BelleLive Blog Tour

BelleLive Blog Tour

How Entering a Contest Literally Changed My Life

Sound dramatic? This catchy headline is an example of one of the many things I learned by participating in the creativeLIVE workshop, Build a Successful Creative Blog” taught by  April Bowles-Olin of BlackburgBelle.com

But this headline isn’t just “link bait”.

Here is the story…

Reading my myriad emails one day, I saw that PhotoJoJo was promoting a contest to win a fancy camera. I personally only use my iPhone to take pictures (and, up until April 2013, my Motorola Razr!) but my husband is a photographer and he’s always saying he needs another camera, so I entered. The contest was run by Snapknot, a blog for photographers, and of course, to enter you needed to sign up for their newsletter. This was not a problem for me, being a serial newsletter subscriber. I figured I could just as easily ignore their newsletter as I could the dozen others that pour into my inbox.

Red Scorpio creates bold unique statement jewelry. 100% Handmade by richelle shadoan. Beaded bracelets and necklaces make perfect gifts for the woman in your life who has everything. How to be awesome. Step out of your comfort zone. Live an artful life. Dare to be awesome.

My inbox. For real, you guys.

One day, though, Snapknot promoted a free online class for photographers, maybe it was for Photoshop, I can’t remember, but being a knowledge junkie I clicked the link and ended up at the creativeLIVE home page.

It may as well have been Heaven.

Free classes for creatives? Five channels? Every Day? Yes, please! I immediately created an account and started RSVPing for classes. My first was “The Art of Selling What You Make” by the ultra fab Tara Gentile. After that, I was hooked. I watch creativeLIVE just about every day now.

Red Scorpio creates bold unique statement jewelry. 100% Handmade by richelle shadoan. Beaded bracelets and necklaces make perfect gifts for the woman in your life who has everything. How to be awesome. Step out of your comfort zone. Live an artful life. Dare to be awesome.

Me, watching Janine Warner talk about me on CL. Is that meta?

 

So, a couple months back, I was checking out the calendar and saw a new class listed, April’s class for bloggers. Of course I RSVP’d. Then, for some reason, I decided to take the next step and apply to be in the audience. I do stuff like that sometimes. I never in my wildest dreams thought I would actually be chosen so imagine my shock when I got the email from producer Kate welcoming me to the studio audience. I instantly panicked. Side note, I have suffered from anxiety for a while, but this past year it has ramped up to pretty much full-blown panic disorder and mild agoraphobia. So I was all sorts of stressed out, which I blogged about here. But, I love living life and collecting experiences, so I just knew this was something I had to do, whatever it took.

I worked out all the details, made the plans and traveled with my husband from San Diego to San Francisco so I could be a part of the adventure. I am so glad I did. Besides the amazing information, instruction and encouragement that April graciously shared with us, I got so much more out of it. I built relationships. Working from home, I felt very isolated at times. I didn’t have the  “tribe” that my mentors spoke of. That all changed with this workshop.  I met some truly amazing ladies; my fellow front row participants and April, all the wonderful people at creativeLIVE, and the fantastic community that was built from the vast online audience. I found my tribe and it rocks.

Red Scorpio at CreativeLive

Red Scorpio at CreativeLive

 

The greatest takeaway from April’s workshop is the relationships. They are vital to creating a successful blog and a successful business. In particular, the friendship with the simply marvelous Jane Dolan. We became “accountability partners” after meeting at the workshop and it has made a huge difference for me. I need to be kept accountable and Jane is the perfect partner. Not too hardcore, not too laid back, and I don’t want to let her down. We click. If you are struggling with keeping on task, I highly recommend getting a compatible partner to help you stay accountable.

 

Red Scorpio creates bold unique statement jewelry. 100% Handmade by richelle shadoan. Beaded bracelets and necklaces make perfect gifts for the woman in your life who has everything. How to be awesome. Step out of your comfort zone. Live an artful life. Dare to be awesome.

And my friend Kimberly, shown here wigging out with April at a CL wrap party.

Wigged out Wednesday

I’ve also kept in touch with Sage Grayson and her wonderful blog, Shasta on Twitter and Instagram and Jennifer‘s blog. I try not to be a creepy stalker and “like” everything they put out, but they are all really good at what they do.

So, when I say that entering that contest changed my life, I am not being hyperbolic. My life changed. I have learned so much from creativeLIVE and from April’s class, and a lot of it was stuff I learned about myself.

Red Scorpio creates bold unique statement jewelry. 100% Handmade by richelle shadoan. Beaded bracelets and necklaces make perfect gifts for the woman in your life who has everything. How to be awesome. Step out of your comfort zone. Live an artful life. Dare to be awesome.

Got this in my email Monday

 

 “This post is a part of the “What ‪#‎BelleLive‬ Taught Me” blog tour. In order to continue your journey, visit Anastasia Parmson  & Tiny Trailer Adventures,  or for a full list of participants please visit jocavagnis.com . Thanks for stopping by!”