5 Lessons Learnt by Bunking Off Work

October 30, 2012

“Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure” – Oprah Winfrey

What a whirlwind! First up thank you so much for allowing me to take a few weeks off the Green Room while I was away. I had good intentions to get some guest posts up, but when it came down to it I just didn’t have any in the pipeline that I thought we’re strong enough… and so I figured, quality over quantity, and let it go.

A moment of honesty – the few weeks running up to me going away were tough. I was seriously lacking inspiration and my blogging mojo was waning. The endless treadmill that can be running a blog full time, with the constant pressure to update daily (or in my case multiple times daily) was starting to loose it’s sparkle. Don’t get me wrong, I am forever in love with my job, but I was just feeling like the posts I was publishing were only okaaaay. Like I was just going through the motions and that the standard of what I was writing was slipping.

I needed this break. Badly. We all know that those moments where you’re sat staring at your computer screen just willing the inspiration to come are the least productive. Then add immense tiredness and a crap load of deadlines to that mix and it’s a recipe for disaster.

So as the time for me to leave got closer I made the decision that enough was enough and I was going to give myself a proper break from it all. No blogging, no emails, limiting my social media use – a proper digital detox. I wanted to re-find my passion, re-find some inspiration and re-find my blogging mojo!

And low and behold I’ve come back from New York with a notebook bursting with ideas, but more than that I’ve realised that the important things – and the ones that make me happy – are not really what I thought they were at all.

1. Set yourself achievable goals

This is something I’ve championed for a long time, but if I was being totally honest, something I hadn’t really properly done for a while. One of the activities at The Blogcademy was where we shared some of our own goals. Firstly we had to list where we saw our online position now and then where we really wanted it to be. Doing this made me realise how vital setting tangible goals is for growth, motivation and keeping yourself on track.

2. Push yourself out of your comfort zone

It’s oh so easy to stand in one place, especially when you get to a spot that you feel comfortable in. Whether it be your position in the industry, a project you feel you’ve nailed or a group of collaborators you feel comfortable with. But that’s the lazy way to do business. Pushing yourself to constantly evolve is the only way to grow, expand or improve your business.

After extensive chats with Shauna about the Rock n Roll Bride brand, I can safely say that we’ve come up with some really great ideas about how we can improve it and bring everything to one really great place. Talking about your failings or where you need to improve can be difficult but it’s vital in order to make improvements.

3. Collaborations make us stronger

Again, something I’ve championed for a long time, but another thing that I didn’t really realised the significance of until I switched it up. Working with people with different skills and experiences to your own is vital. Using your differences to create something together is powerful. Gala, Shauna & I all have varying experiences of blogging and running our own businesses – we have very different markets, opinions and readerships, and we’ve all taken very different paths to get to where we are today. What I really learnt from chatting to them was that no route is the right one for everyone. Forging your own way and being authentic to yourself and your business is the only way to make it work. But even better than that, when we come together we’re infinitely stronger – a power team (in sparkly ears!) to be reckoned with!

Don’t be afraid to reach out to people with different skill sets to your own, or even from different industries all together. As long as you can come together to form one cohesive vision, you’ll soar!

4. Travel is good for the soul

Until I started travelling to The States for work last year I hadn’t been abroad in nearly five years! In that time I’d forgotten how vital travel is for a happy spirit. Travel gives you new experiences and a new perspective on everyday life.

In a nutshell, if you have the same everyday experience, influences & inspiration as all your competitors, how can you expect to stand out or ever do something different? Take a leap and make that trip happen. See where the rabbit hole takes you…

5. Do more of what makes you happy

Sounds obvious right? But so many of us stick to doing things that make us miserable because it’s ‘easier’.

Shall I be honest for a moment?! Well one of the main reasons Lisa & I extended our time in New York was to attend Bridal Market (AKA fashion week for the wedding industry). It was the weekend before The Blogcademy and we figured, you know, that’s what wedding bloggers ‘do’. But when it came down to it, I just couldn’t go. I was having too much fun doing non-weddingy things! Those of you that have been reading this blog for a few years will already know of my distaste for these kind of events… so why on Earth was I purposely putting myself back into the lion’s den? There are plenty of wedding bloggers out there that thrive in this environment and therefore write much better articles about that kind of stuff than I ever could. I am not one of those bloggers so I don’t try to be.

We were in New York at the same time as the biggest bridal industry event of the year and we fobbed it off for shopping, circle line cruises and photo ops. And I couldn’t have been happier with our decision! Do I feel like I missed out by not seeing the latest bedazzled bridal gowns sashaying down the runway? Erm… No.

I had the best time having my own adventures and doing the things I wanted to do. After all, isn’t that what running your own business is all about? Creating your own happiness?

So, I implore you, take a break. Use the time to explore what you love and do more of those things. Take a day, a week, a month… but used the time to focus on you. Do the things that you enjoy and see what adventures they take you on. You may get an almighty and unexpected rush of inspiration, or you may just use the time to decompress. Both are equally valuable, but honestly, getting offline and in a different head-space is amazing food for the soul and fuel for creativity.

All Photography Credit: Devlin Photos