Today we’d like to introduce you to Laura Lape.
Laura, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My husband and I moved to the DFW area three years ago to be closer to family while beginning our own. We lived in Vancouver, BC for a few years and we were prepared to make that our long-term home. We had already been accepted and were moving forward with our Canadian permanent residency status when we felt a distinct call to I guess, switch things up. At around 28 weeks pregnant, we packed up and took a road trip from Vancouver all the way to Fort Worth where we now live.
Starting over can be unnerving. Luckily, we felt right at home. We quickly found a church community which opened the doors to friendships, learning about our new city, volunteering, and our own, personal growth. I had my website for a while but hadn’t quite figured out what I wanted to do with it. It felt like all around me, bloggers were focusing one subject where I really wanted to just talk about everything. As my son grew and I began to get more sleep, I realized that putting the effort into blogging and social media wasn’t just a creative outlet for myself but it had become a major component of my identity other than being a mom and a wife. It was mine. I love to cook, so when friends would ask for a recipe, I would put it on my blog.
When I would get asked by women with similar body types how to style outfits or where I was shopping, that became something I would include, too. Sometimes, a light bulb would go off in my mind as I would realize that I’ve had the same conversation multiple times within the past month and, maybe, I should be writing about it. I’m still finding my way with my blog. My goal is ultimately to help others while allowing myself to channel some creativity in between practicing the ABCs with my toddler. Whether it be reviewing the newest Netflix show, great buys on Amazon or just some takeaways from coffee with friends, I want other people to read my blog and feel like it helped them in some way.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
There’s a certain need for a vulnerability that comes with publicly putting your life out there and along with that, an expectation of authenticity. Those two things, if given the room, can create a tornado of insecurity within our minds. Even as a confident person, I still find myself getting caught up in comparing the numbers. Often, my cursor hovers over the publish button while I have to take a deep breath and remind myself of where my value comes from before clicking. Your value isn’t in your follower count, your engagement, how many people told you that they read your post and loved it or even how many people disagreed. Comparison will get you nowhere and it’s important to remember how huge it is that you’re allowing yourself an outlet for creative expression on a topic you’re passionate about. This may feel like an “easier said than done” piece of advice because, well, it is. It’s hard to actively practice humility while also trying to get the perfect selfie. Personally, I turn to prayer and meditation to remind myself of where my worth comes from. Something as simple as a post-it with a verse stuck to my laptop can give me a boost of confidence to move forward with something I was doubting myself about. Remember where your own worth comes from and find practical, small, everyday ways to constantly remind yourself of that.
Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
One of the things I love doing is helping others understand social media. I’ve done social media training in classroom settings, small groups, and one-on-one. I have a huge heart for those looking to utilize social media for long-term mission work and enjoy being able to give back in that way. I’m always happy to sit down and help artists, small business owners or just individual people looking to understand social media and what goes into each platform. Photography is also one of my passions. Currently, I have neither the time or energy to give to develop this into a full-time photography career, but I enjoy it in my spare time. While I take on photography clients every couple of months, I am usually behind the camera doing my own lifestyle photography or snapping photos for friends while hanging out. I think that the fact that this isn’t my full-time career sets me apart a bit. This is something I do for fun because I enjoy it and because I want to help others. I’m not at the point where I need to grit my teeth in order to get the job done. I get the job done because it’s what I love doing.
Do you have any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general? What has worked well for you?
Especially in the South, under the guise of the idea that everyone is a friend, we tend to fall into a habit of making vague promises to get together. Go against the grain. Instead of saying “let’s get together soon” say “what does your schedule look like next week? I’d love to get together.” We’re all used to those passing phrases of “let’s get lunch” or hearing “sometime soon” at the end of a sentence. Push through that moment of discomfort and throw out a couple of specific dates. You won’t be able to move forward in any relationship if you aren’t able to even meet with them in person.
- Website: lauralape.com
- Instagram: instagram.com/laura_lape
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lauralape/
- Twitter: twitter.com/laura_lape
Felicity Suzanne Photography (mint green dress photo)