On July 27th 2014 I literally woke up and decided that I am starting a blog. Being a very resolute person, once I had decided to do something I go hard and I get it done. I thought no one would even read my blog :DD. I thought after three months, I would get tired, put my blog in the back burner and move on. I never thought I would have such amazing readers from all parts of the world who I’d enjoy creating for. Even though at that point I did not have a clear growth plan, I knew I enjoyed cooking and sharing my recipes. Two years later and 200 posts down, we are here! * waves pom poms in the air *
I have learnt plenty along the way, I have grown a great deal too. And the learning and growing never ever stops. Its has been the most fun roller coaster ride, and I am so excited for the years to some and the great things we are going to achieve and experience together.
Here are some of the things I live by and believe will help anyone who is a blogger or in anything else in life:
Start with what you have and grow from there
You have that dream in your heart. You are looking at other professionals on the internet and are blown away at how beautiful their work is. You feel pumped to start, but suddenly, you feel inadequate as it dawns on you that you do not have all the equipment they have. At this point, you are at a cross roads, you either give up or postpone starting (which ends up never starting at all) or you decide to just start and improve as you go along. I always go with the latter : Start. No matter how shabby your beginning is, if you love what you do, you will improve as you go along. If God placed that dream in your heart, He gave you the ability to bring it to life. Do not second guess yourself. Do not be afraid of failing or messing a little. Do not be afraid of making the first step. It is only through trying and failing that we grow.
I am also still improving as I go along. I am still learning how to make my craft better. But looking back at my progress, I am thankful I started and persisted. Below is an image from my FIRST EVER blog post. Definitely not my best photography :D, you can even see anything! But I knew I would improve and knew the concept I would go with.
Then with time, I improved. Practice and invest in your self. I am still improving as I want my images to be as good as the top global food photographers. But this far I have come, I am grateful <3
Lastly, you do not need special connections in order to make it. We live in a country where you must know someone in order to get what you want. It is very sad that most young people believe that is the only way to make it. If you are well connected so much so that it fuels your career trajectory, well and good for you. You are lucky! But the reality is, most of us don’t have those same connections. I never did, still don’t. It is hard to build from the ground up without having a boost from already established or ‘famous’ Kenyan personalities. But it is such hardship that will refine your character and work ethic. You will learn not to take short cuts. You will learn the value of persistence. You do not need special connections, you just have to work hard, work smart and be determined to top yourself each time. The long route to the top polishes you. You’ll come out OK :)), trust me!
Be authentic. Be original.
I was speaking to one of my friends over the weekend and we both lamented at how Kenyans never really seem to want to be original at anything. Don’t get me wrong, we have so many pioneering creatives around, however, we also have just as many copy cats around. One person starts one thing and weeks later there are a zillion duplicates. As a blogger, and online content creator, please do not fall into this trap. Even when you have a massive writers block, do not copy someone else’s work just so that you can meet deadlines of stay consistent. This will water down the credibility of your work. You may benefit from it in the short term but it will eventually catch up to you. You do not need to be like someone else in order to succeed, you just need to be you.
Surround yourself with people who will remind you of your power and potential
In life, you will have those moments where your mind shuts down when you feel overwhelmed by a task ahead. You will meet people who will talk down at you just to make themselves feel better about themselves. You will feel kinda inadequate in your own abilities or get scared to start that project of you’ve always wanted to start. In such circumstances, I will second guess my ability or talk myself out of amazing situations. Having a great support system when such ugly feelings arise is very important. Have friends who will give you direction, remind you of your potential and support you. Have friends who will call you out when you are slacking and push you to be your very best. Sometimes friends see what we are capable of achieving much clearer than we can Surround yourself with such souls.
It is never easy but it is always worth it
So many people think blogging is as easy as writing a text and sending it out :D. The only people who know exactly how much blood sweat and tears that go into sustaining a blog and creating a brand out of it are those who are actually bloggers. It takes time and a lot of effort, just like everything else in life. It is not a get-rich-quick scheme, actually the opposite is true. Very few bloggers make a living from blogging. It takes a long time to finally get returns from the late nights. You will meet arrogant clients. You will see people steal your content. You will feel like giving up. But when you think about all the value you are adding in the lives of others, It makes it all worth it <3.