Say Yes First

I’ve been blogging for 8 years this month. When you’ve been doing anything for that long, it’s natural to go through highs and lows of interest, activity, general success, and more.

My blog was primarily a personal pursuit for the first 3 1/2 years; it wasn’t until early 2009 that I started working with companies on reviews and giveaways. Even then, I never considered making money from my blog, or creating any kind of career for myself. But many women stepped forward as thought and business leaders in this space, and I was inspired. I was encouraged to make more of my blog. I had ambition.

I consider 2011 to be my – and my blog’s – peak. I was speaking at conferences, making a respectable amount of money from sponsored content, and teaching social media classes in my community.

But as sometimes happens, my life got big. My husband took a job in another state, while our five children and I stayed behind so our oldest daughter could finish high school. His constant absence made it difficult for me to travel anywhere for conferences, media invites, or anything at all. I started saying “No” to a lot of opportunities.

And “No” somehow became my default mentality. Even when an opportunity didn’t require travel, if it required any amount of mental dedication or a commitment in time, I didn’t feel equipped to handle it.

And soon, I didn’t have any ambitions at all – not just for my blog, but for anything. People would talk of 1-year or 5-year plans, and I couldn’t even stoke an ember of interest in thinking about the future. Everything I had was poured into the now¬†to make sure my family was taken care of.

As seasons of life do, ours of being a separated family passed, we moved together to an entirely new state, my oldest daughter went on to college, and things finally began to settle down.

Unfortunately, my mental inertia remained. When I had no real and present reason to say “No,” it was still the first response on my lips when given an opportunity, or even the whispering of an idea that would take time and energy to execute.

But I’m starting to emerge from that fog. I’m starting to realize that instead of necessity, perhaps my “No” is coming from a place of fear or worry or uncertainty in just how easily I’ll be able to jump back into the thick of things.

I’ve decided to start saying “Yes” first, until I know for sure the answer is “No.” Until I’ve exhausted the possibilities. But even then, I’m starting to reinvent the idea of “possible” for myself.

I’m excited to see where this new commitment takes me. I’m excited to make a welcome place for ambition again. I’m excited to embrace (and create) more opportunities, not just for my blog, but for my life.

I think 2014 will be a great year.

Say Yes First