2 Year Blogiversary | Q&A + Lessons Learned

February 06, 2018

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P.S: This blogpost is only 1 month too late, I mean, I was supposed to publish this first week of January, but never got around to taking the pictures, because, LIFE! #bloggerproblems ;) 
I guess this special occasion was just waiting for Joshua Tree to happen, sunset at the Cholla Cactus Garden was surreal, #mindblowing hues!! 
So now, instead of updating the content, I am just going to retain what I wrote back then, cuz #keepinitreal, plus, except the dates, everything else is still 1000% relevant! 


Happy New Year to all you wonderful people out there who are going at 1000 mph and already knocking those 2018 goals out of the park (while I am still trying to wrap my head around the fact that the holidays are over and we are already a few days into the New Year)! 
You all are such an inspiration, I admire you, and applaud you!!! 




2017 was hands down our best year (I say our because the hubs feels the same way, too)! Last year was amazing on so many different levels, and it was way beyond what we had hoped for when we started out the year making this announcement! I will probably save the rest of the deets for another post, but for now, let’s talk ALL THINGS BLOGGING… 

For one, I cannot believe that I have been on this surreal blogging journey for 2 years, I still remember those endless weekdays/weekends when the hubs and I spent several hours glued to the computer to bring this blog to life, read more here. While every.single.thing about this fascinating world of blogging was new to me in 2016 (I was trying to figure everything out, I won’t lie, I still am), 2017 was another story, I kind of knew what I was doing my 2nd year of blogging but to be honest, blogging was not my #1 priority for the year, being a mom was! And yet, despite not being able to spend a whole lot of time on my blog and business, the year 2017 brought with it a lot of unexpected-amazing-opportunities, I guess hard work does pay off one way or another. 

Here I am, planning the direction of my blog/business for the year ahead as I look back at what a spectacular ride the last 2 years have been. And instead of reiterating the lessons I have learned during the time, I am simply going to refer you back to my previous posts - Blogiversary: Six Things I have learned in Six Months and Blogiversary: A Year In Review, which still holds true, every.single.word of it! 

So in this post, I will answer some of the questions I frequently get asked as a blogger… but before I begin, I want to THANK each one of you with all my heart - every single like, comment, critique is what fuels my desire to do more, to do better, and keeps me going!!! 
I wouldn’t be where I am without all your support and love! 



Tell me about yourself, your journey, your story - traveling from India to a new life in  the USA?

I will start by quoting two of my favorites quotes; 
‘Life takes you to different places but love brings you home’. 
‘Home is where the heart is’. 

After getting my undergraduate degree in Engineering (Electronics & Communications) I came to the US (Boston) 9.5 years ago (wow, it's been a really long time!) to pursue my masters. I started dating my husband when I was still in school and couldn’t wait to graduate, get married and start a new adventure. We have been happily married for almost 7 years and just had a little angel, our baby boy who blessed our family 8 months ago - what can I say, life is beautiful! I am a true Taurus! My family and close friends are my whole life. I am not someone who has/wants a ton of friends, but the few friends close to me, I hold onto them for dear life!

I worked as a Business Analyst/Project Manager in a couple of bulge bracket investment banks on Wall Street. Walking down the streets of New York City for 5 years was nothing short of a dream come true (something I had only watched in Bollywood movies and fantasized about while growing up). But it was time to bid goodbye to the East Coast and say hello to life in the Pacific Northwest. Seattle has been home to us for the last 2.5 years, we love the outdoors over here, remarkable beauty all around (though I still can’t get used to the rain or the gloomy Seattle weather, I will take snowy NYC over this any day)!

Quitting the corporate world and becoming a full-time blogger wasn’t ever a part of my plan in life, but unexpected things happen in life and they happen for a reason!



Tell me about your blog Sveeteskapes and why you started to blog?

My lifestyle blog, Sveeteskapes is an outlet where I aspire to inspire others by sharing my passion for all things travel, fashion, fitness, food, and now the latest addition, parenting, will soon be including home decor too. 

My hubby and I love to travel and explore new places! We started going around the world (one place at a time) when we were dating/got married. And at that time, I mostly wanted to capture our traveling adventures and memories through a blog, but back then I never really found the time to do anything towards getting started with it (or maybe I lacked the motivation, who knows?). And over the years, other blog topics (that I feel very passionately about) were brewing in my head and finally, Sveeteskapes was born in Dec 2015; it required me quitting a well-paying-secure full-time job, and moving across the country. 

When my hubby and I moved to Seattle from NY/NJ in June 2015, I knew I did not want to go back to the corporate world, at least not yet. There was a fire in me to start something on my own, blogging was just one of the ideas I had but I wasn’t sure if that is exactly what I wanted to do (my hubby keeps joking that I am always coming up with new ideas and that I want to do a million things, all at the same time, haha). As we sort of settled down in Seattle and started to get comfortable with the new city, one fine day, I took a deep breath and told my hubby, ‘let’s get started with the blog’. 

My hubby and I like to get each other involved in whatever the other person is doing (except I can’t stand his favorite game, football (all the fans out there, don’t make this a reason to hate me ;)), so I wanted the two of us to build the website for my blog. While I designed the look and feel of the blog, hubby took care of all the techy, development stuff. But not having any kind of background in building a website or dealing with a quirky Blogger platform (Yep, I am still on Blogger, though not many believe it when they look at my blog) we spent countless hours during weeknights and weekends figuring out the platform, adding one element after another and debugging the heck out of it, and eventually the blog started to take shape and looked like what I had envisioned, and the rest is history now! You can read more about the meaning behind the name and everything else related to Sveeteskapes here



What opportunities have come your way from blogging?

I believe that blogging is more about the community than a one man/woman show! The biggest opportunities, as I see it, is not just working with big brands or getting paid big bucks for a campaign (though that would be ah-mazing), but it’s much more than that. To me, it’s been all about connecting, meeting and building lasting relationships with so many amazing women who are highly passionate about their craft, it’s about being inspired by them and learning from them. These women definitely make me become a better person, every.single.day! I am extremely lucky to have met some incredibly talented women both offline and online just because I am a part of this wonderful world of blogging. 


What are your blogging highlights?

I have been introduced to many, many (many) amazing people and experiences in the last 2 years which is all thanks to blogging! From being a part of the very creative group of women called ‘Bridging The Gap’ to going to LA for Blogfest during Idea World and working out with Tony Horton, Jillian Michaels to walking 60 miles during the Susan G. Komen 3 Day event here in Seattle to attending fashion shows at Neiman Marcus to trying several new healthy eats, cosmetics, clothes etc - I attribute all of these and much more to be the biggest highlights of my blogging journey thus far! 



What are some of your favorite posts that have resonated with your readers most?

My readers have received and responded to various topics I cover on my blog with much love and encouragement. But at the same time, it is so hard to play favorites when it comes to your own blogposts, but let me try to pick a few: 




Where are you headed next?

That is a great question, and wish I knew the answer to that one! But no, I am as clueless as a kid in kindergarten (I am sure even they have a fair idea of where they are headed, but not me). Because, by the time I have one thing figured out, I am on to the next thing. My head just doesn’t stop churning out random, crazy ideas and spitting them at me! But that’s what keeps my life exciting, and thankfully, I have a hubby (and now my baby, too) who supports all my crazy aspirations and dreams. I am so very fortunate that way! 



What encouragement (or advice) can you give to young mothers pursuing their dreams while raising a village?

Again, I am still figuring out this whole being-a-mommy thing and doubt that I’ll ever master the art. I do what works for my 8-month-old son, my family and I, it is all a trial and error, and I am sure it is going to be that way for the rest of our lives. In fact, I learn new skills on how-to-be-a-mom from my son every day. But to be honest, my little angel is the one who has made things easy for us new parents (touchwood!) - he allows me to do what I want - may it be me being able to partake in the 3-Day Susan G. Komen walk while he spends time with his dad at home or traveling (with him of course) or continuing with my day to day work and beyond, it’s all thanks to my baby boy! 

One thing I’d like to tell other moms - Do not give up on your dreams just because you are a mom. Instead, involve your kids in everything you do, in whichever meaningful way possible. That way you are not guilty of spending time away from them and at the same time, they get to learn so many life lessons just by looking at how beautifully you handle everything in life (or even messily at times, because, that is reality)! 

And mommy or not, here’s something I strongly believe in and would like to share with you all:

* Get out of your comfort zone and just get started on something you have always wanted to do! Trust me, you will learn all the tricks of the trade along the way.

* Be inspired by others’ work but do NOT compare yourself to others. You are your own competition. So, never stop learning and never stop growing. Always aim to get better and evolve at what you do.

* At the end of the day, give yourself a pat on the back for what you have achieved and always celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how big or small they are!

* And most importantly, find your tribe and build a community. Believe me, there’s no better feeling than being among the ones who get what you do and who have each other’s back at all times.



Lastly, tell us your greatest joy that has come from blogging and an interesting/funny fact not many know.

Hmm greatest joy, I would say it is definitely realizing just how lucky I am to be married to my husband. Not that I didn’t know I was lucky from the very beginning, but I say this because... not until you do something drastic, something out of the norm do you realize just how much (or how little) your partner, family and friends stand behind you and support you. I don’t know how my darling hubby is doing it (if I were him, I would have lost my mind with me, my insane schedule and my crazy ideas), but he’s been my rock, my greatest support and my biggest motivation (as always). Simply put, I wouldn’t be doing what I am doing without his unconditional love and support! Knowing that you are with the right man is definitely the greatest joy! 

What is interesting to me about blogging (among other things) is that it has helped me learn so much about myself. It very clearly lays out my strengths and my weaknesses before my eyes and it makes me want to learn every single skill required to excel at being a blogger/influencer. Like just the other day, I spent almost an entire day trying to get a video done for a brand campaign - I knew nothing about it up until then but I learned it during the process and I was so proud of the end result. Sure, there were many mistakes but I learn from them and do better the next time. 

Oh, I wake up at 3 AM (sometimes 2 even) in the morning to get my work done. I am most productive when the entire world is sleeping and when it is still dark outside. Call me weird (or nocturnal even), but I get easily distracted as the sun rises, so anything that needs my utmost attention and focus (like writing blogposts) is done super early in the morning - not sure if that is interesting or funny but it is bizarre for sure! 




If you made it to the end, give yourself a pat on the back, cuz boy, that was loooong… but I hope it answers some of your questions about me and my blog. And hopefully reading about my story/journey inspires you in some way (which is the ultimate goal of my blog)! 

Here’s to 2 years, many more to come…


SHOP THE POST

“Opportunity looks a lot like hard work.”
xoxo,
Kusum

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