Canada, Life, Travel

BlogPodium: Choose Courage, not Comfort


BlogPodium was full of firsts and beginnings for me. It was my first blog conference, first girls trip, and first time travelling solo. It was also the start of new friendships, and the beginning of a newfound enthusiasm for blogging. I went to BlogPodium not knowing what to expect, and I learned so much that I feel it could easily become an annual tradition! Being a creative is hard work, and staying motivated is easier with conferences like BlogPodium around to inspire me.

Choose courage, not comfort.

BlogPodium 2015I really wasn’t sure how traveling solo for the first time would go because of my travel anxiety. Nathan drove me to the airport, and as we were pulling up I burst into tears. He gave me a tight hug and an encouraging pep talk, so I wiped my cheeks, gave him a kiss goodbye and forced myself inside. I cried on and off through check in and security but kept moving forward because hello, I was a woman on a mission and anxiety sure as hell wasn’t going to stop me!

Thankfully Diana and Kristina from Edmonton ended up on my flight, and I met up with them before boarding. After almost getting called out on the intercom for missing final boarding call (hilarious), we were on our way! This was a big step for me and I’m so glad to say that I did it, despite a few tears. Even if anxiety is uncomfortable, I don’t ever want to let it get in the way of experiencing new things.

Seek out fellow risk takers.

#yegblogpodiumsquad at BlogPodium 2015

From Left to Right: Aislin of  Mr and Mrs L  ||  Kendall of Poppy Barley  ||  Janine of My Pennies, My Thoughts  ||  Kristina of Inspired by Lynne  ||  Me!  ||  Diana of 204 Park  ||  Breanne of Breanne Marie Photography

I’m overjoyed that my first girls trip was with this group of talented women. Building community has been on my mind lately, and both Jillian Harris and the ladies of Poppy Barley touched on how important it is to surround yourself with risk takers and cheerleaders in their talks. The support of others is so important, and I’m thankful that these women are in my tribe, ready to hold me accountable and cheer me on!

The talk by Poppy Barley was full of inspiring soundbites, including a particularly memorable one suggesting to ignore the seagulls. Seagulls are the people who fly in, talk to you for a minute, and then just shit all over you!! Instead of surrounding yourself with seagulls, look around and ask yourself – who’s in the water with you? Who’s opinion matters? It’s important to surround yourself with people who are willing to work as hard as you. Courage is contagious.

I left this conference with a million ideas swirling around in my head, and I know that I can count on the ladies of the #yegblogpodiumsquad to help me turn some of those ideas into actions. Each one is a risk taker in their own way, with big goals and the determination to make them happen. Online connections are now real life friendships, which is my favourite part of this blogging thing!

Be authentic.

Jillian Harris at BlogPodium 2015In her keynote talk, Jillian Harris spoke about authenticity, and advised us to not take this whole blogging thing too seriously. She was inspiring, candid, and hilarious! It was refreshing to hear that her journey is full of challenges just like everybody else. Sometimes it’s easy to fall into the comparison trap, and it was nice to hear straight from Jillian that being imperfect on your blog is ok. Never compare your insides to someone else’s outsides.

Let go of perfect. If you wait for perfect, you will never start.

Justine Ma at BlogPodium 2015My favourite print from the BlogPodium Marketplace, by the talented Justine Ma

Life isn’t perfect, and I want my blog to show that. I want to keep it real and share real life stuff. I think that showing a little vulnerability now and then is what makes it easier to relate to others! We all have stuff, but it’s easier to move through it when you can share that stuff with others. Being genuine is more valuable to me than looking like I have my stuff together all the time. Sometimes I have to calm the f**k down and let go of my perfectionist tendencies!

Hustle & Heart.

Poppy Barley at BlogPodium 2015

I’ve always loved Poppy Barley, and hearing Kendall and Caroline speak at BlogPodium was incredible. Their talk was my favourite! I have fierce hometown pride and admiration for these lovely ladies and the Poppy Barley team, who are the epitome of hustle & heart. They work incredibly hard, and their loyal customers and engaged community are proof that what they’re doing is something special.

Coming from other seminars about interior photography, monetizing your blog, visual branding and doing what you love with such powerhouse entrepreneurs as Tracey AytonGemma Bonham-Carter, Gloria ChicTania Yan, and Jenna Herbut, I realized that there is a lot more that I could be doing to turn this blog into something bigger. There was a lot to take in and a lot to learn, but it’s a process that I’m taking one step at a time. I came home with lists on lists of things to do and blog post ideas, which is really exciting and I can’t wait to get started!

BlogPodium 2015BlogPodium 2015 Marketplace

On the left is Pixel Paper Hearts, and adorable paper goods shop in the BlogPodium Marketplace that I bought a few insightful prints from. On the right is beautiful handcrafted jewelry that almost came home with me, from Leah Alexandra.

BlogPodium was the perfect place to meet other bloggers, talk to brands that love to collaborate with bloggers, buy handmade goods from creative shop owners, and take away mega inspiration and wisdom from bloggers that have done this for a long time. I love how supportive this community is, and I can’t wait to attend another BlogPodium in the future! I couldn’t have asked for anything better for my first ever blog conference.

For a few other BlogPodium recaps, check out this one by Diana, this one by Janine, and this one by Kristina!

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  • Reply 204park October 5, 2015 at 8:30 am

    Fantastic recap Nicole!! I love the quote you used “never compare your insides to someone elses outsides” – I’ll be remembering that one! So glad to have gotten to know you better over this weekend and looking forward to helping each other out as we figure out this whole blogging thing 😉 XO

    • Reply Nicole @ Dutchie Love October 5, 2015 at 9:40 pm

      Thank you so much lovely! I’m so happy that we got to know each other as well and that I have an awesome blogger like you to send a million and one questions to <3

  • Reply ramblingrenovators October 5, 2015 at 10:18 am

    So glad that you decided to hop on that plane and join us at BlogPodium! Loved your recap – I didn’t have a chance to sit in on many myself – and I’m happy to hear you took so much away from the day. Hope we see you again soon!

    • Reply Nicole @ Dutchie Love October 5, 2015 at 9:41 pm

      Jennifer, a heartfelt thanks to you and your team for organizing such an incredible conference! It was truly everything I could have asked for as a first time attendee. I plan on coming again next year!

  • Reply Kristina Lynne October 5, 2015 at 11:06 pm

    Awesome round up lady!!! xo

    • Reply Nicole @ Dutchie Love October 6, 2015 at 10:46 pm

      Thanks Kristina! I loved yours as well! I could keep reading about BlogPodium for weeks just to continue reliving it 😉

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