7 Lessons I Learned in Year One


The anniversary of DEAR QUEENS is exactly one week away. I can't believe it! 

When launching this brand, I had no idea what I was doing or what it would turn into. It was laid on my heart, so I did it. I planned and launched and wrote. Wrote like my sanity depended on it - often times it did. Wrote like your sanity depended on it. Through this journey, I learned quite a bit. Things about myself, spirituality, and you - the reader. Here are just seven of the many lessons I've learned in this first year. 

Quality over quantity. I've never been much of a numbers person. Ironically when I entered into this arena I seemed to be overwhelmed with reader stats and social media follows. I quickly realized that numbers are no real indication of inspirational effectiveness. In that same regard, the number of posts you have says nothing about the quality of your content. Content quality matters more than the amount of content you have. Timeless content. Content that will make a friend want to tell a friend. Content that'll make people want to revisit; that'll make them want to copy and paste it to their iPhone notes so they can read whenever they need it. Content that people will want to apply to their lives. Content that they can relate to. 20 posts of mediocre content will never trump 5 good, strong, meaningful ones.

People are watching. I wrote about that 6 months ago, and I'm writing about it again; because they are. They are watching, following and taking notes. They are listening, hearing and visiting. People around you are paying attention, whether they express that or not. People will come up to you in the workplace and commend you for things you had no idea they knew about. But just like they're watching and waiting to applaud you, they're also watching and waiting for the slip up. People are paying attention, and that's both the most reassuring and most frightening bit of it all.

Your purpose doesn't need you, it needs God. 
Whatever it may be, your purpose needs less of you and more of God. He's the one that aligns it all. The one that plans everything and organizes the pieces to fit perfectly. He's the one that should lead your actions. There is nothing that you do, in your purpose, that should not come from God. You are merely the servant. The worker. He is the Creator. The Planner. The Strategizer. The Boss. I never realized that before this. Partly because this has been the first year of my life, that I felt like I was on the right path. It's been the only thing that I could stand behind with confidence that this is what I'm supposed to be doing. Nothing that has come of this blog is of me. Not the writing, the apparel, nor the podcasts. Not the book project, nor the events I plan to host. It's all God. It's all of what He's been pouring into me. He's here to guide me through all that I need to do; I'm simply here for execution. Recognizing that early on allowed me to empty my cup enough to be filled with Him, His word and His vision for this brand. That's one of the most fulfilling lessons of the seven. 

Life happens. Over and over and over again. Posts don't get finished, events get canceled, e-mails don't get sent. Some things are more urgent than others, other things aren't urgent enough. Some things just need to be written on the day of at the last hour. Some events need to be planned in one week. Some e-mails, sent out right after the twitter chat you just found out about 2 minutes prior. Not all things can be planned for or scheduled. Embracing that level of uncertainty and allowing room for flexibility, is part of the game. Starting a blog doesn't make you immune to life; it simply allows you a space to share it with others.

You cannot compare your journey to someone else's. Well, because your journey isn't someone else's. It's yours. What they write about and you write about are different. The experiences are different. The perspective is different. You have no idea where they've been or what they've gone through to achieve the success they've reached. Your journey is your own, and where they are will not affect where you're set to go. Stop worrying about them and focus on your own road. You'll never get to your destination trying to drive on their route. 

Leave fear at the do'. This is where you imagine me cocking my head to the side with a 27-piece quick weave. The digital space is no place for fear. Putting yourself at the mercy of millions of people that gain confidence from sitting behind a computer screen is frightening. It's nerve wrecking. It's scary. But this space is no place for that fear. People will talk and you'll have absolutely no control over what they say. What you will have control over is how you respond. How you continue to push through whatever thoughts they may have - good or bad. How you will log back in and write your next completely vulnerable, opinionated or controversial post. It comes with the territory. But it's your territory and you cannot be afraid to own it. This is your life. It's your dream. It's your purpose. Leave that fear at the gateway.

This is bigger than me. This is about your lives'. It's about encouraging women to become their best selves. It's about uplifting women in their worth. It's about empowering them through love. It's about praying for them when they cannot pray for themselves. It's not about what I want to write about, but what women need to hear. DEAR QUEENS is more than just me. It's more than a blog site. It's more than words on a website. It's about connecting with the women God is holding me accountable for, and somehow aiding in their betterment. Whether it's through the words on this page or through phone conversations. DEAR QUEENS has grown, in its first year, to something I would have never expected. This blog...this little blog... has truly become a digital brand that I'm proud to have my name on. A brand that launched an apparel line 3 months after it's introduction to the world. A brand that launched podcasts a few months after that. A brand that's working on book projects and event planning. A brand that won two awards. A brand that has people far and wide commenting, sharing and getting their life from. DEAR QUEENS is bigger than the expression of myself and the recurrences of my life. It's bigger than what I had hoped for. And this next year - and the lessons it will bring - will be even bigger. 


NOTICE: In honor of my 1 year brand-aversary, I'm having a giveaway! Refer your friend to subscribe to DEAR QUEENS' routine motivation, and you + the subscriber receive a chance to win DEAR QUEENS merchandise! Send them to this link http://eepurl.com/beVpxT to subscribe and you'll automatically be entered. 

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