When I think of everything last year had to offer, I realize there was so much mobility in everything that I did. From traveling to Washington, D.C. to accept blogging awards to going jetskiing in Bermuda, there was so much that happened in one year and the majority of it stemmed from blogging. Whether or not it was evident, blogging and bloggers were key factors in everything I did last year....literally.
Why is this? Well I've realized that as we grow older we tend to surround ourselves with people who have similar interests, backgrounds and goals. All of that basically sums up all my internet friends and what not, so I had the opportunity to meet so many people in person.
But, no matter if I was in D.C. or in New York City, there was one thing that remained the same. One small thing that you would think wouldn't even be a factor because so many of us bloggers are glowed up online...
That one thing is support from friends and family that just isn't there....
Oddly enough almost 90% of the people I met said they at some point felt their blog was unsupported by a friend or a family member. That's HUGE. But what's even more telling is that if that is you, you have to take a look at the ugly truth about the situation. It can be hard, because it's a "best friend" or an "auntie you love so much", but if you don't face the truth you're going to continue to hold onto hurt instead of finessing those blog posts into coins.
So here it is, the dreaded ugly truth that's not all that ugly, but definitely insightful as to why you may not be getting that support you expected...
Well, to be completely honest up front...your friends and family may not resonate with what you blog about. Long story short, we read blogs we identify with, right? So if your friends or family don't align with the target audience you're trying to reach, you shouldn't expect them to be ride or die followers of your blog.
I know, "but they can still support my stuff", and you're absolutely right. I'm in no way saying that your loved ones can't support by retweeting your content, shouting you out or sharing your stuff every now and then. BUT, what I am saying is the support may be limited if they do not actually enjoy what you read about or it provides no value to them.
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Think of it this way, when I transitioned to She's Candid I added more Girlboss stuff which speaks to the millennial entrepreneur trying to get their blog poppin'. With that, I can't be mad that my family members who may not want to venture into the entrepreneurial world don't read my posts. So before you get upset with them, really consider what content it is they're consuming and if it's not similar to what you're producing, then you just have to accept that they are more than likely not going to be one of your faithful readers. It's okay, because there are millions of people out there who would LOVE what you do. So stop focusing on who's not supporting and aim your focus towards reaching the people who would love to support you.
Now the next truth I found was when my best friend, Ashley, and I had a conversation about my blog. I opened up to her about how I felt unsupported by friends and she had a surprising follow up question for me post venting session...
She asked me if I asked people to support my blog. I paused because, as I'm sure most of you are thinking to yourself right now, my immediate reaction was...I shouldn't have to ask. But, my friend you absolutely and totally DO have to ask.
Why? Well when she really broke it down for me I realized that even though I diminish the work I do as a blogger, people out here think I'm DOING the damn thing. When I shared that with her, she alone said "I thought you were successful, so I didn't think you needed my help."
Even though you may see your stats and think you're not all that poppin', to your friends and family who have no idea who Mattie and big name bloggers are, you might be kind of a big deal to your old high school friends. So my advice for anyone who feels unsupported by people who would really love what you blog about, let them know you'd love their support. Opening that dialogue can ease that feeling and let people know you do actually need them.
Moving right along to my last truth which is the one that can be the hardest to swallow for most. There are people who won't support because they don't align with what you've got going on and there are people who won't because they really believe you're doing big things out here.
But then you have those people who just aren't supporting because they're not happy about it...
Sounds crazy, but sadly you have to accept not everyone wants to see you prosper. Whether it be jealousy, seeing you as competition or even just not being happy with where they are in their lives, some people in this world don't like to see you grow, and family or friends are included.
Whatever the reason may be as to why they're not happy about it isn't for you to decipher, but you should take note of their negative behavior because it isn't okay. Anyone in your life who is constantly downplaying your work, providing negative commentary or just belittling all that you do can kick rocks. Seriously.
What I've realized is that for whatever reason, there are people who are unable to be happy for you, and that's fine! But, as the strong entrepreneur I know you are, you need to learn to create boundaries with any loved one who's bringing you down.
I know it may be hard to approach situations where you feel like someone may be unhappy you're doing big things, so what do I recommend? Distance yourself, your work and let them hate from a distance. You may not even need to say anything to them about it, because it can be as simple as not letting them know what's going on. I did that and trust me when I say, I have excelled tremendously.
No, I didn't "cut ties", but I cut off all negative ties with people when it came to my blog business. There's just certain people who cannot be a part of it and it's fine...just at a distance.
So that's the blunt and ugly truth about it. It can be hard, but accepting things for what they are and learning to change the way you move accordingly is THE BEST thing you can do for yourself and your brand. (Trust me on this one) You will NOT get to success if you continue to waste time trying to get people who are not being supportive to support you. I did for far too long and once I cut it, I elevated my brand incredibly.
Learn from me and focus on you, boo. Love your people as people, but keep your blog business with your supporters and target audience.