Let’s Get Personal: Social Media Overload & Being Too Nice to Run a Business
On Saturday I was in one of those moods. Where I spent entirely too much time on social media, watching other wedding vendors share pictures of an event that I wasn’t invited to (not that I would have went anyway, but you get the point). From there it only got worse, reading about all the awesome things people were getting from other vendors in exchange for referrals, and all the exciting new business deals and partnerships that were going down and happily benefiting everyone (re: not me) involved. I was frustrated and feeling down and so in a moment of weakness, I tweeted this:
“Today I decided I’m too nice and suck at running a business. I think this needs to change.
Like most people that share status updates like that, I was insecurely looking for a response (though I am openly ashamed to admit that), but the responses I got weren’t exactly what I imagined and one in particularly gave me the EXACT perspective I needed to get out of the funk. A fellow DC business owner wrote back, “From afar, I am in awe of your business acumen! I regularly feel like a slacker when reading your tweets :)”
There it is. The jolt I needed to realize that while things appear one way on social media to me, (only from my point of view) the things I am saying & doing cause others to have opinions and thoughts about ME just from my social media. My “feeling sorry for myself” mood lifted (the nice bitch fest about it all to my amazing husband helped too) and I was able to concentrate on the initial thoughts I had about being too nice with more clarity and less self-pity.
Is there really such thing as being “too nice” to run a business? The decisions I make for Capitol Romance are mostly tied to my initial mission for starting the blog: to HELP couples in the DC area with wedding planning. But I am fortunate enough to be able to do that. With having a full time job outside of Capitol Romance, I don’t NEED* to make money-based choices (*disclaimer, I do and will, as I spend a great deal of time blogging and feel I do deserve SOME compensation for my time ;). I really can make decisions, like having a non-paying vendor guide, or offering free wedding Classifieds, that truly have my readers and clients in mind. I always HATED when I found out “preferred vendors” at venues or on other blogs were only preferred because they paid to be there. They weren’t vetted or the best or even tied to the site’s brand in anyway … they were just paying and that was good enough.
A million years ago I wrote a post called The Wedding Blog Business that talked about how too many wedding bloggers seemed to only be in this for the money and how that’s just not “how I roll”. I’ve tried to stay true to that post (I hope I have) but in doing so, and comparing myself to all the other business owners in DC, I don’t always feel like it’s rewarding, or the right direction to be in. I often hear feedback, “you need to charge for that, you need to make money, you need to make a business decision” and maybe I just can’t. And maybe that’s OK. Maybe it’s also OK that I don’t get things in return when I chose to promote certain vendors or do things for people – maybe just doing it because I believe in their service or because I think it will help my readers, is enough. Everyone is in this game for different reasons afterall.
So maybe I am just “too nice” and maybe I won’t ever turn Capitol Romance into a money making machine and you know what? Maybe that really is, OK. I need to stop focusing on what everyone else is doing (and Instagramming) and instead focus on what I want to do and feel good doing. Really that is the only thing that should matter at this point and probably the only thing that will truly make me happy.