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I don’t want to beg.
I have a weird relationship with blogging. I want my blog to grow and give me cool opportunities, but I don’t want it to grow because I fear it will lose its original direction and get too commercial. Of course I’d like to make more money from the blog, but I don’t want to be a sell-out. In a dream world, I’ll keep doing what I do now, and great brands will find me and ask me to partner with them. A magazine I respect will contact me and ask me to write for them. I will have a door open for me at the right point in life, and it will be a door I will want to walk through.
I’ve always been a hard to get kind of gal. I smile a lot, I flirt a bit, but if you want me you have to come get me. I rarely am the first to ask a new friend to coffee, I have sent a total of three cold pitches in my blog career, and most of my jobs and opportunities have come because I have been sought out or through an established connection. I should know better, the one time I didn’t play hard to get was when I met Karl. I was so smitten I chased him down, I told mutual friends I liked him, I visited him at work, and pretty much forced him to call me. Even with the great success of being bold with Karl, I still am a hard to get kind of gal.
The thing is, in this field you're expected to beg. Amy Odell recently wrote about this, and every blogger is grabbing that post, seeing it as gospel, and running to her computer to send begging emails to Vogue, Lucky, and Cosmo. They're running to New York to see how much attention they can get, how in your face they can be, so they can get their big break. And I see the success of begging every day – weird brand/blog partnerships, bloggers who half-ass it getting crazy sponsorships, crappy writers getting amazing writing opportunities with great publications. It's not the quality of the product, it's the quantity of begging.
By choosing to not beg, I know the opportunities I receive are based upon merit, not my groveling skills. I’ll network, I’ll reply to emails, I’ll follow up and be smart, but I do hold back from making the first move because I want to be sure the opportunity is deserved, not just convenient. I know, I know, I'm shooting myself in the foot. I know the only reason I am married to an amazing man is because I put myself out there and made sure he knew I existed; the only way I can get opportunities is if companies know I exist. But still I hold back. I always preach quality not quantity, I live by it in regard to clothing and the business of blogging.
Maybe I’m being stupid and hard headed, but life has been pretty good for me being hard to get. I know where I stand, I have quality friendships and business relationships I trust, and I am not constantly panicking over networking and branding and getting to the next level. The blog has grown organically, the opportunities I have received have been amazing and a good fit for me and for the site. I don’t make as much money as blogs with half the audience size, but instead I have some serenity, control, and freedom.
Being hard to get isn’t so bad. It’s a calmer existence, though it may not be as fruitful. It gives one time to make it far more worthwhile when someone else decides to make the first move. I may never get that dream opportunity, but I will always know where I stand and that I am liked and wanted for who I am, not how well I beg.
I can't beg, I won't beg. I'll just preach quality over quantity, live by it, and see where life takes me.