Does this flannel wearin’ tool holdin’ girl look a little excited to you?
Well, she sure was!
And did you GASP at the mere presence of a flannel shirt at the largest blog conference in Canada?!
Well, there was a method to my madness. And here’s how it all went down…
Where we left off – I had just arrived to Toronto and settled down in this incredible, 8th floor room at the Royal York. With the CN tower wonderfully illuminating a city night glow through my window, tomorrow was speech day…
The morning came fast. (Don’t they always?) As I got up and made my in room Keurig coffee (seriously!!), I looked at my chosen clothes, and as always, second guessed my choices. But I waved my hand in the air and reconvinced myself, “Nope! You have a plan. And you need to carry it through! They’ll get it.”
Oh I hope they get it… 🙂
And then I caught myself rehearsing my speech yet again. But my words kept changing… uhh… no. This won’t do.
“You need to just go and speak from your heart. WING IT. If it’s perfect, it’ll sound planned.”
That inner voice always knows what to say. Let’s go get some breakfast…
Quick recap… the night before, I specked out where the stage was located. Oh my goodness… this gorgeously grand, muffly cozy room did not feel intimidating one bit! I stood up on the stage, took this picture, and didn’t feel nervous at all.
So many tables, so many lovely people! Breakfast among blogger friends? Nothing like it!
But when speech time approached, I excused myself so I could ‘get into the zone.’ You get that, right?
I found a lovely quiet spot in the ladies’ rest room on a lounger. There was a sitting room in the restroom and it was exquisite. Perfection.
And then it was time…
My intro was made… but then I stalled.
I started again… but then lost my words, and came to a halt.
“I’m sorry guys… I thought I could do this, but I can’t.”
“THIS way. MY FIX PLEASE? Sorry, I really thought I could do it without my fix. One moment please..”
Seriously… scroll between the two pics. Which one looks right? No contest in my eyes. 🙂
This segment was to bring home the importance of branding. My tools, junk and flannel shirt are part of who I am, and how I present myself. Another thing I’m (apparently) known for are pallets. I wonder why… 🙂
These are all normal, everyday things, but people think of me when they see some of this stuff, so that’s part of the branding package that I don’t even have to pay for.
See where I’m coming from?
And then the slideshow took off. I talked along with it, with very few notes.
Jen, of Blogpodium desired my speech to be about how I stay authentic, and to divulge some my secrets.
And since you weren’t there, I’ll say this.
My authenticity derives from my own story. I went through some tough trials at the beginning of my blog career. And when you hit bottom, you have no where to go but up.
So I slowly climbed my way out of that dark hole, and started doing the only thing I could. I scrounged off the side of the road, in order to decorate my home. I fired up a blog called Funky Junk Interiors, and… here I am, doing my best to encourage those that think they have to go without. Because they don’t.
All it takes is creativity, and a belief in yourself, and you can work up to your heart’s desires.
Ask me how I know.
Everything else I talked about was centred around my story. For it’s your story that changes you. I’m all about teaching because I needed teaching. I only want to do simple but cool things because that’s where I use to be and I get how it feels when you desire more but can’t do anything about it.
So I poured it all out. I made them laugh, I made them cry, and hopefully they left inspired to the point of knowing they got this, just by being themselves.
After the speech, I sat to enjoy the rest. I glance down at my phone for a moment on Twitter, and that’s when my jaw absolutely dropped….
There was tweet after tweet after tweet of quotes from my speech. I’ve never seen anything like it!
And here they are… it’s long, but it’s a keepsake for me.
I tried to cut and paste the feed but lost half my blog post due to corrupted file, so this will have to do… you know who you are. 🙂
– – – – – – –
Fantastic keynote speaker today!!
“be originally you…everyone else is taken”
“Be originally you. Everyone else is taken.”
Be originally you
I’m inspired and touched by Donna’s story of how she began her blogging journey.
“You look like you. You look like you blog.” Great quote. Dress like you.
“If I like it, someone else will like it” – thanks
“Don’t be hard on yourself. Be yourself.”
“Be originally you. Everyone else is taken”
thank you!!!! Super inspiring.
“Be originally you. Everyone else is taken” love this!
thx for sharing your story with us
Don’t be hard on yourself, be yourself.
‘don’t be hard on yourself, just be yourself!” more great advice
One blog does not fit all. Be originally you!
One blog does not fit all
“from day job to dream job” inspiring story
Love hearing from Donna, her words are so inspirational, glad to call her a friend!
“Have faith in yourself, read your mantra, stay motivated, and take the jump!”
“Partners first. Money second.” THIS x1000000. Work with good people.
This lady is the real deal. Inspirational & genuine keynote by
“Social media is a necessary evil. Use it efficiently. Tools like Viraltag allow you to double up.”
Numbers are not that important, it is what you do with these numbers. Advice by Donna Williams
inspiring words! “Stop competition by being original.” Everybody take notes!
hey lovely Layla, Donna is chatting about you:)
‘Focus on your content – the rest will take care of itself’
Focus on creating quality content and everything else will follow.
Focus on your content, the rest will come.
“Focus on your content first, the rest takes care of itself”
“It’s not all about numbers. It’s what you do with those numbers.” Wish more brands would think like this.
“Focus on your content. Do your own thing. You will grow from there.”
“When I focus on my content, the rest takes care of itself.”
“When I focus on my content, the rest takes care of itself,”
when you focus on your content, the rest takes care of itself
“How do you grow? Focus your content and the rest takes care of itself.”
Speaker Donna is full of great advice for bloggers! => What competition? Be original.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and learn as you DIY and blog. Use screws instead of nails. (:
“When I focus on my content, the rest takes care of itself”
How to deal with the competition? Be original!
“Be original in what you do”
Write a mantra for your blog and stay authentic to it
“How do you deal with competition? Be original and don’t think about what other people do”
be original with what you do and there is no such thing as competition
“push yourself into new zones”
“Fill lots of dumpsters. If you don’t, you’re not pushing yourself enough.” So good
learn, grow, make mistakes – use screws instead of nails:) great advice from
Write a mantra! Stay true!
“Learning is critical. Google it. Use Facebook Groups. Fill a dumpster, or three!”
Create a blog mantra and stay authentic to it
So many bloggers relate to this…
Write a mantra for your blog.
Thanks, Donna for validating my love of hoarding ‘stuff’ for future projects!
“Go home a write a mantra for you blog. It will change the way you blog.”
“Ditch pride. Allow help. Take risks. Believe in yourself. Trust others. Become a better you.”
‘write a mantra for your blog’
If you’re going thru a difficult time, your story is not over
my hardships gave me a new life:)
“Ditch your pride. Take risks. Trust others. Let the hardships give you a new life.”
ideas can give you ‘things’ 🙂 love this!
“My day job gets in the way of my success”
“I get it, there are roadblocks. But there is one way to get back on track… tell your story.”
Donna’s speech makes me want to move to the country.
if creating for your blog doesn’t make you feel all ‘woohoo’, then rethink it & re-focus
Love her too!! Great keynote to start the day!
Homework tonight-find something that I can use to brand myself for my blog
“We are writers, bloggers, photographers. We are so many different things. How do we define what we do?
Think of something inexpensive to brand yourself with as a blogger. Wise advice
Donna is shaking things up at Blogpodium and sharing tips on branding blogs (and looking chic in flannel to boot!)
your brand is your story to tell
“Brand yourself. Pick something that is you. Something that represents you.”
“Pick something and brand yourself with it”
Know your brand and embrace it.
So glad Donna made the trip to Toronto for Blogpodium today – her energy this morning is already inspirational!
‘what is the one thing you can brand yourself with?’ asks Donna ‘people will associate that with you/blog’
giving props to Urban Barn for their great stuff
Listening to Donna funky at Blogpodium . She is the ultimate DIYer. Looooove her passion.
love the energy coming from
Of course Donna’s keynote message is just as fun as her blog.
he is so real genuine and delightful.
Donna has only been speaking for 30 secs and she’s already inspiring!
something you love and are passionate about can BE your career
Welcome Donna! Very excited for your keynote 🙂
We are so honoured to welcome our Keynote Speaker, Funky Junk Donna, to the Blogpodium stage! Let’s give her a warm welcome!
– – – – – –
My eyes blurred as I read all the tweets. I was so very touched that so much seemed to get through just the way I intended. My heart was completely full.
And then it was time to take in the rest of the conference.
These girls… how I love these girls! I met so many bloggers I’ve wanted to meet. I’m so glad Lucy was among them.
And Jen! Talk about a new friendship meant to be… you’ll soon see why.
I had a chance to chat with Scott (first name basis, you know..), and he was soooo personable. His speech was truly inspirational for any blogger, very down to earth, relatable advice.
These guys were so great. Did I tell you we go way back? Oh yeah… they were sitting in the front row when they heard I was a key note, giving me the thumbs up all the way through! So grateful they had time to come just for me!
We’re all hookin’ up for the HGTV Christmas party. See you soon, guys!
#dreamon #I’mkidding #bigtime #butIcanstilldream
Meeting old friends, making new friends, hanging out with some major HTGV stardom, taking in the classes, talking it up with the sponsors, amazing food, beautiful decor, staying in such a high end hotel, in a fabulous city, it was all so overwhelming in the very best of ways.
I am so very honoured to have been a part of Blogpodium. Jen, thank-you so very much. I’ll never forget the experience and new friendships made.
And a very special thank-you to Flow Photo for the pictures! I couldn’t have shared this story without them!
– – – – –
And then I met a girl… her name was Jen and she approached me and said she loved my blog.
Jen just so happens to be Fusion Mineral Paint, and Homestead House, creator of Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint. That’s all. 🙂
And she offered to take me around Toronto the very next day… a full day tour. And I so very excitedly and gratefully accepted….
Next up? Jen and I get high… so very VERY high… and so MUCH more!
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