Too Fat To Blog?

“Am I too fat to blog?” the thought had crept into my mind the moment I got serious about blogging and building a brand. Creating online content means putting yourself out there in the form of video, picture, audio and written word. I wanted the blog to be fun, honest and bring value to my audience, but the very thought of starting, brought huge amounts of self-doubt and insecurity. As I gazed down at my body I questioned myself, am I too fat to blog, am I too fat to build a brand?

I had watched women of all sizes create amazing platforms on social media and to be honest, I hadn’t thought about their weight either positively or negatively. The reason I watched their content was because they provided value, humour, good-vibes and personally made me feel good while I consumed it.

The fear might sound irrational, because so many different types of people all over the world create successful brands and businesses everyday, regardless of their appearance…but it didn’t seem irrational to me at the time. I had looked up to major bloggers and brands with beautiful, strong  women running them. I was honestly worried that my appearance wouldn’t measure up and that my appearance is what mattered most.

I mean hell, I can fully admit to enjoying good food, often, and not exercising as regularly as I should, but should that stop me? Should it stop anyone ? 

The obvious answer is NO FREAKING WAY!

Anytime you put yourself out there on social media you have to be ready to put up with some level of criticism. What you shouldn’t have to put up with is believing those things long after the laptop has been closed, and you’re sitting at home wondering if you’re good enough.

It took a lot of journaling and taking time to figure out what exactly it was that I wanted to share with people. I am “The Self-Care Enthusiast”, after all…I can’t come to you honestly and say I don’t have doubts or insecurities. I can’t offer you only images of me in a designer bathing suit sprawled out suggestively on the beach (although, if you’re into that thing live it up, do you girl!). What I can offer you are seriously open and vulnerable blog posts about the good and the bad aspects of self-care, mental illness and entrepreneurship. I can be real with you, because sometimes that’s all we need.

So yeah, before I started the blog, my Instagram, the Facebook community and the brand as a whole, I was scared shitless because I thought I was too fat to be taken seriously. I write this while I eat a piece of pizza, after practicing a 30 minute yoga session in my spare bedroom. I’m finding balance babe, any way that I can.

I write this because there are a lot of us out there creating content and sometimes it’s nice to hear that other people are just as human as you. If you’re afraid to start, I’ve been there. My advice? Create the content, figure out why and who you’re creating it for and have fun with it all. If you aren’t having fun with it no-one else will.

Oh, and the best way to deal with an internet troll is the block button. Don’t give them the satisfaction darling, you’re worth so much more than that.

 

Love to you all,

Carlee.

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IF YOU AREN’T CONNECTING, YOU AREN’T BRANDING

Business as far as I can tell is exactly like life.

Once you have everything you’ve wished for whether its money, or cars or a successful small business, what matters comes into focus.

Connection.

Connection is what will build your business, brand, sell your products or build your community and lack of connection is most assuredly what will stop whatever you’re doing from growing.

The only true way to build connection is to actually give a shit.

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Whether you connect in person or on social, you’ve got to interact and start conversations with the people who take notice.

Giving a shit means that you’ll find creative ways to connect, you’ll ask better questions and when you provide value to others you’ll do so on a much deeper level.

You’ll basically set yourself up to be a leader in whatever you choose to do IF you’re passionate about it enough to put in the time and effort it takes to connect.

It isn’t easy, it takes a lot of work and a ton of time, but if you’re willing to go the extra mile day in and day out to build a strong foundation of people willing to support you than you’ve won.

You’ve won because that’s realy all that life comes down too, the relationships you build along the journey and how many people you’ve helped along the way.

We all know this, yet we still fail to act on our knowledge.

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In my opinion, people fail to act because they don’t see the quick results. Building relationships in business is exactly like growing in a long-term romantic relationship. Sure at first you really like each other and you laugh at each others crappy jokes but as the years go on you actually begin to love each other, know each other on a different level and if it’s really good, you wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Branding is the same thing. It takes patience, effort, time and even forgiveness at times. If you can understand the similarities and your in a position of geniunely caring about what you do, you will succeed against all odds.

A brand isn’t built from a logo or pictures with the same aesthetic.

A brand is engaging with your audience on a whole other level.

If your good your competition will take months or years to catch up.

If your extra good you won’t even give a shit about your competition because you’ll be so focused on building those connections.

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So how do you connect?

Like, share, comment, direct message. Start the conversation and keep it about the other person. Good things take time.

And you never want to be the friend who only takes to someone when they want something…

Are you building a brand? What tips on connecting with your audience do you have?! Would love to get sharing.

 

Carlee xoxo

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A GUIDE TO MORNINGS FOR THE NON-MORNING PERSON

Coffee, coffee and more coffee. (Just kidding…not really)

Mornings for some are this glorious time when everyone else is still sleeping, its quiet, the birds are chirping outside the window, and the smell of fresh coffee brewing fills the kitchen…wonderful!

For others, like myself, mornings would be more appreciated if they were actually afternoons.

Sadly, that’s not productive, nor how most of the world works.

So how can non-morning people cash in on all the extra hours, quiet time and coffee?!

The truth is now… I set about 10 different staggered alarms that bug the shit out of me until I get up.

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I also have this thing you might have heard of called “The Self-Care Enthusiast” which I’m extrememly passionate about and that more than anything has helped me to get my ass out of bed in order to cash in on the extra hours. More than I’d do for any job I worked for where I was just recieving a paycheck.

Here are some serious tips that have helped me in my journey to becoming a semi-morning person. (I appreciate them…I don’t have to like them.

1. Have an automated coffee maker.

Coffee is literally my very first thought in the morning. It isn’t until after I’ve had coffee that I can actually begin to function normally, and by normally I mean slow and steady. The heavenly smell of fresh coffee in the morning makes me want to get up and run into my kitchen. So…yeah, automated coffee makers are the best. #caffeineaddict

2.  Set your morning up right. 

By this I mean spend at least five minutes each night getting organized in the morning. You will thank me later, trust me. Not having to think early in the morning takes all the icky stuff away from waking up. If I had to suddenly remember the 6 phone calls, 2 meetings and 1 delivery I had to make throughout the day, and get organized imediately upon waking, I’d want to sleep in forever. Likewise, if you have to walk into a messy kitchen…it’s kind of depressing. You don’t want that when you’re waking up at 5am. *eye roll* Get organized, stick to the evening routine and mornings will actually become kind of refreshing.

3. Get yourself a musical alarm (preferably your favourite song of the month) and use it. 

I LOVE music for a while in my teens I dreamed of being a song-writter and having hit songs sung by all the latest artists. Now, I admire the music and love to dance right along to it. Adding a musical alarm means the song gets into my brain, even when I’m half asleep and the last thing I want to do is put my feet on the ground. Once I hear that song it’s game over, and I feel happier in the mornings. I’m a little hillbillie so my song choice this month is “It’s A Great Day To Be Alive” by Travis Tritt.

4. Get Yourself A Pet. 

Okay, so I understand this one’s kind of a cop-out but hear me out. I now have a cat (Quincy Jones) and a puppy (Alice). Each morning Quincy will wake me up at the crack of dawn meowing for what is likely just attention…not annoying at all. Alice then joins in and I have to go take her out to use the bathroom, if I don’t I’ll be the one cleaning it up in house. So I’m literally forced to wake up early even if I don’t smell coffee, or I didn’t complete my evening routine or the musical alarm didn’t work it’s magic on me. Obviously don’t just get a pet to wake up early… LOL you never know these days, I have to add a disclaimer.

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The honest no bullshit answer is that mornings are still hard for me but having something you are passionate about and goals that drive you will make you want to make use of the extra hours in the morning. I’m slowly getting better with it.

These days I’ll stay up until midnight – 2am and wake up around 6am or 7am. I try to balance between work and self-care which for me looks like walking the dog, quiet meditation, yoga or reading a book. It’s not always easy but it is always worth it.

Here’s to the actual morning people, bless your souls, keep on keeping on.

Here’s to the night owl’s, may the moons energy fuel you baby!

Honestly, let me know how you handle mornings and how you’ve allowed yourself to wake up even just 10 minutes early.

BTW if you have started waking up early, you go girl, do tell!

Carlee. xoxo

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HOW GARY VAYNERCHUK IS CHANGING LIVES (and totally changed mine)

I woke up Tuesday morning to an email from Gary Vaynerchuk. It was short, sweet and just what I needed. I had poured my heart out the night before at midnight during a moment of vulnerability and the ephiphany that I’m a fighter. (I’m guessing you are too.)

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This post actually starts a year ago when I had started consuming Gary’s content every single morning and every single evening before bed. I hadn’t yet acted on it, and to be honest, taking action in the form of a brand & blog is still fresh, but I knew I was fueling up.

A few months ago I started using LinkedIn, I didn’t really think I needed it because at the time I was a housekeeper at a retirement home, but as soon as I started connecting with people I realized it’s power. I added Steve Babcock, the creative director of VaynerMedia and a few weeks later he posted that VaynerMedia was hiring.

I sent Steve and the rest of the Vayner team a really honest email about my past alcoholism, the power of doing ANYTHING to achieve your idea of success… and the fact that I had completely fucked up college.

To my surprise I got an email back and a phone call from a recruiter. Even though I didn’t end up getting the job, living in Canada it’s tough for entry-level positions, we had a great talk about life, writing and the lessons tough shit will teach you.

I felt inspired, grateful, and my self-confidence was definitely boosted.

A week later I was gifted a signed copy of Gary’s book Crushing It.  (eeeeek!!! fan girl alert, it was so awesome!)

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Half-way through the book I realized I was definitely spending my time in dumbass ways like binge watching netflix for HOURS….(suits man, the lead lawyer Harvey is like, so hot), scrolling mindlessly through facebook and eating out of boredom.

I saw the roadmap for change and truly believed that if others could do it than so could I. (YES, I recommend reading the book)

That night I walked my ass four blocks to the nearest convenience store, bought a prepaid Visa card and started creating The Self-Care Enthusiast.

It’s a feeling I hadn’t had before, a true knowing that I will succeed or fail by my own doing. My future is in my own hands. Gary & his team are kind, considerate, passionate, smart, decisive and don’t bullshit you. Not only does his content make you believe you can do it, if you listen the right way, it makes you act on those beliefs to create something powerful.

You can learn something from every member of VaynerMedia. Steve even has this radical food diary on Instagram that I honestly thought was the coolest idea. It’s so simple but for some reason I want to look through everything he eats in a day….is that too weird?

This week I’ve got a 15 minute skype call with Claude Silver, Chief Heart Officer of VaynerMedia. A few months ago I wouldn’t have imagined she would give me 30 seconds…let alone 15 minutes. Life will totally surprise you.

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In addiction things got so bad that I finally said “that’s it I’ll do whatever it takes”. Hitting rock bottom forces you to level up or die. Rock bottom doesn’t have to mean addiction, it could be cleaning toilets for 8 hours a day, or going to your shitty factory job hating every minute of it. When you finally are willing to put in the work and do whatever it takes to make shit happen….the universe works with you.

I’m not saying by watching Gary Vaynerchuk your life will drastically change, all I’m saying is that for me…my perspective changed, I became focused and the joy of starting something surpasses all of the fear.

If you’re thinking about making a change, creating something, exploring something new…. do it. You are worth it.
…That what you wish for, wishes for you. And the entire universe wishes it too.

I’d love to connect with you and have a talk about all things self-care, passion, business and life!

I’m always here, in the community or on snapchat.

Carlee xoxo

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HOW TO BE A FOCUSED BADASS EVEN WHEN YOU’RE LIKE, SO BUSY. (and the best iced coffee recipe)

Right now I’ve got a lot of things on the go (don’t we all?).

School, working full-time and building The Self-Care Enthusiast.

Oh, and taking care of Alice. She has her own doggie blog section you can find right here.

All of this got me thinking, how does one keep it all together while juggling so many things? Shout out to the moms doing all this and more.

There’s the obvious answer like time management, which I’ve honestly had to work on and there’s a LOT of growing room left for me to improve.

I sat down to think about the not so obvious answer…

Things honestly didn’t change for me until I got concrete about what I wanted out of my life, my business, my relationships and my home environment. I had to get serious about where my future was going and realize I was the one that was in charge of it.

Not my boss, not my boyfriend, not my dog, not my parents…me.

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Before I got serious I was just floating through life, not focused at all. Like zero focus. None.

I grabbed a journal and got real with myself, like really real.

What did I want? What would my future look like? What would happen if I stayed the same?

It’s tough but the focus came when I set real goals AND started working on my own business. Having something that was mine, where it would fail or succeed based on how much work I put in was the game changer.

I feel like a great employee, I show up and get the work done, but for all the jobs I’ve had my heart just wasn’t in it. I’m SO much more focused and decisive when I have the freedom I need to make decisions and work towards supporting myself.

But that’s me, you might be the same or you might be a little different. The best part is you get to decide.

So, how do you become a focused badass even when you’re busy?

Intent, passion, set real goals… and using the calendar on your phone wouldn’t hurt either.

Of course never let anyone waste your time. I had to understand my own value and believe it before anyone else saw any value in me. Self-worth means saying no when you need to and if you’ve got shit to do, stay focused girl. Not everyone is worth your time right now. Yes, they deserve respect, kindness, a smile, but you’ve got 24 hours in a day and you need to remain a focused badass…okay?!

Oh, before I go, one other thing I’ve learned is that if I think of something I have to do, like call my dentist to reschedule an appointment, I have to do it right then in that moment or else I wait WAY to long…(this can’t be just me?)

 

 

….priorities, priorities, priorities.

Shall I just say this, especially for you my dear reader, the world would like us to be organized to perfection, every t crossed and every i dotted. I live life a little more on the wild before 9pm side. A little messy, a little chaotic, a little insanely focused on what I’m passionate about and litterally ignoring the rest until im forced to look up…

You’ll never go wrong with an alarm reminder, a paper calendar and utilizing the calendar in your phone, and a precise set of goals for the day.

If you want to go the extra mile iced coffee with cinnamon instead of sweetner is the best compliment to a kickass focused productive day. (Recipe for my favourite below)

Let me know how you stay focused…we can help each other.

Message me in the community or I’ll see you on snapchat,

Carlee. xoxo

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I try not to have dairy anymore for my own personal health reasons so I have my iced coffee with almond milk but you can subsitute with actual milk, soy milk, cream etc. 🙂

Iced Coffee With Cinnamon

Step 1. Brew your coffee. (easy enough, sometimes I brew a whole bunch so I can have it throughout the day)

Step 2. Let chill in fridge (in freezer if you’re seriously in a hurry)

Step 3. Get your cup or beverage container and add the desired amount of milk. (first)

Step 4. Add cinnamon 1-2 tsp and stir into milk.

Step 5. If you wish add a dash of  vanilla extract

Step 6. Add 5-10 iced cubes

Step 7. Pour in chilled coffee & stir.

Enjoy!