This week I've been knee deep....waist deep? Neck deep in building a business. I've built businesses before and I've been successful. But it's always been with very little money and not much knowledge. I had to work a lot and I had to study a lot. I had to fail a lot. And this all feels a lot like starting from scratch, and failing every single day, because the world has changed so much since I last did this.
Hey Lola is a business.
I know that it is, but I hate saying it. Mainly because of this blog. Because this blog is where I pour my heart out and you guys come here and so often you pour your hearts out back to me and it feels so amazing to be here in this space and just KNOW that I'm not the only awkward kid in the room. We're all awkward and amazing here together and it's really been a beautiful experience.
Hey Lola is a business. Ugh. I mean...I started this blog in 2009 specifically to drive business to my Etsy store. But back then it didn't feel weird because honestly - I wrote about dogs, cake, Kevin Bacon and jewelry. Actually, for a really long time I just wrote stories about my husband and made pictures like this:
And none of that felt weird. I just needed a place to put an ad for my store and I figured my own blog was as good as any. But now...it feels weird. It feels a lot like I'm saying, "Hey you guys, check out all of these feelings and also, give me a dollar."
So this week, as I'm taking webinars and creating spreadsheets and studying algorithms on social media and just posting all over the place just to try and figure out the right formula, it feels a little gross. You know? A little inauthentic.
The blog was never designed to be a business. The jewelry company was. But when the bottom fell out of everything and I started writing about it and then I decided to make jewelry that was specific to healing and spirituality and recovery and the Penny Project, it all became intertwined. Right now, they exist together.
I had to turn the Hey Lola facebook page from "blog/website" to "public figure" in an attempt for facebook to verify me so that I can protect the name "Hey Lola." That felt gross.
I learned how to hide hashtags on my instagram posts and that I should use as many as possible. Feels gross.
I had to make an editorial calendar for the blog to make sure I'm posting regularly which is...how do I post regularly about feelings when I don't even know when I'm going to feel them or if I'm even going to want to talk that day or get out of bed? And the internet was like, "Oh - just blog ahead of time and schedule your post."
Right. A feelings schedule. Super gross.
I took a webinar on pinterest, so I'm designing pins that are "clickable" for the blog. Feels so gross.
Everything that I've learned has pointed to "you have to be the face of your brand." Like - a literal picture of me has to be identifiable with Hey Lola. So I took a picture and then I pasted it all over the internet, including the jewelry website. THIS FEELS REALLY GROSS.
I am in battle with myself over the dream of the tourbus and the hugs and the pop-up shops and eating dinner vs. feeling gross about feelings as a business.
I try to remind myself that some of my favorite authors write about feelings and that that's how they make a living. Glennon Doyle Melton. Brene Brown. Rob Bell. Reba Riley. Lacey Sturm. I love the crap out of them. I paid money to feel feelings about the feelings that they wrote about. Because feelings.
I have to remind myself that I deserve to eat, too and having a goal is awesome and I truly love writing and creating and hopefully someday I can just pay somebody to do the gross stuff...
It just feels weird right now. Like...
That's it. I don't have anything profound to say. I'm just struggling with staying really focused on the dream while feeling uncomfortable about some of the steps necessary to get there. Oh! I guess the profound bit is - I'm still in the game. I'm still working on the dream... even when it feels like this:
(images via photographer Kaija Straumanis. Her "stuff that hit me in the head" series made my whole day.)