Stop Being Consumed By Instagram and Focus on Your Goal | A Millennial Entrepreneur POV
Let's face it: it's not easy being an entrepreneur. It's quite a rollercoaster of emotions and happenings nearly 24/7. As of lately, I've been asking myself... how are there only 24 hours in the day when there is so much to be done? So many goals to be met? There is so much to manage: my actual website, my content, my Instagram, my Facebook page, my Twitter... oh yeah and my current career! In a perfect world, my day would be 30 hours instead of 24. As an entrepreneur, time management is key. As an entrepreneur, it's a balancing act of keeping up with your current career while simultaneously building your new one from the ground up.
Some days I wonder what it would have been like to start a business in the 80s or 90s without the support of social and digital media. I'm sure there would have been a lot of cons in regards to awareness, but I could imagine a lot of pros because there would be more tunnel vision to the goal. There was no Instagram to upkeep, the only "numbers" you'd probably worry about is your sales... what I am trying to say is - even though social media certainly is a business blessing today, from a millennial standpoint sometimes I feel that it hinders reaching real goals within a business.
In the last year, I have seen so many bloggers dedicate a significant amount less time on their blogs to simply put all their content on Instagram. Now, if your business began on Instagram to begin with, this is a completely different story and probably doesn't apply to you. Also, if social media managing is your job, this also probably doesn't apply to you. To clarify, I'm talking about a business that started elsewhere :)
However, so many people are controlled, consumed and obsessed with the constant content they upload to Instagram or Facebook that they lose sight of why they started their business in the first place - and this goes beyond the blogging and writing world.
When I first began The Gilded Bellini, Instagram was very important to me. I mean, it still is.... to an extent. It's significant in the way that it's a quick digital resume for brands and potential followers (meaning, REAL life followers who have REAL interest in your brand... not just the literal followers) to become aware of your website, business or entrepreneurial venture. Instagram used to be a priority for me but to put it simply: it's just not anymore. Instagram is so over-saturated and consumed by like and follower hungry accounts that it's quite difficult to grow. If you're overly consumed by it, it starts negatively effecting you. You get exhausted, and you never want to get to that point that you resent what you're doing. Clicking refresh, excessive posting and liking could be super overwhelming on top of everything else you're juggling!
The wanting to post everyday turned into a not so fun obligation for me, simply because it's really time consuming to make sure you're remaining on-brand with the rest of your "highlight reel." I was putting it as more of a priority than tending to my actual website... the one thing I created that I love, cherish and treat like my baby. So, it was as simple as waking up and saying to myself, "I'm not making Instagram a priority anymore. If I get to it, I get to it." Instagram will be out before we know it. It's important to remember why you started. For me, it wasn't because of Instagram at all. While my blog and my Instagram do fall under the same umbrella of course, my Instagram is only a very small percentage of a representation of what's actually on my site.
Now, that's not to say when I do post, I'll post just anything. I am a firm believer in quality over quantity and if the photo quality doesn't align with my brand to my personal standards, I won't post it even if I have gone 4 days without putting anything up.
My advice to any millennial entrepreneur is to not take social media so seriously. If you think I'm talking crazy, try to hear me out: It's there to help your business, but it should not be the focal point if your brand did not start there in the first place. It should not be the source of your stress. Managing your own business or website is stressful enough! Never feel of less value because your numbers aren't as high as someone else's or you didn't get a certain amount of likes. It's irrelevant. Don't be obsessed with trying to get ahead on social media. Take it with a grain of salt.
Be obsessed with growing your brand and meeting your personal goals. Be present in what you are doing and be proud of your business milestones. People will recognize and gain a true appreciation and awareness of your brand by actually going to the source. Social media is trivial and can totally be a barrier from meeting a specific goal of yours.
It's important for me as a millennial entrepreneur to open a dialogue about both the positive and negative influence of social media in the business space because it is so engrained in us and has been for the past several years. I am certainly grateful for how it has helped me and The Gilded Bellini, but it's all about perspective and keeping yourself in check. Social media will have its ups and downs, but it is going to be your brand that will set itself apart and rise above the downfalls of different platforms. Let's stay focused! :)