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Episode 446: How To Manage A Chronic Illness While Running Your Own Business From Home with Karin Collins

In episode 446, Megan chats to Karin Collins about dealing with a chronic condition while building a food blog and how we can do the same by overcoming our own challenges.

We cover information about what to think about when deciding to blog while simultaneously dealing with a chronic illness, how to know if you should share your situation with your audience, what to do with negative comments, know you can lighten the load by outsourcing some tasks and why you need to be sure you balance your personal life from blogging.

Listen on the player below or on iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast player. Or scroll down to read a full transcript.

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Guest Details

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Takeaways

  • Things won’t stay static in life or in blogging so prepare for change
  • Embrace some days you’re productive and days you’re off and need to adjust
  • Do your best. Be transparent with people, don’t fake it. People around us will understand.
  • Don’t stop, be willing to try.
  • Meet people with kindness to offset any negativity.
  • Accept help and pay for help when its time.
  • Don’t stop living – find a balance between living and blogging.

Transcript

Click for full script.

EBT445 – Karin Collins

Intro: Food bloggers, hi, how are you today? Thank you so much for tuning in to the Eat Blog Talk podcast. This is the place for food bloggers to get information and inspiration to accelerate your blog’s growth and ultimately help you to achieve your freedom, whether that’s financial, personal, or professional.

I’m Megan Porta and I’ve been a food blogger for over 12 years. I understand how isolating food blogging can be at times. I’m on a mission to motivate, inspire, and most importantly, let each and every food blogger, including you, know that you are heard and supported. 

Karin Collins joins me here in this episode from Kitchen Divas, and she is about to inspire you as she did me. She brings such an amazing, inspiring, encouraging, motivating story to the table. She has MS and she runs a food blog, but also other successful businesses alongside her blog while managing MS and being a wife and a mom and other things. In the episode, we talk about how yes, for her, MS is a challenge, but for the rest of us, we have challenges too, and that might just be, you’re a tired mom. That in itself is truly a challenge. So we talk about ways to navigate this food blogging journey, being a human and just living life and having tiredness in your life and sleep deprivation and anxiety, depression, fill in the blank there. We can all relate to the topics that Karen brings to the table.

This is definitely more of an inspiring conversation as opposed to delivering pure information, but valuable and a topic that does not get discussed enough in our space. So I feel this is very important for all of us to listen to. This is episode number 446 and it is sponsored by RankIQ. 

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Megan Porta: Karin started her blog with a severe disability. She turned it into a success so she knows anyone can do it. She is a blogger as well as a social media manager with bloggers with over 2 million followers. She is proud to also run a video business as well that shoots food videos. Karin added the title blog coach to her list of skills and offerings and she does it all from a wheelchair. Hello, Karin. How are you today? 

Karin Collins: I’m doing well, thank you. And you? 

Megan Porta: I’m good, too. I’m super excited to chat with you and connect and, yeah, learn from you. Before we dig into that, though, our topic, which is blogging with challenges of any kind, is life in general, sometimes. We would love to know if you have a fun fact to share?

Karin Collins: You know what, it’s a fun fact, it’s not really a fun fact, but the fact is that I run my businesses from a wheelchair. I have multiple sclerosis and most people don’t know it. I don’t let it define me, but it’s something that people are always shocked by when they hear it. 

Megan Porta: I love that you don’t let it define you and that it’s just a fact, right? This is part of my life. Yeah. That kind of ties into our chat today. Just blogging with challenges in general, you have your own unique set of challenges and honestly we all have our set of challenges on some levels, so I think this will apply to many people. But first, before we get into that topic, why don’t you just give us a little background on your blog, and I know you have some other businesses, so tell us about those as well.

Karin Collins: Okay, first I have my blog kitchendivas.com. It started in 2016 as I guessed something to give me or to give me something to do. My husband encouraged me because everyone always asked for my recipes. I was a high school teacher and it just gave me another outlet to help to teach and for my sanity, I think.

So we started Kitchen Divas and then I started foodbloggervideos.com because I needed videos made and then we ended up getting a bunch of teams together and now we make videos regularly. I also am a social media manager So I’ve got bloggers with over 2 million followers as well as my own. I don’t have 2 million followers but I manage bloggers, I manage a video company and the food blog all in one.

Megan Porta: In a nutshell, you’ve got a lot going on. You have a very robust business with different aspects, so it’s not like you’re putting up one blog recipe a week. You’ve got all a lot on your plate. 

Karin Collins: Yes, most definitely. Most definitely. 

Megan Porta: Yes. I know that you use cooking as a therapeutic thing, and that is a key in your life, right? Can you tell us more about that? 

Karin Collins: Yeah, no I found that I suffered some traumas when I was younger. I have post traumatic stress disorder, PTSD, and cooking was always a therapy for me. Cooking my whole life has been almost a therapy. When I was young, I used to spend time with my grandmothers cooking with them, learning from them. Even one of my grandmothers, we used to cut articles out of magazines and make the recipes together and talk about how they could be better. When I was away at school or not close to them, we’d both make the recipe and then compare notes on the phone. It was a wonderful outlet for me growing up. Then as I’ve gotten sicker, it just makes me feel good to still be able to teach, to share, to create. It calms my mind. Food’s amazing. 

Megan Porta: Yeah. It is amazing what food can do, right? Just the preparation of it, the thought that goes into it, the love that goes into it, and also the enjoyment of it. There’s so much there. 

Karin Collins: Oh, most definitely. Most definitely. Food brings people together on so many different levels and it’s yeah. I can’t remember if it was Glada De Laurentiis or Anthony Bourdain or somebody and they said that it’s nourishment of the soul and body and it’s truly love. I totally agree with that sentiment. 

Megan Porta: So you mentioned your grandmother. Is it grandmother or did you have two grandmothers that you shared cooking with? 

Karin Collins: I was lucky enough to have two grandmothers. One was from Denmark and one was from England. So you can imagine the cooking and the baking completely different. One grandmother was more concerned with flavor and finish and how things looked. Whereas the other grandmother from England was more thoughtful about it tasting good, her priorities were different.

Megan Porta: So you have a full gamut of different food flavors and priorities and probably methods too, right? 

Karin Collins: Definitely. Definitely. Definitely. 

Megan Porta: Yeah. That’s really cool and something that a lot of us don’t have. So that’s a huge blessing, I think. Just something to treasure. 

Karin Collins: Yes. Oh, most definitely. I find even food brings memories. When I eat her soup and make her soup, one of my grandmothers to this day, it’s her essence for that moment, I just have a smile on my face. I want to give that to other people too. 

Megan Porta: Oh my gosh, that’s so sweet. I love that. Yeah. 

Karin Collins: The essence of your grandmother and her cooking and memories with her and all of that. So cool to learn about your history and your blog and your businesses. You mentioned a little bit earlier about having MS. 

Megan Porta: Yes. I’ll ask you about some of your challenges associated with that. But before I get to that, also, you were a teacher, correct? You moved from being a teacher to being a food blogger?

Karin Collins: Yes, I used to teach students that couldn’t function in the regular school system in a warehouse space. Basically, they were kids that had behavior issues. A lot of them had insulted a principal or a teacher and then they had to do some time with me and if they were successful, I could get them reintegrated back into regular school. I loved it. That was what I thought I was meant to do and I was meant to do it until my health notified me that a career change was in order. It just became too much with multiple sclerosis to do, unfortunately. 

Megan Porta: Yeah. So it seemed like a natural fit to go to food blogging, your love for cooking and food and your history with it. I’m assuming that it’s still a great fit and you’re still loving it? 

Karin Collins: Every moment. Every moment. I get up in the morning and the first thing I do is make sure that everything is running smoothly and what’s up and coming and because of the other businesses, the deadlines and as I’ve gotten sicker, I have to do things differently now. So you always have to adjust to the new normal. 

Megan Porta: Oh my gosh, yes. I think a lot of us can relate to that. Just having to be more efficient with our energy and our time and streamlining our lives is so vital as a food blogger because more and more gets put on our plate. More platforms emerge, more clients, more traffic. It’s a constant thing in our journeys, right? 

Karin Collins: For sure. The changes, all the changes that are occurring with Google and it’s crazy how one year you have to do a post this way. Then the next year they say we’re going to do it this way now. Then you’ve got to go back and make changes. You’re thinking, wow, I just did that. So there’s quite a bit of frustration being a food blogger too. 

Megan Porta: Yeah, honestly, there really is. Just have to roll with that and accept it as part of this job and journey. Yeah. So let’s talk a little bit about, so you have physical challenges that are limiting, and I just want to address that we can all relate to this on some level, whether it’s anxiety, whether it’s a mental challenge or depression. Or maybe you have kids who have special needs like I do, or you have an autistic child like I do, or whatever. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a discussion about MS or a physical limitation. This can be just maybe you’re overwhelmed by life or your food blog. So I want everyone to come into this feeling like they’re part of the conversation, but you are going to share a little bit about your unique perspective. So I guess, Karin, what challenges would you say come with having MS and food blogging? I guess we’ll start there. 

Karin Collins: Okay, with my MS, I used to be right handed, and now I’ve been forced to switch everything to being left handed. Again, I can’t walk the same, but luckily I have a wheelchair that goes up and down so I’m still able to cook at the stove, I’m still able to create. I have a deal with my husband though now. No more chopping food because I’m so stubborn and I kept wanting to cut and slice things and I kept cutting myself. So we have a deal now, no more chopping food. So I have to plan a meal plan a little, but I still get it done.

I still test the recipes before they go live. I don’t stir like I used to. It is what it is. I just do my best and some days are great and some days aren’t. I think what’s common, no matter what, whether it’s your child that perhaps has an illness or a condition or whether you have a condition, I think we all have to be kind to ourselves. You also have to be patient with yourself, and you have to forgive yourself. It’s like I wake up in the morning, and if it’s not the day to do things, I can’t get upset with myself. I just do what I can do that day, and it will wait. The things that won’t wait, usually I try and set them up on days when I feel really good, because with MS it’s up and down for me, depending how I slept that night or whatever happens. But at first I used to try and push through it, and it made me sicker. My friend said, why? So I started realizing that I wasn’t treating myself with kindness. It was like I still expected myself to be the way things were. The reality is they’re just not. So I found that I was happier when I made peace with that. Now I just do what I can do and get as much done as I can.

Megan Porta: I’m really glad that you mentioned the sleep because that can be an issue for anyone. If you’re not getting good sleep, it can totally affect me personally, it can affect my performance, whether it’s editing audio or editing photos. It can be a minuscule task in your business, but it can still affect me. So that is a huge thing any of us can suffer from, not sleeping well. I just love, Karin, that you just decided to accept and embrace where you’re at on any given day. That is such a huge lesson for the rest of us because we often try to fight it, right? We’re like, okay, I didn’t sleep well, but I’m going to do this anyway. I’m going to push through it. Then at the end of the day, we’re disappointed, we’re frustrated, we’re even more tired and we just have setbacks because of that. 

Karin Collins: It’s true. Yeah. And why? Because the reality is, as a food blogger, we are our own boss. My husband makes a joke that I’m Google’s mistress because I have to do whatever Google wants, that kind of thing. But the reality is that if we don’t want to do something on that day or we can’t, it really is okay to do it on another day. I’m not talking about sponsored posts where you have deadlines. I’m talking about day to day activities. Most of them can wait, and then get done properly when everything is working properly.

Megan Porta: Absolutely. Now, what about those times when it can’t wait? So if somebody else is depending on you, you have a call to show up. I have this frequently where I’m like, I have to be on this call. How do you manage your energy during those circumstances? 

Karin Collins: I just do my best and I’m okay with it. Depending on who it is. My clients all know that I do have multiple sclerosis. They all know that there are times when I don’t feel well. But most people, when you’re honest and you lead and you just say, I don’t feel well today, but I’m here. I’m going to do my best. That’s enough for people. It’s when you try to fake it, then things just get messed right up. 

Megan Porta: Isn’t it interesting that we try, just collectively as humans, we try to mask those things? I have to show up and appear to be on or perfect today when that is not the case. If I were to show up for one of my weekly mastermind calls and just say, if I didn’t sleep well and my words aren’t coming, I can just say that, right? People are going to not only understand, but they’re going to support me and be like, Oh, we’ve got you, we’ll cover today, that sort of thing? 

Karin Collins: Yes. 

Megan Porta: Yeah. Why do you think we do that? Why do we try to mask our imperfections or our sleep? That happens to all of us. Why can’t we just embrace that?

Karin Collins: I don’t know. I wish I did it sooner. I didn’t tell people for the longest time that I was sick on the blog. Social media, sometimes they can be mean. I was always worried about what they were going to think. What are they going to say? Will people still follow me? Will they want to eat my food? And then it becomes a very personal thing, too, to share. I went through a time when I stopped teaching when I was quite depressed and sad because I’d worked so hard. I loved my job. I think that’s why my husband was like, just put the recipes online. Try it. See what happens. Because I needed something to do. I think the biggest mistake that people make is they just do nothing. When anyone can put together a blog. If you’re willing to put in the hard work, it will, you will be rewarded. It’s not an if, it’s a when.

Megan Porta: Yeah, I do know. Yep. I love that. That is great. Encouraging bit of advice there. What do you do when you receive those hard comments that are just unnecessary and harsh? Do you not read them? Do you delete them? Do you have a strategy for that? 

Karin Collins: Actually I read them and I answer. And a lot of times People are mean out of ignorance or sometimes they just want the reaction out of you. Okay, one of my videos on YouTube, the one of the ones that are responsible for actually getting me enough followers so that I would get ads on YouTube, they shared it because they said it looked awful. Now when I say looked awful, that’s probably not even a comment that was included in all of the comments. They were horrid. It was mean. I started answering them and I was just being kind and I said, it was our first video or second video that we did. The lighting wasn’t great. It’s true, but the recipe is phenomenal. You just gotta try it. I think it went like 800,000 people shared it, because it looked awful. But I took it like, yeah, the video wasn’t that great. Yeah, you know what, it was one of our first. But I found that people, once I responded kindly, in a kind manner, either didn’t respond to me, a lot of them apologized, said they didn’t mean to come across harshly. It was crazy because at first I didn’t do anything. Then there were a couple of people that would defend me in the mix. So then I went and commented on them and then other people commented. Then at that point I had to just comment. I care what the people in my life think. Somebody on Facebook with a picture that may or may not be real or on Instagram or whatever social on YouTube, whatever social media, their words don’t have the impact that if my husband said, that video looks like vomit from the street, and a dead roadkill or whatever word like that would hurt my feelings. Yeah. Now he would never say that, but it wouldn’t, that would hurt my feelings. A bunch of people who are getting together and all agreeing that this video looks terrible, it’s not that they were wrong. It was that their delivery wasn’t as kind as it could have been. But Yeah, so I answer the comments, I answer the questions. I get a lot of comments on my blog. Sometimes what I’ll do is I will actually respond to the people who have emailed me directly to their email so it doesn’t appear on the blog and I explain everything to them. We end up having an enlightening conversation, I would say 90% of the time. Then they’ll send back a comment that they want to put up now that they understand. It’s ignorant sometimes too. Yes. You’ve got to be patient with people because if you’ve never been affected by a disease. We have a friend that gets a paper cut and calls in sick from work. I have a permanently dislocated knee among other things that is quite uncomfortable and painful. I’ve had shingles. So the paper cut thing to me, I look, but to them, that’s catastrophic, so everybody has their level, what they can tolerate in that. 

Megan Porta: That just takes a level of massive maturity. I don’t even know what word to put in there. Just a deep compassion to do that because it is very hard. I’m sure you know this, Karin, but what you’re saying is really hard for a lot of people to dig deep enough to be able to do. How do you just, is it practice? Is it having struggles to go through that give you perspective? How do you have any encouragement for people to get over that just really hard thing? You want to lash out and be like, you guys are insensitive, you’re rude, you want to say all of that. You know what I’m saying? 

Karin Collins: Yes, I do. I do. The reality is that when you engage in combat with them, you give them what they want and it doesn’t stop. So part of it is strategic in the sense that I’ve learned in all my years of blogging, and at first when I started being a social media manager, I did everything myself. Now I have quite a few people that help me, but I found that you kill them with kindness. And also it doesn’t hurt me. Because getting angry, getting frustrated, getting sad, getting all the emotions that come with, this video looks horrible. I’m using words they didn’t use. They were cursing. It was horrible. But it’s easier on my soul too cause I don’t engage in the anger of it. I just let it go and it does come with experience. Because at first when I answered the comments, I would get defensive. I would be offended. Then my husband, who doesn’t quite say a lot necessarily at times, especially about the food blog anymore, because he’s moved on to his own businesses and that, but he said to me, why do you care? I said, you should only care what we think. I remember looking at him, because I’ll never forget that moment. It was like I was overwhelmed by feeling almost stupid because how did I miss that? But you get so caught up in putting out the perfect recipe. For what it’s worth, at the time when we did that video in 2016 or the later 2015, that video didn’t look as bad as it does now. Or, a couple years ago. Yeah, we’re getting videos remade and all that, and it’s still at the bottom of my YouTube thing, so any of you would like to check it out, it’s there. It’s hilarious. It’s actually funny because I’ve shown it to friends, and my husband has said, show them that video. But I just think that in order to protect yourself, if you’re going to get into food blogging or if you’re into food blogging, you can’t let trolls or hateful people get in your head or in your soul or in your spirit.

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Megan Porta: I think once you get over the hump, like for you, it seems like it was your husband just being straight with you and saying, why do you care? It doesn’t matter. I think it’s something different for each of us. But I had a moment too, where in the beginning I was like, why are you people being so rude? This is a Pasta recipe. Are you joking? I was getting mad and then I was making myself stressed. So I had a moment where I just had this thought, what if I kill them with kindness? You mentioned this too, Karin. I started doing that and it actually felt good. And now the bad comments, they don’t even bother me a single morsel. Not even a bit because that’s my opportunity to unleash kindness on them and that diffuses everything. Once you do that, they’re like, Oh, okay. They back off or like you said, they even might apologize.

Karin Collins: Yes. 

Megan Porta: There’s power in kindness. All the time.

Karin Collins: Power for us and power for them power and it shows them an example of the way things are supposed to be. Because really, we’re not supposed to be that mean to each other, but the internet allows people to have courage where they wouldn’t. These people wouldn’t say that to me on the street. I’d say 90% of them, it wouldn’t even occur to them to say it, but I love it. I love it that you do it too. Once you start, it’s just getting it out of your head that you’re going to change their mind. Just don’t even entertain the argument. Let them think what they want and just say, you’re entitled to your opinion. It’s unfortunate because it’s one of the most popular recipes in our house and if you just take a moment and try making the recipe, then I would love to hear what you think. There’s so many ways of doing it, but yeah. 

Megan Porta: Yeah. I always say first of all thank you so much for commenting. I write it in that way, like I’m actually saying that oh, thank you. I really do appreciate your comment. I’m sorry you feel this way. Here’s blah, blah, blah. Just thinking through how you would say it to someone in person, I think, helps somehow. You’re not just writing words on a screen. You’re really feeling those words. I have compassion for whatever you’re going through. Clearly, you have some anger or something going on in the background, and I’m sorry about that. I’m sorry for you. Just that feeling behind how you’re responding to it. 

Karin Collins: Definitely. I also love that, because what I always do at the beginning of every comment or response is like, thank you for taking time out of your day, or thank you for taking the time to comment. People need to know that their time is valuable just as mine is. Even if it is a comment that’s mean and just awful, I try to lead with that. 

Megan Porta: Yeah. No, that’s a great way to let them know that you value their time in just a few words. I love that. Yep. So what other challenges would you say have presented themselves that you’ve navigated through? 

Karin Collins: I’ve had to hire people to help me, when it became too much and the deadlines and that. So at some point you have to find good people. It takes time. For example, the lady that helps me with my websites, she is the only one that hasn’t ripped me off, ever. She is the most honest and the only honest one that I’ve encountered. I advertise for free for her on my website under blogger resources so that any blogger that wants an honest web person to help them on their website can go there and get her name. Because Gretchen is great but you gotta understand how much money I spent before I found her. Because people promise they always want to be paid up front, this is the internet, it’s a different thing. 

Megan Porta: Yeah, so finding those people you trust, it’s not always easy, but it’s probably vital. Then once you find them, isn’t it just so precious to have those people in your world? 

Karin Collins: Yes. Most definitely.

Megan Porta: So hold on to them. Once you find them, treat them well, love them, and don’t let them go. 

Karin Collins: That’s true. It’s true. But you do that with people that you work with because I went through a bunch of different people when I started and over the years, and now I’ve got a great group around me. We work well together. We all gel well together. It just works. Keep going and don’t keep anybody that isn’t doing what you want. Do what you think is best. 

Megan Porta: That’s great. Yeah, that’s good advice right there because it’s easy to do that. Oh, maybe they’ll change. I can just teach them this. You keep rationalizing it in your mind. Why? Because it’s hard. It’s work to let people go and to have to find new people. But yeah, I think that is a key piece of advice right there. Just let them go if it’s not feeling right. 

Karin Collins: For sure. Now also, I don’t do all the photos myself. I just can’t. I do the recipes and I have a photographer that I work with. But another photographer that I worked with, I would send her the recipes and she would adjust them. I could not believe that I was paying her to adjust my recipes the way that she thought they should go, not the way I did. 

Megan Porta: Oh, you mean the actual written recipe she would alter?

Karin Collins: Yes, she would alter it. 

Megan Porta: Oh gosh. Oh no. 

Karin Collins: I have this bread that I make every Thanksgiving, Christmas. It’s a wonderful sage bread. It’s like stuffing in bread. I could eat almost a whole loaf myself. But what you’re supposed to do is you form it into a loaf, put it on a pan, and it becomes like an oval loaf. What she did is she took some of the onions out and she put them in a loaf pan. And what it did was it took away from The look and the feel of the bread and it became this loaf of bread and I thought I just paid for pictures that weren’t what I wanted. Anyways, what’s crazy is I stayed with her for a while and then finally one of the other bloggers that I work with said, I have a photographer here who will do what you want. That’s how that ended. But it’s weird how we’ll accept things like that. I still have those recipes on my computer that I’ve never published her pictures of. So I ended up paying twice for the same thing. 

Megan Porta: Oh gosh. Oh no. 

Karin Collins: I did. 

Megan Porta: So I think we, that’s a good reminder to evaluate those things that we’re holding on to that we don’t need to hold on to anymore that will, when we let them go, they can actually bring ease and flow and goodness into our businesses, right?

Karin Collins: Definitely. How do we pinpoint what those things are? Do you have any tips for that? I find that if something takes too much effort, and I’m not talking about hard work, but I think like working with that photographer was too much effort, too much stress and negative stress on me, and I think when that happens, rather than trying to fix it, I think we have to politely walk away and find someone else. There are lots of people that’ll do it. So I would say, you identify it by how it makes you feel interacting with them. If it makes you feel stressed and anxious, which it was doing to me, but here I am paying her and I’m nervous about what I’m going to get back, that was craziness. So now I’ve got some photographers that work for me that do what I want. I’m happy with the product. 

Megan Porta: So that’s a signal just paying attention to and being aware of the feelings and the emotions that come up when you’re working with certain people or doing certain projects and then that might be an indication that you need to find someone else or outsource or somehow unload.

Karin Collins: Yeah, because you know what? Life is too short. Food blogging, you can get so caught up in it that you stop living and there has to be a balance. If food blogging stresses you out, makes you angry, anxious, irritated, you lose sleep, wake up in the middle of the night. I had a client that with Pinterest, when we were archiving her group boards, actually had an anxiety attack. Couldn’t sleep because she’d worked so hard to get on these group boards. That’s how consuming food blogging can be. Now we laugh about it. But at the time, I even felt some of her angst, her anxiety, because I had archived a bunch of my group boards too, because on Pinterest, they’ve got different suggestions now. I think there has to be a separation between food blogging and the rest of your life. I think you can’t get so consumed by it. 

Megan Porta: Yeah. Oh, gosh. That is so true. It can be so consuming, and it’s a slippery slope for me. I can slide down that hill really fast, even after all of these years of having practice and knowing the importance of balance and having that knowledge and all of that. I can still go there sometimes. But now, I can, I’ve done it for so long that I’m aware and I’m like, oh, wait a second. I recognize this. Yes, this is going in a bad direction. But if you’re a newer blogger, I can see not knowing that and just letting yourself get consumed. I get obsessed. I’ll be like, I have to do this with Pinterest or I have to do this project. I just started ignoring things in my life. I start ignoring my self care and my wellness and my sleep. That’s not good. Never good. 

Karin Collins: It’s never good. It’s like the world is not going to come to an end. We’re not talking about contractual obligations sponsored. We’re not talking about that kind of stuff. But for the most part, if I’m developing a recipe and I wake up not feeling well, I can do it another day and it’s okay. It just has to be okay. All of it can wait, all of it can wait. But when we start our blogs, cause I bet you did the same thing I did. It was once I started having a few recipes take off and you get a taste for it, you go put your head down on your computer and you just start. Then you look up and it’s what month are we in? This is really Christmas? I almost missed Christmas one year because I was trying to get all my content out. I missed out on the joy of shopping and the joy of decorating my house. Because it was all about getting Christmas posts out, and this is before I knew, like on Pinterest you have to get them out three or four months sooner. So I was even rushing to get Christmas posts out, two weeks before Christmas to publish it on Facebook or wherever, but… Yeah, it’s crazy. 

Megan Porta: It happens. I feel like I missed a few years of my boy’s childhood. I’m here, but my mind was not for a lot of that time. I feel really sad about that. I’ve come to the place where I accept it because there’s nothing I can do about that now. But I like mentioning this because I want to help other people avoid this, especially with children. You want to take advantage. So now I’m at this place where I do. I put my work down all the time. I try to enjoy every moment with them. Now they’re teenagers, but I still try to. But it’s a good message to put out there, especially people with young kids, and enjoying holidays. Like you said, don’t let Christmas pass you by. Don’t let your children’s childhoods pass you by. Put your work down once in a while and just enjoy. 

Karin Collins: It’s true because I hear when you say about your children, there’s a few years there. It’s like my grandson. Okay, so I’m working at the computer and it’s like I turn around and he’s a baby and he can’t walk by himself. Then it’s like I turn around because he’s tapping me on the shoulder and he wants to come up and sit on my lap and it’s wow. He got big fast. Yes, I know. Yeah, I was there for the little things, but I wasn’t a hundred percent present, which robs him and me of some great memories. You can’t beat yourself up for it. It is what it is, and now you gotta move on. It’s just, now that you know better, you got to do better is the way that Maya Angelou put it. Her quote was way more eloquent than that, but

Megan Porta: We got the gist. That was well said. 

Karin Collins: Once you know, you gotta do it. So yeah. It’s hard. As women, I think we manufacture guilt, even if we should feel guilty, there’s the word should, but if we’re supposed to feel guilty for something, we make sure we do. When we’re not supposed to feel guilty, we even make sure that we do. 

Megan Porta: Yeah. We’re really good at that. 

Karin Collins: Yeah. We’re experts. Experts at it. 

Megan Porta: Yes. Unfortunately. 

Karin Collins: Yeah. It is unfortunate because we waste so much time and I hope you don’t feel bad, but I get it. I get it. Because you can’t undo it. But then an old guy that I used to know told me, he said, it’s okay to rent property in pity city, but you can’t move in. What I learned from him was, put time limits on it. So if I wake up and I’m just thinking, oh, I can’t do this. I just don’t feel good. I go right away, you’re having a bad day. Don’t even open the computer, put a time limit on it. So maybe I’ll go back to bed and then I’ll wake up with a new attitude. Or if I can’t go back to sleep, I’ll say, you know what, I’m going to feel crappy for today. I’m going to embrace it and do what I can to make myself feel better. Self soothing, self care things. Then tomorrow I’ll get up and I’ll rock the world again. Then you just look forward to the next day and you hope. 

Megan Porta: I actually love that idea of renting and not owning, because I feel like we all need to just occasionally rent sadness or rent tiredness or exhaustion, whatever, fill in the blank. But then… But then you’re done and it’s okay. It’s okay to feel it and then it’s okay to move on. 

Karin Collins: Yes. It protects us in a way from being depressed all the time or being sad about it all the time. Yes, time limit on it. Being aware of that. I think it’s all about protecting us so that we can be the best us we can be.

Megan Porta: Not just in our businesses, but in our lives, with the people that we love and care about so much and that we’re doing this for in the first place. So just to keep that in your mind too. This is such an important conversation, Karin. I truly appreciate you and just you bringing this topic and being vulnerable to the table. We appreciate you and I am in awe of you, honestly, with all that you do, your businesses and you have a husband and family and other things going on. I’m just so inspired by you. 

Karin Collins: Thank you. Cause you inspire me too. You really do. 

Megan Porta: Thank you.

Karin Collins: I think having this podcast is amazing. I find you incredibly inspirational. I love the topics that you cover, and I’m honored that you allowed me to participate and to come on an episode. I’m just grateful. 

Megan Porta: The pleasure is all mine. Thank you for saying all of that. That was so sweet of you. It’s truly an honor to have you here today.

Karin Collins: It’s true. 

Megan Porta: Are there any little tips that you want to mention before we say goodbye, Karin? 

Karin Collins: I think you know what, if anyone has any questions or issues or whatever about social media or about how I cope and that, feel free to reach out to me because I’m sure there’ll be some information in your notes. But I find that patience, persistence and perseverance are always rewarded. 

Megan Porta: Oh, that speaks to me. I love that. 

Karin Collins: Yeah, no, it’s very, for me, it’s very true. This blogging thing doesn’t happen overnight. And it would be nice if it did, but it doesn’t. You just have to keep going and going at it, and have to remember at all times that life is so much more important than anything blogging. The people that work for me, if something comes up, it’s like family is always more important than food. If they have to call in sick, or if they can’t do some work for a day, and that somebody else has got to cover. It’s like at the end of the day, those that are close to you are what’s important, not our food blogs. Our food blogs are important. 

Perspective, 

Megan Porta: right? Having perspective on that. 

Karin Collins: Yes. Definitely. Most definitely. 

Megan Porta: Great way to end this. Thank you so much. In addition to those amazing words of inspiration, do you have a favorite quote that you would like to share? 

Karin Collins: I have a couple. I have a couple. My whole life, I have loved the quote, “If I do what I always did, I’ll get what I always got.” I find that now I’m constantly switching things up to make things different. I love that quote. It’s one of my favorites. But it’s not, it’s nothing inspirational, I don’t think, or…

Megan Porta: Oh, that’s inspiring. It’s thought provoking, because, yeah, if you’re doing the same things and you’re not getting the results you want, then try something new, right?

Karin Collins: Yeah, but then I’ve got my patience persists there’s a whole bunch of quotes that keep me and get me through the day. It’s like making friends, the best way to make friends is to share food.

Megan Porta: So true. Oh my gosh, that’s so true. 

Karin Collins: So there’s a whole bunch of them, but yeah, it depends on what mood I’m in on what my favorite quote is, but yeah, I wish I had something so much more lightning.

Megan Porta: Oh no, I think that was amazing. It produces thoughts for me. So thank you for sharing all those. We will put together show notes for you, Karin. So if you want to go peek at those, you can go to eatblogtalk.com/kitchendivas. Tell everyone where they can find you. 

Karin Collins: They can find me. I’m at kitchendivas.com. They can find me on Instagram, I am at /2kitchendivas. What else am I on the, I can’t even remember now. YouTube I’m Kitchen Divas. If they just search for Kitchen Divas, they can find me on all the platforms. 

Megan Porta: Amazing. Everyone go check Karen out. Thanks again so much, Karin, for being here. And thank you for listening today, food bloggers. I will see you in the next episode. 

Outro: Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Eat Blog Talk. If you enjoyed this episode, I’d be so grateful if you posted it to your social media feed and stories. I will see you next time.


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Pinterest image for episode 446 how to manage a chronic illness while running your own business from home with Karin Collins.
Megan
Megan

Megan started her food blog Pip and Ebby in 2010 and food blogging has been her full-time career since 2013. Her passion for blogging has grown into an intense desire to help fellow food bloggers find the information, insight, and community they need in order to find success.

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