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New York, NY

What I've Learned From 8 Years Of Blogging

I celebrated 8 years of blogging yesterday!  It was so special to reminisce and think about all of the wonderful things that this website has brought me. It’s hard to believe that on March 7, 2011, I sat down and wrote my very first blog post.  I was 22 years old and had just graduated from college with a degree in Interior Design.  I was working as a nanny and found myself missing the creative outlet my classes provided.  My blog was meant to be an online journal of sorts where I could share and document everything I loved in life; from fashion to decor, travel, food and more.  I didn’t intend for anyone to read it besides friends and family.  It was just a place for me to store my thoughts and ideas. It’s funny and ironic to look back, and read that first post as I sit here in my LA home…In my very first blog post, I write about a trip I had just taken to LA for spring break.  I remember being soooo inspired by the city, and particularly the hotel I stayed at; The Avalon, which was designed by Kelly Wearstler (one of my interior idols!)  At the time, I thought I would move to LA and maybe pursue acting or get a design job, but months later I felt the tug of NYC pulling at my heart and ended up moving East.  It’s crazy how things come full circle. My blog has evolved over the years – it has grown and changed just as I have.  While I am still heavily fashion based, I feel so fortunate that I’ve been able to incorporate several other topics I’m passionate about like food, wellness, travel, decor and beauty.   I’m so grateful that my content has been shared with women all over the world.  I’m so grateful to all of the inspiring souls I’ve encountered along the way. Also, I’m so grateful I’ve been able to collaborate with some of the most innovative and iconic brands.  I’m so grateful to have the freedom to talk about such a wide variety of genres. Blogging LessonsI think the biggest lesson I’ve taken away from blogging, is just be yourself.  Do what makes you happy.  Do what makes you feel comfortable.  Yes of course, push yourself and challenge yourself, but also be sure to stick to your gut instinct and follow your heart.  This industry is constantly changing.  It can feel hard to keep up sometimes.  But go at your own pace.  Set the tone for your day and your life – you are in control of your destiny.  Lastly never, ever look at anything as a failure – only a lesson.  We can learn SO much from our mistakes.  It’s during the most difficult times we grow the most! My mission statement for With Love From Kat and all of the content I produce is simple; I aim to inspire and uplift women.  This intention has kept me connected to my work, has grounded me, and has given my life meaning and purpose.  If you don’t already have a mission statement for your work and/or life – I highly recommend you take the time to figure one out.  Everything truly stems from there. If you’ve been reading With Love From Kat since the beginning, thank you from the bottom of my heart.  Thank you for allowing me to be a small part of your life and journey.  And if you’re new here, welcome!  I hope you’ll stay awhile. <3  To the next 8 years!
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Paris, FR

What No One Tells You About Falling in Love

Falling in love is such an amazing feeling isn’t it?  The butterflies, the sparks, and the excitement of a new relationship – ahhhh!  But what about the other sorts of feelings that come up when you start deeply connecting with someone and letting them into your world?  It can be terrifying being that vulnerable with someone relatively new!  People rarely talk about this side of falling in love.  I wanted to paint a more realistic picture. Share my own personal experience about falling in love as an adult. Also, give insight into what I’ve learned along the way. Growing up, I was exposed to two polar opposite examples of love and relationships. The first kind, was one that many of us are familiar with; the Disney movie version where a beautiful damsel in distress is saved by a handsome prince.  The story always goes something like this; love at first sight, followed by bad guys trying to break the couple a part, a dramatic rescue, and then they live happily ever after and ride off into the sunset… The second kind, was my own reality – growing up with parents who had a tumultuous relationship.  From a young age, I always knew that my parents were unhappy being married to one another.  The resentment and frustration between the two of them was always there lingering… up until the day they got a divorce (25 years later), when I was a senior in high school.  I never really grew up seeing my parents show genuine affection to one another. Also, I never saw them work as a team, lift each other up, or have that twinkly look of adoration in their eyes.  If they had an argument, fight or disagreement they never talked through it. They just gave up, walked away and added it to the already heaping pile of resentment between them. It wasn’t anything close to the whimsical and romantic dynamics I knew from my favorite movies, so as I got older, I became more and more confused on what a relationship – and love for that matter – actually looked like between an adult man and woman.  Despite their relationship with each other, my parents poured so much love into my sister and me, and for that I am forever grateful.  My dad actually just got remarried this past weekend in Hawaii and I could not be happier for him! My mom raised me to be fiercely independent. She told me to never rely on a man, always make my own money, always have at least 1 separate bank account from my future spouse, and that if I ever wanted something – I could go out into the world and get it myself!  Her advice has without a doubt played a huge role in my business success.  But what about personal success?  For most of my life, up until 2 years ago actually, I got so used to being fiercely independent and thinking I could do everything myself, that I never really let anyone – especially a man – fully in. I didn’t want to show a side of myself that I perceived as “weak.” It was until recently, that I realized being vulnerable, accepting + asking for help, and admitting you don’t know it all, is actually the opposite of weak. Being vulnerable is actually really f*cking hard and it’s what creates those deep, lasting connections with people. Being vulnerable allows you to live your most authentic life. When I met my now boyfriend; Derek, I had finally gotten comfortable with being single and alone again (I had been in a long term relationship years prior). I had stopped dating just to date, and I started to really enjoy my own company – every night was basically face masks and reality TV – aka heaven haha!  So when I did meet Derek, it was a complete surprise and I was not expecting it at all (of course that’s how the universe works right? ;))  As cheesy as it sounds – he instantly blew me away.  His presence, his entrepreneurial spirit, and his authenticity were so impressive. I had never met anyone like him! We both started falling for each other immediately, and as the weeks went on, our feelings progressed. And I began falling in love with him.  I was floating – I felt like I was on cloud nine and I couldn’t have been happier.  As even more time went on though, something strange started to happen within me; I started self-sabotaging.  I started to play out this really negative internal dialogue and I had this sense of impending doom and fear that he’d leave me, and that I’d end up alone and heartbroken again.  Just thinking about the possible pain that could happen and remembering how long it took me to heal from my last relationship, made me want to RUN FOR THE HILLS and hide! This whole new love thing completely and totally stressed me out I felt paranoid and anxious.  I felt guilty for feeling this way, confused – and totally out of sorts.  My whole world, this safe new cocoon I had just built for myself prior to meeting Derek, had been turned upside down and invaded!  I started to overthink everything and pick Derek and our entire relationship a part.  It was like I was trying to find something wrong with him, so I didn’t have to fully connect, let him in, and open up the possibility of getting hurt again… Thankfully, as time went on, I started trusting Derek more, trusting myself more, and trusting our relationship.  He was really an angel during that rocky time, and unwavering in his love, patience and commitment to me.  I had to remind myself that past relationships were just that – in the past, and I had no use for them in the present. Also, I had to tell myself that just because my parent’s relationship didn’t work out, didn’t mean that mine wouldn’t.  I decided to really do some serious reflecting on all of my past traumas and experiences, face them head on, and learn from them.  There is a lesson in everything if you look for it!  BTW this is all wayyyy easier said than done. And TBH I’m still a work in progress, but aren’t we all? Falling in love brings up a LOT of emotions within us – both good and bad. Falling in love requires us to be vulnerable and open up to a partner. And yes, there’s a chance we could get hurt.  It’s exciting, amazing, and special, but also scary, stressful, and uncertain all at once!  (This podcast episode from Goop perfectly explains it – highly recommend listening.)  Here’s my advice if you’re feeling scared, going through the same thing, or having trouble connecting. First, just accept and acknowledge that there will be a wide range of emotions when it comes to love.  Try and think about each emotion as you’re experiencing it individually. And really ask yourself where that feeling could be coming from. Is it directly from your partner’s actions, or could it be something that is unresolved from your past?  Remind yourself that no breakup is ever a failure – it’s only a learning experience propelling you in the direction you’re actually supposed to go in. It’s all about mindset, and giving yourself those much needed positive pep talks until your thought pattern starts changing and you start trusting more.  Third, talk to someone about your feelings!  A friend, a family member, and/or a therapist.  I can’t say enough good things about therapy!  Lastly, read any or all of these Brene Brown books; Daring Greatly,  The Gifts of Imperfection, and Rising Strong.  Brene’s books, along with these books, have helped me tremendously! I would love to hear if you’ve experienced anything similar, can relate, and/or what helped you open up more! <3
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Brooklyn, NY


I turned 30 over the weekend!  And I gotta say, it feels DAMN GOOD.  Truth be told, I’ve wanted to be 30 since I was 9 years old.  I’ve always been a very, very old soul and never felt like I 100% fit in with my peers throughout middle school or high school.   Being an adult seemed so much cooler than being a kid.  I remember standing in my childhood bedroom, dreaming of going to my high powered job, wearing a pencil skirt and heels in my floor to ceiling window, corner office in NYC.  Yep.  Some kids dreamt about Barbies and the weekend – but that’s what I dreamt about haha! Well, here I am today, age 30, living out my dreams.  I am so incredibly grateful for everything I have – and the life I am living is even better than I imagined at age 9.  I wanted to share 30 things I’ve learned about myself and others over the past 30 years to celebrate and mark this new chapter! 30 Things I’ve Learned At 30Attitude is everythingI’m a glass half full person and that has really served me well in life.  Life doesn’t always go our way, and sh*t happens.  I somehow always find the bright side of anything.  You can find a silver lining in any situation if you try.  If you take every hurdle and obstacle as a lesson, and understand that each one is teaching you something, you will be able to move on and grow from it. Meditation is life changingI’ve meditated every single morning for the last 3 years straight.  I’ve never skipped a morning – and that’s because it makes me feel like I can do anything.  It’s my kryptonite – I’m serious.  I don’t just do any meditation – I went to a class and learned how to practice Vedic meditation which is a silent 20 minute practice that athletes, CEOs and leaders around the world do.  Meditation has made me smarter, sharper, nicer, more patient, more athletic, and most importantly, happier – which makes sense since it’s been scientifically proven to do just that. Keep your inner circle smallI used to want to be friends with everyone.  Now, I am simply FRIENDLY to everyone, and have narrowed down my circle of friends so that it is only my ride or die people that get my undivided attention.  It’s impossible to maintain a million friendships and give them all enough time and energy.  Trying to do so will drain you.  So start pairing back now if you haven’t already.  I re-evaluated my friendships BIG time when I was 28 and 29 – especially after moving to LA.  I felt guilty at first, like I was doing something wrong, but at the end of the day, if it feels like a “job” or chore – or you feel drained after seeing someone, then that’s just not a ride or die person for you.  It doesn’t mean you can’t still be friends with them, but just pull away and start putting all of that good energy you have into friendships that REALLY nourish you.  Remember your best friends are people who should love you unconditionally, and lift you UP not suck your energy. Pay attention to energyWomen are very intuitive.  If you’re creeped out by a guy when you walk into a room, or get a bad feeling from someone when you meet them, or have a bad gut instinct about a business deal – pay attention to that.  I’ll give you an example of when I didn’t listen to my gut about a business deal.  I decided to work with a company that a ton of other super successful bloggers work with.  They were extremely rude and snobby, but that was all a part of their facade and act to seem exclusive which I fell for!  The whole time we were negotiating/talking I felt icky and I had such a bad feeling in my stomach, but I completely ignored that inner voice because of that exclusivity factor (which I now feel so stupid for falling for!)  Well, my gut instinct was totally right and the people were awful, unprofessional and totally disorganized.  They didn’t have my best interest at hand at all and overpromised and underdelivered.  They actually tried to trick me and added this crazy clause in a contract which thank goodness my lawyer caught, but seriously why did I want to do business with these people so badly in the first place?  Oh yeah, cause they seemed cool.  NEVER AGAIN.  Lesson learned – trust your gut. You don’t have to like everyone, and not everyone will like youThis is a fact.  Accept this and you will be SO MUCH HAPPIER.  Stop worrying about what other people think of you.  “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.”  And on the other spectrum, stop forcing yourself to like someone.  If you don’t, you don’t – that’s ok!  Be respectful and kind, but remember that we are all different.  If we were all the same – can you imagine how boring the world would be?  No personality!  No color! How someone treats you is a direct reflection of how they feel about themselvesMy therapist told me this years ago, and it’s SO TRUE.  You know those people who just radiate joy, love, happiness and are so supportive and uplifting every time they see you?!  It’s because they LOVE themselves, and they feel joy and happiness within, so they are able to share that with you and others.  On the flip side, you know those people who are negative, haters, judgemental, and big ol’ grumps?  It’s because they don’t feel good about themselves and went through things in life (often trauma) that you or I may never be able to understand.  They are the people that actually need love the most, so try and be understanding and don’t take anything personally (I know it’s hard not to!)  Often times people who are hurting on the inside are simply projecting that hurt in various ways to the outside and you may just be a target/in the line of fire that day. Do not take anything personalThis goes off my above point.  I know it’s difficult not to, but honestly most of the time, like I said, people are just taking their frustrations, distractions, boy problems, PMS cramps, you name it – out on whoever is in front of them.  If your boss is mad at you for a mistake you’re directly responsible for, again, don’t take it PERSONAL, and avoid getting emotional, just accept the feedback and make a change.  Do better.  Handle it and move on.  Be professional.  Swallow your pride and learn from it – you got this! Accept people for who they areIt took me a LONG time to be able to do this.   I used to try and change certain friends or family members and I would exhaust myself giving them advice or I would try to hold their hand every step of the way.  At some point, I realized a.) I do not have all the answers (shocker!) b.) I need to let people live their lives c.) If I want them in my life I need to just be SUPPORTIVE and accepting.  Sure, I still give friends and family advice, but you’ve gotta just believe that everyone is doing the best that THEY can and let them be.  Often times it’s best to just LISTEN (and that’s what people really want anyway) then give your two cents.  This is especially true with that one friend you know who has been dating the same toxic guy for 3 years! Social media can be toxicI am so glad I got to be a young 20 something, free of Instagram and the intensity of social media.  Yes, I know it’s a huge part of my job, but I also see how incredibly toxic it is.  People posting pictures of themselves everyday to get LIKES and COMMENTS from strangers?!  And people with more likes and comments are somehow ranked better than others?  Comparing our lives to other people’s glossy, edited, perfect looking moments that really only show a small sliver of their actual lives?!  And the pressure of looking a certain way and constantly being “on” and documenting your every move?  It’s a lot!  I know I don’t have to tell you – we all think this and can relate!  I absolutely struggle with this sort of skewed reality/perspective that this platform has created and I’m not really sure where it’s going to go or what’s going to happen with it all, but until then, I’m just going to keep creating content I love and I’m proud of. Diversify, Diversify, DiversifySome people say you should hone in on one thing you’re good at – and focus on that and only that.  Well, I say don’t put all your eggs in one basket.  What if you put your life savings in one big project that goes south and you lose everything?  You want to displace the risk and have a few burners going at once.  Don’t rely on one source of income. Don’t invest in only one type of thing.  Should there be one thing you focus on more than the rest?  Absolutely, but always have a backup plan and focus on having multiple skills. Be nice to everyoneThe world is a very, very small place.  What comes around goes around.  KARMA.  Be nice it doesn’t cost a damn thing.  That intern could and probably will – end up being the VP of the company someday.  Pay it forward. Save your moneyWhen I was younger I was terrible about saving.  Luckily a few years ago I started saving and am SO glad I did.  You never know what could happen.  For example, I got in a car accident years ago and had thousands of dollars of out of pocket expenses.  Thankfully I was able to cover it.  For those of you wondering how I save, I use an app called QAPITAL that helps me set spending and saving goals, transfer $ to and from my savings and lays everything out super clearly for me. Invest in quality, staple piecesIf you’ve been following With Love From Kat since Day 1, you know my style philosophy; “Invest in classic, staple pieces you’ll have for years to come.”  I avoid trends and instead pick quality items that will last season after season, and can mix and match with anything in my wardrobe. The Instant Pot is a game changerIt will change your life!!!  It makes pasta in 4 minutes.  Rice in 12 minutes.  A delicious stew in 10 minutes.  You guys know I’m about to start a fan club right? Never take advice from anyone you don’t want to be likeA friend’s dad told her this and she passed this helpful little tidbit along.  I love this phrase!  It’s so true!  Be careful who you listen to! Don’t be a gossipThere’s a quote I love by Eleanor Roosevelt; “Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people.”  Gossip gets you nowhere, start thinking big and go out and make sh*t happen. Find a good therapistI don’t currently go to therapy, but I did for many years and found it so helpful!  It’s especially great if you’re going through a shift with your job, relationship, friendships, family, etc.  Remember, NEVER settle for a therapist.  Interview multiple before choosing THE ONE you vibe with and like.  There are many fish in the sea – they’re not all going to be the right one for you. Take care of yourself before you HAVE toI eat healthy because I want to feel good, look good, and live a long life.  I healed my gut and digestion through juicing and eating primarily gluten + dairy free.  Also, I no longer have insane stomach pains or reactions/inflammation after consuming some of my favorite foods like a big bowl of pasta – but does that mean I eat a big bowl of pasta every single day now?  No.  It’s a TREAT and I maintain a healthy lifestyle to continue feeling good and for longevity. Read your food labelsDon’t fall for marketing and packaging!!!  Don’t fall for a pretty, colorful box that says something is healthy or the new superfood!!!  What does it have in it?!  If you don’t know what the ingredients are don’t eat it.  If it has more than 5 ingredients and is highly processed think twice.  Just because it’s from Trader Joe’s and says organic and vegan doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Don’t fall for health industry tag linesThis follows on the above – which is remember the health industry is a billion dollar business!!!  An article could say “Black beans are the new superfood – we should all be eating them!”  But you may be allergic and they could make you sick!  We are all different – just because one person or one article or one TV show says something is good for you, doesn’t mean it is.  Before jumping on any bandwagon, find at least 3-4 articles that support AND contradict it.  You should always compare info and make an educated decision on your own.  Then of course do trial and error and listen to your body. Eat intuitivelyDon’t diet.  Don’t be die-hard this diet or that.  Being too restrictive sets you up for disaster.  I like eating healthy 80% of the time and indulging 20% of the time.  No, I do not have a calculator and measure this % out with every morsel of food I eat!  This is just a phrase and a ballpark for my “lifestyle” eating choices.  Sometimes it’s 70/30, and sometimes it’s 50/50 – you get the idea.  I listen to what my body is craving and needs.  I listen to my hunger signals.  Also, I didn’t used to be able to do this – but through juicing in the morning and intermittent fasting I am able to. Pick and choose your battlesLife is too short.  Don’t waste your precious time and energy fighting something that’s probably not worth it.  Don’t get upset over something small in the scheme of things. Animals cure loneliness (and are just the best)My life is a million times better with my dog Charlie.  I lived and worked alone for years and hated coming home to an empty place.  When I got Charlie – he completely changed the vibe in my house and me! Stand up to sexismI have experienced sexism SO MANY TIMES in my life.  It’s really frustrating and sad and I know it continues to happen to so many of you too.  Something snapped in me this last time it happened (about 6 months ago) and I vowed to not be too shy, or polite or to “laugh” it off the next time it happened.  It hasn’t happened since then (perhaps because my energy has shifted and I am putting out that I will not accept, allow or tolerate that), but if it does happen again, I am prepared.  As women we have every right to stand up for ourselves and we cannot continue to support this pattern.  It can be something so simple as just saying, “You know that made me really uncomfortable” in the moment.  I know sometimes it catches us off guard and it can be hard to get the words out, but practicing and preparing yourself will help!!! Men don’t care about stretch marks or your “imperfections”Seriously they don’t.  They love your body just the way it is.  It took me years to figure this out!  They don’t look that closely I swear.  They’re way more oblivious than you realize.  Not only do they not notice or care about stretch marks or cellulite, they don’t care about that fat roll either.  Or if your thighs are feeling huge.  They actually get really annoyed when you talk negatively about your body so shut that little inner critic up and be proud of your bod!!!! Manifestation is realYou can do anything you put your mind to.  Manifest it – and read The Secret.  I’ll give you a CRAZY example of this.  I told one of my friends to create a vision board with magazine pictures and write specific things she wanted on the back of it.  One thing she wrote was “I want a black pug named Sid.”  I was kind of shocked at HOW SPECIFIC she got there, BUT guess what happened.  2 weeks later, she found an adoption flier in her neighborhood for a black pug named SIDNEY.  So yeah the universe will absolutely give you what you ask for – you just have to ask for it. Never assume anythingThis applies to everything; people, places, events, things, dating!  With regards to work stuff – it’s best to be as thorough as possible and lay out every single detail – no matter how much of a no-brainer you think it is especially if you’re a manager or business owner.  With everything else I always like to manage my expectations, walk into a situation OVERLY prepared, be clear/upfront about my intentions and have an open mind! Stay true to yourselfThis is hard.  There are times when I haven’t stayed true to myself.  And each time I’ve been shown why I should have in one way or another.  As a creative, it can be REALLY hard not to get swayed or influenced by others, but dig deep and persevere.  And keep doing YOU.  In the end, your uniqueness will stand out. Be vulnerableIt can feel scary to be vulnerable.  To a friend, to a loved one, to complete strangers – even to ourselves.  Often times, and I know this too well, we just keep going and going, trying to survive, trying to make it, trying to keep it all together that we turn off our feelings and forget to ask ourselves what we really need.  If you’re feeling a bit lost or hurt – I highly recommend reading Brene Brown’s books – especially Daring Greatly.  That book really helped me! Don’t ever lose your inner childI’ve mentioned this in a blog post before, but never lose your inner child!  Even though I always wanted to be an adult and I love the responsibility of running a business, and all the things that come with being a grown up – I never want to be too serious and/or forget to have FUN.  Life is meant to be enjoyed.  Embrace your silly side and gravitate toward people who make you laugh until you cry and you’re doubled over in stomach pain ;) XO
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Venice, CA

Career Advice

I’m so excited to share my career tips and advice as a part of today’s Wellness post.  I want my Wellness posts to be tools that help you look and feel your best whether that be through the food you eat, the products you use, self care rituals, relationship advice, or career tips and tricks. My Work Experience Before I give you career advice I think it’s important that I share my own personal career and job background with you.  I’ve been working for the last 15 years (I’m almost 30.)  My parents were tough love people.  They taught me the value of a dollar and hard work very early on and had me get a job starting at the age 15.  I worked at my uncle’s dentist office filing papers.  At 16, I worked at La Grande Orange in Phoenix, Arizona.  I was a cashier, bussed tables, and took out the trash.  I worked the 6am shift before going to high school and then I’d come back after school to put in another few hours. The restaurant industry is one of the hardest industries I’ve ever worked in – I have complete and total respect for anyone who works in it.  At 17, I started working at local boutiques and clothing stores.  I loved fashion so this was really fun for me.  I was a sales associate at Calypso St. Barth and Saks Fifth Avenue.  I pretty much spent my entire paycheck on clothes – oops! At 18, it was time to go to college and my parents were going through a rough divorce and let me know they would not be supporting me financially anymore.  This came as a shock to me. And I scrambled to figure out how to pay for my tuition, car insurance, gas, rent, sorority dues, food, clothes and anything else that came up!  I knew I needed a job that paid more than retail so I became a full time nanny and took mostly online classes which allowed me to work 50+ hours a week while still getting my degree. I held 3 interior design internships over the course of 3 semesters during my junior and senior year.  These internships were invaluable to me and helped me realize that I actually did not want to become an interior designer (which was my college major and what I had planned on doing.) After college, I dreamed of moving to NYC and making it in the fashion industry. I started my blog as a passion project that summer before moving to the city and at the time no one was reading it and that was just fine by me!  It was essentially an online diary and my creative journal.  I moved to NYC with no job, and just the savings I had from selling my car – risky move I know!  I pounded the pavement applying to a zillion jobs and luckily got one 3 days later at a small jewelry company in the Garment District.  It was a company of only 3 women and I was to be doing a little bit of everything from social media to PR, sales, accounting, invoicing, trade shows, customer service, and wholesale management. Certainly, I didn’t have all of the skills for this job, BUT the designer believed in me – and she loved my blog!  I had put my blog on my resume on a whim – and it worked in landing me the job!  She saw my aesthetic and writing skills and thought I seemed like a hard worker/quick learner and luckily for her I was!  I worked there for a year and a half and the experience I gained was PRICELESS.  I learned how to run a business from start to finish – the ins, outs, and the nitty gritty stuff no one talks about.  I continued writing my blog during this time and would come home and stay up until midnight or have my roommate take photos of me on the weekend. I dreamt of writing my blog full time but this was back in 2012 so brands were still hesitant to pay bloggers and I couldn’t support myself financially from solely my blog. So, I quit my job after feeling overworked and under-appreciated – and I started my own social media consulting business to make ends meet.  I was scared at first to start my own business at 23 years old, but GOOGLE became my best friend and I researched for hours and hours how to set one up.  I used my fashion network in NYC and got 3 regular clients my first month.  I loved social media and was good at it so it all felt very natural. Having my own business allowed me to blog at the same time and after 6 months of freelancing I landed a huge campaign with Nordstrom and realized I could probably make a living blogging so I folded the consulting business and focused on blogging full time.  I say probably because it was a huge risk and nothing was guaranteed or certain, but as cheesy as it sounds I believed in myself and knew I would do whatever it took to make it work!  Now here I am today, 8 years later still blogging full time! My Career AdviceEveryone’s career path and journey is different.  We all choose jobs for various reasons and are passionate about a multitude of things.  So what’s the right move for you?  How can you get ahead?  How can you change careers?  What do you do if you hate your job?  How can you negotiate a raise or get a better position? Or, how do you deal with difficult people?  How the heck do you know what to even do?!  Read on. HOW TO figure out what kind of job you want/HOW TO MAKE A CAREER CHANGEFirst and foremost, what are some things that you are passionate about and what are you good at?  Is there an overlap?  Write down a list and start to research jobs that fit both of these things.  Times have really changed and you don’t have to hold a college degree in a certain field to necessarily work in that field (unless you want to be a doctor or something extremely specialized.)  There are a lot of job options for women today!  Once you have narrowed down a few jobs that sound appealing to you and that you think could possibly be a good fit. Find companies within those fields that you are drawn to and cold call or email them. See if you can go in for an informational interview which is when you can chat/meet with someone at the company even if there’s not an open position.  See if you can shadow someone for a day, take a part time internship or an entry level position just to get your foot in the door.  Ask friends or family if they know anyone in that field and see if you can get coffee with them and pick their brain about their job.  Do your research and don’t be shy!  Ask questions, be curious!  You may have to take a pay decrease or position downgrade at first, but ask yourself if it will be worth it in the long run and if the risk is worthwhile – then take it. What to do WHEN you hate your jobIf you hate the FIELD you are in, reference the above section and go from there.  If you hate the company you work for you can take a lot from the above section as well – expand your network, ask questions, cold call/email other companies and inquire about upcoming openings.  I think it’s important to ask yourself WHY you hate your job in the first place and pinpoint what parts you don’t like about it.  Remember no one likes every aspect of their job!!!!!  NO ONEEEEEE.  You should – and deserve – to enjoy what you do the majority of the time though – life is short and none of us are guaranteed tomorrow! Here are a few questions to ask yourself…“Did I choose this job to please my parents?”  You’d be surprised, but many of us do things unknowingly to please our parents even when we are grown ass, independent adults!  I still secretly want approval from my parents even though I don’t “need it” – this is a very natural, normal tendency!  Your parents will love you no matter what – even if it’s choosing a career path other than the one they want you to choose – I promise!  It may be uncomfortable at first veering off their path for you, but all parents really do just want their children to be HAPPY at the end of the day.  So dig deep and figure out what it is that YOU want. Another question to ask yourself is…“Did I choose this job for the money?”  If you chose a job purely for financial stability but have zero passion in it, don’t be so hard on yourself – you are not alone.  We all need to survive and support ourselves!   I will say as someone who was completely broke 8 years ago and is now in a more financially stable place, money does not buy happiness or inner contentment.  It really, truly does not.  I am being 100% honest and serious here.  Yes of course it allows you to have more freedom which brings moments of happiness and an overall sense of calm and security which I personally am extremely grateful for – BUT it does not change that DEEP, core level of inner happiness and peace that lies inside each of us. Some of my most cherished times and memories were when my bank account was at nearly zero and I was writing my blog from my studio apartment eating 99 cent pizza every night for dinner.  I was SO passionate and excited about what I was doing and living in NYC as a young 20 something was exhilarating!  No amount of money can buy that inner contentment that comes from being true to yourself, being surrounded by genuine people, doing what you’re passionate about, and living out your full potential. Lastly ask yourself…“Did I choose this job because it seemed cool, easy, or fun, but it’s actually not at all?!”  As a reminder, no job is easy even the ones that look effortless.   People tell me ALL THE TIME that blogging looks so easy.  I say – well good, then I’m doing my job.  I’m delivering beautiful content for YOU to enjoy – meanwhile I’m behind the scenes working my ass off to create it.  I love what I do though, so I don’t mind!  Choose a job because you are passionate about it, feel connected to it and the people you work with, and believe you have the right skill set for it – and the work you put into it will be rewarding, satisfying and worthwhile. I also want to add that it’s important to not to compare your job situation to that of your friends, family, peers and/or people you see online or in the media.  You never know what someone else is going through or what their work/life is really like.  Someone could seem like they have the best job ever and actually hate it, or they could could be making millions of dollars but working so much/so stressed out that they never get to actually enjoy all of the things they worked so hard for OR spend time with loved ones. On the other end of the spectrum, someone could be working a more unassuming, low stress job where they’re not striving to be a top level executive at some company – and to some, it may look as though they’re not trying hard enough to “reach their full potential” or not striving/grinding/aspiring “hard” enough to do more, make more, have more more more, but they probably have a great reason for this, may be onto something, and/or just have other priorities!  Life is meant to be enjoyed after all.  So again, there’s really no need to compare or judge others job choices or our own. HOW TO WORK WITH DIFFICULT PEOPLEPay very close attention to people’s energy and how they make you feel when you’re around them.  This starts with when you’re in a job interview.  Observe the vibe in the office, the feeling you get from the interviewer – what’s the company culture?  Company culture is everything in a job.  It makes or breaks a job.  You want to work with happy, positive, uplifting, helpful, patient, kind people that will help you grow.  Steer clear of toxic work environments by shadowing people at the company and asking LOTS of questions about the culture before taking a job.  If you’re already in a job that has a toxic work environment, and you don’t love the people you work with, or hate your boss – then take action. Here’s a few things I recommend:Get a therapist to help you look at the situation differently, understand where these feelings are coming from, and see if there’s anything YOU can do differently to turn the situation around.  Stop taking everything personally. We all take things WAY TOO PERSONALLY.  Most of the time people’s moods have NOTHING TO DO WITH US.  Maybe someone had a fight with their boyfriend, maybe they feel sick, maybe they have a whole slew of issues we don’t know about – don’t let other people’s bad moods or vibes bring you down! Show humility.  Ask someone if there’s something you can do to make their lives easier or if they need anything from you work wise.  Just stopping and asking someone what they need/how they’re doing has tremendous results.  Isn’t it crazy that we rarely stop and ask someone point blank how they’re doing?!!!!!!!  Taking a brief pause to check in with your coworker or boss, being open to change, and being willing to take on a little extra work – can go a very, very long way and change an entire dynamic. Having humility is an amazing way to bond with people.  Lastly, quit your job.  I put this last because of course changing jobs is a huge process but sometimes it is necessary if the work environment is so toxic and all of the above options have been exhausted. HOW TO ASK FOR A RAISE OR BETTER POSITIONAsking for a raise is awkward AF!  Whew, I remember sweating bullets when I asked my old bosses for raises!  A few tips for asking for a raise or better position…First schedule a check in meeting with your boss where you want to go over your employment history, goals, performance, and anything else relevant.  This can be at a 6 month or 1 year mark.  You never want to ask for too much too soon – it just looks bad.  When you come to the meeting, prepare a presentation – maybe it’s a powerpoint, or just a nice print out of everything you’ve contributed to the company. Don’t be shy, feel free to share some stellar moments that you are proud of, company goals that were met or exceeded, teamwork examples, new ideas and contributions you have for the coming year, and any other key things that will help you prove your point.  You should take this talk seriously and be overly prepped for it.  After sharing what YOU’VE contributed to the company this year, be sure to compliment your boss on their leadership skills and/or anything they did this year that stuck out to you. Kissing up to your boss goes such a long way people!!!!!!!  LOL  It’s true!  And after all of that, then state the number you want and let the last 30 minutes or however long your talk was and your presentation speak for itself from there.  You may already know the number you want your new salary to be, and if you don’t do some research (google google google!) or ask others in your industry what an appropriate raise would be. HOW TO MAKE EXTRA INCOMEMinimum wage is barely enough to live on today. Especially in a major city.  Most people working minimum wage jobs have to have several jobs in order to survive.  The current economic situation is extremely alarming to me and the middle class is disappearing at a rapid rate.  People are unable to pay their student loans off, buy houses, or save with the way that things are going.  The homeless rate around the country is rising and particularly in LA and in my neighborhood it is rampant and absolutely breaks my heart.  I will share more about how you can give back and how I am getting involved in my community this year in a separate post, but for right now I want to give you some tips on how to earn extra income when you have a full time job and ideas/things that I have done! When I was in high school and college working at my retail, restaurant and nannying jobs, I also took on part time tutoring jobs.  I used the network at the middle school I went to and picked up several students to tutor after school, at night, or on the weekends.  Tutors make amazing money. You can charge up to $85 an hour depending on your level of education and expertise.  Babysitting/nannying is another great way to make side money because the hours are so flexible! Working part time at companies like Taskrabbit, Uber, Lyft, Wags, and Glamsquad depending on your interest and expertise are also solid options.  Selling clothing and accessories you no longer want on Poshmark, The Real Real, or a local consignment shop is SO easy and you’d be surprised at how much money you can make from doing this.  Setting up an Etsy shop if you enjoy making things and being a contributing writer for online websites or magazines in your community is another great way to bring in extra income.  Lastly, starting a blog and using affiliate links from affiliate marketing companies can make you a significant amount of commission as your audience grows.  I’ll touch more on this in the next section… HOW TO MONETIZE A BLOGThere are several ways you can monetize a blog.  You can sign up for affiliate marketing companies and use their links in your blog posts and on your social channels to get a percentage of all sales you direct to certain websites from your links.  Links from affiliate marketing companies are trackable and over time, these small commissions and sales can add up to a significant amount per month as your audience grows. Many people get discouraged or don’t utilize these companies and links because they just see that they can make let’s say $1.50 or $8.75 here and there from the sale of an item, but what they don’t realize is that these numbers ADD UP and if you stick with it, and are diligent about linking as many things as you can. You can make a full time salary on affiliate commissions alone.Yes, it takes quite some time to find the item you’re talking about on their website, link it, then hyperlink within your posts etc. But for me, it is 100% worthwhile and has paid off tremendously.  Many of these affiliate companies also have connections with large brands and they bring the bloggers who are converting and driving sales paid campaigns which is another great source of income.  Speaking of paid/sponsored campaigns, brands are investing in bloggers more than ever now because they see the power that a digital influencer has when it comes to sales, reach, and their image. Paid campaigns can come from many places.  Sometimes brands will email a blogger directly and say they’d love to work with them on X and are willing to pay X for the deliverables.  Always negotiate that number and those terms, and ALWAYS have a lawyer review your contract with that brand.  Sometimes brands will reach out to a blogger’s manager or agency if they have one and then the manager will negotiate/work out contractual obligations and rates from there.  Sometimes brands will reach out to an affiliate marketing company and have them give campaigns to their top performing converters.  And sometimes you can create an incredible sponsored campaign simply by ASKING and PRESENTING a brand with your idea. Never be afraid or shy to cold call, email, or DM brands you love.If anything, it’s great to make those connections and network now and you can always ask later when the time is right to do a sponsored project with them.  Approach this the same way you would in my HOW TO ASK FOR A RAISE section above by presenting facts and evidence on how and why you would be the right fit to work with them, show numbers, sales and analytics on how you could drive sales and perform for them, and then share your rate – on the very last page. Never ask for money and share your rate off the get go. It’s important to slowly work that into a conversation and build upon a genuine relationship, love of the brand, and create that connection first.  Once you’ve established a loyal following through your blog or social channels, the possibilities are endless.  You can host events, design product lines, consult for other bloggers, continue making money through affiliate links and paid posts, branch into Youtube, etc. I’ll be going more in depth on blogging stuff in a separate post since there really is a lot more to it than meets the eye!  In terms of growing your following – there are various ways to do this, but I suggest focusing on creating authentic content on your Instagram and blog first and foremost, posting regularly if not everyday, finding your voice/not trying to be like someone else, using Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest, investing in SEO or doing your own (I use Influencer SEO – Jordan is amazing!), and networking with like minded people. HOW TO BE AN ENTREPRENEURWhew this topic is going to have to be an entirely separate blog post as well haha!  But I will absolutely touch on it here to give you a quick rundown should you be interested.  Let me start by saying no business school or class, and no book or article can ever really TEACH you how to be an entrepreneur.  You just have to buckle up, enjoy the ride, and keep your eyes + ears open at all times because it sure is a WILD experience. Like anything in life there are incredibly amazing, rewarding moments and there are absolutely devastating, soul crushing moments that come with being an entrepreneur and it honestly is not and does not have to be for everyone!  I think today, in 2018, we absolutely glamorize entrepreneurship.  While I love that it’s getting so much buzz and attention, it’s crucial that anyone out there who is an entrepreneur including myself, continue to share the ins and outs, ups and downs, and more real life stuff that comes with it. We should never look down on anyone who isn’t an entrepreneur or think we are better than someone who isn’t!  Vice versa – if you are not an entrepreneur – do not feel the need to become one because it seems cool or because you feel some sort of pressure to from society.  I respect ANYONE who works their butt off and we should all give ourselves credit if we are making strides and big differences at a company we are working with/or at.  That is equally commendable and honestly allows you to have a much better work/life balance. Being an entrepreneur is absolutely not easier than working for someone so if you think it is, it’s not.It’s a different kind of hard with a different level of responsibilities and pressure.  You never turn off.  You have a way harder time balancing work and life. I work way more than I play/spend time with friends/family.  You work long hours and weekends usually 6-7 days a week, almost 365 days a year. And especially on holidays which are the busiest times. You feel isolated because people think you have the dream job. People think it looks so easy and you’re too tired to even begin to explain what really goes on behind the scenes. You feel like you often can’t relate to most of your peers, you can’t be friends with your employees because you need to maintain a professional relationship which can be exhausting and uncomfortable at first. You have to switch gears and wear 100 different hats throughout any given day where you go from thinking about a creative project back to managing and overseeing finances, back to the creative project, then onto contractual obligations, then it’s time to manage people which comes with hiring and firing at some point – and all that jazz.  I am in no means trying to talk anyone out of becoming an entrepreneur here I am just shining a light on what it’s like (and this is only scratching the surface.) If you want to be an entrepreneur then go be one.Stop wondering, waiting for approval, or waiting around for god knows what.  Google how to start a company, have something you’re so f*cking passionate about that it keeps you up and wakes you up in the middle of the night, something that you don’t mind working late, working on the weekends and on holidays for, and that you literally can’t wait to share with the world – and go make it happen. IMPORTANT JOB SKILLS ANYONE SHOULD HAVE/THINGS to BE MINDFUL OFNever take anything personally.  Have an open mind.  Always be curious and want to learn more about the field you’re working in.  Ask your boss and coworkers how they are doing.  Go the extra mile even if you think it goes unnoticed – it doesn’t.  Show up on time.  Learn how to write a professional and articulate email.  Learn how to create a solid powerpoint or outline/presentation. Dress for success – modest, put together, clean cut, no chipped nails!!!  Triple check all emails and papers for typos.  Don’t bring personal drama to the workplace.  Don’t take advantage of a corporate card or budget even if it’s for small things like coffee on your boss’s card – ask first.  Be prepared – do your homework!  Work hard and reap the benefits of that.  Remember nothing amazing ever comes from doing the bare minimum. Think outside the box.  ASK as many questions as you need to clarify and understand  something – NEVER EVER ASSUME ANYTHING – that is the worst thing you can do even if you think you’re doing someone a favor/saving time – more often you’re not because you’ll have to backtrack to fix a mistake (if it’s even fixable!!!)  RESPECT yourself and others even if they have different opinions.  Agree to disagree.  Pick and choose your battles.  Give yourself reality checks.  Think positive.  Be grateful.  VALUE yourself and others.  Take PRIDE in your work. HOW TO STAY MOTIVATEDThis advice can be applied to anyone whether you work for yourself or for someone else.  If you’re struggling to stay motivated as an entrepreneur, then you probably shouldn’t be doing what you’re doing, or you’re suffering from burnout and need to take a major step back and rest/recharge.  I was born to be an entrepreneur.  I can say this with 100% certainty.  From the time I was 9 years old, I dreamt of having my own office and running my own company.  I’m not even kidding – I was an odd kid what can I say.  I have always gone to the beat of my own drum and been an old soul.  I have always been headstrong and willing to do whatever it takes to make my dreams a reality and have my vision come to life because I am so passionate about it. Creating content and writing is literally a part of who I am. I have to be creative on a daily basis, so to do anything else or something that wasn’t creative would just feel wrong.  Even when something goes so awry, is hard or annoying, I still wouldn’t want to change jobs and I move through it and push forward.  I may take a step back and cool off for a few minutes or hours, try to think about something from a different perspective, research various ways to alleviate the situation, or talk to friends and family to get advice, but I always come back to it.  If you’re passionate and/or connected to what you’re doing this should feel natural. In terms of burnout…Burnout is very real and happens to the best of us.  I experienced burnout living in NYC 3 years ago and I solved that by doing a combination of things.  I learned how to meditate, I went on yoga and wellness retreats where I knew no one, I read about ways to unwind/destress, I went to weekly therapy sessions, I researched what real “happiness” was – go watch the HAPPY documentary if you haven’t already, and after all of that, I took the month of August of 2016 to road trip through Southern California, to turn off from social media, reconnect with myself, and push myself out of my comfort zone and routine, which in turn led me to fall in love with Venice, California – and move west 6 months later. Are there days where I feel more motivated than others?OF COURSE.  Somedays I want to sit on my couch in silence in sweatpants eating ice cream, with zero social media, no writing, no creating, no makeup and no feeling like I have to be on or photo ready. And I let myself do that wholeheartedly with no judgment (ok maybe just a little judgement because I do have a hard time turning off…)  But once I rest + recharge like that – I feel inspired again and ready to tackle whatever it is I am working on or create something amazing.  We all get waves and spurts of creativity, productivity levels and energy – this is very normal!  Ride those waves and let yourself rest and recharge when you need it without beating yourself up. If you’re worried that you’re resting too much and not able to get back up/have that energy you want even if you are doing something you love/are passionate about, then I highly recommend you see a therapist to explore whether something is holding you back emotionally (i.e. self esteem, negative thoughts, childhood issues, the people in your life, etc.) and take the time to evaluate your diet.  Brain fog is REAL and I personally get it when I eat too much starch, sugar or high histamine foods (I’m histamine intolerant) and not enough veggies and protein.  It comes on very fast and can last for hours, days, weeks, months, and even years if you aren’t aware of it. It can make you feel heavy, tired, depressed, unable to concentrate, moody, or just very BLAH.  Food is medicine and one of the most powerful things we have access and control over. I urge you to not underestimate the direct correlation between your diet and mental health. RECAPI truly hope you learned something from this post.  The top 5 things I want to highlight are; Don’t take anything personal, Don’t be afraid to ASK for what you want – you’ll never know if you don’t try, Don’t underestimate the link between your diet and your level of motivation/overall mental health, Be mindful of the people you surround yourself with at home and at work – do they lift you up? and HUSTLE because no job is easy and if you want something done you are going to have to work your ass off to get it. The quote “Choose something you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life” is misleading because you WILL have to work and it won’t always be pleasant, BUT it WILL be worth it if it is something you are passionate about and believe in the long run. As always feel free to email me with any questions and please leave me a comment below if there is anything else you’d like to expand on in future blog posts!
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