Passion for Influence

A while back I made an Instagram Story (if you don’t follow me on IG, I post stories about my dog and food mostly – it’s quality stuff!) about taking a break from blogging. I wasn’t creating content I loved and I simply didn’t feel inspired to write about things I was truly passionate about. Sure, I can produce content weekly, even daily if I wanted to, but that’s not why I’m here in my little corner of the internet. I’m here because I have a passion for creating. So, long story short, I opted not to produce content just for the sake of having a blog post go live and I hope my followers can appreciate that because when I do post they know they’re getting the maximum.

Sooo frequently I’m asked “how do I become an influencer!?” or “how do I get free product?!” or “how do I start making money on Instagram!?” … and I’m always taken back before I answer. You see, you can’t go into this industry of blogging and being an influencer with the mindset that you’ll be able to quit your job immediately and bask in the glory of “free product” in exchange for a post. If that’s what your intention is, I’ll tell you right now, you probably won’t be happy. Being an influencer takes work, real work, and you’re not always compensated for your time. It’s not as simple as standing next to a cool wall with a cute outfit and taking photos. It’s creating content even when you’re not in front of a camera, planning your blog posts, and most importantly, constantly having your “business” in mind. Being that my background is in Public Relations and Marketing, specifically as it relates to social media, I have a really good grasp on the influencer market and on the ever changing world of Instagram, my platform of choice. Instagram is like an actual game of risk because it takes planning and determination to grow yourself organically. I could go on forever about Instagram but I’ll save that for another blog post. I’m continuously researching how to better myself and how to combat Instagram’s algorithm so that I’m able to share my successes and my failures with not only my Instagram friends but companies and brands. Now, remember what the title of this blog post is? Passion for Influence. That’s something raw and real. Each day, as I’m plotting my attack on IG (heehee), I remind myself why I’m doing what I do. Each time I have a fluctuation in engagement or my follower count isn’t at a constant incline, I remind myself why I continue to do what I do. Here’s the short answer, I have a passion for influencing others. I believe strongly that the power of influence can impact the lives of many and that’s why I’m here. Most of the time, I’m sharing products I love or collaborating with companies that I love to give you guys the best reviews and testimonials. However, I’m also sharing when I fall short. I’m hoping that by not only sharing the good but the bad too, that I’m able to positively impact someone. It’s not always about the number of followers you have or your engagement score, it’s about having fun with your content and being transparent to your followers!

Usually, when I tell people the long version of that story, they either decide that becoming an influencer isn’t as easy as they originally thought it would be and they move on with their life or they take the challenge head on to begin growing their brand. I’m not an expert and I have a long way to go to be where I want to be. There will always be influencers who are better than I am and do way more than I ever could, but I know that at the end of the day I’m giving this path I’ve chosen my all to strive for my ultimate goal of spreading my passion to create content and positively influence others to the masses. Happy Monday!

 

xx, Kaitlyn 

Realistic Resolutions for the New Year

New Years resolutions can be hard to keep, especially if they’re major life changes or something you have to work hard to maintain. Aside from the fact that it takes a minimum of 21 days to break a habit, such as going to the gym instead of binge watching Netflix, the added pressure of reaching your goal can be daunting which makes it harder to focus on the desired results. I’ve compiled a list of my favorite yet simple ways to ensure you’ll have a fabulous year in 2018!

Drink more water. This sounds like an easy task but even if you’re just sitting around the house, your body requires roughly 64 ounces of water each day! How funny is it that we can drink several glasses of champagne in one sitting but the thought of drinking our daily required amount of water feels hard! I love water and always have so for those of you who find it difficult to drink enough, I suggest investing in a fun water bottle like a S’well or a bottle that encourages you to want to drink more water. Also, take note of how many ounces are in the bottle of your choice and make a mental note of how many bottles of water you need to drink to hit your goal. It won’t seem as horrific as drinking eight, 8 oz glasses of water each day.

Stretch more. How silly does that sound? “My New Years Resolution is to stretch more” … but I’m serious! Take some extra time in the morning, literally 2 additional minutes, to stretch your body. Wake your body up the natural way instead of running for the  nespresso machine in your kitchen. Now, I’m not saying to stop drinking your favorite lattes but you will notice a difference in your energy level first thing in the morning simply from stretching your body.

Sign up for a new workout class. Workout classes are 100% different than casually going to the gym because with a workout class you’re held accountable to be there or you’ll be fined. I don’t know about you but I’m not about paying money for something I didn’t do. So, sign up for a spin class or a TRX class or even just a beginners yoga class. Do something you wouldn’t normally do! You’ll probably really enjoy the challenge.

Practice daily self affirmation. Tell yourself each day through writing or by speaking that you deserve to have a great day! Tell yourself that you’re a boss ass b*tch and remind yourself that you deserve that raise. Tell yourself that you’re going to do a great job today. At the end of the day, reflect on what happened. Did you meet your goals? Did you lose hope in your words of affirmation? If so, what can you do better tomorrow? Live your best life!

Try something new at least one time each month. So, this was a resolution I came up with for myself a few years ago. At the time, I had never been on an airplane, I had never been out of the country, etc … and I was itching for new experiences. During the year I flew across the country to visit one of my best friends, I went to Canada for the first time (my friendly neighbor to the east), and at the end of the year I had at least 12 new things I did that year. It was absolutely incredible to reflect on the memories I made, the laughs I shared, and the challenges I had. Each month set a goal to do or try something new to you and when you accomplish it, write it down either in your notes on your phone or physically on paper. Even if you didn’t like what you tried, you still pushed yourself to do something new!

Meatless Day. Pick a day of the week and go meatless. I’m not here to preach to you about veganism or vegetarianism but I am here to say that I really monitor my animal product consumption for my own health reasons. I’ll still eat a cheeseburger and love every second of if but I’ll always have multiple days per week where I go completely meatless. If you’re skeptical, feel free to reach out! I have a ton of self-created vegetarian recipes that I’d love to share with you. Who knows, you might actually prefer the vegetarian option to the option made with meat. Plus, this can be your “something new” to try for the month!

I hope you celebrate the New Year and have the most amazing time with friends or family. If you’re watching the ball drop in your jammies on the couch or if you’re decked out in sequins at a VIP party popping champagne at midnight, I wish you the best start to 2018!

xx, Kaitlyn

2017: “The Worst Year Ever”

Before I start, I want to take a moment to say thank you. Thank you for sticking around and reading my content. Thank you for following my ever-growing Instagram account. Thank you for supporting my brand, Collectively Kaitlyn. I work so hard to produce the type of content you guys like reading and seeing and the type of content I am proud to display. Now, this blog post is going to be completely different. I won’t be talking about fashion, lifestyle tips, or crazy deals you need to snag. Instead, I’ll be talking about my year in review. What happened, where I went, what I did, and how I changed. So, keep reading if you’re interested and I hope by the end of this post you feel inspired to be your best self in 2018.


It’s hard to open up about your personal life on the internet, like, you have thousands of eyes judging you all at once, but, when you have a platform and a voice that you can use to help someone else, you need to use it. 2017 was amazing… in some aspects. I was promoted within my company, I traveled out of the country to the beautiful city of Toronto, I traveled to so many wonderful cities in the USA, a handful of my favorite friends got married, another handful got engaged, I had the opportunity to work with SO many absolutely awesome brands, I got to celebrate the many successes of friends and family, etc…

I felt alone. I felt numb. I felt nothing. 

Rewind to give you a very short, very quick, little background story. My entire life I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression to an extent I just never knew it. It was always manageable or I always had so much going on in my life that I could push the anxiety away and completely forget about the emotions I felt. In 2016, I graduated college, after 6 years. I left a job I had loved for over 5 years. I became an alumni of my sorority. I went from working 9-5 in an office to working from home. I moved into a new house. Everything in my life was changing. I began to feel extremely withdrawn, sad … constantly sad, I stopped going to the gym which was always a positive outlet for me, I would cry for hours on end in my dark bedroom by myself completely unable to move. In late 2016, my depression and anxiety reached an all time high. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t move, I couldn’t even breathe most days. I wrote several letters to loved ones explaining why I simply couldn’t live my life anymore. I wanted to leave, leave all of the positive things I had surrounding me. I wanted nothing more than to crawl into a shell and never come out. The end of 2016 came and I felt like I had nothing to show for it. The anxiety was overpowering everything I tried to do all while taking everything I did have away from me. The depression was so severe I couldn’t be trusted to be alone. I felt like my life was completely unwrapping before my eyes and I had no control over it.

Fast forward to February 2017 – I was finally referred to a therapist who was willing to help me through all I had been dealing with on my own without prescribing medication to me. After months of talk therapy, I “graduated” from mark to severe to extreme in all categories (anxiety, depression, and panic disorder). My therapist told me she could no longer help me alone and that I needed to see a psychiatrist in tandem to meeting with her.

My heart sank into the ground.

I never wanted to be medicated. I had heard the horror stories of people gaining weight, becoming addicted, etc … and I wanted absolutely nothing to do with any of that. However, I went along with her recommendation. In August 2017, shortly after my 25th birthday, I met with a psychiatrist and was prescribed a medication to help me work through my feelings and to feel grounded. Against my will, I knew I needed this type of help. I knew I had let things go on for so long untreated that I needed to correct the imbalance happening within me. I’ve never been more thankful. I’m not “cured” and I may never be, but I can function like a normal human. I’m myself, actually, I’m better than I have been in a long time. The road is still rough and I’m not negligent to that but I can say that the view from where I am compared to where I was is magnificent.


2017 was a year of growth. I became dedicated to Collectively Kaitlyn and my passion for blogging was found once again. I found myself and I found something that makes me happy, creating content. I grew within my role at my company, even received another promotion! I nurtured true friendships and let go of friendships that no longer served me. I took time to be selfish and put myself first. I traveled, I experienced new things, and I tried to pick up new hobbies. I became friends with unexpected individuals both in person and via Instagram. I had my life touched by so many of you through kind words and encouraging comments. I’ve made connections with some of my favorite brands and public figures through my brand and I cannot express how eternally grateful I am for those opportunities.

2017 might have been hard but it most certainly wasn’t the worst year ever. In 2018, my goal is to continue to become the best version of myself that I possibly can be. I want to continue growing my brand, working hard to produce quality content, work with more brands I admire, excel in my career, put my mental health as a priority, and use my platform to help others who may also be struggling.

Wishing you the absolute best end to 2017 and the most amazing start in 2018! I have a blog post launching this weekend about “realistic resolutions” to have in the new year so be on the look out for that one.

Cheers to you and yours!

xx, Kaitlyn