Why You Should Never Stop Learning & Dallas Recap

Mara Hoffman colorful summer dress

Tie Front Midi Dress, also here and similar here and here | Ann Taylor Sandals, similar here and here | Marfa Leather Circle Bag, similar here, here and in black | Leonard Sunglasses, similar here and here | Fan Necklace, similar here and here

Six years ago when I found myself bored at work, I started wondering—was this it? I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit and sitting at a cubicle from 9-5 each day wasn’t how I saw the rest of my life going. I’d spend half my day working and the other half dreaming about other things I could do with my current skill set. If you’ve found yourself in a similar position, you might have also dreamt about creating your own career path. And who can blame you!? It’s fun to think about being your own boss and building a business that you’re passionate about! Raise your hand if career path that not only serves you financially, but also fills that empty spot in your heart.

Having that entrepreneurial mindset, I immediately jumped into (too) many things in my attempts to figure out what I really wanted to do. My dreams were wild, disorganized, random, but most importantly, they were exciting! I thought about catering or being a personal chef, which were short-lived. In the first or second year—honestly I don’t remember—after graduating, my freelance web design business was born. This idea proved to be much better than catering, especially from a financial standpoint, for me. Shortly after moving to Chicago, I narrowed my business to serve only fashion and lifestyle bloggers on the WordPress platform, and if I’m honest, I thought I’d be doing that forever. Okay, well, maybe not forever, but for as far as I could see into the future, this business seemed pretty solid, plus I loved it! Until I didn’t.

After nearly a year of feeling frustrated and lost, I finally decided to close my design business to put more time into this blog. While I still have some side projects like Blogging 4 Keeps, I’m incredibly thankful that The Fox & She has become my main gig. If you had told me in college that 10 years from now my job would be writing a lifestyle and fashion blog, I would have thought you were crazy—that job wasn’t even a real thing back then, but here we are!

It’s been fun, exciting and sometimes scary to see this career path evolve over the past decade. It’s fast-paced, unpredictable and ever-changing and that’s part of why I love it. This past weekend I was in Dallas for a conference put on by RewardStyle, an affiliate network that thousands of bloggers (including myself) rely on to monetize their sites. The conference is always a little overwhelming, but ultimately motivating and inspiring. I left with a to-do list of things to implement, test and new ideas for content that I can’t wait to share with you guys!

Ann Taylor spring sandals

Mara Hoffman tie front dress
fashion blog street style outfit

#rsthecon outfit

More than anything it left me with the motivation to never stop learning and challenging myself. It reminded my of something my dad always said when we were growing up, it was something like, “just because I’ve graduated college doesn’t mean I stop learning. Now I’m a student of the world!” And I think we can all agree that yes, we learn a ton in college, but you learn infinitely more in the real world from trial and error and real experiences. When you work in a field that by nature changes rapidly, it’s even more important to be open to change and ready to adapt, even when you’re not happy about what’s happening.

This weekend gave me a renewed sense of excitement about my current career path and ideas for where to take it in the future. It’s also a great reminder of how far I’ve come. It’s easy to get stuck in the numbers and compare yourself to what other people are doing, but when you think about how many weeks in a year you have to make a difference, it’s really pretty incredible. There’s 52 by the way, just in case you forgot! Fifty-two weeks made up of 7 days each—that’s an insane amount of time and opportunity to do big things!

Colorful Dresses

cute outfits for spring
Mara Hoffman outfit

Chicago fashion blog

Mara Hoffman spring dress and circle bag
boho outfit ideas

Other than our classroom sessions, the weekend was also filled with fun outdoor picnic lunches, cocktail parties and way too much Mexican food. I wore this dress on our first full day and it might be one of my best purchases ever. It’s insanely comfortable and I love the shape of it! The colors are also gorgeous—Mara Hoffman does color so well! We went home in between the sessions and cocktail party and I ended up not changing because I wanted to wear the dress just a little longer! After the cocktail party, Jess and I went to dinner with Jenn and her husband Bob before coming home and going immediately to bed! As much fun as this weekend is, it’s exhausting and I’m happy to be home and getting back into a more normal schedule.

Circle Bags

On that note, I hope your Monday is off to a good start and if you’re also feeling bored at work or stuck in a rut, consider taking a new class, reading up on something that interests you or listening to a new podcast. Whatever inspires you and gets you excited! Do you continue to learn new things post college? What interests have you discovered over the years?

BTW, 6 books that have made an impact on me, and what do you want to be when you grow up?

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