My Story. Getting Real About The Hustle.
Starting Eat Travel Rock was the best decision I've made in my life. It's been a long and winding road and the hustle has been real yet incredibly rewarding. Every single day I am thankful for the massive blessing to be able to do what I do and share my passions with all of you. I get to have my real and authentic voice be heard by my readers and my viewers and realizing how rare it is to be able to do this for a living, really puts in all into perspective. This world can be a dark and difficult place for many, and I don't for a second, think that in comparison with life's greater challenges, that my blog or my show is "changing the world" in any way. But if I can impart some knowledge about food, travel or music, share a laugh, or inspire someone else to follow their dreams, then I feel, in some small way, that i've made a difference. Keep reading if you want to know how I got here.
I didn't always have this platform. I've been a Realtor since I was 20 and my family business was always real estate. My family and I have been some of the top agents in Chicago for decades (mainly my parents) and even though I made a great living and was "successful" I didn't feel fulfilled. Then the market crashed! It effected millions upon millions of people. Many lost their homes, many lost their jobs. Real Estate became more difficult and challenging. I was working twice as hard for half the pay. Then I went through a divorce...super fun times. I felt lost and confused, and unmotivated. What was I going to do with my life? How can I be happy and passionate again? Will I ever love what I do? What's my purpose? (tiny violins play....)
One day I felt compelled to start writing. I knew I loved food, travel, and music more than life itself and I was rather knowledgeable on the topics. "Maybe people would like to know what I know?" I thought. So I went online, I bought www.EatTravelRock.com and as they say, the rest is history. Not enough info? Ok, so I started blogging and people seemed to dig my voice. They responded so well and loved the content. This made me feel pretty great since all the feedback I received from all of my high school and college English teachers was not quite as optimistic. I knew my real passion, however, was to share food, travel, and music with my audience from in front of the camera. Thus Eat Travel Rock TV was born. I wanted to create my own unique content with my unique voice and share it with the world. All while still blogging about my adventures and curating a fun and engaging social media presence.
After a couple years of building my brand I was approached by Collectively. I had never really worked with an Influencer Agency before and it was a new concept to me in general. But now that social media, blogging, and the influencer is such a powerful medium, it's only natural that companies would be created to help unite influencers and brands in an integrative and organic way. Collectively helped me take my career and my brand to the next level. Not only did they partner me up with some incredible brands like HP and SWISSGEAR, but they encouraged me to think outside of the box and be creative in coming up with my ways to feature their clients.
Having a company believe in me and my content enough to want to work with me over and over really assisted in building up my self esteem in regards to Eat Travel Rock. Through Collectively, there were huge companies out there who wanted to work with ME and have me share their stories through my eyes and experiences. It was a great feeling. It gave me the confidence to know I could keep building and really take this career to the next level.
Collectively has also helped me fulfill many of my travel dreams. Not only did they send me to Memphis, TN to go to a private Citizen Cope concert, but they've also helped me explore my new backyard in Los Angeles with Bota Box Wine, and helped me pack for my trips to Switzerland with SWISSGEAR.
Collectively has been such a pleasure to work with and they just had a website Re-Launch that helps find even more ways to unite influencers and their brands. If I have helped Collectively grow even a fraction of the amount as they have helped me grow, well then I'm a happy gal.