life.  I still have a lot to say in this space.

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