A look inside a mucus clogged mind
The soot of India is in my nose. All of it.
Battling our second bout of colds, we are spending two days in a somewhat comfortable guesthouse in Delhi, doing nothing much. This turns out to be well-composted with free-flowing boogers fertile soil for thoughts like this to flourish:
My butt has no gears for money making – in short, I suck at it.
This is not an opinion, this is a fact. A very hard and cold one. The evidence is clear. I have been a smart, capable, quick learning, creative, inventive, sharp-thinking female for at least two decades. I have had experiences in my life that others would have turned into gold. Yet, here I am in India, not happy about paying freaking $12 for dinner for my whole family of five!
The worst part of this is that I know what needs to be done, I am not stupid. I have a bloody Marketing and Business Management degree amongst other, hm, papers. All of which I can safely stuff in my gear-less butt, for all they matter.
Before we left, I was thinking how Mr.Blab and I would be able to make something out of this trip and at least get some of our money saved. Hey, its an amazing journey, desired by many, accomplished by few, people monetize a lot less than that. I should be able to do something out of that. Surely.
At the very least Mr.Blab said he would take on the job of emailing small guesthouses and homestays to offer them my photography services for their properties for a few days of free stay. Some of them would be interested. Surely.
None of this has come to fruition. The blog is still in a quiet corner of the web and Mr.Blab has sent not one of those emails.
Instead, browsing way more successful bloggers from time to time, I am reminded of my own idiocy and decapitated entrepreneurship.Â People squeeze out of very little a lot. I do with quite a lot, well,Â nothing. Then the other day I was watching one of those reality shows, real housewives or something, where one can clearly see that brains, skills and ability has very little to do with financial success, and I was slapped hard by the reality of capitalism.
None of this would really matter if money was inconsequential. They are obviously not enough of a motivator for me, which is not really a surprise, but they do matter, especially when one’s hobbies are traveling the world, playing with gadgets and savoring theÂ fine things in life, like time and creativity.
And I am getting worried about what we will do when we get back.Â Yes, as usual I have ideas of these businesses I will start to keep me/us away from the 9 to 5 workforce. But who am I kidding? Not myself anymore. The music is in my face and it is deafeningly loud.
I am not extraordinary enough to rely on word of mouth and success falling into my lap and I am not pushy enough to make the best of what I have.
The moral of the story is that we cannot escape of our own selves, no matter how far we decide to go. Change comes from within (oh, how corny that sounds), no matter if its about the job we hate, the weight we avoid to see in the mirror or the healthy lifestyle one aspires to. There are no employer angels who visit from nowhere, magic pills for toned bodies or junk tasting but good for us food.
I need get my butt in gear, any gear. Right after my nose clears. Yes. Oh, and after I finish all those posts I have to write. Yup, cause that is important. And lets not forget all that other stuff that I use as excuse, because
I SUCK! And while I suck I will miss this opportunity. Its as simple as that.
This is one of my biggest flows that I would love to change. How about you?
I’m bummed to hear you’re not making money off your blog (not that I know how its done) but I thought that was part of why you’re so dedicated, but I’m happy to hear its just pure love & dedication. :)
Still with such dedication (among so many other good qualities, and apparently plenty of education, tons of amazing experiences, etc) good things are bound to grow – I’m sure you’re on your way to finding your pot of gold. Somehow things just come together. Maybe your traveling or your blogging will connect you in some way to a new opportunity or more lucrative way of doing what you already do.
Stacey, that is what I have been hoping will happen naturally, but I dont think it does to most of us. I dont even want the pot of gold, just a little cup will be enough.
Yes, its pure love and dedication, of which I have a plenty.
First of all, I love your title and I think that once the mucus clears, your sharp mind will see things quite differently. I am not surprised you can’t monetize enough from your blog, that doesn’t mean it’s a worthless effort. Been there, done that. I was on the brink of giving up myself, until…well until an opportunity showed me that time spent on something like this is never lost. Especially for a talented person like you.
I don’t think you should change and I don’t think you think this either.
Today sucks, yes. That doesn’t mean tomorrow will suck as well, but I can guarantee you that if you think tomorrow will suck, I’m sure you’ll most certainly make it suck. So, suck it up :-) and don’t give up on what you do, just because you can’t see the reward right away.
This blog is such a tremendously huge, gigantic capital, that you cannot ( yes you CANNOT) buy!
So, when the mucus storm is over ( trust me, going through the same one over here) , sit down on your talented rear and brainstorm. Even more- why not ask your readers to do it for you!
And while you are doing that, publish all this amazing content in an e-book.
It’s funny to read your post today, which by the way, your blog was referred to us by a business coach of ours who thought your work was worth paying particular attention to and learning from. We love reading your posts. You inspire us. So please, keep it up!
Anyways, the blogging world is not for the faint of heart, as we both know. That’s why it’s safe to say, “we are strong people, we can breakthrough!”
In the same boat as you but finding our way- we know things will turn around but we just need to hang in there and have faith.
You are not alone. Success takes time, patients and perseverance- we know it but sometimes we just need to hear it again to keep us going, right?
Nancy & Shawn
Reading this post and thinking it could have been me that wrote it. I am exactly the same way. I have all the passion, creativity, determination, and good intentions where it counts, but it’s a sad truth that capitalism is in control and you just can’t live how you want. And let’s face it, I am not willing to work a 9-5 job in a stuffy office somewhere with depressing people. That is not my idea of a good life. I want to travel, meet interesting people, and eat good food. But making even a little bit of money online or from writing and photography seems so impossible. Well, not for some people who seem to be blessed with opportunities or the ability to make something out of nothing, but I don’t know how those people do it. I hope you can figure it out for you and your family! I’m not sure how much traffic your blog gets, but maybe you have a donation button? I’ve seen other blogs with something like that. Or have you considered trying to sell your photography online?
Thank you for writing this post…it resonates. All I can say is that you have so much original, wonderful, honest, and interesting material on this blog. You’ve built something authentic.
Monetizing something that was built with this this much depth and hard-won experience is better than quickly trying to capitalize on a shallower project. You’ll figure something out.
I love your blog. Found it with that one random search for silk-dyed-eggs (!) ha and am so glad.
This was mostly an attempt to get myself in gear to do the things that needs to be done to get something of commercial value back from this trip to soften the blow on our savings account. Although, even if nothing ever comes out of this blog in particular, I would never think of it as a waste of time.
– Annie – you are right, although the only thing that I think sucks is my entrepreneurship, nothing else. I know how to do it, I just cannot get myself to do it. Its not a new development, I have sucked for awhile. Welcome around.
– Nancy and Shawn – your post really surprised me, in a good way. He/she must be giving me as an example of other things, because business wise I am just spending so far. Good luck.
– Elysa – sounds like we are in a similar boat as far as this issue is concerned. I think its time to do the donation button, which a few people have already mentioned to me. Its yet another thing I have been resisting for who knows what reason. Welcome.
– Katie – I think you are the main reason that post is now a popular one on my blog ;) Thank you for that and for your company and encouraging words.
Thank you all for listening to my self-flogging. I do think this is one of my biggest flows and I am still trying to figure out how to overcome it.
Dear Mrs. SB,
my advice: Blow your nose and begin to browse for travel magazines that cater to your style of travel, maybe parents’ magazines as well. We were only around for about 2 months and our pictures of NZ are not that spectacular, and yet I was able to sell our story to two print magazines for some money. Not enoug to refund our journey by far, but it’s a start. And if I was able to do that, in a “small” travel market like Germany and with a “small” story like ours, it MUST be possible for you to squeeze at least a dozen interesting articles out of your posts for the English speaking world! (This e-book thing is sitting on my mind too, but it really seems a lot of work…)
As for free accommodation, I have made the experience that owners of guesthouses indeed consider proposals like yours (or for doing up their website, cleaning their rooms etc.) in exchange for a free stay. Maybe you do not ask nicely enough? ;-)
So, get your butt going and continue in giving us these wonderfully written and photographed posts about your family! Knowing that you are doing this “just for fun” and are not considering us readers merely as money resources makes your blog even more precious to me.
Jenny, I blew it and fainted, because all the soot came out and it was black, jet black with sparkles, or maybe those were just small boogers, I dont know. It was not pretty!
How did you go about contacting the magazines? I am still trying to figure that out. Editors?
And its not that we are not asking nicely, the problem is that we do NOT ask at all. See, how can anything happen if we are just keeping quiet.
Thanks for the kick in the butt, I need it. Love, Geri
Black with sparkles? Must have been a sight… I sincerely hope you took your responsibility as a travel photographer seriously and shot a few pictures?!?!
Haha, I told you I fainted.
YOU DO NOT SUCK.
I am continually surprised–and I say this with lots of gentleness along with the awe–that your blog is not splashed everywhere, and that you don’t have a massive and prominently displayed “as seen on” reel. Because (and you must know this!) for content, it is one of the very, very best family travel blogs.
So I just want to say, thank you for doing this for the love of it all, because it is amazing. But also: get your hustle on, because there are lots of us who would pay for the value you are creating.
It seems that for some creative personalities that once we ‘monetize’ something there is a shift in how we approach it that loses its authenticity to us. It tends to become a responsibility and a 3 letter word called a ‘job’, if nothing more than just in our own minds.
You’ll do what you need/want to do during the right time. Perhaps the lack of initiative (which is totally fine) has to do with many reasons, some of which may include: the thrill of stretching a buck and the pleasure of doing this just for yourself.
Enjoy creating. Your writing and photography are riveting. The details and money will work itself out when it’s time.
Bit of a slow reply I know…but I came across a travel blog today which had a “Buy Photos” button. Basically the guy travels, has a gallery of photos which he sells for about five dollars each. Just a thought. xx
Joy, I am trying. The hustle is playing tricks on me.
S King, I think you may be right, at least partially. Those could be some of the reasons that I cannot get past myself and do what needs to be done. There is always more than one, isnt there? Cheers!
Susan, thanks for that. I know a lot of photographers do that, but I also know that very few actually manage to make money from it unless they are quite famous.