Exciting news! I am starting a new column on the blog, “An Inspiring Entrepreneur.” Every so often I will be featuring someone on here who has an enthusiastic drive, an inspiring story, and strives for success. May you admire, relate, and cheer these featured entrepreneurs on (let’s face it, no entrepreneur is going to turn down a round of applause)!

First up, Nicole from Uniquely Women. She is a full-time blogger working from the comfort of her home (or wherever has wi-fi!) every single day. I am so excited to have her be my very first feature! This girl has so much wisdom when it comes to blogging. Beyond her wisdom, she is gorgeous (in & out), the kindest in the biz, and always up for adventure which I LOVE!

I met Nicole (the lady behind Uniquely Women) in Cedar Falls, IA (where she resides) 4 years ago. I had a storefront (garage front to be specific) called Stew’s. It was full of flea market finds, hand painted furniture, and architectural/industrial wares. Nicole actually ended up filling in for me at the shop here and there and painting some furniture for me. Now, four years later and she is killing it in her own business. I am so thrilled our paths crossed and that I get to embark on this journey of life with her in it!

I have asked Nicole a few questions. Her responses are great! Read on:

  • Why blogging? Is this your passion?

Blogging was definitely never on my radar until 2012. I started a blog to document the creative ideas I had bottling up inside me.  I didn’t know the full extent of blogging and never knew I could create a profitable blog until years later. After being laid off I dug deep into blogging, with the encouragement from my husband. I haven’t turned back since.  My passion turned from learning everything there was about blogging to now teaching others how to do the same as I have!

  • Top 3 blogs you enjoy following?

Fashion, interiors, and lifestyle blogs I love to follow! Along with Main + Second (duh!).

www.sequinsandthings.com

www.jacquelynclark.com

www.theeverygirl.com

  • How many times have you wanted to give up?

Oh my goodness, so many times.  You definitely have to be patient when blogging.  It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to make things work.  

  • Who’s your biggest supporter?

Hands down my husband!   He was the one that pushed me to start and keep at blogging (even during the tough times.)  He’s now even helping me from time to time with new courses, maintaining my blog, and a lot of behind the scenes work.  

I learned early on that Blogging can get lonely. Entrepreneurship wasn’t something many others were doing around me, so networking was important.  I have created some amazing friendships with other bloggers!  Granted, I haven’t met many of them – but it was great having that support and accountability partner to talk to on a consistent basis.  

  • Time management can be hard when you work for yourself. How do you manage your time?!

Time Management is one of the biggest hurdles I faced when working for myself.  It’s so easy to get distracted, especially working from home.  Over time I’ve created a schedule that now works for me and my business.  

I set specific goals and tasks during the day that I want to accomplish.  I then break those tasks into hour or so increments.  I set alarms on my phone for 1-2 hours (based on that task.) Once the timer goes off, I go take a break for 5-10 minutes no matter if I’m done with that task or not.  I’ve learned that it’s important to take a step away from the computer and go do something else for a couple minutes before jumping back into it.

I love batching tasks as well.  I lump tasks that I would normally need to do on a daily basis to only doing them once a week.  For instance – I take photos for social  media once a week .  I set up all props and backgrounds one time per week.  This has definitely saved me time.  

 

  • Name 5 instagram friends you have met through your business that inspire you but have yet to meet face to face!

@kaseymilner

@patternme_pretty

@jlynndesignery

@sprinkledlife

@mrsjuliejones

  • Personal life… Fill us in on your home life! 

I recently married the love of my life, JJ, last June in Mexico.  We live in Cedar Falls, IA with our dachshund pups (Bogey & Maverick.) When I’m not blogging – we both enjoy traveling, hitting up local breweries, and enjoying live music concerts.

  • How many hours a week do you blog?
  • How many hours a week are spent on social media?

I spend about 5-10 hours a week actually on blogging.  The rest of my week –  I’m constantly working on growing my email list, creating opt-ins, courses, being active in the facebook group, etc.  
I only post a blog once or twice a week and the rest of the time is working on growing my business.

  • Where do you want to be in 5 years with your business?

My big passion is helping others discover blogging.   I want to help others grow thriving blogs. I created the Blogging Facebook Group – Blogging 101 (www.facebook.com/groups/blog101group) for that sole purpose and have loved being inside the group sharing my experiences and expertise.  

I have a traffic building bootcamp course launching here soon.  I have other courses in the works as well.  My goal is to continue creating digital resources for bloggers to gain value.

  • Your turn… Ask me (Main + Second) ONE question! I have to answer so make it good 😉

Because I loved your question so much — Where do you want to be in 5 years from now with your blog?

My response: I would love to be successful enough to be able to hire another writer someday! I have this beautiful vision in my head (if you didn’t know already, I am a full time dreamer #addicted) of our prairie barn getting sealed up, adding windows, new doors, and turning it into a four-season workspace/studio/warehouse. To be able to employ people because Main + Second has a bigger demand than I can handle is a DREAM! So in the next 5 years I plan to put my best foot forward in growing not only my blog, but the whole website to something bigger than I alone can handle. I am not sure what the proper steps are to get there, but I believe consistency and dedication are going to be key factors in order for this to happen. 

. . . . . .

I highly recommend you check out Uniquely Women’s website, especially if you have a blog or are interested in starting one. She has a 7-day blog course that I highly recommend. I signed up and really found her tips and advice helpful…. And it’s free!!

From The Founder,

Emma Hicks