Sometimes you meet certain people who are so interesting and so inspiring you just know your life will be different because you met them. This is how I felt about the woman behind the blog and the brand Vic Styles when I first met her last year at a Boss Babes Brunch she hosted in Birmingham. I later had the pleasure of interviewing her for B-Metro magazine.

Though based in L.A., Vic has family in Alabama so she visits the Magic City often. During her most recent trip, she spoke at a Bloggers Night Out event hosted by the organizers of the upcoming Magic City Fashion Week. Vic is a full-time lifestyle blogger who has figured out how to essentially get paid to live her life and be herself. In a recent interview with 21Ninety, Vic described herself as a “freelance life-liver.”

Since Vic is living what is nearly every blogger’s dream, you can be sure the room reserved at Blue Monkey Lounge last Wednesday evening for Bloggers Night Out was packed. Here are five gems dropped by Vic that I really needed to hear.

Chase purpose, not profit. Even though Vic made $20,000 last year on sponsored Instagram content alone, one piece of advice she offered her fellow bloggers is to have multiple revenue streams. But she also made clear that if you’re blogging just for the money you need to get out the game RIGHT NOW! Instead, focus on your purpose, the difference you want to make, the people you want to help, the lives you want to change. These words were refreshing to hear. I often wonder if I’m not focusing on money enough when it comes to building my brand. But I am going to trust in a famous quote by Zig Ziglar: “You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.”

Embrace the hustle. What should you do if you hate your day job, someone in the audience asked. Vic replied, “You got to eat.” Staying focused on your purpose, she said, will help you get through the day. This reminded me of what I often tell See Jane Write members who despise their 9 to 5. Instead of seeing your day job as something that is standing in your way, see it as something that is funding your dreams until your passion can pay for itself.

Teamwork makes the dream work. It’s not just a saying, it’s the truth, Vic said when discussing the importance of having a tribe. Not only can your support system give you the encouragement that you need, but they can help in practical ways, too. For example, Vic suggested that fashion bloggers team up with other fashion bloggers and take photos of one another for upcoming blog posts. Obviously, I believe in the power of tribes. It’s why See Jane Write exists. But when a huge group of women see you as their “fearless leader” you often feel you have to go after your own success alone. Vic reminded me that’s it’s OK for me, for anyone, to ask for help.

You can do it all, but not all at once. This is something I tell the women of See Jane Write all the time, but Vic’s talk last week made me realize that I’m not taking my own advice. A young woman attending Bloggers Night Out told Vic that she has so many things she wants to do that she feels overwhelmed and she asked what she should do. Vic’s advice was simple: do one thing at a time. Vic used Oprah as her example, pointing out that before Oprah had a magazine and a TV network and a movie production company, she had a talk show. And she built her fame and fortune through that show first so that she could then go do other things.

Be yourself. Always. Nowadays everybody and their dog — literally — has a blog. So how do you stand out in the crowd? Stay true. Be you. Vic says that she started becoming more successful as a blogger once she stopped trying to like the bloggers she admired and started simply being herself.

What lessons have you learned about blogging? 

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