OK true story: I almost forgot about our monthly Blog with Intention post, y’all. I forgot it was already the first of the month. Holy crap, it’s July!!
June was a whirlwind for me – two huge launches in two short weeks. And now I’m getting ready to leave on Friday to fly to Chicago to speak at SoFabU on the Road. Oh, and I should also mention that I quit my day job last week. WOOT WOOT!!
The main reason why I got so distracted and forgot what day it is – passion projects. I want to talk to you about what passion projects are and tell you about mine, and I also want to encourage you to create and pursue your own passion projects. Let’s go!
You might have heard the term “passion projects” floating around the blogosphere but I don’t know if there’s really a definition of what they are.
To me, a passion project is something that you know will require a lot of hard work, but it sets your soul on fire, so you go after it with everything you’ve got. And whether or not you succeed doesn’t even matter. It’s the completion of the project that means everything.
WHY PASSION PROJECTS ARE SO IMPORTANT
Yes, you’ll work your rear end off when pursuing a passion project, but the benefits far outweigh the effort you put in.
#1 – It fuels your creativity in ways you didn’t know were possible.
Some time around February – March, I found myself staring into a creative rut. I was working hard to build my business, but the passion wasn’t there. I know this happens to us all at some point in time, and it had happened to me before. I’ve actually learned how to deal with these ruts.
I talked about getting out a creative block not too long ago, and one of the ways I do that is to pursue a passion project. So that’s just what I did this time, and man did the creative juices start flowing again! Once I started diving head first into my Blog Fuel podcast and The Mason Jar membership site, I had an endless supply of blog post ideas, among other things.
#2 – It connects you with other passionate people.
Not all passion projects involve collaborations, like my podcast, but when you get excited about something, people take notice. If you pursue a passion project, let your “people” know – your blog tribe, your reader community, your family & friends.
It’s amazing to see the connections that are made when you are enthusiastic about something that means so much to you.
#3 – It teaches you that you can do hard things.
I’m not gonna lie – creating a podcast and a membership site from scratch is HARD. And to launch both projects within 2 weeks of one another? Let’s just say I have a few more grey hairs than when I started (but I cover them with blonde, so nobody knows but us. Hush.).
To be on the other side of these 2 huge launches and see how much I accomplished is empowering. I had to figure out how to do ALL THE THINGS on my own because I had an almost-zero budget for these things. To have received the positive feedback about the podcast and The Mason Jar that I have just reaffirms that I can absolutely do hard things.
#4 – It opens doors for future opportunities.
You know those creative juices I mentioned in point #1? Some of the ideas I’ve had while building my passion projects involve more passion projects, future collaborations with other incredible bloggers, a restructuring of my services and coaching packages, and so much more.
It’s also put my name in front of other people who have reached out to me with opportunities, like being on other people’s podcasts, being the “featured expert” in another membership site, among other things. It’s exciting!
Bottom Line: Don’t be afraid of the hard work. See it as a personal challenge to do the things you aren’t sure you’re capable of, step out in boldness, and pursue what fires you up!
MY GOAL ASSESSMENT
I have to giggle a little. Last month, I was kinda hard on myself for canning a huge ecourse I wanted to create. Here’s what I said:
I was working towards a big goal that I thought was necessary – the big, comprehensive ecourse. Other bloggers in my niche create these epic courses and charge hundreds of dollars for them. I thought that was the logical next step for me, but it turns out, that’s not where my heart is. So I scrapped the idea and stuck with the webinar and small ebook instead.
If you read my post on Friday about The Mason Jar and all it’s sweetness, you know that I ended up surveying my readers and Blog Fuel group members, only to discover that they (YOU) didn’t want these huge, epic ecourses. You wanted bite-sized, actionable tutorials. That’s what The Mason Jar has!
But The Mason Jar was not on my goal list for June at all, which cracks me up! I seriously hustled to make that happen. Here are the goals I set for myself for June:
#1 – Schedule Time Off
Assessment: Believe it or not, in all the craziness of 2 huge launches, I actually did this. Not as much as I initially planned, but I did take time off.
I took a few afternoons off to hang with my 14-year old daughter. I enjoyed a cookout on our deck for my birthday, celebrated my niece’s first birthday, and took my daughter & her friend to a concert. (Not gonna lie – the concert was as much for me as it was for them. Any other Panic! at the Disco fans in the house?)
#2 – Launch The Blog Fuel Podcast
Assessment: We all know that happened! Read all about the launch (and what went into it) HERE.
#3 – SoFabU on the Road Chicago
Assessment: I’m leaving FRIDAY! Slides are done. Notes are ready. It’s on!
By the way, there are still tickets available. If you’re in the Chicago area, come out to learn more about blogging! You don’t have to be a member of Social Fabric to attend. I’m teaching email marketing, and there are 2 other speakers to teach you about Pinterest and writing the perfect blog post. Click HERE to get your ticket, and enter PROMO CODE: ChicagoDiscount_Kirsten for a discount!
I honored my priorities and pursued my passions. My priorities are my faith and my family. I got back in the habit of having quiet time reading my Bible in the morning and it really makes a huge difference on the tone of my day. I pray for my business, I pray for focus and clarity, and I pray for any clients or podcast guests I’ll be speaking with each day.
WHAT DIDN’T WORK
I’ll be honest. I would not recommend launching 2 huge projects in the same month. While I was able to finish them both, it was not without a massive amount of stress, several technical glitches, and that sometimes-feeling of “Why am I doing this again??”
I’m grateful to be on the other side of these launches, but I won’t plan anything this close together again.
Another giggle moment. Last month when I was introducing my June goals, I mentioned how excited I was for this summer. It’s the first summer that I have time at home during the week to spend with my daughter since she started school in kindergarten. Well, I’m even more excited now, because as of last Thursday, I don’t have that part-time job anymore! I officially work full-time for myself, which is such a massive thing to wrap my brain around, but I’m stoked.
So, I’m giving myself some grace this month, since June was so huge. No big launches this month. (LOL!!)
#1 – Home Grown Bloggers
I’m co-founder of Home Grown Bloggers, and our first big event is happening in Birmingham, AL, on September 24th. (Tickets are only $149!!!) We’ve hammered down our venue, gobs of amazing sponsors, and have our first few registrants. This month:
- Crank up the promotion to 10! Now that most of the “building” is done, we can focus solely on getting more bloggers to the actual event.
- Host a webinar with Good Grit magazine on July 20th. (Have y’all read that magazine? It’s truly my all-time favorite magazine ever.)
- Finalize the day’s agenda. Heather & I have written & re-written the agenda for the day trying to be sure we fit everything in without overwhelming anyone. Gotta put the final touches on it and call it done.
#2 – The Mason Jar
- Schedule & host the first live workshop and group coaching call. One of the many perks that members receive is access to an exclusive live workshop, which, this month, will teach bloggers how to build an epic, comprehensive editorial calendar in Google Drive. That and the coaching call are recorded and stored inside The Mason Jar for lifetime access.
- Create new video, audio, and printable educational materials. Yep, new stuff every month!
- Promote, promote, promote. This part never ends, but I love it! By the way, did you know it’s only $35/YEAR right now? That price is only good through July 31st so don’t miss it!
#3 – Enjoy Downtime
It’s summer. I get to work from home and set my own schedule. I plan to take some time off in the middle of the week to do fun stuff with my daughter.
Life is way too short to work it all away!
IN CLOSING: Last month I asked you to pray about my job situation. I can’t thank you enough for doing that. Obviously, it worked, because I was able to quit last week. Now I ask that you pray for my continued success with this little business I’ve created.
I also asked you to tell me how I can pray for you and your business. If you’re not comfortable leaving a comment with your prayer request, feel free to email me: firstname.lastname@example.org. Women who pray for one another and build one another up are like solid gold.
GUIDELINES FOR LINK-UP:
- Add a link to your blog POST, not the URL of your home page. (Post must be related to your goals.)
- Link back to Sweet Tea, LLC via text link IN YOUR POST.
- Visit as many other blog posts as possible and leave a thoughtful, encouraging comment.
- Leave a comment below on this post letting me know you are planning to Blog with Intention in 2016.
- Mark your calendar for Monday, August 1, 2016 for our next Blog with Intention link-up post.
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