Sometimes you just need a push!

In November 2015 (wow that’s 6 months flown by already!), I attended a Personal Branding course in order to learn how to market and package myself successfully. Not only did I learn how to do that but I learnt a hell of a lot more! 6 hours with the awesome Andrea Edwards pretty much transformed my life. I now understand what Nicci McShane stands for, who she is, what she wants out of life and what her dreams are. I would like to take this opportunity to say a massive thankyou to Andrea for helping me find my voice, the confidence, the belief, give me the big push I needed and the ability to see the open doors in front of me which I never thought existed!

It’s not easy to build your brand but like it or not, we all have one. We either allow it to be defined for us on our behalf or we choose to direct and nourish this ourselves. Only you know how you want your life to unfold, what your visions and goals are and what you stand for! This is where it all begins.

For a few years I have been itching to create my own blog. But how? What would it be about? I am interested and curious about so much in the world, I couldn’t limit myself to one topic. So how could I add value and make a difference? What about my own life? My own experiences and thoughts? I have so many ideas but how do you share these? I didn’t have the confidence nor the appreciation and understanding of the power of social media until 6 months ago. Since then I have spent much time researching, learning and setting myself goals thanks to 2 other amazing people Nicola Deakin and Charlie O’Connnor from Vibrant Frog (I will tell you more about this in a later date!) and on 6th April 2016, I launched niccimcshane.com.

We all have hobbies as we grow up, mine have ranged from sailing as a kid, becoming a qualified nail technician, learning furniture design, a style and fashion obsessive – the list goes on but whilst I have enjoyed them all, none of them have brought me as much satisfaction as blogging. It has helped me to become a better version of myself.

So why do I blog and what do I love about it?

1. It builds my confidence – I can share my own opinions, inner most thoughts and if I wish, dare to be controversial! It’s an incredible feeling when readers take the time to share one of my articles, retweet or like my Facebook and Instagram page. It quickly makes me realize that I do have a voice and that people are interested.

2. It makes me appreciate everything – as I share my life and experiences, it is making me look around and notice more. I am more intentional about the way I live my life. I have become more open minded, I capture things I probably didn’t notice before and I am keen to share them with the world.

3. It disciplines me – I work full time in the financial industry and blogging requires time, devotion, commitment. For me, I spill out my draft version, then tweak, then tweak again, then sleep on it, then tweak again. It can take 3 days to publish an article so it’s just about getting into a good routine to make sure my articles are posted frequently and on time. I recommend getting a Blogger Journal! Mine is fantastic thanks to COCOCHIC, it includes hints, tips and checklists to make sure I haven’t forgotten anything and it keeps me on track!

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COCOCHIC: The Blogger Journal 2016

4. It allows me to help others – in sharing some of my expat experiences I have received messages from readers who have expressed their gratitude in appreciating that certain feelings and experiences are normal, it has allowed some to prepare in what to expect. It’s heart-stirring that I can help make a difference to others.

5. It’s a way to document my life, an online personal journal – it’s important to remind yourself of your achievements. A recent exercise on a course I attended with Nicola & Charlie mentioned earlier, was listing your achievements in the last 10 years. I have never done that before. I am immensely proud of what I have achieved, I have now committed to myself that I will continue to list them and will do so through my own blog. Working on my goals and dreams are the next steps, what do I want to achieve in the next 10 years? Remember, it is okay to have dreams!

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6. It makes me happy – this is a biggie for me as I am striving to make sure that my life is a dam good and happy one. I only live once, I don’t get another shot at this and I am determined to maximize my life! The feeling I get when I have inspired someone, that someone has enjoyed reading one of my articles, that someone is going to visit a bar or restaurant I have been to…this is overwhelming support from my readers so far and is a phenomenal feeling that my words have impacted them in a positive way.

What is important to remember is that every one of us has an opinion, an experience, a thought, a vision, a memory. Every person you meet every day has a story to tell and will always know something you don’t. Everything you see every day is special and has a purpose. There is something we can learn from everything and I say embrace it!

N x

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