One year down...

My blog anniversary was on June 24th, and in the thick of life and all things....I missed it. BUT, I am so thankful for all the support over this past year. Blogging was a sporadic idea that I thought would fail...but I needed to prove to myself that If I failed, I would at least do so gracefully knowing that I tried.

The year has been so challenging and rewarding. No one tells you how hard it is to build your own brand, and to stay true to your brand no matter how many people try to sway you. Blogging looks like an amazing journey filled with free clothes and sponsored content, but I take this seriously. I know that when I wear things, or say gives so many of you hope and confidence to do even more.

I always get asked what my advice to new bloggers are. And it is simple.

. Do not measure your path to success by the speed someone else's took  - When I started to blog, I looked at how fast other's were growing and I would sit and wonder what I was doing wrong. The growth came when I decided that my journey could never compete with anyone else's, and for that reason I kept my head down and pushed HARD.

2. Never stray from who you are because it makes someone else uncomfortable - I am the girl who will take on an instagram bully any day, not because I love a fight...but because so many other people sit in silence at the words of the judgmental, and for that reason I will always use my platform to defend the many women like me who may not have the power to do so...yet.

3. Use your story as your weapon - A lot of bloggers have such interesting stories that truly have defined them. (good or bad). But the power of relatability comes from speaking your unfiltered truth. When I first wrote Growing Up Fat in Ghana, and The Plus Side of Dating...people told me to write about things that were less heavy, and to not share those things. But I didn't write for sympathy, I wrote for growth and healing. Knowing that those two pieces helped so many of you makes it all worth it.

4. Stay humble FOREVER - People always think that having a large following makes you a superhuman, but always remember that the people who read, repost, and like your content are the people you work hard for. No matter how big you get do not forget the people who support you every single day!!! I try my best to keep track of everyone who is an avid reader, and I have had the pleasure of meeting some of you in person. I will never be too big to check on how you are doing, your kids, and your family.

5. HUSTLE HARD, HUSTLE ALONE - I have learned the hard way that you can never teach someone to hustle for you, to speak for you, to fight for you, or to vouch for you. When you start to blog, you will have to sacrifice ALOT. You will miss things like parties, family gatherings, girls night, vacations. BUT if this is your true passion, the right people will support you regardless. Never expect people to understand how much work it takes,just keep pushing!

And for all of you who are waiting for a sign to start that boutique, clothing line, blog, book writing, or leave a career that is not for you. Remember how short life is and the power of following your passion. It will not be easy, and your bank account may never agree. BUT ask yourself this:

If I were to die today, whose dreams would you have fulfilled? Yours? or Someoene else's?


That Hayet Rida