Hello, OWL peeps! Today I have an interview with Lesley Buckle from Fresh Lengths. She blogs about beauty and hair care and I love her blog because it's so clear that she's filling a need with her practical, specialized advice (plus I can relate with the hair challenges that come with being a mixed race!). In this interview, I focus on Lesley's experience with blogging because she's really quite good at it!
It's clear that your blog is giving a lot of value to the people following your advice and progress. On the other side of the coin, can you share what value you have received from blogging?
The main thing I have received is confidence. My readers have left such lovely comments and compliments, which is always so unexpected. Knowing that people have an interest in your blog has definitely been encouraging to keep on at it. It has also kept me focused with my hair goals.
What has been the most challenging part of keeping a blog?
Keeping it up has definitely been the most challenging part. I started my blog last year after leaving University to give me something to focus on besides filling out job applications. I had so much time on my hands which was quite daunting. This situation didn't last (thankfully). I completed a 10 week internship last summer and have also had full-time jobs since which has meant trying to balance a blog with work and a social life can be difficult. I am lucky that I have a really supportive boyfriend who encourages my blogging and lends a hand when taking pictures of the back of my head.
How do you think your life would be different if you never started blogging?
Having a blog made getting an internship at a magazine a lot easier.I love writing and have a passion for beauty, but I had nothing to prove it prior to blogging. By continuing to blog other writing opportunities have come along since. For some time I told myself I couldn't do journalism, as it’s such a hugely competitive industry. Starting a blog has definitely changed my mindset and whilst I'm not certain it'll lead directly to a career in journalism, I think it will help.
Where do you seeFresh Lengthsgoing in the future?
I am hoping to appeal to people with different hair types, not just those who are relaxed. More general hair tips, perhaps interviews of other bloggers and guest posts will feature on the blog in the future. Hair will always remain a large part of the content, but I’m hoping to branch out into fashion posts eventually and become more like a lifestyle blog. In the future, videos will play a bigger part in the blog content. I have always thought YouTube was a good way to connect with my audience but it took me a while to publish my first video. I just don’t have much knowledge when it comes to creating and editing videos yet, so it’s a massive learning curve for me. Writing a blog post definitely seems easier and comes more naturally.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out with blogging?
Please don’t worry about what people think and write about what you love. It sounds cliché, but it’s your blog and it should be for you first and foremost. I have been asked a lot how to get followers or how to get PR’s to contact you. I am by no means an expert but I’d suggest getting involved with the blogging community by reading and commenting on other’s blogs. Also be active with social media – you never know who could end up noticing you!
The practice of creating dream boards (also known as vision boards) has been something my family has been doing almost my whole life...because it works.
I've made many dream boards for myself, especially over the last couple of years, and 3 things always happen:
1. I get what I want.
2. I make significant progress toward getting what I want.
3. I find I no longer want something I thought I wanted.
I've noticed that lately I've been shifting from making vision boards of "what I want" to making vision boards for the purpose of being grateful for what I have now. I guess this is because of two things:
1. I've designed my life to the point that my dreams (as of now) are a part of my reality already.
2. I realize that bigger dreams and goals will come as a direct result of cultivating what I have going on in my life right now.
THIS IS WHAT I HAVE HAPPENING ON MY DREAM BOARD
1. I want to continue to build my Amway business as a Network Marketing Professional.
2. I want to take Secret OWL Society to the next level.
3. I've recently discovered Doctor Who and for some reason the show inspires me to be a really good person and "dreamer of improbable dreams".
4. I'm working with a friend to start a company selling modest, beautiful clothes for women.
5. I want to go back to Paris - keep working on my French!
6. I want to keep working on Catholic Apolos - a project I started with a friend.
7. I want to keep building and improving my cleaning company "Simply Clean" and let Michael Gerber's advice guide me.
8. I want to visit London.
9. I want to continue being of service to Carrie Green at the Female Entrepreneur Association with This Girl Means Business Magazine.
HERE'S HOW YOU CAN MAKE YOUR OWN DREAM BOARD - FAST!
I'll tell you exactly how I created this dream board.
Sometimes we find ourselves in situations where we feel like our time is being wasted - long lines, slow service, late-comers, etc. It can be tempting to feel like we're the victims of other people who don't have enough respect for our busy schedules: "I got places to go and things to do...hurry up!"
But the only person responsible for wasting our time is ourselves because we are choosing to see that "waiting time" as a waste instead of an opportunity to...
- make a phone call
- update our calendar
- catch up on email
- listen to a podcast
So, always carry a book with you (or download nook or kindle), subscribe to podcasts on your iPod and carry earphones, keep a rosary in your purse, carry your Life Binder around with you so that you can open it up and look at your goals and whatever else you have going on.
There! You can turn what could have been a negative experience of feeling victimized by outside circumstances into a positive experience of taking 100% responsibility for what happens to you so that you can start happening to it!
Hello, today we have a guest post from the lovely Lindsay who has a beautiful blog called Breakfast From Paris. I discovered her blog through my friend Sirena and knew I wanted to share her story here with you at the Secret OWL Society community because OWL is all about helping people understand the process of really wanting something and achieving it - just the way Lindsay has. So, enjoy her story, check out her blog, and start thinking about how your life could change if you really committed to making something really important to you actually happen no matter how long it takes!
I was twenty years old in 2008; attending art school with endless ambitions of exploring the world. I wanted to be inspired and inspire in return. Never having been out of the country, I jumped at the chance to study abroad for the summer in Provence, located in the South of France.
Our campus had no access to shopping or restaurants, no cars or computers; just two local bars and miles of lavender fields. It was a detachment from everything I knew and provided me with a new, organic way of living.
Our campus took an excursion to Paris and it felt like nothing I’d ever experienced before, yet, everything felt so familiar, so “right.”. I remember seeing the Eiffel Tower for the first time. It was so strong, so soft, so romantic, so magical, and it sparkled! That's how Paris feels... So I had this feeling in my bones that France was were I needed to be at this time in my life.
Finding my way back was difficult. You have to have a visa, which requires a job and endless paperwork, you have to be “somewhat” mentally, physically, and financially stable, you have to have guts, and above all, you have to have patience.
It took me four years to return. During that time I applied for dozens, maybe hundreds of jobs (I think the Chateau of Versailles have four of my resumes on file!) I read blogs of expats who had moved to Paris and then I e-mailed them (strangers!) and asked what their secret was. I approached any Frenchie I came in contact with and would basically say, “Bonjour! Je m’appelle Lindsay. That’s all I can say in French, but I want to move to France! How can you help me…"
I did this to one fellow French acquaintance who, a year and a half later, e-mailed me saying, “Remember me? I know of a friend of a friend of a friend who is looking for an au pair. Are you interested?” I always knew au pairing was an option but avoided it having never had experience with kids. Yet the clock was ticking and after four years I was still stuck in the States. I figured if I said yes, at least it would get me across the pond and then it would be easier to start a life in Paris once I was physically there.
So I took a chance and thankfully I have a liking for children!I went through what a lot of new parents go through, so my first year in Paris was very challenging, but I learned that it wasn’t Paris that was challenging, it was myself.
Paris always remained perfect. Every building is inspiring, every park is magical, and the energy is like no-other; so what I found to be difficult about moving abroad was my outlook and my attitude! I thought moving to Paris would be a dream come true and would fix all of my problems, but all of my “baggage” and negativity came along with me; and that’s when I realized it was all within my self-control. I’m a human being, so I complain when the weather is bad or there’s a lot of people in the street. After several months I had to change my attitude. I lived in PARIS! A place where millions of people dream of living! There is so much to be grateful for! As Diana Vreeland once said, “I think when you’re young you should be a lot with yourself and your sufferings. Then one day you get out where the sun shines and the rain rains and the snow snows and it all comes together.”
When you move abroad, it’s not how the new place fits into your lifestyle, it’s how your new lifestyle fits into the place. You have to be willing to sacrifice some your habits, outlooks, and sanity.
If you dream of moving to Paris or another place that is exotic to yourself, find a way, any way, and when it seems there are no more ways to find, keep searching; a door that was once closed might reopen or someone you only met once might e-mail you a year later. If you can’t find professional work, there’s always au-pair or teaching opportunities; then once you are where you want to be, it will be much easier to create and follow your own destiny. Even if you can't change locations at this very moment, you're still capable of making the personal journey I did. Be vocal about your dreams and put yourself out there. Never give up.
Everything will seem impossible until it's done and that only happens with a lot of dreaming and a lot of effort.
You can never write down your goals too often. I just created this for you with a powerful quote from Hugh Jackman (aka "Wolverine"). Print it out, fill it out and share a picture of it on the Secret OWL Society Facebook page. We'll root for you!
If you're not able to print this out big enough (it's supposed to measure 8.5 by 11), then just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll email you the original jpeg.