I used to blog several years ago and left that behind after my blog actually opened the door to a career in Advertising/Media Sales. After many late nights, long hours and a successful media campaigns, I felt that I had built a career in the Advertising and Media space that I was really proud of. During this time, I also met a great guy, got married, had a baby and started feeling the urge to share my world again. I missed blogging. I missed belonging to a community of women that were just like me. So I started TorontoShay.com, an online collection of my life and style as I navigate life with my favorite people by my side, in the city I love more than anywhere else.
One of the biggest struggles that I have overcome is paying off all of my student loans and credit card debt. In my 20s, I felt invincible, bought whatever I wanted and spent money without a care in the world. I was the girl with champagne taste on a beer budget and created some really bad financial habits that came back to haunt me. Fortunately, I caught myself before any permanent damage was done, completely re-evaluated my relationship with money and took steps to ensure that I would be financially sound moving forward. This helped me to buy a home (with my husband) and plan for our future while still being able to indulge in a chic purchase, or two, or three!
In terms of advice, this may sound weird coming from someone who has a blog herself, but I would say do not be fooled by everything that you see on social media, a lot of it is smoke in mirrors (I’m guilty of falling for and even creating some of it too). I would also say that if you plan on pursuing a career in social media, being a truthful and authentic story teller is the best way to build a strong and engaged audience. Try to document and not create. In other words try to document your life as it happens in its perfectly imperfect splendour as opposed to trying to create a life that doesn’t really exist or that isn’t sustainable. We can all be guilty of the latter. Another thing that I would say is that being a blogger does not mean that you have to quit your day job – you don’t have to choose one over the other. You can do both AND be fabulously successful (at both)! In fact, being a blogger can help you be more successful at what you do from 9-5. It has been a huge help to my career. I’ve actually closed deals and booked clients in my day job based on insight that I’ve gained as a blogger and conversely, understanding what corporations look for in an influencer has given me an edge in the super competitive blogging game. Furthermore, I love following bloggers that also have cool careers – some of my favourite people to follow are Doctors (@Doctor.Linda), Lawyers (@BlakeVonD) and Engineers (@thegreycanvas). Their unique backgrounds give them depth and substance and for me, that makes them more relatable.
If you ever have a question, want to chat or just say hi, please drop me a line. I love connecting with other women trying to find their way and make sense of it all. Just like me 🙂
Shannae Ingleton Smith