Welcome to blog one hundred!
I honestly didn’t think I would ever make it here. It has taken me over six years of off again, on again blogging to hit this milestone.
That’s about one blog every three and a bit weeks.
Wow, calculating that feels like I’ve posted way more than I realised.
Maybe, that’s how this milestone has sneaked up me?!
When I started blogging again, about two months ago, I was SHOCKED to see I had over ninety posts.
And knowing that this is actually my second blog and there are a bunch of posts in an internet graveyard somewhere is mind boggling.
So to mark and celebrate the milestone, I’m going to share some thoughts, reflections, and insights from writing a hundred posts.
Just don’t quit.
It might have taken over six years, it might have been very sporadic at points, but I’ve reached this milestone because I’ve kept coming back to writing.
I’ve kept picking up my pen, tapping away on my keyboard.
I’ve kept coming up with ideas and spending time writing them.
I’ve been thinking about this alot recently with my dream of being a career coach and particularly the business I’m building. I keep reminding myself as long as I keep going, all of those dreams will come true.
Everytime it feels like I’m getting nowhere, I remind myself of that. As long as I keep taking action, little by little the momentum builds, the results come and my dreams become my reality.
And it’s this weird experience of the momentum feeling miniscule, almost invisible. Then it all of a sudden hits a tipping point and overflows into big shifts.
The lesson is you never know how close you are to taking the action that pushes things over the edge and the only way to find out is to keep talking steps forward.
It gets better and better.
Without even really trying my writing has improved, I’ve found my style. The simple act of continuing to write has honed my voice as they say. Producing the blog posts has been practice enough without reflecting too hard on where to improve.
The lesson is to just keep doing the thing.
Even in the last couple of months I’ve realised I can say what I want to say more easily and more honestly.
That’s partly a result of changes and growth in other parts of my life. As my career has taken off, as I’ve grown as a coach, it’s all contributed to my writing.
As I’ve worked with coaching clients, I’ve understood more about what they’re struggling with, what they need to hear and what I want to say to them.
It’s a reminder that everything in our lives has synergy. It’s all greater than the sum of the parts.
Making a leap forward in your career impacts your relationships.
Changing your home environment opens up a new possibilities with your health.
Our lives don’t go into discrete boxes. The various parts of ourselves and how we spend our time are not independent of each other.
It all goes together. It ALL interacts with and impacts with each other.
Which means focusing on one aspect of your life that’s challenging, like feeling stuck and uninspired in your career, has far reaching impact into all aspects of your life.
Be true to who you are.
I naturally write quite long blogs. Over 1200 words. I’m not trying to write long form, it’s just what comes (as you can imagine, Instagram captions can be a nightmare for me).
And for a while I was really conflicted about the trend towards short form content.
The noise about people not having attention spans any more and wanting sound bites.
To me, there’s no depth there. A sound bite might grab your interest for a second but it’s unlikely to cause any real reflection. You’re not walking away from a Reel or a Tweet with a new perspective.
Writing long form gives me an opportunity to offer you something of real substance. That can be immensely helpful in navigating certain moments in your career.
I don’t want to reduce my blogs into snippets. It’s not who I am and it doesn’t allow me to serve you the way I want to.
So I’ve been on this journey of trusting that how I write is perfect for my audience. How I write is perfect for achieving my goals.
I think of careers in the same way.
We start out thinking we need to be a doctor and be very scientific, data driven and calm in demeanor. And for a while, we try to make ourselves fit into the box.
With time, we realise that who we naturally, innately are is where our superpowers live. We embrace what makes us unique and build a career that fits us, not the other way around.
In the process we create something that feels easy, that feels like us. We break down narratives that we need to work hard, to sacrifice to be successful. And it all contributes to a world, where being who YOU are is perfect.
Be willing to be bad.
Speaking of journeys, I’ve come a really long way. Looking back at my old posts is wild!
Six years ago when I started An Independent Maven, I was 26 and working as a Business Consultant. What I was sharing back then was me trying to put my spin on things I was hearing in podcasts or learning in my first professional role after university.
I didn’t have the experience that I have now to really understand the nuance and form my own opinions. But I was trying, I was putting myself out there and that’s what matters.
Then I moved to London and shared about my ‘I Quit Sugar’ journey. Going back through my archives and seeing my attempts to be a lifestyle blogger is hilarious.
It’s a reminder to start. To try something. To learn as you go. I wouldn’t be here with 100 blog posts if I hadn’t written that first one inspired by running.
Being willing to have a beginner’s mind and not be very good at something can feel very counter intuitive in an Instagram world where everyone looks like they already have it figured out. Where it’s really easy to find people in a different part of the journey than you and despair of ever reaching the level of proficiency that they have.
Yet without a willingness to be terrible and for it to feel awkward, we can’t grow.
And when I look back at my early blog posts, I feel an immense sense of pride that I stuck with it all of these years and have created a phenomenal resource for women to support their careers.
What’s in a name?
The name An Independent Maven came from wanting to reflect a woman who is taking control of her life. Maven meaning ‘to be an expert in’. Independent reflecting a freedom of thinking, an openness to self discovery even when that didn’t align with external expectations.
The intention was to write about life, confidence, and productivity for her.
And I still write for that woman. For the woman that wants to find her own (independent) way in life. Who wants to define her own rules, who wants to live in alignment with what is most authentic and natural to her.
Essentially I define An Independent Maven as the woman becoming an expert in herself.
She’s still my girl (and I’m still her) but now the focus is on career, on success in the workplace. I write about your job being the conduit to that personal growth, that self expertise.
So as much as I’ve thought about changing the name to something career focused, to me An Independent Maven still makes sense.
Through a focus on reigniting careers, my blog and my coaching exist to support women to find the confidence to take their own path.
For women to find the expertise within themselves, about themselves, to act as the guiding light for creating a career that feels wildly in alignment with who they truly are.