Today’s Hot Topic is personal. Ironically, I find that personal posts are much easier to write than say a post that requires external research and expert knowledge. This post is my way of being a bit more vulnerable about who I am, and what my strengths (and weakness) are as a blogger. It covers the importance of questioning every move you make, staying in your lane and mastering your craft.
I hope you will read, and if so inclined share your thoughts and feedback with me on the blog!
ME, BEING VULNERABLE |The Story
I was recently asked by someone who I would consider a friend, to participate as a judge and panelist for a pasta competition. I leaped at the opportunity without truly thinking about what I was agreeing to.
A few very important items of note:
I don’t eat pasta. It’s not that I don’t like pasta; I would just choose rice or bread as my preferred sources of carbs.
I don’t care for Italian food. Pizza and pork-free charcuterie boards possibly top my list of Italian foods. (Do these even count?)
I couldn’t tell you anything about the Pasta scene in Houston. What restaurants serve pasta, where to get the best pasta, etc…
So, given these factors you must be asking yourself, why in THE HELL did I agree to be a judge at an event centered around pasta? One word, Pride.
I was too prideful to turn down an opportunity to sit on a dais and participate in a pasta-centric panel with the likes of Eric Sandler (Food Editor of CultureMap Houston), Felice Sloan (Badass blogger @Swankymaven – literally one of my blogging idols) and J.C. Reid (Barbecue columnist for the Houston Chronicle).
I knew I had NOTHING to offer besides the thoughts of a novice on Italy’s gift to the world, but I allowed my ego to lead me in a different direction.
QUESTION EVERY MOVE YOU MAKE
In a world rooted in competition, at times I find myself measuring my self-worth and value as a blogger on the ridiculously insignificant number at the top of my Instagram account. I’ve allowed that number to circumscribe my growth, and quite frankly that’s bullshit! Because of this, there are times that instead of truly assessing the value of an opportunity, I jump at it. Not realizing that it could hurt my brand and what I am working so hard to build.
It’s important to question every move you make in this blogging world (and in life). Time is precious. Building a solid brand based on what YOU want to do is where you should focus your time and energy.
Instead of assessing the value of participating on this panel and judging this competition, I focused more on how this opportunity could shape my Instagram following. I didn’t asses how this would affect the perception of my reputation as a blogger to those who heavily influence it.
KNOWING YOUR LANE & STAYING IN IT
Knowing your lane, and being smart enough to understand the value of staying in it is an essential attribute of a successful individual. Additionally, being confident enough in your brand to turn down things that simply don’t align with it is crucial.
In hindsight, I possibly should have declined the offer to participate at the level of judge and panelist, and simply enjoyed the event as media. Another option would have been to dine at some Italian restaurants. This would have at least provided me with a few talking points. (Kanye shrug)
I was once told that the key to being a good blogger is to be the authority in your field. Being well-versed increases the likelihood that your targeted audience will trust your suggestions and recommendations. This trust assists in the solidification of your brand.
I’ve learned several things from this experience. Mastery of craft is something different from plain old great work or liberally applied elbow grease. Being a master of a craft has less to do with the end product and more to do with the process.
As a food blogger (I’m starting to hate that phrase – It sounds so mundane and vague). I’ve decided to change my label.
As a food-based tastemaker and content creator, it’s possible that I need to know a little bit about everything food related. That’s a huge undertaking, but it’s what sets those that I admire apart from the rest.
The ability to recognize my flaw, check my ego and be honest with myself is what makes me a winner.
Thanks for reading this long ass post! I would love to hear from you. When have you been vulnerable? What are some of your flaws? What steps do you take to get your ego in check?