Accountant by Day and Grad Student, Blogger by Night: How to Balance Demanding Jobs
Hi Bonnie! So you are a blogger and fulltime accountant. Tell us about your blog (thecurlybee.com) and how that got started!
“Of course, so I started blogging just because I felt like I needed a hobby outside of my day-to-day life, and I wanted somewhere that I could flex my creative spirit. Everyone was always asking about my hair— how I do it, how I get it this way, so I just started thinking that I could share my hair tips that way. I also always had a desire to do some type of modeling. It’s fun, I like to take photos, and I like it because I feel like it documents parts of your life so I can create a space where I can document different parts of my life and sharing that with the world just became fun!”
Right! So like I mentioned before you’re an accountant by day and a blogger by night. Tell us how you manage your time between both of those demanding jobs.
“And one thing is actually missing from that list; I’m also a grad student by mid-day/night as well! I’m studying for my Masters in Public Administration. So ultimately, from 9 to 5 I’m Finance and Operations Manager for a nonprofit, and quite frankly, balancing is hard. I always wish I have like 38 hours in the day versus 24, but I love my job because I work with a lot of creative people. It’s not like I work in a really stuffy finance/accounting firm where I can’t even talk about my blog because it’s against company standards. I work for DoSomething.org and we do a lot of fun, creative, funky things for young people and social change. Everyone that I work with does something cool outside of work because it helps us bring our best selves to work. And as far as time management, there’s some weeks where I can’t touch anything CurlyBee related because I’m writing a paper or have a heavy week at work. And then there’s some weeks where things aren’t as crazy at work because it’s mid-month, no accounts are closing, and I can focus on my blog. So it’s just a matter of balance and knowing where things go, and using a lot of different tools to help myself manage. Working out also helps relieve a lot of my stress too.”
What has been your greatest struggle?
“Well in terms of blogging, having a 9 to 5 could feel like a weakness especially in the creative world when you’re not doing a creative job. Sometimes my struggle is comparing myself to someone else who blogs fulltime and has the time to do a lot of gigs throughout the day. My struggle has been finding ways to make things work at night. You know most times when you have gigs or you want to work with brands or partners or do any modeling gigs, it’s always in the middle of the day. And just being able to flex that and show that you can blog and work fulltime; you can have this as a hobby and have another side gig or side passion. So for me it’s just been comparing myself to other bloggers out there and remembering that everyone started their blog for a different reason. When you go back to the reason why you started your blog, it helps you stay grounded.”
So how would you say that you’ve learned to overcome the comparison game, especially with the prevalence of social media today, how do you re-center yourself and deal with it?
“For me it’s been about getting to know the other bloggers, especially here in New York. When I started blogging and I didn’t know anyone, I was amazed at how many other bloggers there were like me. But then getting to know all the other bloggers and putting personalities to the faces you see on social media helped. Once you know them it’s not a matter of comparing yourself because you realize you’re all dealing with the same struggles. It helps make the playing field seem more level.”
What would you say has been your greatest lesson in life?
“Well it has a lot to do with balance. I want to finish my graduate degree in two years but I also don’t want to stop blogging or put it on the back burner because who knows where my blog could be in two years if I say ‘hey I’m going to stop now’ then pick it back up later. I don’t want to stop working and go to school fulltime because I don’t want to come out of school and have missed out on all that work experience that I could have been gaining. So one day I heard Oprah say in a panel that ‘you can do everything in life that you want, you just can’t do it all at the same time.’ And that just helps me remind myself that one week I can be super focused on working out, but next week I need to buckle down and handle my schoolwork. Reminding yourself that you can do everything, but it’s about knowing what times will work for you and spacing things out.”
Where do you see yourself in five years?
“In five years, my dream is to have my finance operations life intersect with TheCurlyBee. Right now, I’m heavily focused on lifestyle and hair, but I’d love to branch out one day and teach young girls in my community and women of color how to use accounting in their day to day lives. We do it every single day, and I think that personal finance is something that everyone should learn. Accounting in your personal lives is something that everyone should know how to do, and not necessarily accounting, but budgeting definitely. It’s such a social taboo to talk about money, and I think if we all start talking about it and helping each other move up within ourselves, we’ll all move faster as a generation and social group. So I definitely would love to see my finance world and blog world intersect at some point.”
What is your biggest goal in life?
“One of my biggest goals is to be a COO (Chief Operating Officer) for a multimillion dollar organization and just run all the money that goes in and out. I just want to be able to run all of the money of a company. And then a more personal goal I have is to buy back my mother’s house. That’s just a big goal I have in life.”
What do you feel most accomplished for in your life right now?
“Getting my butt back in school! I took a break after college, and people always say that if you don’t go back to school right away, you’re never going to go back. So I had that fear because I was supposed to go to law school right out of undergrad but quickly realized that wasn’t for me. So I went through this depression and hard time trying to figure out how I would get myself back in school and doubting myself. One day I buckled down and decided I was going back and I got through my first two semesters with straight A’s! So I feel really accomplished about that considering everything that was going on with the blog and working fulltime too, knowing that schoolwork is still important to me and I can do it all.”
What is your favorite quote and why?
“It’s definitely ‘aspire to inspire before you expire.’ Always look for a place to inspire someone. And how I measure success in everything that I do is if someone is inspired by me, whether it’s at work or through my blog. For instance, at work I have a lot of interns who work at my job and even if they aren’t directly under me, it’s nice to hear that one of them wants to meet me for coffee and discuss her own career. You never know who’s watching you. So always try to inspire people in different aspects of your life because there’s so many places you exist in life, outside of work and the gym and your family, there’s so many parts of your life and there’s always someone looking up to you. You just never know! So just try to live a life that inspires people.”
By: Kacie Nelson