My vision board for 2012 (and beyond)
Megan Calhoun, the founder and CEO of SocialMoms.com was the keynote speaker for the conference and she talked about branding and creating brand pillars for our blogs. One thing she said that resonated with me (and probably many other bloggers in the room) was this: Think of your brand as leaving a legacy for your kids. Every tweet, every post, every Pin is something your kids will see.
In all honesty, I hadn't really thought about it like that before. When I started blogging way back in 2005, I was (selfishly) doing it for ME. I was blogging as a way to get my thoughts out there and if people were reading what I wrote, well then, that was OK too. But I never thought of myself as a "brand." Hell, I'm still not sure I see myself as a brand. I'm just me. Traci. A wife and mom who blogs. Am I a brand? What do I represent, other than snark and pithy comments on the status of my never-ending job search? I'm still trying to sort that one out.
After the discussion about building our brands, we started talking about our vision for ourselves, our blogs, our lives. And we got busy creating a vision board. Now, I've never done a vision board before but I can guarantee I'll be doing this again when the need arises. Who would have thought that leafing through magazines and talking with other bloggers could be so, um, therapeutic?
I really didn't know what my vision was for my life or my blog ... I just started cutting words and phrases out of the magazines and it slowly started to take shape. My vision for this year started to look a lot like what I've been blogging about since last spring - finding and following my passion, finding a balance, dreaming BIG, telling the truth, writing more, finding my true calling...and the list goes on. (And a big thanks to old issues of "O" magazine for providing many of my "inspirational" words!)
My favorite part of my vision board is the list of purple letters smack dab in the middle of the board (I labeled it "The Bullseye"). It lists words such as driven, passionate, impulsive, optimistic, sensitive, creative, focused, persistent, curious ... all of the words in the bullseye are words I want people to think of when they hear my name or read my blog. They are words I want to associate with myself when I'm feeling down in the dumps or beat up by the world or completely defeated on any given day.
I had a hard time getting through the description of my board - I felt the tears welling up and quickly wrapped up before the floodgates opened. It's been a hell of a year and creating this vision board really made me think about what I want out of my blog, my life, my career. And quite frankly, it was a bit overwhelming. Right now it feels like I know what I want (what I really, really want!), but I just can't get there. I keep hitting roadblocks and obstacles and instead of having a sense of accomplishment and success, I'm just feeling frustrated and defeated.
But, in a true testament to following my vision board...I am attempting to be more positive. And so, I'm going to take a deep breath, find my true calling, make life go MY way, and eventually the planets will align and I'll find that spark again.
Until that day, I will keep on keeping on. I've got my vision board to give me that little boost I need - it's a positive reinforcement and vivid reminder of a wonderful learning experience last week in Atlanta and a road map for where I want my life/blog/career to go in the next year or more.
"When you're honoring your calling, there's an undeniable sense of stimulation and exhilaration. It just feels so right." - Oprah
Disclosure: Coca-Cola provided my travel and accommodations for the Conversations with Coca-Cola conference, in addition to admission tickets and other gift items. I am not required nor asked to blog about the conference. All opinions are mine. #cclp #hosted