7 years ago on the way back from our honeymoon in Europe, I started what was called True Colours at that time, a blog that ecompassed everything from my travels to my daily life. It was a small amateur endeavor mostly to give me an outlet to write and keep my family and friends up to date on my life. In the past 7 years, True Colours morphed over time into Land of Marvels and over many and many renditions of this site, today LOM is a both a business and a creative outlet for me. It’s offered me countless opportunities over the years, opened a tremdendous amount of doors and brought some incredible people into my life from all over the world. Land of Marvels is also still a place that brings me immense joy and when I sit down to work on the site or write a post, it inspires me deeply. In all my years of blogging, this online world has changed tremendously and in the span of the 7 years I’ve been blogging, I’ve learned so so much and so many of the lessons I’ve learned online are ones that continue to inspire my personal life daily!
Don’t change who you are for anyone else.
I’ve always been of the mind set to be myself, no matter the cost but blogging has fortified that belief even more. There are a million people out there with a blog, but the ones that sustain themselves over time and that create a sustainable community are the ones that are true to themselves, no matter what that may mean. Don’t try to conform. Don’t do what everyone else is doing. Do what best suits you and don’t dare change that to be “more liked.”
Haters gonna hate.
I’d be lying if I said I haven’t shed a great deal of tears over the years from this blog. From mean comments on the blog or Instagram to GOMI forums that tore me apart and called me a liar for saying I was born in Saudi Arabia, I’ve seen a lot of hate in my time blogging. In the end, I realized that some people are always going to tear other people down and in the anonymity of the internet, it provides an easy place for people to tear others to shreds as if we aren’t all human beings. Haters gonna hate, but it doesn’t mean we have to submit ourselves to that kind of hate. I don’t read any of that stuff anymore and even if it comes my way every now and then, I laugh it off. I know who I am, I know what I’ve built and if you want to sit in your basement and write horrible things about me, who you’ve never met and know nothing about, then I guess go ahead – it doesn’t affect me anymore.
Treat anything you do in your life like you’re getting paid a million dollars to do it – even if you’re making $0.
I’m a small business owner and have had a successful design business for over 5 years now and as a side arm of that, Land of Marvels, is also a business. And while I don’t make a ton of money from LOM, it’s a business none the less. If I’ve learned anything from my businesses, it’s that it takes a tremendous amount of work to build something from the ground up. Whether you’re making millions of dollars or nothing at all, you have to put the same amount of work into it. Nothing is better than at the end of the day realizing that you built something on your own, learning all the lessons on your own and succeeding all on your own because of the work you put into it. I treat every endeavor in my life the same, whether I’m making a ton of money or nothing at all – I work really hard regardless.
Don’t be afraid to share what you’ve accomplished online.
One of the things that I hear so often in blogging circles is that people are afraid to share their identities online with people they know in real life. And I do get the divide, it’s weird at first to have people in your daily life merge with your online life. But at the end of the day, blogging is not something to be ashamed of, in fact we, as bloggers, should be really proud of what we’ve accomplished online by growing a following, working with brands and creating a community. It’s super hard to make it in the blogging world – so be proud of that and don’t be afraid to share it with people in your daily life.
A business is a business, no matter how small.
As a business, like I mentioned above, LOM doesn’t make very much money every year, but I have made connections in the travel industry and worked with brands and met amazing people which makes it super valuable to me. No matter how small it may be, a business is still a business and still takes a tremendous amount of work so don’t let size fool you in the blogging world. Even if your following is small, don’t take lightly how much work it still is to upkeep and support a blog – it’s a success no matter how small it is.
You never know what might be right around the corner.
One of the things that blogging has added tremendously to my life are the connections I’ve been able to make and the opportunities that have come my way from having Land of Marvels. I’ve created online friendships with people all over the world, stayed at some of the best hotels in the world and partnered with brands I love. When I add up what I’ve gained from blogging, it’s indescribable the worth it brings to my life. Land of Marvels has shown me that you never know what’s right ahead or what something might bring to your life that you’d never guess – so keep an open mind and hold on for the ride!