It’s easy to be inspired in the air. That was the title I wanted to use for this blog, but sadly it would rank low in SEO, and most of you that are interested in how to become a successful entrepreneur or fashion blogger never would have found this article. Goodbye facades, hello reality. I hope you’re ready for a long read.
I’m going to cut the glamour and give you the down and dirty real tips on how to achieve success as an entrepreneur.
In this post, I will dive deep into hands-on experience achieving my dream as a successful luxury fashion blogger who manages a full time career and a hobby that allows me the freedom to quit my job, work remote, and travel the world while getting paid.
Dreams are beautiful, reality is also important. It takes time.
Dreams are a beautiful thing, but loosing sight of them will often make them slip from your grasp. Everyone dreams, but what sets apart the dreamers from the entrepreneurs taking over the world? You can accomplish anything that you’re willing to fight for, but sometimes the fight is a bigger challenge that you’re willing to accept. Living the best version of yourself requires discipline, hard work and an sense of undying urgency. Time management is of the essence.
I’ve been on both sides… the dreamer with no success, and a successful entrepreneur without a dream. Though I have built my business to a point many would consider success, being able to support myself through a hobby of fashion blogging and travel, it’s not always easy. I still continue to pursue a full time carrier working an 8-5 while balancing my dreams.
It’s a challenge, but not impossible.
I’ve learned a lot on the way, and even though I’m far from perfecting my best version, the recipe for success for entrepreneurs is a consistent story. Want to stop dreaming and start living? Here’s how to turn your dreams into reality, and start living the best version of yourself.
Dreaming is the easy part. Do your research.
Let me start by telling you my current situation. In this moment, I’m 35,000 feet in the air, flying over the Grand Canyon on the way home from America’s biggest fashion convention, WWDMagic. It’s not hard to feel inspired. The view itself, incredible. Something about the view from the sky makes it difficult not to dream. The canyons below are regal and expanding vastly into the far horizon. Each window glance brings a new delight from the canyons to mountain and desert views. The world is a beautiful place. I could sit here in my head for the next 5 hours of the flight back to the east coast in pure bliss, but what would that accomplish?
Dreaming is the easy part. I’m sorry to break it to you, but the dream is the easy part.
If you want to achieve success as an entrepreneur, staring dreamily into the horizon is going to get you no where. Success takes work. And not fun, inspiring projects that capture your excitement and keep you on a high through completion. It takes long, grinding hours of tedious industry research on how to be successful in your specific niche, and efforts that are enough to drive anyone insane. That’s right, living your dream isn’t a dream – at least not all of it. Fashion bloggers @karla_deras and @lindsayalbanese gave a great panel of discussion at WWDMagic expressing the same sentiments. Having balanced full time careers and pursuing a dream of content creation, fashion blogging and now managing their own brands – they are no stranger to the fight it takes to make the dream work.
Their recipe for success? 90% grind, 10% head in the clouds.
Go ahead and grab that extra cup of coffee, you’re going to need it. The good news, there are tons of resources to help you on your way to understand how to be a successful blogger or entrepreneur. Start with planning. Understand what you hope to accomplish, outline clear goals, an organized calendar, and a strategy to reach those goals while staying motivated even when it gets hard.
The reason so many young ambitious entrepreneurs never realize their dreams is that they spend 90% head in the clouds, and 10% on the grind. Their perception of what it means to live the dream is flawed. The first step to success is realizing there is no such thing as living the dream with your head in the clouds and never touching ground again. This should never be your end goal, and if it is – you’ll likely never reach success. That’s not to say living your dreams is impossible.
As I sit here on my flight, I can say I am living my dreams. I am working as the creative director for a women’s fashion company that allows me to travel the world, work remote and meet hundreds of incredible people that have helped me grow and stay inspired. I also manage a successful luxury fashion blog, sharing my stories, style and travel adventures that also provides an income I could choose to live off of if I so choose. For so many people, that’s it! That’s the dream. It looks so perfect from paper. But it’s not what you may expect.
Working towards the dream never ends, even after you’ve “made it”
Though I can say whole heartedly that I’m living my dream, I’m not just scooting around the world taking photos and making beautiful mood boards with the design team in Milan. Yes, living my dream does include those things, and if you ask many people including some of my close friends, that’s often the perception. Remember living the dream is not as easy as it looks. I work 50-60 hours a week at my full time job as a creative director.
Though I do travel to Milan, here in Las Vegas for glamorous conventions over fine dining and cocktails, and out of state for shooting promo reels, most of my full time career is building strategies, managing my team, following up in deliverables, measuring data and planning for the future. It’s not always exciting. It’s not always fun. Sometimes I dread the day ahead of me. But guess what, that’s 90% of a dream come true. Get used to that idea, and don’t look at it as a bad thing. It’s part of success. Aside from an often demanding high-stress work environment 50-60 hours a week, I manage a fashion blog. Say goodbye to 8-5. Half the time I’m on these elaborate trips, I hardly leave the hotel in order to catch up on work.
The dream – traveling beautiful vacations, receiving luxury designer clothes and accessories, and getting paid to do it. It’s true, I do enjoy those things. Also the dream – staying up past midnight writing content for guest blogs after a long day at the office, responding to hundreds of emails over a bowl of ramen because I didn’t have time to make dinner, spending hours on my phone engaging on social media when I have a headache and just want to take a nap, spending beautiful sunny weekends indoors working on tedious shoots for clients that need a little extra TLC. Even now, I would love to just soak in the view and relax after a hectic 48 hours running around Magic, but I’m not. I’m writing, sharing my tips on how to become a successful entrepreneur or fashion blogger while managing a full time job.
It takes focus. 90% grind, 10% dream. Living the dream is a lot of work. Even after you’ve “made it.” I’ve had to miss vacations, skip happy hour and time with my family and friends (even losing some friendships) in order to make the necessary sacrifices to achieve success. And it wasn’t so I could go hop a flight to the tropics to shoot some content. It was so I could stay up late doing the grind, filing paperwork, reviewing legal documents – you get the picture. It a constant balancing act that takes a lot of work.
The 10% dream really is worth it all
You will get frustrated. You will get tired. You will want to quit. Don’t. The good news, having “made it”, the 90% grind is worth living 10% of your dream. I don’t regret a single hour I’ve invested into my future. I wake up everyday excited to start the new day. Not because I know it will be full of exciting new undertakings. Because I know the 10% is worth it.
Through the grind, I’ve been able to travel to Egypt, India, Milan, Switzerland, Bali, Costa Rica, Mexico, Virgin Islands, Dubai, and dozens of states in just the past 2 years. I’ve discovered dozens of new luxury brands and been able to have my pick of their beautiful collections, and I’ve gotten paid enough to live independently of a 9-5. I’ve tasted some of the most exquisite foods and stayed at places I never dreamed I would be able to afford. I’ve been able to have experiences many people only dream of. I am forever grateful for the many blessings I’ve had, and will never take this time for granted. The dream is real if you have realistic expectations of not only what it takes to get there, but also the work and diligence it takes to maintain that dream every day.
Keep fighting the good fight
If you noticed I keep using the term “made it” in quotations. That’s because a successful entrepreneur never fully makes it. As soon as you settle in, it’s the beginning to the end of your dream.
Always pursue more.
While I am enjoying the luxuries of free cocktails and extra space in main cabin extra, that first class ticket is still in my future. Right now, the expense isn’t worth taking away from the investments I could make launching a new line, traveling to a new place or making new connections. I haven’t quit my full time career and continue to balance a full time job and a fashion blog. Not because I have to, not because I want to.
The dream isn’t over for me, and managing a full time career allows me the additional freedom and financial stability to expedite the success of my fashion blog while living in a beautiful home and indulging in some necessary splurges that keep me motivated and living in the present. It’s important to enjoy everyday, because today is your dream. Not the future. The dream is never over, so enjoy your day to day and the journey, because the journey is the dream.
Motivated or defeated?
How do you feel after reading these tips on how to become a successful entrepreneur while managing a full time job? Do you feel motivated or defeated?
If you feel motivated, you’ve reached the first step to success. Now get to work.
The most difficult realty for entrepreneurs to accept is that a dream is only 10% a dream, and 90% grind. I’ve talked to countless successful entrepreneurs and they’ll all tell you the same thing. Living the dream is not fun, and if you think it’s going to eventually get easier, you’re wrong, and you probably aren’t going to make it. Think of the most monotonous, arduous task that you’ve been putting off to achieve your success, and do it. And then do 10 more things like it. Embrace the pain and the challenge. Learn to work hard and refute excuses.
Make your dream a priority, and fight to make it a reality. If you can accomplish that, your dreams are within your grasp. You can accomplish anything. Anything. And it’s 1000% worth it. I personally wish you the best of success as I believe everyone should have the opportunity to live their dream. I live my dream 100%, go live yours.