3 Things I Realized After Quitting My Job

Two days ago, on May 11th, I celebrated my 1st year as an entrepreneur. Last year, around this time, I wrote a blog post announcing that I was quitting the corporate world. I left my 9-to-5 job as a menswear marketer and jumped right into hustling 24/7 as a full-time blogger. (Note: I am also still a freelance social media coordinator).

A year later, I have no regrets in the move I made and the decision has brought me opportunities I would have never received if I didn't take the leap. I wouldn't have had the chance to go on a 7-day cruise to The Caribbean, attend NYFW for the 2nd time, roadtrip to SF, and attend Coachella. Of course, all these opportunities came from working my ass off to get noticed and grow (social media wise). Also, have to thank my manager and our team for their unconditional support! 

In the last year, I've learned a handful of things that has helped me progress. I've also been asked a handful of questions from others about how this all happened, what to do to get to where I am, and what's it has been like. I decided to share 3 things that I've realized since quitting my job that has helped me progress as a blogger.

  1. Have a Theme/Style (for your Instagram feed): It's easier said than done and honestly took me months to do. The attention span of people have shorten and if you don't catch their interest within the first 10-15 seconds than you've lost a potential follower. I often explore Instagram feeds for inspiration and the first thing that catches my eye is the format. I personally prefer a color coordinated or minimalistic theme. However I love creative photos (of course all photos should be high-quality) and I'm a sucker for home decor, travel shots, and photos that just motivate/inspire me to push my boundaries. I recently started following @tuulavintage because of her amazing travel/scenic shots, as well as @carlycristman for her organized feed. If you check either one of these Instagrams, you'll notice they have a theme/style and it's easy on the eyes. 
  2. Tell a Story: I recently started understanding what this meant and wish I figured it out sooner. My manager actually had to help me on this one - continuously asking me who I am, what I represent and how do I want to be represented. Telling a story doesn't mean that you're writing lengthy, paragraph captions for every photo but how your photos tell your story. This triggers engagement, as well as connects you to your audience. It also means to avoid posting a photo just to post! As much as I try to post 3 photos per day on my Instagram, sometimes life happens and meetings occur so there are times where I don't have a photo readily available. I learned that it's OK if I don't post 3x a day; it goes back to the general rule of quality over quantity. Your feed is a reflection of your brand and how people will see you, so make sure what you post is a representation of who you truly are. 
  3. Your Network is Your Net Worth: Obvious right? However, meeting people and actually making genuine connections versus talking just to connect is a big difference. I've met a lot of people in the last year and only half of them are people I end up working with. You can tell when a brand is just going for an one-off collaboration, those are the types that I try to avoid because I rather have a long-term relationship. I only work with brands that I truly care about, believe in their products and will actually use. After all, why would I want you to try something that isn't worth it right? With that being said, also remember that working with certain brands can deter others brands to want to work with you too.

I'll be doing a full Q&A post in the next month or so, so feel free to comment below with any questions you may have.

[Details] Kenneth Cole dress, JustFab heels, MVMT watch, and Dogeared Jewelry necklace.