Maybe this is the wisdom of getting older speaking or perhaps the reflection and reset that tends to come with travel but I spent some serious time on my flight home from Colombia yesterday thinking about happiness and the importance of loving what you do. We can all get so consumed by the idea of what we’re supposed to be doing or focused on simply checking tasks off our to do lists and before we know it, time has flown past while we’ve been totally heads down. And that’s definitely not going to add any joy to our lives.
Six years ago I started blogging out of sheer curiosity and a love of writing and as time went on, I fell more and more in love with creating content and connecting with so many amazing people across the globe that I would have never otherwise been fortunate enough to meet. That genuine passion has remained my primary motivation throughout over a thousand blog posts and countless hours spent at my laptop – it’s what has kept blogging fun and made Pretty & Fun one of my proudest accomplishments and best decisions I’ve ever made. I still find myself in awe of the opportunities and connections that this little website of mine has brought to my life and just how different my path could have been if I had been too concerned about how busy I was and let the excuses win instead of pursuing a passion.
Shortly after moving out to San Francisco an opportunity landed in my inbox to partner with a brand through an influencer marketing agency I hadn’t previously heard of, Collectively. It was the first opportunity I had received in my new city and a welcome distraction for me during a time where I was feeling completely overwhelmed by the decision to move from Chicago to San Francisco and deep in the process of interviewing for new jobs and trying to make a really unfamiliar place feel like home. I loved partnering with them on that campaign and countless others throughout the year (this one is one of my favorites!) because of the fantastic brand partnership opportunities they brought my way, each with the perfect blend of smart thinking and strategy that allowed room for creative freedom so I could produce sponsored content that was valuable not only for the brand, but for you guys as well. Behind the scenes Collectively’s programs were really well organized and thought out with a team who was so helpful and wonderful to work with, always bringing opportunities to the table that were a great fit for my brand and audience (if you’re a blogger, you know this is a rarity!).
Later that year on a flight home to San Francisco from a not so great work trip I had a light bulb moment about my career path – I had been feeling restless in the role that I was in and knew something had to change to help me shake the unhappiness that had been creeping in for a few months. Collectively immediately came to mind as they had quickly become my favorite influencer agency to partner with and I was curious if my background as both a digital strategist and a blogger could be a fit for the unique work they were doing for so many brands that had been on my “dream clients” list for so long.
No job openings were listed on their website and although I was feeling a bit unsure about blending my work and blog worlds, I drafted up a quick email and hit send before I could talk myself out of it and found myself in their beautiful new office space a week later to learn more about the team and the work they were doing. I left that conversation with a job description in-hand for a role that hadn’t yet been posted that matched exactly what I wanted next for my career and feeling so incredibly excited about the possibility of joining a team of some of the smartest and just all-around lovely people I had ever met (which is a rarity for the ad agency world!).
Today I still have to pinch myself sometimes about how serendipitous that email ended up being and how lucky I am to be working in such a special environment. I love not only being able to make an impact for the brand clients we’re working with, but to be able to give back to the community of influencers and create opportunities for them to grow their businesses, whether they’re just starting out and blogging as a side hustle or are some of the biggest names and most creative people in the space. Even after almost two years and hundreds of programs later, I still find myself in awe of our incredible team and the thought, detail and love for the work that we’re doing that goes into every single program (which you can read a little bit about on our brand new website that we’re all so proud of!).
Being able to say that you love what you do is a pretty special thing and something that we are all deserving of. Challenge yourself to take some time this week to step away from the never ending list of things you should be doing and soak up some time doing what you love. It’s not always easy but I promise it’s always worth it.
PS. If you have a blog of your own and are interested in partnering with brands, you should join Collectively’s community! There are no exclusivity or ad requirements and we partner with influencers of all sizes and types. And if you’re a fellow marketer feeling a little lost about how exactly to partner with influencers (I’ve been there!), I’m always happy to chat about Collectively’s approach and how we could help.
This post was sponsored by Collectively and as always, all opinions are 100% honest and my own – authenticity is a top priority and I couldn’t be more excited to help spread the word about our brand new site!