aka Honestly Mommy, Stephanie, Mom, Mama, Mommy, MOMOMOMOMOM... should I keep going?
I'm here to tell you, dreams do come true... with LOTS of hard work and determination to stick with it even when it gets hard.
I hope that this doesn’t just serve as an inspirational story about my life, but rather as a kick in the butt to get out there and do it yourself!
Do what, you might ask?
Follow your dreams and pursue them with a relentless passion until they come true.
Because if you would have told me 6 years ago that I would be where I am today I would have laughed in your face. But slow and steady I have worked towards my goals and dreams and then one day I woke up and realized my dreams were actually a reality.
How It All Started
I have always been passionate about writing. I started writing novels as soon as I learned how to write (not even kidding, ask my mom). I filled pages and pages with overly sappy love stories of princesses and princes. And as I grew, so did my writing. It morphed from fiction into a desire to be inspirational and share with others about any topic I was passionate about. I used to use Xanga (oh man, that so dates me!) as a writing platform. One day I started a blog using a free WordPress site and was a Christian fashion blogger for a time. Lol, that didn’t last long.
And then I stopped writing altogether because I became a mom.
One day, three weeks postpartum with my second, I realized I felt a little lost. My husband was working nights and also putting himself through school to become a Police Officer and while I was fully supportive, I was a bit lonely and bored. I saw him pursuing his dreams and working hard to achieve them; but what about me?
I did some research and with no true prior knowledge or experience I launched a blog. I quickly realized I’d need some way to promote my blog so a few days later Instagram happened; and the rest is history.
An honest look at motherhood was my first tagline. I decided to be as real and honest about motherhood as possible. I wrote whatever I wanted; intro pieces, silly pieces, allllllll the things. On Instagram I decided that meant posting pictures of my daily life; dirty laundry, crying children, the mess and mayhem….Because surely other moms would flock to an account that wasn’t “Instaperfect” all the time RIGHT!? Wrong.
I spent the first 9 months of my “career” half-assing it. Studying a bit here and there but not really putting any true time of effort in and then being frustrated when it wasn’t working. I finally realized what I was doing wasn’t working and that it was time to overhaul.
I worked hard to learn all the tips and tricks about how to grow on Instagram. I did my best to be featured on popular mom hubs to hopefully draw new followers. I shared other mama pages and used all the hashtags and did all the things. Ultimately I ended up doing a lot of things wrong. I even used a bot to help gain new followers through the follow/unfollow method because that’s what all the bloggers with lots of followers told me to do. I also ended up trying things like really spammy giveaways and secret giveaways…*sigh*….NONE of which I recommend.
I overhauled my account and became your a-typical “Instamom“. And while my feed was more aesthetically pleasing than ever, I felt fake. I was starting to get a few small deals with companies; most just for free products in exchange for a shoutout, though I did get sponsored deals here and there, but it wasn’t fulfilling.
So- I regrouped again.
Finding Myself via Social Media
I have always had a heart for women; to see them come into their destiny and be who God created them to be. It’s meant different things to me in different seasons, but I love to see women confidently rocking their femininity! And never has that been more true than when I became a mother. I felt lost half of the time; like I wasn’t living up to the standards I saw around me.
While I’d made some real friends during my 2 years on social media, I’d also realized that most of what I saw, shared, and others promoted on social media was a false reality. A sort of dream of what we all wished our lives where like. Now there is nothing wrong with pretty photos (and I still love to take them!), but I also knew I wasn’t doing my crowd justice by not being myself and not being honest with them. So I decided to go against the norm of what I saw as a typical Mom Influencer and started sharing more of myself and my motherhood journey.
A new tagline was born and my new goal, which has remained to this day, is to encourage, inspire, and uplift women; no matter what stage of life they find themselves in. I want to focus on not just surviving, but THRIVING.
Sometimes that happens through laughter. Sometimes through serious talks. And sometimes it comes down to sharing my messy house in my stories. But however it happens these days it has helped me to grow a real and authentic crowd who is there to have fun and cheer each other on just as much as I am. It’s been incredible. It’s been a dream come true.
I woke up 6 years in and realized that not only have I achieved a dream of mine, but a little “hobby” has turned into a full blown job and has brought me and my family opportunities I’d never dreamed of. I found myself and I found my passion.
I think I’ve had the same passion and dream all along; it’s just taken me awhile to hone into it. In different seasons it even looks differently; but it’s always remained the same. And now that I’ve put some words to my goal I know that I will work harder than ever to achieve it.
People have often asked what I would have changed and the answer is not much. Because all the hard lessons I’ve had to learn are part of what’s made me stronger. Failing and then making the choice to pick myself up off the ground and try again has made me resilient. And the decision to actually do the work has brought me to this moment.
I didn’t explode over night. Even using all the wrong methods I mentioned in the beginning didn’t get me the growth I was looking for. It’s been being consistent and being true to myself that has made my dreams a reality. My success story isn’t a Cinderella story; I’m more like the mice who did the hard work and sewed the dress and then watched the magical results unfold; ya feel me?
I’ve not only started to earn an income from brand deals but now am making a steady income through what I’m the most passionate about; helping other mamas find better physical and emotional health.
So whatever your dream is mama; do it! Dive in! Go hard after it! Work for it! It probably won’t be easy; but would it be any fun if it was?
No one can make your dream happen for you; only you can bring it about.
What are you waiting for? The timing will probably never be perfect, so if you have a dream, start thinking of the small steps you can take today to make it happen.
You can do it! I believe in you.