I have been nominated for the Liebster Award by Megan at Life in Font. Thank you Megan! I am flattered that you selected my blog as one of your nominations for this award. For those of you who may not already be following Life in Font, it is a great resource with information about freelancing, writing, marketing, designing, and tea (I love tea!) Megan has been successfully freelancing for over eight years now, and is inspiring to me as I have just begun my own freelancing journey.
Now, on to business.
What is the Liebster Award?
Good question. “Liebster” is a German word meaning beloved or dearest. In the blogging world, the Liebster Award is online recognition given by bloggers to other new bloggers for enjoying or valuing their work. It is meant to highlight and credit favorite new up and coming blogs within our writing community.
Once nominated, a blogger is asked to answer 11 questions provided by the nominating blogger. They are then expected to nominate 11 other favorite new bloggers and come up with a list of 11 new questions for those nominees. This keeps the love going!
What are the rules for the Liebster Award?
Once you accept a nomination, you are expected to complete the following steps:
- Thank and link to the blogger who nominated you (thank you again, Megan!)
- Create a post on your blog, displaying the Liebster Award logo
- Answer the 11 questions assigned by the blogger who nominated you
- Provide rules/instructions for accepting the award
- Nominate 11 new favorite bloggers for the Liebster Award
- Come up with a list of 11 new questions for your nominees
- Notify the nominees
- Post your Liebster Award blog post link in the comments column of the related post of the blogger who nominated you
My responses to the 11 questions asked of me:
1. How do you want to improve yourself in the next year?
I want to continue to grow my freelance business while also finding enough time to continue working on this blog. I hope to successfully balance that with raising three young children (all ages 4 and under) while keeping my sanity intact!
2. What was your greatest failure and what did you learn from that?
Very good question. I would say that my greatest failure was following only the money instead of my true interests once graduating college. I knew in my heart that I wanted to continue my work in Psychology and/or writing and even had some opportunities offered to me by professors. But I turned those down to continue my trajectory in the financial services industry. I don’t regret the time I spent in that line of work as I learned and grew so much; however, the nagging feeling that I wasn’t doing what I was truly meant to be doing never left. And now, at mid-life, I feel like I am starting all over when I could have been doing what I was really meant to be doing all along. I write more about this on my About Me page.
So the big lesson learned for me is that money isn’t everything. Sure, we all need it and we definitely all want to live comfortably – but beyond a certain point, how much is enough? Isn’t your investment of time into fulfilling endeavors worth something as well? I plan to share this lesson with my children as they get older. I think we tend to get caught up in a single definition of success, yet need to remember that success at the core is following your destiny – not what society says your destiny should be.
3. Tell me about your proudest achievement.
Definitely my children. Granted they are still young, but raising them even at this stage is an achievement in and of itself! I am already so proud of them.
Professionally, I would say self-financing my college education – working full-time during the day and going to school full-time at night (before the days of online coursework) while trying to make rent and pay the bills. I don’t think I slept more than 4 hours a night the entire time, but it definitely built character and was well worth it in the end.
4. Who has impacted you most in blogging and how?
There are several bloggers I follow and admire, but I would have to say that at this point in my life Katrina Alcorn of Working Moms Break has been a pivotal influence. I first saw her TED Talk and then began following her blog and other writings. While not all of her experiences are consistent with mine, I connected to her philosophies around juggling work and family in general, and the importance of flexibility in the modern workplace to prevent high performing employees from leaving due to stringent non-flexible policies.
Another favorite is Pete Adeney of Mr. Money Moustache. A fellow-born Canadian, he and his wife successfully retired at age 30 through saving, spending more efficiently, and living the philosophy that says money doesn’t buy happiness. He makes some great points and demonstrates how it is easy to get trapped in that hamster wheel if we do not take a deeper look into what our life goals really are.
5. What do you do in your spare time?
What spare time?? I have two young children, a third on the way, am building a freelance business, and am blogging on the side. Haha. I know that this, too, shall pass – but right now I honestly have very little spare time. When I do (or, more likely, when I carve some out even if I DON’T have it available), I love to travel with my family. I read voraciously when I can, and I’ve been known to be a fan of trash reality TV (seriously – the trashier the better). I’m a foodie at heart and love trying new restaurants and cuisines. Time with my girlfriends, at the beach, and even just napping are all welcomed as well.
6. Where would you like to be in blogging five years from now?
Honestly, I don’t know that I’ve mapped that far ahead (is that bad?) I hope that I am still blogging and still enjoying it as much as I do today. I hope that I have continued to build and nurture connections and relationships with other writers and readers. I also hope to become a bit more personal and vulnerable in my writing, a challenge I sometimes struggle with but am working on.
7. What inspired you to start your blog?
This is actually my second blog. My first blog is a parenting blog inspired by the birth of my first son. It focuses on my experiences as an “Advanced Maternal Age” mother – as well as my trials and tribulations with parenting in general.
I started this blog to chronicle my experiences in quitting a 20+ year highly compensated career in the financial services industry to at least try to pursue work that I feel I am meant to do (see my answer to question #2). I felt that perhaps I wasn’t alone in this experience and wanted to connect with others going through the same, as well as others who are juggling their professional lives with their personal lives – including parents of young children.
8. How do you motivate yourself to keep the blog up and running?
Through the connections I have made and hope to continue making. I’ve already met some truly incredible people who have inspired, motivated, and helped me along the way. Plus I am learning so much on a daily basis. I feel like I’m experiencing this whole new world that I never realized existed. Don’t get me wrong – I definitely have those days when I simply don’t feel like writing or am not in the mood to look at my blog. And when that happens, I simply take those days off. I’ve started to learn that the feeling (so far) doesn’t linger, and if I give myself a break then usually I feel inspired again shortly.
9. What do you think is the best social media strategy for getting more visitors to a blog?
I think writing from the heart. I know that sounds cliche, but it’s true. It is what draws me to other blogs – when the writer is open, honest, and sharing something that resonates with me. As far as social media goes, I think that these types of heartfelt posts are passed around without too much influence from the writer. If someone feels connected to a piece, or it makes them laugh, or they learn something from it, they will want to pass it along without the need for the writer to heavily promote.
10. Would you encourage other people to make their blog?
Depends on the person. If the person truly loves to write, is interested in reflection, and has something to say – then absolutely! I do a lot of writing nowadays, with blogging probably being the smallest slice of the pie, but the blogging is by far my favorite. It allows me to think, reflect, write, and connect. No matter what the niche, I think that there will always be people who connect with any type of blog or blogger. It’s truly a great vehicle for cultivating new relationships and even opening doors to new opportunities.
11. Is blogging your profession or just a hobby?
It is just a hobby for me right now. I would love to get to the point one day when it becomes my single/sole profession but even if not, I do it for the joy of doing it above all else.
My Liebster Award Nominees
- Avi at Hormonal Dad
- Beth at The Spice Girl Blog
- Matthew and Heather at Travelationship
- Jodi at The International Social Worker
- Diane at This Scattered Life
- Betsi at Betsi’s World
- Umber at My Make Up Life
- Kevin and Christina at Wandering Wagars
- Kaylene at Cheers to Traveling
- Sue at Sizzling Towards Sixty
- Nikki at Mommy My Way
My questions for nominated bloggers:
- What inspires you to write?
- Who are your favorite bloggers, and why?
- What is one thing you could not live without, and why?
- What book has most inspired you, and why?
- What would a perfect weekend look like to you?
- What experiences have had the most profound effect on you?
- What television or movie character do you most identify with?
- Where is your favorite place in the world, and why?
- What do you enjoy most about blogging?
- What is the biggest risk you have taken, and did it pay off?
- What is your drink of choice?
Have fun – I look forward to seeing your answers and who you nominate!