The Measure Of Success | INSIDER

Pictures by Edelle Carmel Kenny

Before we get into the nitty gritty, hey – hi – hello most valued readers… Still coming back even though I put my original baby, my blog on hiatus for over two months (last blogged in May, MAY). I stopped saying sorry for this quite a while back so I’m not going to start again now but even though I had outfits ready to share, my heart just wasn’t in it and I really wanted to come back with something better to say when the time felt right. I’ve been focusing more on my youtube as creatively I’m just really enjoying it at the moment and to be honest thats where I make the majority of my income. I’m quite stubborn so it took me a really long time to put accept what I had to prioritise, and rather than putting out half-arsed content I just accepted that if I was going to put something on the blog that it would have to be content I’m really happy with – even it it means waiting two months. I’ll always go in and out of posting depending on my mood, but I’ve felt A LOT less stressed since deciding that right now I can’t manage posting here frequently and making 2-3 youtube videos a week by myself. Theres an odd kind of relief when you loosen your grip on something like that, I felt guilt tripped for so long for not being consistent as if there was some kind of invisible force scolding me. It took me a while to take my own advice and realise that I have the power to control much of what I feel and I can remove this stress if it makes me happier (so I did that and to no surprise here I am back, less stressed and more enthusiastic!).

Returning to my word vomit state today with accompanying images sharing one of my favourite outfits of late, this understated moment in my inventory of terrible outfits! Please god only dress me in these kind of outfits from now on.. I’ve been waiting forever to style these Stella McCartney-esque Mango structural trousers, letting them do all the talking with a simple H&M fitted tee and my ever-so-popular Mango picnic bag. Mango really got it right for me this Summer, great it you want to avoid all that bloody 70’s brown floral in Zara. I’ve gotten a substantial amount of questions about my new every-day accessories on Instagram lately and they’re all from a brand which I’ve heard so much great things about – Missoma. The brand is new to one of my favourite jewellery stores in Ireland, Argento and was very happy to choose a few pieces to style from them. Definitely check them out if your looking for something cool & contemporary!

T-shirt – H&M / Trouser + Bag – Mango / Shoes – Zara / Jewellery – Missoma & Argento

Actually getting down to today’s topic which I’m sure you’ve gotten a fair idea of from the title. This is the introductory post in a blog series I’m culminating with the working title of ‘INSIDER’ (just so you can differentiate my other posts from this series). Now I’m sure as hell not the first person to give ‘insider tips’ on how to make a living off/what it’s like being a blogger, hell theres people that do that stuff MUCH better /are more ‘successful’ than me. However I do believe everybody has their two-cents to chip in and I guess looking back I have been working & making money slowly but surely in this industry for coming up on seven years (eeeek). So, SUCCESS. What is success? What does it look like to me, and what should it look like to you?…

For the most part, I’m an easily pleased person. Although I have always had high expectations and ‘end-goals’ for myself, at 24 success to me right now is (shock horror) not a Chanel handbag or the likes, but being able to pay for my own apartment by myself and live comfortably in New York doing what I love everyday – being my own boss.

However we all go through periods of self doubt. Over the years, (although I don’t leave much room for these types of thoughts) I have pondered over things like my slow growth as a content creator. Award ceremonies for content creators have come and gone over the years as well as ‘top 50 bloggers’ type lists, most of them I’ve never been a part of. I grew up thinking that this was the marker for success and being in this arena for so long it was hard not to notice. “Maybe I’m just not good, do people dislike me? I’m too boring and not controversial or inspiring enough” – thoughts that I’m sure every creator has felt at some point. Ultimately I’ve put my relatively slow growth down to my lack of consistency at times combined with my unwillingness to box myself into one specific category of creator, you see I’m just not naturally strategic like that and it’s much easier to get noticed if you create yourself a bit of a niche audience.

For a while after moving to Belfast (technically UK but still in Ireland) I just felt like I didn’t belong anywhere, like nobody wanted to proudly claim me as a creator (although holla at those few publications that did). Not Irish enough for Ireland, not English enough to be considered a UK blogger etc, I think it was confusing for brands also – that whole border thing! Now I’ve uprooted again to NYC *eyeroll*. I’ve realised going about things slightly differently is why the right brands for me come to me. The internet is worldwide & vast, and I have a place in it no matter where I am or what kind of content I choose to produce. I’m different, always have been, both on the outside and inside and I’m ok with that. I don’t have the same style as most Irish girls my age would want to see and thats ok. I forget sometimes there is 130,000 of you out there that have clicked a subscribe or follow button so I must be doing something right to some people I guess…

The thought of being pigeon-holed is my number-one anxiety as a creative in many fields but I’ve recently had to force myself to learn how to be a little more strategic going forward in order to reach my ultimate longterm-goals *shiver*. Strategic sounds a little evil, like I’m hatching a master plan but really all it means is that I’m trying to do things with more of a purpose in mind -planting the seeds for the bigger picture as opposed to randomly splurging content in all directions. I look at my ‘failures’ differently now – as a bit of a glass half full situation; instead of saying ‘I’ve been doing this for 7 years why don’t I have a million subscribers yet’, I look at it as ‘I’ve got more than enough people watching my content to make a good living’. Thanks to all of you kind encouraging folk I’m now comfortable and actually happy that I don’t fit in to those moulds –

To me, success is leading a genuinely hardworking, happy and healthy life. DO NOT rely on numbers or figures to measure your success because doing so will never make you truly happy or fulfilled. My goal right now is finding new ways & means to be creative and sharing that with my unbelievably kind & loyal following and working on my next big move hopefully starting in 2018. Find out what makes you happy, set a plan for how your going to get there and lift the people around you up along the way!

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  • As always, such great imagery and content! I’ve always liked your work because you are so different, you are so creative and outside of the box. Keep doing what you are doing! We all have different goals and go on different paths to reach them x http://www.justsavxnnah.com

  • I loved reading this! I have been following you for a long time (I am literally talking uni degree time!) and always loved your creativity, style and general way of seeing things. I think ultimately that is why people follow other people, they recognise themselves into who they follow or see something similar. So to me sounds crazy that you felt like not fitting on the internet space, because I always loved your blog + channel! But I understand where your feeling is coming from and I am so glad you have come to where you are now. I completely agree with your definition of happiness career-wise and I always believe that comparing yourself to others will never ever make you happy wherever you are! x

  • Love this post! Totally agree with you about defining success. I’m the same age as you and have just brought my second home, which has obviously come with A LOT of sacrifice and luck. I’m so proud of that, but as a result I had to make the decision to keep blogging as a hobby and keep my office job. We are all on different paths and that’s okay.

  • Edelle Kenny

    Greattttt! post!

  • Vicki Reckless

    I completely agree, numbers don’t mean anything, and when I was counting mine it started to stress me out and made me forget why I started in the first place, it’s not healthy! Keep up the great work, I love your Youtube, blog and Instagram xx
    https://therecklesslifestyle.blogspot.co.uk/

  • Marta Binelli

    Hi Tara! I happened to stumble upon your YouTube the other day when looking for NYC inspiration as I am visiting the city soon, and I am so happy that I did! I have just binge-watched all of your vlogs, and they are just the best! Your doing such a good job and I just wanted to say thanks for spreading a little magic and inspiration my way! All the best xx