If you’re one of my friends or one of the people I’ve met IRL from this blog, you probably wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if I’d told you that I came out of the womb an extrovert. My mom has often reminded me that even as a preschooler, I couldn’t leave the house without running into someone I knew — a teacher, someone from church, the parent of a classmate, etc. — and I’d stop what I was doing to have a quick chat. At times, that would go to extremes, like disappearing from my mom to wind up in the next aisle over, conversing with (to her) an adult stranger. But, child safety issues aside, I had very little fear of speaking to people I barely knew. It also explains why I rarely left the house as a teen without insisting on makeup (hmm, or maybe that’s maybe just being your average teenage girl).
Anyway, the thing is this: I enjoy meeting new people, being in new situations, and often feel zero fear when it comes to combining those two things… as long as its only a few people at a time. Once you throw in a sizable amount of eyes and ears paying attention, all of my confidence dissolves like a raccoon eating cotton candy. There’s just something about standing alone in front of a crowd — mouth open, my usual lack of filter ready to let the first thing tumble out — that utterly terrifies me. So naturally, for most of my life, I avoided public speaking as much as possible.
Fast forward to getting my MBA, and I was forced to work on this crippling fear and make an effort to turn it into a legitimate skill. After all, businesses need people to do things like present and persuade and such, so I found the communications class (where we literally had to record and watch ourselves awkwardly honing our skills) extremely helpful (awkward and scary, but helpful). Face your fears and jump in head first, right?
The blog was also growing a sizable amount during that time, and I realized that eventually — whether I was ever going to be comfortable or not — I’d have to put myself in front of an audience. Over the years, I’ve pushed myself to test the waters every now and then — with an online TV series, with Youtube, and lately, with live streaming (you guys were AWESOME to speak with on Facebook Live, so I’m definitely doing that again!). But I guess I just wanted to give you some background so that you understand how big of a deal these next few things are going to be for me… because they are probably going to be the biggest ones yet!
It’s a little late to have all of you know about this live (I signed up for it kind of last minute, so that’s on me), but regardless, I’ll have the link up and you can tune in tonight or you can check it out after the discussion. My friend Brittany (Pretty Handy Girl) asked me to hop on her DIY Courage chat this evening at 8:30 EST to discuss my ongoing projects and share a few stories (some of which you guys might not have heard before!). Sara Bendrick, host of DIY Network’s I Hate My Yard, will also be hosting, and Lee Dahlberg, a model/actor/comedian/artist will also be joining. If you want to know more about it, you can check out Brittany’s post and click here to join us at 8:30 EST. There will also be a $100 gift card giveaway during the talk!
Again, here’s the link! DIY Courage
Next Month: Haven Conference!
Many of you who regularly read DIY blogs probably know about the Haven Conference already; it’s DIY & decorating professional blogging conference that always happens in Atlanta, GA every summer, and one I’ve attended several times before (recap 1 / recap 2 / recap 3). I’m not kidding when I say that without this conference, I might not have some of my best and closest blog friendships (which grew to becoming lots of IRL friends).
So if you’ve never gone, now’s the time to reconsider. This time, it’ll be August 5-7, and if you’ve visited their website recently, you’ll see a new picture on the Speakers page this year: mine!
If you’re wondering what we’re going to be talking about, here’s the summary we wrote for the conference schedule:
What in the heck makes a “good pin” these days? How do I find viral Facebook content? What Instagram strategies still work? In this course, Sarah, Jenna, and Amy will walk you step by step (and spill their secrets) of utilizing their favorite social media to power your blog’s growth. You’ll learn about various social media strategies including how to master both Google and Pinterest analytics to maximize your Pinterest potential, how to best network with peers and influencers, and increase your total reach with a multi-pronged approach. Come prepared for a no-frills, no-BS talk on actual strategies (when, what, how many, etc.) and maybe a few laughs.
Luckily, I have two spectacular bloggers on the panel with me. We’ve already been making lots of jokes about having a swear jar up at the front to keep us in check.
Amy (Mod Podge Rocks, Washi Tape Crafts, DIY Candy) and I have been friends for a number of years now. She is incredibly savvy and basically the entrepreneur I wish I could be — books, product lines, several successful blogs, etc. I pretty much want to be her when I grow up. But perhaps the most amazing thing about Amazing Amy (in my opinion) is that she’s a true cheerleader and supports other bloggers. In fact, she was my very first design client before I’d even thought about forming a business for doing web design services (no joke, I offered to help her on something simple and she immediately asked if I wanted to design her soon-to-launch site, DIY Candy… and my business was born). I’m sure that our discussion will be enlightening with just her on the panel by itself! Maybe I can be comic relief.
Other than her questionable preference for cheap beer (ha — sorry, I’m a local craft gal), Jenna (Rain on a Tin Roof) is awesome. Her style is incredible and unique, but I think what I like most is that she’s fearlessly real. She’s also obsessed with Pinterest analytics, which is why she joined our speaker panel for Haven.
I’ve only done it once before, but I’ll be making a few podcast and/or radio appearances in the next couple of months. As of right now, it looks like the next one coming up will be next month! I’ll keep you posted on that as well.
That’s it for now, but with a slew of outdoor projects coming up later this summer, I’m planning on doing several more Facebook Live and YouTube videos to show you guys some more hands-on stuff. You can go ahead and subscribe to those now so you’ll get the notifications as soon as they begin, but until then, I hope I see a couple of you join for the DIY Courage chat tonight!