Be your best and achieve your goals! Take care of business! Reach your dreams and live the life you love! How to gain followers! Increase your pageviews! Make money while living the dream! And on it goes…
Each morning for the past two years, I wake up to over 50 email notifications on my iPhone that are solely business strategy. Newsletters, subscriptions, and blog posts all about how to be an amazing entrepreneur, blogger, business owner, or whatever I want to be. Daily deal sites, websites, and stores offering amazing sales and prices on things that will make my life so much better! Each of these emails and different sources have been a great resource to me at one time or another. Some of them I save to read again later because they were so encouraging. Some I deleted because they didn’t apply to me. But what ended up happening four months ago was that I would wake up, pick up my phone, and lie in bed for a few minutes “cleaning out” my inbox. 20+ emails would get deleted straight away before I even got out of bed. Then I would switch over to Twitter to catch up (where I was 300+ tweets “behind” each time I checked it)…and would scroll past countless tweets about blog posts, articles, and strategy tips on business to see if the people I loved following had anything to say in the time I was away.
And this got to be annoying. I was getting tired of my full inbox that had no real value. I mean, I would get excited waking up to 50+ emails, only to find by the end of my “clean out” that none were personally written to me. And all of these business “cheerleaders” I got emails from each morning were only filling my inbox with information I ended up not reading.
So it finally came down to the big words that every blogger dreads…
I went through and started hacking away at my list of emails and people I followed. There was just too much valuable information out there…and friendships…that were getting daily drowned out by the “BE THE BEST YOU!!!” messages. And you know what?? I don’t want to be the best me. I don’t want to spend my life working towards the life I’ve “always wanted.” Because the life I am living is my life – right now. I want to receive emails that build into my life. That tell me that my struggles with my three-year-old is normal. Not an email with a 5 step program to make more money. I want to scroll through Twitter and read about the fabulous blessings happening in my friends’ lives…not countless links to affiliate posts and sponsored marketing.
I came to realize that I was over-strategizing myself. [I know, probably not a word.] I was inundating myself with messages I thought would bring value to my blogging and business, but in the end, it was just clouding my brain and inbox and giving me the sense that what I was doing was just not enough. For you, this may be the million people you follow on Twitter hoping for a follow back. Or it may be the fact that you miss out on the “good tweets” from your friends announcing a new baby, house, or something else because your feed is clogged up. This is just not good. Sure, these blogs and newsletters and tweets may have amazing information. They may offer you something for free for subscribing. [I mean, heck, I even mention a freebie for my newsletter subscribers.] But are they making your life better? Or are they just filling space until they’re deleted?
I am not just asking you to go unsubscribe to all the emails…but what I am asking you to do is consider why you’re subscribed to or following them. I once wanted to learn everything I could about sewing. So I followed a TON of sewing blogs on Twitter. Well, I don’t sew anymore. My poor sewing machine is sitting all wrapped up in my garage. These women are über talented and wonderful, but I didn’t relate to or need the tweets about sewing tips, tutorials, or starting a handmade sewing business. What I DO love is blogging. Reading. Writing. Marriage and Family Therapy. And so I started following people that interested me. Information that was useful and exciting for me. And I took pressing the “follow” button a LOT more seriously. And you know what? Its okay if you follow someone or get an email for a while that builds into you, but when your focus shifts, to move on.
Just be aware of what you’re putting before your eyes, what you’re inundating yourself with, and the message you are allowing yourself to hear over and over. If that message is that you could be better, have more followers, or build a big blog in 7 days, then I challenge you to really think about your focus and think about what you really want to be teaching yourself. Because when you over-strategize, you could be singing a “you’re not enough” song to yourself that pushes you to make blogging or social media the thing that brings you value.
Because you are more valuable than your Twitter following. Or the quality of your Instagram photos. So go, girl, go unsubscribe your heart out. Maybe de-cluttering your inbox will be the start of de-cluttering your heart of the message that you aren’t enough. Because you are. xo