In The Woman

Collaboration, Not Competition

Vancity Business Babes

This past Thursday night I had the pleasure of attending the Vancity Business Babes Blogger Party.  If you don’t know what Vancity Business Babes is, it’s a network of professional women who meet regularly at inspiring events put together by founder Danielle Van Zanten.  This month’s event was a little party for bloggers and vloggers, or women looking to get started in the industry, and featured a panel of wonderful women that are the very definition of “go-getter”: Bethany Menzel, Monika Hibbs, and Cassie and Ricci of To The 9s.  

vancitybusinessbabesI went with a couple of girls from work, and we drank tea mimosas, ate popcorn and cupcakes, and listened to these incredible and successful women share their secret sauce. They talked about the not-so-glamourous parts of blogging professionally; the hours of shooting and editing that goes behind a single aesthetically pleasing Instagram photo; the drive it takes to be your
own PR; the benefits of running your own schedule and working from home and making a substantial income that can’t be found elsewhere. It was enthralling and like sweet music to my ears.

This blogging thing isn’t new to me. I started my first official blog seven years ago on Blogspot and made the jump to WordPress in 2012. While I’ve made some changes more recently in branding and publication, I’m an old hand at sharing my inner thoughts with the internet. For a long time, it’s been a hobby and a way to express artistry and creativity in simple ways. It wasn’t until a few months ago that I started thinking about the possibilities of making this my actual job. I want to be a writer, and I’ve been doing it part time for ages. So why not put that down in the plan? Why not actually bring it into your sights and say, “Yup, I want this and I’m going to work for it.” Uh…because I’m afraid? Because I might quit my awesome job to do this blog stuff full time and then fail? Yeah maybe, but I could also fail at literally anything I attempt. Ever. I don’t have time for the part of my brain that lives in fear of striking out once in awhile.

Back to Thursday night. I sat and listened to these bold women encourage and inspire the rest of us. They didn’t make it sound like a cakewalk. None of them claim to be an overnight success, and none of them would say that it came without work. But they told me that it’s possible. That there are opportunities to be snatched up. These women could have easily hoarded their secrets, hoping to cut down Shabnar Jewelrythe aspiring bloggers in the room, but they didn’t. A huge part of what Vancity Business Babes is about it “collaboration, not competition”. If you’re a professional woman like I am, you’ll understand what a precious thing that is. These panelists were rooting for us. They were like a four-person cheerleading squad, urging me on to my dreams. And I’m so grateful for them.

It was a Thursday night well spent. Some lady bonding time, four notebook pages of scribbled notes, and did I mention I won a prize? There were some incredible vendors on site and I was the lucky winner of a bracelet from  Shabnar Jewelry. Braided brown leather with a solid gold peace sign charm. It’s dainty and subtle and so totally me. You could look in my journal and it would tell you that my word for 2016 is Peace —  in God’s timing and plan, in the actions and choices of others, in the things I can’t control, in the journey. I started a journey with the redesign of this blog, and the goals I attached to it. I’m clinging to peace as I navigate it and watch things unfold, shooing away fear and insecurity.


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