Ten Years of
Yes you read that correctly - a whole decade of Inthefrow.
Ten years of hard work, creativity, sleepless nights and opportunities I never ever thought possible. It's been a truly mind blowing adventure to be on and to share it with a community that means so much to me; it's just more than I ever can express.
Jumping head first into an unestablished industry, that was starting to raise up female voices and beginning to eat into the already enormous online marketing pie, was nerve wracking to say the least. All big changes do feel that way I guess but I couldn’t not give things a go when my hobby seemed to be transitioning from a side hustle, into a career defining moment. The epitome of no regrets.
Just under a third of my life spent creating and curating as Inthefrow, as Victoria and as a proud UK blogger and influencer. It’s been such a privilege to be able to share such a significant part of my work and such a huge part of my personal self with friends online.
So after ten years as a creator what have I learned?
And what has heading up my own business these last few years taught me about myself?
Shop My Prada Look
I discovered more about myself in the last few years, than I ever thought possible. I’ve always tried to be confident in my actions and to believe in myself (something my parents instilled in me early on - after all why not me if I work hard?) but in driving myself forward, working towards the next goal and not letting my work ethic slip, I've realised I'm capable of far more than I ever knew. It's one thing to work hard but it's another thing to also manifest, move forwards and see the development happen before your eyes. I had no thoughts about becoming my own boss, hiring and expanding a team and taking my brand to a level that seems so far away from that apartment in Manchester. I've learned that if I want to get to the next step, I've got the confidence, capacity and perseverance to do just that.
I've found over the years that so much of my fight to succeed, my confidence to push the boundaries and my creativity to keep things fresh, has developed from not just the wins but the failures too. I've been lucky that my failures didn't stop me completely in my tracks but there have most definitely been moments that felt deflating. Failures that at the time cost me financially, emotionally and logistically but with perspective and support from those who've experienced similar gut wrenching hurdles, now drive me on. It's easy to lament what could have been, especially with the impacts of Covid and other troughs that just weren't under my control, but if I can look back and see their place in the bigger picture of my career, then I know the next time things don't result in a win I'll still be able to steer myself to the next goal.
One huge thing I took a while to come to terms with, especially in the early years of self employment, was a need to get over my fears. When I find myself the head of a team that’s rapidly expanding, planning the next decade of milestones and itching to make my mark in all the ways I cannot wait to share, I've gotten over my insecurities. My worries and my fears have dissipated quicker than I ever thought possible and that's why I surround myself with different people. Everyone needs help and I'm certainly no different. Delegating, trusting and leaning on others doesn't come easy to a personality that shouts 'don't worry I'll do it' more than I should do, but no one can do this life alone. And from experience no matter how terrifying hiring that first or next member of staff might seem, the relief, help and confidence you'll gain will outweigh every other 'can I really do this?' worry.
I know now that I have to take those chances. I touched on this briefly a few weeks ago but I cannot tell you how much that crazy chance could change your life, and if not your life then at least your right now. There have been moments where I've had a gut feeling of how amazing an opportunity could be, how life changing a step could be and how career defining a yes could be and looking back wow am I glad I said yes. There have been many times I've wondered why have they asked me? And doubted my ability to take a leap of faith but as my Rebecca always tells me 'you deserve to be in these rooms'. It's a hard one to keep sight of when the nerves hit and the gut feeling tries to take over your head but I'd rather regret giving things a chance and ultimately my best shot, than sitting safely at home and regretting not saying yes.
And I hate to leave the blog post on this note, but hopefully it'll make you feel better about the elusive work life balance too - it's a myth haha! I'm joking (somewhat...) but honestly it's starting to feel like I’ll work on your work life balance forever. Every couple of years through the last decade I’ve felt like that balance has been within grasp and what do you know? It’s just moved further ahead as fast as I’ve seen it appear on the horizon. Of course part of me knew it all along because I don't believe my personality would ever truly allow for me to discover it the way I long for, so maybe in the end work life balance is simply something to strive for, to keep things relative and protect yourself. There has to be something to reach towards and to keep things in check, maybe the work life signal of when to slow down is doing what I needed it to after all.
Hindsight is forever a wonderful, powerful thing and I cannot wait to look forward and see what the next decade teaches me about being a creator, being a boss and being me. I promise you it's gonna be even better than the last - Victoria x