Today is my three year anniversary of blogging. I can’t really believe how much our lives have changed in three years. I wanted to share how I’ve felt about the last three years, what I’ve learned, loved, and what is next for Five for the Road.
I started Five for the Road jumping all in to a world I had not idea about. I knew nothing about blogging or running a website. I didn’t have Pinterest or Twitter or Instagram. I had a basically inactive Facebook page. Then I started blogging.
At first I started to help others plan their family vacations. I always did a lot of planning and research before our trips and thought I could help other families plan their own. This was in August of 2016. 30 days later things changed.
I had been writing posts on a site that I didn’t own and after a month realized I wanted to really see what I could do with this. I became self-hosted, purchased my domain and officially became a blogger.
From there I do what I do for anything, I research like crazy. I soaked up all the information I could about blogging as a business and started to make my way into this new world. I opened social media accounts and did all the things. At this point my youngest was in his last year of preschool so I was home with him. I worked nights and weekends.
I lived and breathed the blog. I was so passionate and excited. I was fearless. I made lists of dream brands I wanted to work with and I started to think of this as more than a blog. Five for the Road was going to be a business.
Year 2 rolled around and it would be the first time in 8 years all of my kids would be in full time school. Sending my baby to kindergarten was a little easier because of the blog. I threw myself into my work and it ended up being one of the best years. I was grateful for the distraction of the business and it kept me busy with something I loved while the kids were at school.
Year 2 was a year of opportunities for me. I went to my first conference at Walt Disney World followed by my first solo trip to New Mexico at the end of the year. I worked with almost everyone on my dream list and I thought I had it all figured out. It was an amazing year.
I went into Year 3 thinking things could only get better. I was wrong.
My passion for what I was doing started to flounder based on what I thought I was supposed to be doing. I was drowning in overwhelm of doing everything and doing nothing right. I would look around and see everyone doing things that I wanted to do and I started to compare every last detail of what I was doing with others.
I am a mostly positive person and I celebrate the successes of others but it is not easy to be happy when you feel like you just can’t get where you want to go. I set up big goals for myself this year, goals that with 3 months left of the year, I have yet to cross off my list.
During this summer I took time off with the kids and really allowed myself to sit with all of my thoughts on the direction of Five for the Road. Where do I want to go with this? What do I want to do? What do I want to be known for?
I read countless business books and branding books and motivational books. I took little action on the outside but on the inside I was doing big things. I was going through all these ideas and thoughts and really taking the time to think about what I should do with them.
I am an action… then think kind of person. Typically I have an idea and run so far with it I never truly decide if it will help me move in the direction I want to go. This summer I sat with my ideas. And sat some more.
The blog was not just a place to encourage families to create lasting family memories. The blog was a business. I needed to figure out how to keep the passion and spirit and enthusiasm, and also make it successful and profitable. It is not an easy balance.
Year three has given me the tools to feel uncomfortable and reignite the passion I felt in year 1. It has seen some growing pains and disappointment but with those things comes clarity. It has cleared the way for me of what I want and how I want to get there.
As I look into the future of year 4 I dream big. I see big things for all the work I am putting into this. I see success in ways I don’t fully understand yet.
I am a bit wiser than year 1 to know that with success comes failure. Everything will not be a win but if you know in your heart where you want to go nothing can stop you. Year 4 is the year of seeing exactly what I want, knowing why I want it, and working so hard to get there.
Thanks for being part of our community and our adventure.