#MOTIVATION: Sometimes, you NEED to take a break

Sometime’s these #motivationmonday posts I read can make you feel guility, as if you aren’t doing ENOUGH! It’s all ‘GO GIRL’, #GirlBoss, and ‘work while your haters sleep’ or something of the sort. BUT, sometimes you need to take break!

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#Motivation: It’s okay

It’s okay to feel a way about a situation. Really. It is. You might have expected a different outcome. Maybe you are disappointed. Angry. Sad. Confused. So many times we try to push away negative feelings, only to be bombarded with a tidal wave of unwarranted emotion. Emotions so thick that you feel like you’re smothered and suffocated.

Fret not. It’s apart of being human. You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again: Everything won’t go your way. So. Feel your feelings. Sit with your disappointment, then move along little lady. You’ve got work to do. True, there’s no time limit on sadness and it often lasts longer than what we’ve been prepared for. But know, above the flood, is a life jacket, and it’s just waiting for you to reach up.

REACH UP.

#BLOGGERLIFE: 5 tips to get you out of your blogging rut!

If you haven’t noticed, I haven’t been pumping out the blog posts like usual. Why? I’ve hit a blogging plateau. A rut, some might say. Like me, has your blog traffic decreases? Instagram followers not growing? Facebook likes, dwindling? Then this post is for you! Much like writer’s block, a blogging plateau is when the content you create isn’t bringing the readership you desire. Basically, you sit in front of your computer like, “WTF am I doing and why isn’t it working?!” That’s where I am.

With more than 10 years in the game, I’m half tired, a third happy, and kinda disappointed in my success. At one time my blog was ranked NUMBER ONE on Google for, ‘Top Style & Fashion Blog – Nashville’. I know, right?! Then one time i was voted one of Nashville Scene’s ‘Most Interesting People‘; a spot previously held by the UBER-successful blogger, happily grey. You couldn’t tell me I wasn’t about to get a million dollar deal! I can speak on many other accolades I’ve received, but that’s not we are here for.

What we are here for is some tips to help you (and me) get out of our slump. Seriously, it’s a frustrated place to be. Especially when you know you want to give the people MORE than a cute look and sponsored post. #NoShade because I got a couple sponsored posts in the pipeline. But what’s the point of soliciting brands if the readers don’t care. SO, I had to do my googles and help myself find some inspiration. Below, I have THREE tips to get you out of your Blogger Funk.

  1. Remember why you started – I know its MAD cliche but it’s real. If we continue to get caught up in the numbers and the popularity you give yourself a heart attack. Yes, I need the readers to read, to like, and to share but not at the sake of my sanity. I started this blog to help women realize fashion is for THEM no matter your size. Sometimes, the goal changes. But your core beliefs should not. No matter what I am blessed to experience, my aim is to share my life with an inspirational and motivational tone. As the internet says, ‘Stay in your lane AND slay in your lane’.
  2. Take tips from your faves – After remembering why I started, I had to research some of my FAVORITE bloggers turned business women. Each of these women encompass traits that I want to improve upon: building nationwide brand recognition, transiting to other forms of media (books, magazines, & podcasts), while being amazingly STYLISH. Claire Summers (Fashion Bomb Daily), has amazing style while operating the TOP 10 style blog on Google. Blogger and Motivational Influencer, Mattie James mixes motivation and style to encourage followers to find success. Franchesca Ramsey has been in the game for over a decade (like me) and is now an author, host, and speaker, but previously a youtuber and graphic designer. And Necole Kane is just the FREAKING GOAT! She went from #gossipblogger to motivational maven all while PUBLICLY losing and internally winning. I read these women like the Bible and hope to build platforms that mirror their success.
  3. Set a goal, and stick to it! – After scouring the Internet for tips and tricks to get more readers to my blog and get more people to follow me on Instagram, the overwhelming advice was to BE CONSISTENT! Yup, good ol’ fashion hardworking is what will help you bring success. I used to blog three times a week. Haven’t kept that schedule. I used to post on Instagram three times a day. Haven’t done that either. What’s the point of asking for more follower if you don’t give them something to appreciate. The hard work will pay off.
  4. Dissect your analytics – Now, not to be too technical, but blogging is a combo of LUCK and science. As much as we can complain about changing algorithms and shady corporate moves, we are still blessed to have access to the NUMBERS. The numbers don’t lie. Take a look at your bounce rate, share stats, and audience engagement across the platforms. See any trends? See something you don’t like? Fix it! Yup, it may be hard, but it’s not impossible. Señora Google and Señor YouTube are always available to give you FREE advice.
  5. The best writers are READERS – Yup, don’t expect for someone to show you love if you don’t show others love. Don’t just follow your faves on Instagram, read their blogs, and subscribe to their newsletters (subscribe to mine). You may notice their tone and content make the reader feel a certain way. This may help you update your tone. Also, reading more helps you be more savvy with these paragraphs. BLOGGING isn’t dead, but well-written posts are hard to come by.

So, you’ll be seeing some changes in the next couple of weeks. Make sure to follow me on the socials and subscribe to my blog to get all this new and improved content. Also, drop suggestion in the comments to let me know what you’d like to see on this space. You CAN break the Blogging Plateau and I will too!

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MOTIVATION: If it shoulda’ been you, it woulda’ been you!

If you follow me on Instagram, @fabglance, you have been hearing me talk about how I’m overcoming the FEAR OF MISSING OUT – #FOMO.

Listen, at one time your girl was ALWAYS on the scene. Always. If something was happening, I was there. But after quitting my job last year, trying to find myself, having a bunch of fails, and eventually finding my way back to balancing working and blogging, I had a fear that people wouldn’t care about the FABGLANCE lifestyle anymore. I found myself looking at other people’s Instagram posts saying, “It should have been me!”

Then Jesus came for my neck and was like “GIRL, get your mind right! If it should have been you, it would have been you! Period.

Fear of missing out or FoMO is “a pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent”. This social anxiety is characterized by “a desire to stay continually connected with what others are doing”. (source)

I know I’m not the only person who has uttered the words, “It should have been me.” Once you set yourself on that road, you start comparing your gifts and abilities to someone else. And, girl, you about to head down a slippery slope. You’re about to head into the world of jealousy, anxiety, depression, and anger. In this world of social media and blogging (and just living life), it’s hard to NOT compare. It’s hard not being the first to know and the first on the scene.

Through meditation and prayer, I was able to figure out five reasons why you don’t need to have FOMO and it probably shouldn’t have been you in the first place. Let’s get it:

  1. You weren’t qualified – Oh, this is a hard one to swallow. But the reality is, if it was you, you would have been prepared. You may not be qualified to be in the position you seek. Not saying that you can’t get there tomorrow, next month, or next year, but TODAY, you don’t have the credentials. Get to work. Then you’ll see your name on the list.
  2. You were over-qualified – On the opposite, you are TOO qualified to be in the place you think you should be. Girl, you got TOO MUCH SAUCE! Being over-qualified can be a lonely road but you are on the right track. God is prepapring your to be bigger and better than you’ve ever imagined. However, preperation often happens in hidden spaces.
  3. That’s not your track – Oh, you wanna be OVER THERE, doing THAT? Sorry, that’s not your path and that’s not your lane. That is not where you are supposed to be. When you realize this, it’s time to reevaluate your plan and seek what truly matters. Sometimes when you THINK you are supposed to be in a spot, it’s really not for you. Yeah it looks fun, but it not for you.
  4. That’s not your tribe – Yeah, not to get all mystical magical, but those people you might be idolizing – that ain’t your tribe baby! I know you feel like they are the cool clique,  I know. They are sparkly, they are fun, they look like they are supporting each other, but girl, it ain’t your tribe. Your tribe will come. It will. Also, you may have grow out of your tribe. Life is always moving and we must move with it, even if it means leaving your faves behind.
  5. God has a different plan – And this is the real deal. As a believer, I’m influenced by the bible and what it says for my life. Often, God has a totally different plan for you time and your talent! Let him guide your hustle. I swear you’ll find yourself in rooms that you only dreamed you’d be in.

Being the best is often a lonely road. You have to practice, research, and produce in spaces where you are alone. No one wants to watch you read 45 articles about “The hottest trends for Spring.” But when you get the call to be on that show where they need an expert, guess who’s ready! YOU! If you are in a lonely season and you feel like no one is calling your name, don’t fret. You aren’t missing out. You are being set up to be set apart.

Let me know, in the comments, if you’ve experienced a season like this? Let’s support each other!

Hello February: Black History, Black Panther, and Black Love

Hello Fab Fam!

I wanted to type something deep and inspirational but all I’m thinking about Is the premiere of the Black Panther movie, Valentine’s Day, and my upcoming book signing! It’s gonna be an amazing February!

Shot by Patrick Webster Photography

Ok, so Black Panther is coming out on the week of Valentine’s Day and during Black History Month! Like, how BLACK is that? Don’t know what are you wearing to the Black Panther preview? You know I GOT YOU! Next week I’ll post my Black Panther outfit inspirations – so make sure you’re following me on Instagram for exclusive looks. What are you doing for the Black Panther premier?

Ok, y’all know that Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite fake holidays. Even though I don’t have a Valentine this year, I got a crush, y’all know I’m gonna give y’all my Jodeci Appreciation posts. Oh, you’re new here?! Girl, every year we celebrate the best black bad-boy band of the 90’s – Jodeci. I’ve been campaigning for them to get a national holiday for years. Why not Valentines Day?

Then, when February is just ending, I’m hosting my very first BOOK SIGNING for my new book, Jack and Ahlia! On March 3rd, I’m hosting Books & Bites at White Bison Coffee Shop! Y’all, I’m so excited. I’ll sign copies of my book, read a couple chapters, and answer all your questions about this intriguing couple. Tickets on sale soon. You know I’ll let you know.

So, what’s your plans for February? Are you celebrating Black History, Black Entertainment, Black love, or all of the above? Let me know in the comments!

MOTIVATION: When you pray for rain . . .

This motivation post should have went out on Monday, but it’s Tuesday and y’all will deal. Plus, y’all love me right? Right! I just wanted to tell you, “Thank You”, for being patient with me while I took a blogging break. Now on to today’s MOTIVATION.

Y’all, I took a break because my life totally changed in less than 48hrs! My new normal is waking up at 4:45am every weekday, turning in reports without error, and being a shining example of adulthood to a teenager. For an ultra chill person like myself, I don’t do well with rigidity. Let me tell you how I’ve spent so many years praying for God to magically fix the weak parts of my life, not knowing THIS situation is what he’d use to do it. Don’t ask for what you aren’t willing to work for. This is what I’m learning.

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What to do, when you’ve bitten more than you can chew?

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MOTIVATION: How I failed at quitting

If you haven’t guessed by my lack of social media presence, return to regular posting schedule (Mon, Wed, Fri, & sometimes the weekend), and nonexistent Youtube updates, I’ve returned to the corporate world. Yes, girl! I took a new job in October (more on that next week). However, back in March, I quit my ‘good government’ job after 10 years. I then took the summer off to create, explore, and build the world of FabGlance. It was mostly fun to be a professional blogger. I kept up the facade that things were POPPIN’ over here. But, I quickly, realized, “Whoa, this is harder than I thought.” and I had to go back to work.

I went back to the 9-to-5 grind, realizing that I had FAILED at quitting. Basically, I was the goal that others strive for: Quit your corporate job and work for yourself. I knew it would be hard to quit my job and go off on my own (No Al B. Sure), but it was much harder than I ever expected. Yeah, I accomplished some of the goals that were sitting on the back-burner for YEARS. However, I was not as EXCEPTIONAL as I SHOULD have been.

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Hello November – FIVE ways to deal with change!

When I took the photo above, I had no idea how quickly my life would change. In one month, I started working again, had to help a family member, and took a drastic hit to my bank account. Granted, I knew I’d be taking a new job, but I thought taking on said job would allow me to have a better financial cushion. November came through and said, ‘Naw Girl’. So, with that, I had to deal with abrupt CHANGE!

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MOTIVATION: Not for Free!

As a creative freelancer, the talk of money is very sensitive. Creative folks are always discussing our need for money, but very few work toward establishing a set scale that will keep the bills paid. Consider your favorite creative person, and please understand, we don’t do this for free! From filmmakers, to writers & bloggers, to style gurus, creative freelancers, like myself, are the MOST underpaid employees in the workforce. (source). Guys, we need to ask for what we are worth and don’t be afraid to stand our ground.

I’ll be the first to say that I don’t ask for what I’m worth. That’s a BIG problem for me. You can reflect on last week’s MOTIVATION post – not asking for enough money is ANOTHER reason why I’m not as successful. Our society makes it difficult to ask for what your worth because we are so used to getting paid less. Even when I had my corporate job, I was always afraid to ask for a raise, when I KNEW I deserved it. However, if I don’t think I’m worth it, how can I make YOU a believer. Stop letting people book two-hour ‘pick my brain’ sessions for the price of a $5 coffee! You are worth more!

As a blogger and personal stylist, the info I provide isn’t necessary for daily living. You can go about your life NOT knowing the name of Beyonce’s latest bag of choice (It’s a custom Louis Vuitton), what to wear for your 20th Class Reunion (click here) or understand why using proper lighting for your selfies is a big deal. But when you do need that info, from a trusted source, you come to me or one of my stylish peers. You expect that I’ll know exactly what to say. I’m your Google. You need the 10 YEARS of info stored in my brain in order to guide you on your stylish way.

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Dress – ASOS, Boots – Torrid, and Bag – Jessica Simpson

Please, stop thinking a creative’s job is easy or we do this JUST because it’s a hobby. Those who are transitioning from hobby to lifestyle need MONEY to do so. Your stylist friend who helps you dress your family for your Christmas photoshoot deserves to be paid. The photographer that has to carry his gear around town in order to get the best photo deserves to be paid. The friend who is ‘helping’ you plan your wedding, deserves to be paid. The intern who is teaching how to use ‘the Instagram’ deserves to be paid. Even your homegirl, who does hair out of her kitchen, but can slang an amazing weave, deserves to be paid. And, if you don’t feel like that individual deserves to be paid, then you don’t deserve the luxury of their skills.

Since I’m about solutions, and you are about to be a better person, I’ll give you FOUR ways to compensate your favorite creative – in addition to giving them money.

  • Don’t Ask for the HOOK-UP! – Ask them their established rate before booking. Stop looking for a hook-up all the time. If the person chooses to give you the hook-up, that’s their choice. And even then, give them a tip (15%-20%).
  • FOLLOW them on Social Media – Most creatives don’t have big budgets for marketing campaigns. Most of the time, we use social media to share our work, new ideas, and sales. We need your follows, likes, and shares! It take 2.7 seconds to click that share/like button and you’ve done a lot more for people you don’t even know.
  • Spread the Word – Now that you’ve worked with your favorite creative, read her blog & it inspired you, or received the amazing photos from your shoot, it’s time to spread the word. Word of Mouth is the BEST way to support your creative friends. Don’t let those photos in your phone go to waste – show your co-workers & church members. Be the PR that we can’t yet afford.
  • Donate to the Cause – Feel weary about giving someone cash? Then ask your independent freelance friend what they need to move their business forward. Ask them if they need a finance session with an accountant. Could she need a new lens for her camera? Or something simple, like ink and paper for her printer. Oh, think outside the box . . . FREE babysitting so she can finish that song or edit that video. Think about it.

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For my fellow creative freelancers – let’s start knowing our worth and charging extra. For the supporters – thanks in advance for adjusting to our new rates. In the end, we just want to share our passions with you and give you amazing services, from a creative standpoint. Support us and your local creative community!

Thanks for reading!

MOTIVATION: I know why I’m NOT successful

I’m not successful and I know why! And you’re not successful either, so let’s talk about it. I’ve been a blogger for NINE years, NINE! You’d think, within two years, I should be riding high on that sweet delicious blog money! I should have all the high-dollar collabs, photos popping, getting sent out to amazing destinations, and not giving the sad face to my skeptical bank account. But, in my new quest to get ONE MILLION FOLLOWERS I realized my behaviors have definitely stopped me from being farther in the game than I should be. And, because I want to help you do better in your endeavors, I thought I’d bring you along for the ride. Here’s the FIVE reasons why I’m not successful:

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