The Dangers of Comparison
If you’re like me, you’re guilty of comparing yourself to strangers on the internet from time to time. You’re off on a rabbit trail of images, and it’s not long before you find yourself envying some material possession, relationship, or lifestyle. I am so guilty of this, and it’s one of the reasons I’ve been taking stock of my time on and relationship with social media here lately.*
It’s very easy to let joy-thieves in to steal my contentedness if I’m not watchful and purposeful. I’ve been listening to and reading quite a bit about social media consumption lately, and one of podcasts recently mentioned asking yourself why for each account that you follow online.
Rule of thumb:
For the ones that don’t serve your larger purposes: delete, unfollow, purge.
For those that offer benefit, encouragement, practical help: keep, engage, do likewise.
The following seven women represent businesses and intentions that I admire. Here’s why:
1. Megan Gonzales of MaeMae
I’ve been a fan of Megan since her stationery and graphic design days. Several years ago, she pivoted into a career of photo scheming and styling, and it’s been such a fun journey to follow. Not only is this girl BEYOND talented (watching her inspiration and prop gathering process is a literal dream), she has a truly joyful presence on social media. I listened to this interview with her on the Coffee and Honeycomb podcast and learned that though her business is extremely visual, she only posts on instagram once a week. She’s not ruled by it and her “strategy” is to simply post something that she’s enjoying that week.
2. Nancy Ray of Nancy Ray Photography
I first learned of this one through her product shop, where I happened upon her PDF guide for organizing digital and printed photographs. This woman is all about leaving legacy and I have been so impressed by her gentleness again and again. She runs a successful photography business in North Carolina, where she employs several other talented women. I’ve heard her disclose that she doesn’t hire based on skill, but on character. I learn a lot from this woman, and I think you will, too.
3. Lauren Hooker of Elle and Co.
This young lady is a graphic designer by trade with an impressive little empire of marketing and design resources for fellow creative entrepreneurs. I used to tune in weekly to her Elle Chats where she’d talk about (in detail) her processes and productivity tips. She is SO generous in sharing extremely practical and helpful information about design, branding, and running a business. She also became a mama just a few months before me, and watching her navigate this new season has been a real treat.
If you’ve been around for awhile in the creative sphere, you know who this one is. She’s a financial planner turned business-backend cheerleader for creative entrepreneurs. Her mission is to help people get squared away with the math and methods of business so that they can create lives that they love, rather than being ruled by work. When I first heard this message, I was blown away and have been inspired by Shanna’s life-forward business model ever since.
5. Shay Cochrane of the SC Stockshop
Shay is another mompreneur who is all kinds of inspiring for blazing an intentional trail of work-life balance. She has a killer eye for styling and photographing beautiful, useful stock photo images, she’s vocal about how she manages running her business while maintaining a healthy home life. I loved this interview with Shay about setting up boundaries. And, as if I need another reason to admire this lady, she’s done 2 collaborations with Maemae on stationery styled stock imagery (see above). LOVE.
This woman is a marketing powerhouse, but she’s also a very real person, and I’ve admired how she’s bravely used social media to share her personal stories of miscarriage and struggles body image. When she’s not sharing insidery business info on her blog and podcast, she’s showing up on Instagram without makeup and in her leggings to remove the façade that life is all perfectly-lit magazine-spread-worthy scenes. Plus, she just seems like a legitimately decent and kind human.
7. Brittany Jepsen of The House That Lars Built
If you don’t know this one, it’s high time you get to know her. Brittany is a crafter, party-thrower, design-lover, and overall delightful person. Her Halloween costume ideas are second-to-none and her product recommendations are always top notch. When I need a good laugh, I’ll watch her Jasper Jams story on her personal instagram (@brittanyjepsen). Her light and smile-filled feed is just the reminder I need sometimes not to take myself so seriously—and to embrace the fact that life is colorful and fun, too.
Who do you love to follow on social media, and more importantly, why?
*For more on conscious media consumption, I highly recommend The Techwise Family by Andy Crouch for some practical advice on how to put technology in its proper place.