What does a 3rdyear nursing student, newlywed and a fulltime blogger have in common? The simple answer: a zest for life and passion to keep learning. This post is written by Stephanie Probert, Grace’s assistant.
Being a fulltime blogger, one question that Grace receives most often is: What exactly is a blogger anyway and what do you do?
As Grace’s assistants, Lois and I thought it would be interesting to share our view on the day to day reality of blogging and the social media influencer world. Both Lois and I are at two very different points in our lives; her a full-time nursing student, lover of coffee and queen of last minute adventures, and myself a newlywed, InstaPot ninja and circus ringmaster to three crazy Goldendoodles. Boy, how life can bring strangers together in the most remarkable ways! More on that later. But the goal here is to capture what blogging means to different generations.
In Lois’s words: As a college student, working for Grace has been such a fun and an adventurous ride thus far. I started working for her in May 2019 and I have to tell you, it’s not exactly what I had imagined. Not saying it in a bad way but rather a good way. My perception of a blogger and social media influencer was to take some pictures here and there about different products and events and post them on social media. That’s it! That’s what I thought a blogger and social media influencer did. Plain and simple, right? But boy was I completely wrong. Grace’s world consists of so much more than that.
Her morning routine usually includes waking up…(well duh? Doesn’t most people’s? lol) making breakfast, doing a morning workout routine, applying a clay face mask for hydration and listening to inspirational speakers about success and life values.
Somedays she has meetings, video chats and speaking engagements to attend but most of those things are in the afternoon.
She then has a morning meeting with all her employees by 9am to discuss what is needed to be done and how much we can accomplish that day. This part of the day is by far my favorite because I know what I have to do for that day and it keeps me organized! After our meeting, she either checks her emails, has a meeting, does a photo-shoot, or works on her “Activate Your Inner Power” workshop.
Lunch is the next part of her schedule and this is another great time because we all sit together at her dining room table and discuss new things as well as talk about our individual lives!
After lunch, she heads back to her office and checks more emails, communicates with branding companies, does more photo-shoots, and works on upcoming blog posts.
This is all just a broad idea of what she does! I thought it was all so simple, but after working for her I came to realize that there is so much time and effort put into all of it. The amount of time it takes to write and put together a blog post as well as an Instagram caption is much more than most think it is. She has to think of a caption and picture idea for EVERY Instagram post and for her blog post, she has to think of at least a 400-word essay to write about and come up with a full photo-shoot idea. It may all sound exhausting and it can be, but Grace does it with so much love and passion. She absolutely loves what she does and it is shown through her social media platforms!
Lois, being a young on the go college student, grew up in a world with constant social media access. And to be fair, as a 30ish year old woman so did I. Granted, Facebook and Instagram’s birthday comes well after mine, but who’s counting.
When I first met Grace, I was immediately interested in her story and like any other business minded person- I wondered how the heck does a blogger make a sustainable income? I was keen to the idea of repping brands, dressing cute and growing a following on social media, but what I didn’t realize was blogging and being a social media influencer took incredible time management, dedication and a willingness to fail. OVER AND OVER AGAIN. It’s in those moments that Grace said she learned the most.
For starters, working as a blogger extends far beyond the 9-5 workday. During one of my first day’s working with Grace, I learned about the various programs she uses to build her business. Planners, writing prompts, networking groups, workshops, newsletter… the list goes on. Each area plays an intercut part in self-discovery, honing a brand, and promoting; all working towards the same goal: a polished, authentic blog.
Each day working for Grace, I learned a little more about her past and her passion for helping others. She speaks often and openly about her mission in life and desire to help others. One thing I know for sure, is it takes a lot of heart and thick skin to publicly be as venerable as Grace. I know many of you are just as guilty as I am, of capturing only the best parts of life and sharing that to the world of social media. Put underneath all of the glamour and perfectly photoshopped images, we all have a more beautiful, powerful story to tell. And as Grace would say, “that’s your story. Tell that to the world.”
That conversation made me think of one of Rachel Hollis podcasts- or was it in her book- either way, the message was the same. She had the choice to let the world see her as she is or to crop and photoshop out her “imperfections.” Just like Grace, I admire her bravery in unapologetically being real- flaws and all. And, to me, I think that has everything to do with being a successful blogger and influencer.
So, what’s Grace’s everyday life like? Well, I got the opportunity to sit down with Grace and speak candidly about her experiences as a blogger and hear it in her own words. One thing is for sure, Grace is always thinking of ways to help other people. She believes the secret to success doesn’t have to be a mystery. More than anything her goal in sharing all of this, is to shed light on what a blogger and social media influencer does and how she can help others along the way.
When I look at Grace’s schedule and the workload that she carries, it amazes me how much she is able to complete in a day- I sometimes questions, do we all have 24 hours in a day or am I missing some? Lol!
What was growing up like for you?
Grace: “Growing up I was the ugly duckling. No one ever said I was pretty. I had a troubled relationship with my mother and in my culture or at least in my family, the males were always the favorites, so everything I wore was a hand me down of my brothers. I wore really short hair and looked like a boy. Actually, funny story, one time I was walking with one of my close friends in high school and I actually got her in trouble because her family thought she was dating and walking with a boy but it was really me she was walking with. Lol ! I just looked that much like a boy.”
How do you become a blogger?
Grace: “I became a blogger kind of by surprise. I was turning 40 years old and I realized if I could go to college, get a degree and manage a department of over 100 people, how difficult could it be? So, I decided to do some research. I was happy to learn more about what I could do to share how I felt on the inside with other people. In the beginning, I starting writing posts to help others, but I learned I was actually writing for myself in the sense that, it felt so good it was like therapy. I felt like all those posts helped me clear my mind and progress to what’s more important in life.”
What was blogging like in the beginning?
Grace: “Well if you see my first blog post, you’ll laugh. But when I first started I did a documentary for one year. I took a picture every day of what I wore and I posted it on my Chinese social media. I think this process helped me become more confident with my style and posting consistently. I realized here that I had something to offer. After 7 days of posting, I remember someone commented on my post and it felt like “ohhh! My goodness! My first comment!” I was slowly growing and it felt so great for someone to notice and recognize what I was doing. I worked really hard every day. The first 3 months of blogging, I would be driving to work just daydreaming that someday I would do this fulltime.”
What advise do you have for someone interested in becoming a blogger?
Grace: “I think what helped me grow personally as well as grow a large following was being vulnerable and sharing my personal story, both about my life in China and now here in America. I think people can relate to those things; The funny stuff like all the words that give me trouble or the first time I saw a VERY large bra hanging in a boutique window and I didn’t know what it was. HAHAHA Things are different here but I am determined to make this my new life. Plus, I think my followers have enjoyed my stories about learning how to drive and all the funny cultural differences I have encountered over the years.”
What’s one thing you do every day that helps you be successful?
Grace: “Routine. That’s my whole system. I keep lists of everything that I need to do. I’m also a firm believer in having a power hour. In this time, I meditate, work out, listen to a podcast or a book, and do a face mask. That’s how I start my day and stay on track. I also, pick 5 result driven tasks to do in a day- what items on my list impacts my life the most ?? That’s where I start.”
What do you like best about this life that you have created?
Grace: “I love that I’m living on my own terms, that’s the best. It feels like I’m finally aligned with my purpose. You only have one lifetime- that statement really sets in now after I lost my dad and my husband- I totally understand what this life means to me. To be honest with you, we don’t know what life has in store for us. I’m not guaranteed tomorrow, so it’s important to me to fully livvvve in this moment. To continue to share my knowledge, stories and encourages others to live the best life they can.”
I hope you enjoy the interview with Grace and let us know how you got your start as a blogger, share any tips or ask any questions about the process.
Can’t wait to hear from you!
Photo credit: Grace Liang
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