And so it begins…
Long story, short ending – I’m changing the name of this blog/website because it will be taking on a new direction. (The website address will also change over soon). When I hit 40 last August I promised myself I would try all the things I had been putting off. At least try? In the past I had toyed with the idea of starting a blog. (This was long before Instagram was even born and before the whole ‘blogger’ phenomenon). But I kept putting in off and life got in the way. So hitting 40 was the kick I needed.
For once, I didn’t overthink it and just got started. I’ve always loved writing and the power of the written word but never really gave it much time. Let’s be clear though, I have no interest in being a ‘blogger’ or anything like that. But I felt that everywhere I was going I was having conversations with similar people about real topics that are not necessarily being discussed online eg; dealing with aging, the struggle of being a working mother, trying to be a good parent, a good friend, daughter, sister, colleague etc. Basically all the juggling that females have to do on a daily basis. Sometimes it isn’t pretty or grid-worthy.
So off I went and set it up. I called the blog ‘Are We There Yet?’ – in reference to the fact that we are all in the trenches trying to get to where we are going. At the time I really didn’t think anyone would visit the site – and that didn’t bother (or excite) me. I just felt the need to share my voice and start writing. What happened was a bit mad. I wrote my first post about turning 40 called ’40 things I’ve learned before turning 40’. It turned out that over 10,000+ people read the article. Many people shared it on Facebook and Instagram and related to the content in some way. Which was a bit shocking and made me both happy and filled with doubt at the same time – ‘maybe I should have wrote something better than that?!’ But it did make me take it a bit more seriously.
I was then asked to write a guest article for Image magazine which was shared in both their online and print version. (Read the full article here.) It happened fast and to be honest it was a bit thrilling. I never imagined anyone would actually want to read my thoughts, not to mention publish it in one of my favourite magazines.
So it made me take a step back and look at things a little deeper and explore where I can take it. The more thought I gave it over the last few weeks, the more I realised that I have a lot more to say but that I would like to make a bigger impact so that what I write in future might actually help people. We all use social media for a little bit of escapism and entertainment. But I often find myself aimlessly scrolling and having nothing to show for it.
We are living in an online era where we are flooded with information but still gasping for knowledge.
So I’ve decided to create the community and the space that I seem to be looking for myself –a space where ambitious women can learn and grow with each other and from each other. Ordinary people chasing dreams and trying to get ahead. We are all trying to better ourselves in some way by doing a bit of self-help and self-development. Imagine the possibilities if we help each other to figure things out a little quicker? We are all on social to enjoy other people’s content and the parts of their lives that they choose to share. But imagine if we could use social as a bit of a learning tool too, to motivate us to keep moving forward. We all have amazing hopes, dreams and plans in our heads. But often that’s where they stay – we let self-doubt and fear of what others might think, stop us in making progress.
So I would like to create a space where we can get together and help each other without being afraid of being judged. Nobody has their shit together but we are all going through the same struggles so wouldn’t it be great to have a bit of support and motivation along the way? With this in mind, I’ve decided to change the name to open it up to a more ‘ambitious female’ audience. So the blog will now take a new direction under a new name – UpSheRises.ie
The idea is, I am still going to talk about things that interest me, but there’s a bigger conversation to be had among women who are trying to get ahead. Be it working for themselves, or trying to rise in an organisation or turning their hobby into a new career. We have so much we could share with each other than could help.
Remember, wherever you are, there are people who are one step behind you, who you may be able to help.
It doesn’t mean that I am the only one who will be sharing the little bits that I’ve learned but I would like to create a community where I can invite people in and pick their brains a little so we can all learn from them. I certainly don’t know it all and don’t claim to. But I would love to be exposed to stuff that I don’t have the time to read or watch so that my mind can be opened a bit more by others. I am surrounded by people in Cork and beyond, who are doing fabulous things in their careers and in their lives. Many of them I have met through Instagram, Network Cork etc. Women who are cracking on and achieving great things. Wouldn’t it be great to hear what struggles they have overcome and how they did it. This could fast-track your own learning curve. I would love to be able to spotlight these women in business and give them a small but supportive platform to help them share their nuggets of knowledge and grow their brands further.
This isn’t my full time job, but just an area that I am passionate about and feel that is lacking in the current social media landscape. My main business is at BrandWagon.ie. I help businesses to simplify their marketing by connecting with their own brand stories. There are many parts to it (like storytelling techniques, events, PR, training etc.) that help businesses connect more with their audience by being clearer and more authentic. So I will continue to strive for the work/life balance over there.
But in the meantime I’m excited to grow UpSheRises.ie to help others move ahead. I look forward to the contributors who will get involved as well. So the idea is, let’s share what we know, motivate each other to keep pushing on and we will all rise together. Let’s laugh through the struggles and get on with it. Get those plans out of our heads, on to paper and let’s get cracking!