5 Ways A Woman Can Curate Her Passion Instead Of Her Lifestyle

by Katie Gonzalez

Blake Lively’s newly-launched lifestyle website caused quite the stir.

With the introduction of this Goop-esque blog, everyone seems to want to opine, with the loudest voices currently reserved for those who have come out critically against Lively’s latest attempt to be an arbiter of taste (despite the fact that she denounces this particular title in her Letter from the Editor).

Jezebel does a nice round-up of all the criticism currently out there. A lot of it is mean, some of it is really funny. But all of it totally misses the point.

These sites are nothing to scoff at because women should be working hard to curate something; it’s just not the difficult-to-define and overly-consumerist “lifestyle” that’s portrayed on these web pages.

Instead, women should be working to curate their careers, taking time to evaluate, reassess and improve what they do in the day-to-day, so that they have the professional and personal lives that are truly reflective of their interests.

Be it your business, your brand or your side passion, perhaps more women should get out of the rabbit hole that are these “aspirational” sites, and start creating a space for themselves that they fit perfectly into, without all the feelings of self-loathing that come from getting glimpses of how Gwyneth Paltrow does it.

Here’s how to curate your life the right way:

1. Quit.

Being passionate about what you want and pursuing those goals doesn’t have to involve the material items, like Blake Lively’s recommended $40 salt or best brand of vegan cheese.

Just look at the example of Nikki Lee, who left a cushy career in corporate sales to start her own cake-making business, Unbirthday.

Although there’s a lot of uncertainty in walking away from something more stable and mainstream, there’s also a lot of unhappiness manifested in working for an individual or group that's not truly indicative of what you want to be doing.

2. Work Harder

Hard work will get you a promotion. But the truth remains, you still have to work harder if you want to make your true interest translate into a long-term sustainable career.

3. Take Classes

You might love something, but you may not be good enough to monetize it... yet. Don’t be afraid to take a class or reach out to people more skilled to have them teach you their expertise.

If you’re learning more and perfecting your passion, that means you’re already devoting additional time each week to doing what you love.

4. Let Go of the Wrong People

For every reinvention in your life, every attempt to switch things up, the naysayers will certainly come out of the woodworks (not unlike Blake Lively’s own critics).

But in order to move past your preliminary stage of determining your new life goals, you have to shed the people who’d rather see you comfortable than truly happy.

The “wrong people” are those who don’t support you endlessly, who don’t see that your best interest is in taking a huge risk with an even greater reward.

5. Align Yourself With Those Who Are Right For You

As women attempting to switch careers or reinvent themselves in some other way in life, networking is as important as ever.

Surrounding yourself with like-minded people and finding a female mentor within your new industry or interest is a crucial stepping stone for success in this venture.

Photo Courtesy: Scout & Catalogue