Authentic

It’s February and I’m finally sharing my word for 2018. I have never chosen one word for the new year before, but I had a moment a few weeks ago that really pushed me towards this word and I felt like it was decided.

My word for 2018 is AUTHENTIC. 

I want to live my life more authentically. It’s as simple as that. There are a few “categories” of my life that I feel like this word and inspiration can easily apply to: my social media presence, my blog, work and my personal life. 

Social Media

I love The Baltimore Baton and am so proud of how much it’s grown. I had a lot of businesses reaching out who wanted to do a takeover and share more about their company with our followers. I took this as an opportunity to make a little bit of money to compensate for the time I was devoting to the account and also to push out promoted posts and continue to grow TBB. I had a few sample (FREE) takeovers and it was the week of my first paid client. I was feeling uneasy about emailing requesting their payment and didn’t feel right taking their money because it didn’t feel authentic. The thing I love most about The Baltimore Baton is that it’s role is to connect Baltimoreans to other Baltimoreans through shared interests and asking folks to PAY to put themselves in front of an audience just didn’t feel right. 

I want to support local businesses as well as the people who live in this amazing city and let those connections happen without a paid element. I felt a tremendous wave of relief wash over me when I sent out emails the following day asking businesses to stop payment and not send their checks in. When I got this response I knew I had done the right thing:

Thank you so much for this update Megan. We are more than happy to work with someone who demonstrates honest passion in their efforts to connect the businesses in the Baltimore community. 

Blogging

I love my blog and have been actively posting and growing the readership since 2012. In 2017 I started receiving paid sponsorship opportunities and it felt so amazing to know that I was finally at the point in my blogging career where I could make a little bit of money to support the blog. Paid sponsorships weren’t as common 6 years ago as they are today because the social media platforms weren’t updated to support them at that point.  So while it’s a lot easier today to start a blog and grow quickly towards paid content, I had to work my booty off for it. 

Last summer I was at a blogger event when a fellow Baltimore blogger and I started talking about paid content. She said she wouldn’t do it and felt that it was a cop out. She went on to say that everyone reading that particular blog post would know the individual was being paid to share the product and wouldn’t believe a word they posted. I was shocked. The conversation had come up because I had a sponsored post that day and was asking her to read it and support me. Instead of supporting a fellow blogger, she was belittling my choices to my face. Also, did everyone feel that way? Did others think that my paid content posts were bullshit? 

I ONLY accept paid opportunities for brands and products I already own and love, for brands that I respect immensely and for products that I’ve been meaning to try or have been looking for something similar and want to test. I don’t accept paid sponsorships for just anything and I felt that my choices were being questioned. 

2018 is not going to be the year that I start turning away paid content, that’s not the point of mentioning this.  However, I try to write my paid content blog posts so that a stranger coming in could easily read and understand my point. I don’t mention personal details that are common in a typical post of mine. So my goal for 2018 is to be more authentic in my paid content posts so it’s easily understood that while I’m promoting a product, I’m doing it as authentically as I possible can. 

Work

My work life is stressful with over 200 event hours logged each year. From May to October I have multiple events each week and it’s a lot, but I love what I do. I haven’t always been the strongest voice for myself at work but with more events being added to my plate and a SERIOUS lack of work life balance, that needs to change. This is the year to start saying no to the things I know I can’t do instead of saying yes and killing myself to do it. I’m going to work harder to take time off when I need it and enjoy that time off. 

Personal Life/Wedding Planning

When we first started planning the wedding I was all over the place! It’s REALLY hard to plan a wedding whether you are in the events world or not. There are so many details that need to be figured out and flow together nicely which can be overwhelming until you get a handle on it. I caught myself making plans that were strictly for other people to ensure that they had a good time. While I still want our friends and family to have a fantastic time, it’s really about Chris and I and I had to keep that in mind when making decisions. 

2018 is going to be the year of authenticity and I’m excited. I’m excited to speak my truth and stand up for myself and the things I believe in. I hope you’ll support me in that journey. 

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  • http://www.setarra.com Setarra

    I love your word for 2018. Authenticity is KEY especially with wedding planning as it’s so easy to get caught up in trying to make everyone else happy. You got this Megan! xo

  • http://kyleandjensmith.blogspot.com/ Jen

    I absolutely love your word!!! It’s going to be fun seeing you apply that to so many aspects of your life!

  • http://totravelandbeyond.com/ Macy Volpe

    I LOVE this word and it’s such a great time for all of these things to come into play. You are one of the most authentic and genuine people I know, so I am sure this is going to be perfect for you. xo

  • Naomi Susman Cataldo

    I love your word too and have complete faith in you living an authentic life every single day!!! As Macy said, you already do!!! :)