In this episode, Elizabeth Emery teaches us how to create a sustainable income from blogging, finding joy and balance in our work without risking burnout. 

We cover information about why you should find income streams that you are passionate about, why you should pick freelance work carefully, as well tips to work less hours for more money.

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

Connect with Vancouver with Love
Website | Instagram | Facebook

Elizabeth is a plant-based food blogger and recipe developer based in Vancouver BC. Her passion is showing people how fun and accessible vegan and plant-based eating can be. Elizabeth created and has run Vancouver with Love for 5 years and has turned it into a full-time income during that time.


  • Find Joy in Work: Find joy and passion in your blogging work to sustain long-term success. What aspect of blogging brings you most fulfilment?
  • Set Boundaries: Set clear boundaries to avoid burnout and work intentionally to condense work into four days a week, allowing for adequate rest and personal time.
  • Diversify Revenue: Diversifying revenue streams in blogging helps you tap into the potential of ad revenue and incorporate it alongside freelance work and sponsored content.
  • Consistency and Intentionality: You have to be not only consistent but also intentional with you blogging efforts – where do you want to be in the long run?
  • Invest in a Business Coach: If you feel stuck or burnt out, reach out to a business coach to seek support and guidance from someone with experience.
  • You’re not Alone: Having a business coach or other support will help you navigate the challenges of entrepreneurship and decision-making.
  • Recognize When You Need to Change: Acknowledge when adjustments in your work are necessary for personal and professional growth.
  • Balance Work and Personal Life: To avoid sustain long-term success, use strategies for setting a healthy work-life balance including prioritizing self-care, and finding joy outside of work.

Resources Mentioned

Podcast Your Simple & Spacious Business

Course Cooking with Keywords


Click for full script.

EBT522 – Elizabeth Emery

Intro 00:00

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. I have been a food blogger for 13 years, so I understand how isolating food blogging can be. 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. 

Megan Porta  00:38

You are about to hear just the loveliest person oh my goodness, Elizabeth Emery. She’s from the blog, Vancouver was Love. She is such a brilliant blogger and a lovely human. She brought this topic to our conversation today, which is how to make blogging, sustainable having a sustainable income and business, while also keeping in mind that you should not get to the burnout stage, which can be tricky at times. As you know. We just had a lovely conversation which you are about to hear. I hope you love it too. Elizabeth talks about her experience, doing freelance work and wanting to get into an ad network and how to balance all of that so you’re not burning out she talks about the importance of diversifying your revenue. So you are passionate about what you’re focusing on and you’re finding the joy not only in your business, but also in your life. She talks a lot about her business coach and how hiring a coach really helped shift her mindset and opened up space in her business for opportunities and revenue and other great things. And we also talk a lot about the importance of saying no to some opportunities even though it’s really hard because that too is going to open up really good things for your business. This is such a fun chat. I hope you love it. It is episode number 522 sponsored by RankIQ. 

Sponsor  01:58

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Megan Porta  03:30

Elizabeth is a plant based food blogger and recipe developer based in Vancouver. Her passion is showing people how fun and accessible vegan and plant based eating can be. Elizabeth created and has run at Vancouver with Love for five years and she’s turned it into a full time income during that time. Hello Elizabeth welcome it to Eat Blog Talk. How are you today?

Elizabeth Emery  03:51

I’m good. Thank you for having me. Megan. It’s lovely to be here.

Megan Porta  03:54

I’m so excited. I love this topic so much. It’s so important for us to talk about this. Before we get into it though, do you have a fun fact to share with us? 

Elizabeth Emery  04:03

I did well, I don’t know how fun this is for people. But I’m a food blogger now. But my other absolute passion in life is history. And if I hadn’t become a food blogger about six years ago, I was gonna go and get my History Master’s instead. So I’m have a bachelor’s in history and one day I very much hope that I can go back to university get my masters and become a historian actually.

Megan Porta  04:23

Oh my gosh, okay. Is there a period in history that is most intriguing to you?

Elizabeth Emery  04:27

I love all of it. But I particularly love social history. And actually my undergrad dissertation was on secret government organizations in the Second World war so very niche, very specific.

Megan Porta  04:38

Wow, that is specific. I thought you’re gonna stop after that. But in the Second World War.

Elizabeth Emery  04:42

Yeah, yeah.

Megan Porta  04:43

Oh my gosh, it is so interesting, isn’t it like I’ve I’ve never really gotten into it in probably the way you have. My husband is a huge history buff as well. But when I started thinking about it and talking to other people about it, it’s really intriguing. So  I can see where you would get just kind of taken, you know, like, pulled in by that topic. It’s really cool.

Elizabeth Emery  05:06

Completely, and anything I just get sucked into museums, I spend hours there. 

Megan Porta  05:09

I do like art museums as well.

Elizabeth Emery  05:12

I do. But I’m definitely more of a history. Now. History definitely has my heart much more. I would say

Megan Porta  05:17

For me, like art museums are kind of what maybe history museums are for you. I love just knowing what the painter or whatever the artist was feeling, what period came from, like, what, what inspired them what medium like, I love all of that I took every art history class that I possibly could in college. And I still remember like, I’ll see paintings, and that was a million years ago. And I’m like, Oh, that is this title. And this painter was inspired by blah, blah, blah. And my husband’s like, how do you remember that?

Elizabeth Emery  05:53

Same thing, I did an art history module in my university course, as well. And I still remember it to this day, it stuck with me so much. It’s powerful stuff. 

Megan Porta  06:00

It really is powerful is so cool. I love knowing that. So today, we are going to talk about just creating a sustainable career in blogging, or hobby or whatever it is for you. And also a huge point is not burning out from it, because that can so easily happen as a lot of us know. So do you want to give us a background on your blog just to kind of frame our conversation? Yeah,

Elizabeth Emery  06:26

Absolutely. So my blog is Vancouver with Love. And it’s vegan recipes and a little bit of travel and lifestyle on the side. I started the blog, even, oh, my gosh, I was way back in 2013. When my partner and I moved to Canada from the UK, you might be able to tell I don’t have a Canadian accent. And we just started it as a way to keep in touch with our friends and family. And it died to death after about three months, because you’ve realized that suddenly, no one’s really interested in the fact that you got a job and opened a bank account in a different country didn’t last and I took it over as a food blog. So I had it as a hobby for several years. And it was only at the end of 2018 that I went full time as a blogger. And I’ve been doing it ever since building up the business.

Megan Porta  07:10

Oh, amazing. You so you’re kind of an OG blogger, too. You started quite a while. That’s a long time ago, that’s 10 years ago are actually eleven. Oh, yeah. 

Elizabeth Emery  07:18

Oh, gosh, I haven’t thought about that. Yes. I definitely don’t feel like an OG blogger is very much a hobby back then. Yeah, I think I was on Tumblr to start with. Yeah. But yeah, it’s only been in the last few years that I’ve definitely taken it more seriously and gone full time. And I would say it’s been slow growth since then. But growth nonetheless.

Megan Porta  07:37

So full time since 2018. And once you got back into it and decided to make a go of it, you obviously came to a point where you realized that you couldn’t just put it all and you go all in, put all your effort in and burn out, you needed to kind of stretch it out and stretch out your energy and your projects and all of that. So what made you realize all of that?

Elizabeth Emery  08:02

Well, it was a couple of years into doing this full time. And I had focused on probably different areas to a lot of bloggers, I hadn’t focused on ad revenue on my site, I hadn’t really realized quite how lucrative that could be until quite late in the game. So I had been working on sponsored content on social media and freelance recipe development. And I loved what I was doing. I loved parts of it. But it was just becoming kind of unsustainable. And I think, a couple of years in as I say we were kind of deep in the pandemic, that glorious time for everyone. And I just realized I was waking up each day dreading the day. And I didn’t want to do work. I was completely unenthused about a lot of what I was doing. It all felt like far too much. And it was only with hindsight that I realized I just reached burnout. I just been putting in too many hours. Nothing was happening because it was the pandemic no one was going anywhere. So there was no, I was working all day by myself from home. And then there was nothing to go and do after that. There was no travel. There was no fun and excitement and that had just without my realizing put me slowly into this burnout. And it made me realize a huge wake up call. Actually it made me realize I couldn’t go on like this. And I had to bring the joy back to what I was doing. I had to find some sense of contentment with it. Otherwise, I just wasn’t going to be able to continue. 

Megan Porta  09:33

Oh, wow. I think a lot of us that did have our blogs during the pandemic had maybe a similar experience. I know I did where I was like exactly what you said Elizabeth, where I was like, Okay, I am like there’s nothing to do and there’s nowhere to go. No one to go see but yet I’m feeling frazzled and burnt out and this is not right. It was just a little alarm in my head like you need to make changes because I knew I had no reason to feel the way I was feeling. So it sounds like you had something similar where it was just a little wake up call and you needed to make a change. 

Elizabeth Emery  10:07

Yeah, totally. And it was such a weird time, wasn’t it? Because I think for so many of us, our blog traffic went up like we’re busier than ever, in some ways with work, because everyone was at home and people needed recipes. But then I think on top of that, to compound it, there was just no other outlet. There it was work, and then work and then work and watch a movie and watch them work.

Megan Porta  10:27

Yeah, no, that’s a good point. We didn’t have anything to go do. So now if I get burnt out, I can get out of the house. I can go eat dinner with a friend or whatever, type. But then, yeah, there was no other option. You were stuck at home and doing this and more work. And that was it. So you realized you needed to make a change, and that you needed to make this more of a sustainable thing if you wanted to keep going with it. So what changes did you make?

Elizabeth Emery  10:54

Well, I think I mean, I’d be lying, if I said getting out of the pandemic wasn’t huge in itself, just being able to actually go out and enjoy life, again, I think was really big. But for me, it in some ways, it was a blessing, because I think it was a huge wake up call to realize that my business was not working for me. And I had to change certain things. And primarily, that was I needed to find a sense of fun with it again, I needed to drop down on some of the work that wasn’t lighting me up and say no to certain things, and then do more of the things I really enjoyed. And interestingly, I think what’s been key for me is actually been finding ad revenue as a way to monetize and another income stream and a lot of people listening to this will probably just be rolling their eyes, because it’s so obvious to so many bloggers early on that that’s one of the first things you do. But it wasn’t to me, I definitely went down the freelance and sponsored content route. And when I realized that this could be a third revenue stream that, you know, let’s be honest, can be very lucrative and can replace some of the others. That was massive, because I really enjoy writing blog posts, I love creating recipes. I felt like I could do that at my own pace. And it was the work was just so much more joyful than creating for multiple clients and multiple briefs. And it finally felt unlike social media, for example, like I could be doing things on my blog publishing content, and I could actually see tangible results from it, I could see my traffic going up. And that was immensely satisfying. I think that was one of the key things for me. Yeah, and, and actually getting a business coach as well, that was pretty huge. That was a game changer for me. And I should, you know, shout out to my business coach Jen Carrington. She’s wonderful. She’s based in the UK. And she’s somebody I’d followed on social media for years. And she runs her business alongside having a chronic illness. And so her whole thing is showing people how to create simple, spacious businesses in without working 40 hours a week. And she really like she practices what she preaches. She’s brilliant, and she’s been a complete game changer for me. 

Megan Porta  13:05

Oh, okay. I love everything you just said. So I feel like there’s some underlying messages, kind of, you know, going along with this topic. So finding balance, avoiding burnout, because you don’t want to get there. If you haven’t been there, trust me. And trust us, you don’t want to go there, figuring out how to do it. So you can do this long term, so you don’t fizzle out and stop. And then you, you know, like, all the work you did is out the door. And then also getting help, because we can’t do this alone. And that is like business coach, mentoring, networking with peers getting help, even from your family or friends. Yeah, so there’s a lot of kind of sub topics we could talk about. And then you also mentioned monetization and figuring out early on how you want to monetize and setting that as a priority so that you can go down those paths. What do you suggest there? So if somebody is like, oh, yeah, I’m really feeling frazzled. But I do want to monetize, and it’s stressing me out. I don’t know where to start with it. What would you say? 

Elizabeth Emery  14:09

With hindsight, if I knew then what I know now, I would definitely say go down the ad revenue route. I put off learning about SEO for the longest time because it felt like just another thing to do. And I was already overwhelmed and burnt out. And actually, it’s been by far the most joyful part of my business for the last couple of years now, I’ve loved learning about it. It’s Seo is fascinating as well. I don’t know if you would agree. 

Megan Porta  14:35

Yeah, it is fascinating. I think it very much is. 

Elizabeth Emery  14:38

And I think when you’re when it’s working for you, it’s it’s wonderful. I know many people have been hit by the Helpful Content Update. I have been very fortunate that I haven’t had problem with that. But I can only imagine how much it must impact people who were hit by it. But yeah, learning SEO learning keyword research. There’s some great courses out there like Cooking with Keywords. That’s a really A course that I took, just doing that sort of thing that really helped me to, I think, find, yeah, find some joy in my work and feel like it was within my control as well, which made a huge difference. Because when you’re working with clients, when you’re doing sponsored content, that is fantastic. But it’s all to somebody else’s brief. And I think I hadn’t realized that I was getting to the point where it didn’t feel like any of it was for me anymore. I felt like I was working for other people all the time. And I think reclaiming that sense of purpose. And that sense of contentment, and why am I doing this, and doing it for myself was massive. For me, that was a big game changer.

Megan Porta  15:37

I see this so much, Elizabeth, so many food bloggers, they get in to food blogging, they realize they want to make it a business, and then they immediately go to freelancing, which I think is fine. It’s, I think that’s fine. As long as you can keep that balance. Yeah, and not let the skills tip in that direction, where you’re doing more work for others than you are for yourself. Because then it can be really frustrating for people, when they see that this route, like the ad route, maybe that they want to go is kind of like diminishing over here on the sidelines while they’re doing all of this work for other people. So how do you balance that? Because I know, I know, it’s so hard I see it, it’s painful for people like really, really painful. 

Elizabeth Emery  16:17

Yeah, and it is painful, I think it’s painful to say no to things as well, I think we’re kind of inherently, many of us have this inbuilt feeling that we can’t say no to opportunities, which is completely understandable. And it’s, it’s scary saying no to something for me, it was a case of actually needing to reduce the amount of freelance work I was doing. And like drop that down by quite a significant amount, and stop, you know, stop focusing so much on Instagram content, and I’m still very much present on Instagram. But you know, as I’m sure you’re aware, it’s it’s a complete time drain. And it’s so easy to lose sort of half a day, to creating a reel and posting it and then engaging. And so for me, I think it’s felt quite scary actually, at times, but making a conscious decision to move away from doing so much freelance work. And the social media stuff and focus on the blog has been a really big shift. And it’s, I’d say it’s not without its challenges, because you’re obviously you’re taking an immediate hit financially from not doing freelance work. But I think it’s different, everyone has completely different circumstances with it. But I think if it’s within your capacity, it’s quite important to realize that if you’re then going to focus on building up your blog, building up the recipes that you have, you’re sowing seeds for the longer term, they’re like you’re creating evergreen content that in theory, if you optimize and update it frequently, like it should keep bearing fruit and bringing you in revenue for years to come. In theory, no one knows for sure, right?

Megan Porta  17:53

Yeah, and there is a tipping point, too. There’s this time when you maybe release some of the other work that you’re doing, and start doing more work for yours, your content, where you just have to kind of trust that it’s going to be in your favor, eventually. And it’s hard, because during that time, the money that you want, maybe isn’t coming in, in the in the amounts that you want. But it’s you just have to keep pushing forward and putting in the work and just having faith that it’s going to happen. And that is so hard. But if you just, you know, press forward, press on, it will happen.

Elizabeth Emery  18:31

I think that’s it. And I think it’s been consistent as well. I know, like every every blogging podcast will tell you that. But I think that’s huge being consistent publishing when you can and for the longest time I put it off because I thought well, I don’t have the capacity to publish a blog post every week. That’s, that’s more than I can manage with my workload as it currently is. And I think it’s just important to do what you can if you can publish one a month, do that and be consistent with it. If you can do one every two weeks do that. Yeah. And whatever you can do is great. But I think don’t underestimate the value of consistency with blogging.

Megan Porta  19:05

That’s a huge piece of the puzzle with just making this sustainable and not burning out, right, just find something that works for you. And keeping at it and do you think that applies to all platforms? Or are we talking just blog content?

Elizabeth Emery  19:20

I mean, it’s really difficult to say, isn’t it? Because who knows what’s going on with Instagram? From a sustainability perspective, I think it’s an important thing to follow. Like I for example, I know I can’t do more than a reel a week on Instagram, I cannot afford to dedicate several days to Instagram each week, it isn’t worth the time for me it isn’t worth the return on investment. Whereas spending that time on a blog recipe is I know I’m gonna get that investment back. And I think it is quite important to just follow that consistency rule across all of it for your own mental health. Really, I’ve experienced it myself and I’ve seen too many other bloggers kind of just put go like mad and create as much content as they possibly can. And who can sustain that long term? I don’t think anyone can, I certainly can’t know. And I would far rather grow slowly, at a pace, I can manage creating a recipe a week, a recipe every two weeks. And doing it that way, rather than just hammering out loads of content and then having to take three months off, because I’ve completely burnt out it just doesn’t make sense to me.

Megan Porta  20:24

Right? And until you experience that, you don’t really connect the dots, right? But then when it happens, you’re like, Oh, right. I don’t want to do that again, because it, it just is counterproductive. You don’t want to go back there.

Elizabeth Emery  20:35

No, absolutely. It’s horrible. It is. 

Megan Porta  20:38

It’s horrible. And I know this is like such a cliche analogy, but using the tortoise and the hare story where it’s like, are you going to go crazy and burn out? Or are you going to slow down and do things so that you can sustain yourself?

Elizabeth Emery  20:53

Yeah. And it’s so hard to do that. And I still have moments. Every week now where I’ll see someone else that’s been blogging for a lot less time than me their success has completely eclipsed mine. They’re making 10 times the amount I am and I just think, Oh, what am I doing wrong? And it takes me a minute to pull myself back and think, but that isn’t you, you, that isn’t your life, and you don’t want that lifestyle. I want to keep doing this. Hopefully for years to come. I’d like to have a long career and you have to set yourself up I think to be able to do it for the long term.

Sponsor  21:28

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Megan Porta  22:59

Do you think being really in tune with why you were doing this is important?

Elizabeth Emery  23:04

For me? Yes, I always said from the age of about five, I wanted to do a job I loved and proceeded there not to for the first 15 years of my career. So I think I’ve experienced I’ve experienced that side of it of going to work and not feeling fulfilled every day. So personally, I do need to love it. And I think I think for anyone any creative in this space, I think you probably you do need to have a certain element of joy and passion for what you do otherwise, you won’t be sustained. I think I think if you have a very strong goal, whether that’s financial or something else, I think that can sustain for a certain amount of time. But then once that’s fulfilled, or once that goes away, there has to be something more to keep you doing it, I think the love of what you’re doing and the love of creating. And for my example, plant based food, which I’m very passionate about has to be there.

Megan Porta  23:55

Yeah, I think that’s really important to the passion has to be there. You can only go so long if you’re doing something that doesn’t involve passion, I believe. And then going back to the consistency thing, one thing that I used to do because I’m I used to be the worst at just like working and working and working and never stopping and then burning out and I’d be like, oh, what just happened? Oh, that’s right. Yes, happened last month, so that I would take a week off. And it was ridiculous. So I had to start kind of putting restraints on myself. And one of the things I did was, I would act like I was a really strict parent of me. And I would do things like take Facebook off my phone, take Instagram off my phone for a period. I don’t have email on my phone anymore. I would start giving myself timers. So like you have five to 10 minutes a day on Instagram and I would literally set a timer and I still do this. And that really helps me to just be consistent and make sure I’m using my time wisely. Is there anything along those lines that you do just to make sure you’re staying on track with things. 

Elizabeth Emery  25:01

Yeah. Well, firstly, Megan, I wish I had your strictness. I frequently set timers and then go slightly over them. But I do try to do that. But I think the part I’m really good at is, I always take weekends off like that is a no brainer for me, I have to have weekends, I’d love it. But I also work really, really intentionally to try and only work four days a week. So I really try and take Friday’s as well. And it doesn’t always work out. Sometimes I do have to do a little bit of work on a Friday. But I plan my schedule, so that I can try and fit everything in, in Monday to Thursday. And Friday, I just kind of have time for me time for chores to get other things done. If I do a bit of work. I don’t mind because I feel like it’s my choice. And I feel very fortunate to have been able to plan it that way. And it’s taken years to get to that point. But it was through working with my business coach that I realized like, I would really if I can avoid it, I’d really prefer not to work five days a week, I’d rather condense my work into four days and actually take that fifth day off and go and do something else. And that has been a huge game changer for me. I’m a big proponent of a four day workweek. Yeah, I wish a wish it were universal. I wish everyone could do it. Because I do think we’re a lot better off. 

Megan Porta  26:22

We’re over-worked. 

Elizabeth Emery  26:23

Yeah, yes. But we’re chronically overworked. And I was doing it to myself. And I think I was so plugged into society’s expectations of a five day work week. It took me a really long time before I went well. Nobody’s forcing you to do this, you could actually get the work done in four days for the most part. And it’s been completely liberating. Even just taking like an afternoon off and making that a staple thing. That’s it’s been really huge for me just having that space. And that sort of I guess strictness around that it’s felt like a really, really helpful boundary to set.

Megan Porta  26:57

I have done a similar thing. And I just want to point out that it is a process you can’t at least for me, I couldn’t just like, Okay, I’m going to take Friday’s off and not work weekends and not work evenings, it had to be in stages for me. So at first I took away my evenings and then I took away my work my weekends like I’m did not want to work at all on weekends. And then I’m very similar to you, Elizabeth for it. Now. I try not to work Fridays, and I do four hour work weeks. So I only work 20 hours a week. And I just had a friend say to me the other day, what do you do with all your time and I was like, honestly, I’m enjoying life. I don’t ever have a moment where I’m like, wow, I’m really bored. I just, I try to really be in the present moment. Enjoy that time off of work so that when I’m working, I am ridiculously intentional. And I sit down and and I get to business and there’s no messing around. Are you like that too? When you’re working? You are just in it.

Elizabeth Emery  27:55

I want to say I always am the focus is something I have struggled with. I’m pretty good at it. I don’t think I’m quite at your level yet. It’s definitely something I’m working towards. But my my business coach is great with that she she works very reduced week and she’s very focused on it. So she’s very good at educating me how to do that. And it’s something I want to get towards. But I’m not quite not quite at your level of four hour days at the moment. That is brilliant. And I salute you.

Megan Porta  28:24

Yeah, it feels so good. And then so talk about your business coach a little bit at what point did you realize that would probably help you and how has she helped you?

Elizabeth Emery  28:34

It was at the worst point of my burnout really, so a couple of years ago. And I was as I mentioned previously, literally just waking up in the morning dreading each day, which is a horrible way to be, you don’t want to get to that stage of burnout. And I knew something had to change, I’d held off getting a business coach because it’s a huge investment or it can be a huge investment. And I you know, my business, frankly, wasn’t making enough money at that point to what I felt, well, it wasn’t making enough money for me to be able to feel I could justify that investment. And it wasn’t until a couple of people close to me said I really think you should do this. And I kind of took a look at it and realize I had to make some changes, something had to change. I couldn’t carry on with the business the way it was that I just thought well, you have to spend the money you have to invest in yourself and it was yeah, life changing. For me it was so helpful and the way she’s helped me primarily she’s quite different to a lot of business coaches. I think she’s not she doesn’t have the North American mentality, which I think can often be a little bit more sort of hustle and focused on sort of physical achievements and pillars of success and stuff. She’s a bit more she is focused on those things but she’s a little bit more mindset focused. And for me, it’s the change of mindset has just been everything it’s she’s really helped me to just to find the joy in working everyday and to question why I feel that I need to do certain things like work an eight hour day or work a five day week. And that has just been so immensely helpful. I feel. It’s also it’s kind of hard to quantify. It’s hard to explain, but I just feel like I have so much more space in my business now than I used to. And I actually wake up in the morning and look forward to the tasks I have. And it’s, oh, it’s been life changing. I don’t know if you can tell I’m smiling as they say.

Megan Porta  30:24

Yeah, and I can clearly feel that you really mean that. Like, it really has not just been game changing for business, but life changing for your life.

Elizabeth Emery  30:32

Yeah, like, just completely. And I think simple things like Jen telling me, you know, not to do the tasks I really the things I’m really dreading, maybe that’s a sign that I don’t want to be doing them in my business, and is there a way I can not? And she’s just really good at making things more useful, and showing you that you can have space and joy in your business. Yeah, it’s, it’s brought me back to life in my business, I think. And it’s, I think, as well, the important part I’m not acknowledging is it’s having the support of another person. When we’re teams of one as bloggers, you know, it’s hard, right? It’s really hard. It is just having one other person in your quarter is everything.

Megan Porta  31:14

It is everything, it feels so good. I have a very similar experience as you, Elizabeth, where I really had a hard time justifying the expense because it is a big investment, if you’re going to get a really quality business coach who also dives into mindset work, which I think you should. It’s an investment and I was just like, I don’t have this kind of money right now. But I know I need this. So I did it anyway. And to have the same experience. When I did it. Immediately, I saw changes in my business in revenue and opportunity, like it was within a month where I was like, Oh my gosh, all of this opportunity was coming to me. I was having new projects, put in my lap that were really exciting. Did you see anything similar to that?

Elizabeth Emery  31:58

Well, I Yes. And it’s really strange. Because at the time, I was like, I don’t know is that coincidence? Like I got my media vine the same month, I started working with my business coach, like you said, like more opportunities just started coming in. And I think I had the headspace for it. And I had that a different mindset to be able to accept them. And like actually take those things on, I think, yeah, I think you kind of you’re welcome in what you’re putting out, don’t you as well, as much as anything.

Megan Porta  32:25

Yes, that’s it. Yep. And you’re creating space for those good things, and somebody’s giving you permission to do so. 

Elizabeth Emery  32:30

Yeah. And that I think you nailed that. That’s huge. Someone’s giving you permission? I think often not always. But I think often as women we that’s something we struggle with a bit, I think we kind of need that. That almost validation, we need permission because of the way culture and society have brought us up. It’s a bit of an unlearning. Really, I think. And, yeah, it’s taking that power. And I think having that support for me, and having that, that support from somebody else has just given me that power in my business, and has made me feel much more in control. And that for sure.

Megan Porta  33:01

I love that. So much, so much power there. And then you mentioned a little bit ago about just the importance of saying no to some things, maybe projects, opportunities people, do you have any advice for people about how to do that, because it can be really hard. 

Elizabeth Emery  33:16

It’s really hard. I clearly empathize. And this is one of those situations where I have to say having a business coach has been, you know, she’s been worth a weight in gold, because I can talk to her about these things. And it’s, again, it’s just another example of having someone else in your corner. And having someone to sort of validate your decisions as well, I think is really helpful. And just to tell you if they think you’re making the wrong decision, but somebody that you trust, who’s been through it, who understands the business, so I had an opportunity quite recently, and it’s something I’ve wanted for a really long time. But unfortunately, when the opportunity came up it just logistically, it wasn’t quite possible it wouldn’t financially have been very feasible to take it. And it felt really, really hard saying no to this because it was something I’d wanted for a very, very long time and having a coach in my corner being able to talk to John about it and say like, am I being mad saying no to this? I’d her saying no, that’s completely I understand why you’ve made that decision has been just brilliant. And I have to say, this project had I taken it on would have taken months and months and months, I would have lost income from other things, I wouldn’t have been able to fulfill other contracts, do other projects, it would have been all consuming and it would have been wonderful. And yet at the same time, I’ve worked so hard to get to a place where I feel somewhat content in my business where I enjoy my weekly workflow. And I enjoy being able to see my ad revenue build every month, it would have I think, probably most likely just pushed me back to that state of burnout. So I think thinking when you’re thinking about making these sorts of decisions, whether you can afford to go back to the state of burnout or if you haven’t ever experienced it before, whether taking on a project like that would put you in a state of burnout is a really, really important factor. Because as you’ve said, you don’t want to go there if you’ve not been there before. It’s not pleasant. 

Megan Porta  35:09

Yeah. Oh my gosh, yeah, definitely. Yes. Saying no is hard. The business coach can definitely keep you lined up with what your priorities are and their expertise and their experience is such guidance, right? Like my business coach is very emotionally mature and very wise, I would say. So just having all of the experience that he has had in his life and his business. gleaning from him is so valuable. 

Elizabeth Emery  35:38

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. It’s, yeah, it’s just brilliant. Yep.

Megan Porta  35:43

So feeling joy. We’ve talked about that a little bit. If somebody listening is feeling like they’re lacking a little bit of joy, do you have easy things they can do to bring the joy back into their business?

Elizabeth Emery  35:55

Yeah, I mean, I would say actually, like, half of don’t involve the business, I would say first, just like, get outside, go for a walk, get into some nature, that’s always a huge one. For me, I find it just gives me perspective. Secondly, you know, if you’re feeling burnt out, just stop, stop working, like go and do something nice, go out for a coffee or a cake or something, just something that makes you, whatever lights you up, whatever brings you joy, whatever sparks joy, go and do that for an afternoon or something because you sure as hell are not going to be productive working, if this is how you’re feeling, you have to go out, get out of your own head, I think. And then thirdly, I would say, if you’re able to, you know, really try to hone in on the parts of your business that you love on the parts of your work that do light you up, the things you enjoy. And it’s, it’s tough. I know, like, probably none of us really want to sit there and do our taxes and our admin, but it has to be done anyway, I get that. But, for example, for me, one of the things I love doing actually, is keyword research, I really enjoy that. So sitting down for an afternoon, I don’t dread that I look forward to it. Because I guess I’m just a complete nerd. But it’s it’s actually fun for me, and I’m sure all of us are in our businesses for a reason. I’m sure there is something about it that makes us feel passionate, whether that is cooking beautiful food, or whether it’s taking gorgeous photos, there’s some parts of it that you love. And focus on that focus on why you love doing that, and how you can do more of it. And if you can bring more of that into your working week. It just don’t underestimate the changes that can bring I think and mental health, and how that can just make you feel so much more joy in your business. Like I was saying, I dropped my freelance work, it was down to about 50%. And I couldn’t have imagined before I did it, how much of a difference that would make to my mental state. But it was wonderful, I thought I would need to stop doing it completely to feel better. But just dropping it down by 50% was massive. I feel like I have space from it. I feel like I have space for my own creativity in my own projects and to work on, you know, my blog, which is what I want. So, yeah, focus on what you love in the business, if you can. 

Megan Porta  38:09

And what I found is an improved mental state equals an improved business or a better run business, right?

Elizabeth Emery  38:18

absolutely. Yeah. And again, I would say one of the main things for me with having an improved mental state is having stuff outside of the business outside of work to look forward to because like I said, we work alone, don’t we, most of the time, we work often at home, if you’re just going from working all day at home to spending the evening at home. For some people, that is fine. For me. It’s not I need social interaction, they need something else outside of that. So I think having aiming to find activities and hobbies that you love, and friends that you can see, having a sort of an active life outside of work, I think is really important. I think it’s very easy for us as business owners to neglect our life outside of the business. And it’s crucial that we don’t, because that’s what keeps us happy. 

Megan Porta  39:03

Yeah, if I look back, if I think back over the years that I’ve been running my blogging business, the times when it has been the most successful, have aligned with the times that I’ve been more involved with friends and community and just what you’re saying, like getting out and doing things, taking walks often and taking breaks at lunch and actually, you know, taking care of myself. Exactly, there is a definite correlation there. But it can be really hard to do that. Just acknowledging that too, where you get so focused on a project or something and you don’t want to get up. I’ve been there so many times. I’m like, I know I should go outside and walk but I don’t feel like I want to keep working. So I literally have to pull out that strict parent card and just be like, No, you need to get out of your chair, go take a walk. And sometimes we have to force ourselves to do those things.

Elizabeth Emery  39:54

Yes, I know exactly what you mean. I actually have a good tip for this one. Go for a walk before you start work in the morning. Because you won’t, once you get into it, once you get into that flow state, you’re not going to want to stop, I never want to stop, it’s, I find I do much better if I go out first thing in the morning, or if I go for a walk, or a run, or Just something to get outside into the world, and then I feel like I’ve already achieved something when I start my working day.

Megan Porta  40:18

I love that. This is why I do a morning routine. And I am stringent about it. Because this because some mornings, I’ll be like, Oh, I’ll meditate at noon, or I’ll workout it, too. It never happens. So I just know myself. And I know if I don’t do it in the morning. If I don’t do all the things I want to do. I’m not going to do it.

Elizabeth Emery  40:39

I know it’s the best intentions, isn’t it? You put the yoga pants on at 7am in the morning, and you’re like I will do yoga at 12.

Megan Porta  40:48

Oh my gosh, that’s so funny. I wonder if anyone else is like that? I certainly am. 

Elizabeth Emery  40:52

It can’t just be us. 

Megan Porta  40:53

Yes, it can’t just be as this is so good. Okay, is there anything else you want to mention? Elizabeth just so people are encouraged to create a more sustainable business. And not getting to that burnout point?

Elizabeth Emery  41:05

I think I think it really is, you know, focus as much as you can on the parts that you love. And just as we’ve been saying, like, take care of yourself outside of it. Yes, the business is really important. And you’re building a business. And especially in the early days, that is going to take work, we all know it takes a lot of work. But if you want to do this for years to come, I think my advice would just be keep working on it like you’re going to do it for years to come. So don’t feel you need to rush and do everything upfront. And it all has to be perfect. Just start, you know, start putting recipes out, take one day at a time do what you can aim to improve by 1% every day and you know, that will carry you forward. But you can’t you can’t sustain working at breakneck speed. It has to be at a comfortable pace that you actually enjoy. And I think it’s it’s important, important to remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day with these things, which is easier said than done. But I think as bloggers, we often forget that and feel the immense pressure of doing all of it at once. 

Megan Porta  42:04

So beautiful. What an amazing conversation. This is important. I really hope that people listen and just hear what you’re saying everything that you’ve said, because I feel like nothing else matters. You can be the best keyword researcher on the planet. But it doesn’t matter if you’re not listening to everything else and taking care of yourself and giving yourself breaks and not burning out. 

Elizabeth Emery  42:29

So absolutely, completely agree. 

Megan Porta  42:32

Thank you, Elizabeth, this was so fun. I so appreciate you joining us today do you have either a favorite quote or words of inspiration to leave us with?

Elizabeth Emery  42:39

I have words of inspiration. And it’s a very, very plain really. And I would just say you know what, you don’t have to listen to all the advice out there. There is so much advice out there on blogging on every aspect of it. And I would say I’m proof that you don’t have to listen to all the advice I’ve you know, I’ve just been accepted to Raptive, which is one of the harder agencies to get into next, which I’m really pleased about. And I’ve done it working pretty much four days a week without killing myself doing it and I’m more content than I’ve ever been with it. And I enjoy the work. You don’t have to listen to all of the advice out there. There is a lot. It’s very overwhelming. And I think if something resonates with you take it on board. But don’t feel you have to implement every single thing that everyone is saying because it’s a loud space.

Megan Porta  43:32

Yes. And that is so refreshing what you just said I love it so much. I think a lot of people are going to be very encouraged by that. So thank you, Elizabeth. We’ll put together a show notes page for you. If anyone wants to go look at those you can head to eat Tell everyone again where they can find you Elizabeth.

Elizabeth Emery  43:53

Yeah, so my blog is or my handle is @vancouverwithlove on Instagram and Pinterest and Facebook. You’ll find me there.

Megan Porta  44:02

Awesome. Everyone, go check Elizabeth out. Thank you again for being here. And thank you so much for listening food bloggers. I will see you next time. 

Outro  44:12

Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Eat Blog Talk. Don’t forget to rate and review a blog talk on your favorite podcast player. Thank you and I will see you next time.

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