I enrolled in style school last week! Or that’s what I’m calling it anyway. It’s actually an international style and coaching school that feels like the school of my dreams.
It combines stylist and image consulting training with life coaching skills. It teaches how to help people find alignment between their internal value and external appearance to feel good inside and out.
My mid-life transition from therapist and coach to style blogger
It’s been a long road to get here. I started my career as a trained therapist and worked as a licensed therapist for several years. Initially, that felt like work I was meant to do. I was helping people and making a difference. But as an introverted, highly sensitive person and empath, it also left me emotionally exhausted and with no energy to give to other aspects of my life. I knew that I needed to make a change if I wanted to live a fuller life and not always be on the brink of burnout. The right work for me shouldn’t make me feel so depleted.
Around that time, I discovered life coaching and started taking coaching courses. As a result of my training, I landed a salaried coaching job working as an academic coach at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. A couple years later, I moved back to Charlottesville, Virginia, and got a job as a career coach at the local community college. And then after my grant-funded job ended a few years later, I worked for an internship program at the University of Virginia.
Throughout those years, I religiously read fashion and style blogs, created my own capsule wardrobes, and loved all kinds of style makeover stories.
Fast forward to my 48th birthday and I knew I was ready to move in a new direction. I wanted to write a fashion and lifestyle blog.
I’ve started a lot of blogs in my life but I judged myself anytime I wanted to write about style, thinking it wasn’t meaningful enough.
Studying my Human Design, I learned that I’m a Manifesting Generator. I long to work for myself and to follow sparks of inspiration to be creative. Seeing that on paper, I felt so seen. If you’re curious, you can learn more about Man Gens with this Ultimate Guide to Manifesting Generators (by a Manifesting Generator).
There’s something that happens when you’re nearing 50. You realize that now is the time to take care of unfinished business and do something you really want to do.
I also had to work through my self-judgment about switching gears. When people change paths a lot, our society often calls them “flaky”. That’s a judgment I’d internalized.
But the desire to follow my heart was stronger than the judgments. So I started this blog.
How’s style blogging going?
How’s it been along the way? I’m utterly and completely in love with it. My days start at 6:15 A.M. and I’m sad that I have to shut down my computer at the end of the day. It’s lovely, heart opening and completely and passionately absorbing. I’m not trying to gloat, I just want you to know that if there’s something you’ve always longed to do in your life, giving yourself permission to explore it feels incredibly self-loving and nurturing.
And along the way, I’m learning to be patient in the initial stages of building something new. It takes a body of work and technical know-how to build an online business.
And I won’t lie, this pivot totally confuses some people when I tell them what I’m doing.
They wring their hands with concern and look at me like I have two heads when they learn I left a steady paycheck to go out on my own. I’m immensely aware of how privileged I am to have savings and the support of my husband to fall back on and do this. My plan is to build this business up so I can support him as he pursues his dream of drawing full time. But one step at a time.
I also get lots of questions from people about how you actually make money from blogging. It’s understandable to have no clue about how blogging or content creation is monetized if you’re not doing it.
10 years ago, when I first started reading blogs, women devoted every free moment of their time to blogging, without any framework for how to actually make a living from it.
And in that time, they blazed the trail for bloggers to get book deals and product lines. And now there are ad networks, podcast networks, affiliate programs and apps, and digital product selling platforms.
Blogging and social media influencing became a legitimate way to make money. And to help people from where you are.
As a result, women are now rewriting the script on how they work and make money. Some women are creating a way to get paid in the midst of a tough job market. Others are deliberately rejecting traditional workplaces in search of the freedom to make money on their own terms. And to be more available to their families.
The traditional structures for the workplace and for earning money were not set by women or made for women. And even if you bristle at the word patriarchy, (I did when I first heard it because it felt severe), women benefit when we support any creative measures to opt out of the traditional power structures for earning money and influence, and to make money on our own terms.
A host of other people benefit from exploring innovative ways to earn a living; individuals with disabilities, with chronic health issues, migraines, insomnia, mental health issues, autoimmune conditions, plus highly sensitive people and empaths.
And there’s a democratization of influence that’s come from the rise of social media, blogs and online platforms. If the term democratization of influence is new to you, it’s a phrase I use to refer to the fact that anyone can have a platform to have a voice. Regardless of race, socioeconomic status, social circle, or power structures. Influence is available to everyone with imagination and inspiration, and creativity is your currency.
Online entrepreneurs are digital pioneers. Exploring new territory with the hopes of establishing a new way of working and a better quality of life.
Please don’t think I’m naïve about it, though. There’s still a lot that needs to be done to ensure these platforms are safe and healthy places for everyone to be.
What’s next at Be So You?
You’ll notice that I’m reducing my blog posting schedule from 3 posts a week to twice a week so I can devote more time to working on setting a solid foundation for this site. And to free up time to participate in two training programs.
When you have a dream, you have to support yourself to be successful by investing in training.
I’m taking a course for content creators about income generation, in addition to my style program.
I’m excited to see how these trainings shape and inform my style, knowledge and business moving forward.
I invite you to follow along and see how my style transforms through my training! Won’t that be fun to see! Thanks for following me on the journey. I’m so glad you’re here!
Have a question? Ask me anything! Drop a comment below.