Blogging Tips/ Fashion/ Living

22 Jun, 2018

How I Left Wall Street To Blog Full Time

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fashion blogger mia mia mine wearing white topshop denim and a white lioness blazer
Today I’m kicking off a new blogging series to share more about my journey and offer advice to anyone starting a blog or another entrepreneurial endeavor. If you’re new to my blog, I’ll give a quick background on my career. I started my career as a Stock Analyst on Wall Street at the ripe age of 20 years old. I have a degree in Finance which to be honest was always going to be my fallback career if acting didn’t work out.

I went to college when I was 16 with the intention of getting my college degree faster so that I could head to Los Angeles to pursue acting with my parent’s blessing. I never would have guessed that I’d be introduced to my dream career when I sat in on a presentation for women in finance which was hosted by a local investment bank. My eventual boss talked about her career as a Stock Analyst covering fashion and beauty retailers. Once she started talking about how she studied fashion trends to predict financial performance, I was intrigued. I didn’t grow up exposed to the stock market – my mom’s a registered nurse and my dad worked for the government. Although I knew nothing about Wall Street, I decided that day that I needed to intern for this woman. Nowadays we joke that I “stalked” my boss because I emailed her every couple of weeks asking for her to give me a chance. Finally, six months later she said she had an opening. So the fall of my senior year in college, I began an internship for her. I fell in love with Stock Analysis. I’m naturally a numbers person, but I always wanted to do something in fashion so this was a good marriage of the two.

fashion blogger mia mia mine wearing a white lioness blazer and quay sunglasses
I stayed working for my boss for 5 years – even surviving all the layoffs in 2008 – which I was so grateful to get through. In 2010, I realized I needed a change of pace and that inkling of pursuing acting just wouldn’t go away. So Phil and I decided to make the move to Los Angeles. I gave acting a shot, but I quickly realized the industry was very different from what I expected to be. It’s a lot of waiting around for the next call and a lot of waiting around on set. I’m an impatient person by nature and I knew it wasn’t a great fit. So much of your career was in other people’s hands.

fashion blogger mia mia mine wearing a white blazer and chanel bag
After a year of trying out acting, I went back to investment banking. Phil and I stayed in Los Angeles where I worked as an Investment Banker in Public Finance. It wasn’t a career that I was super passionate about so out of boredom, I began searching for something else to focus my time on. I’m not even sure how I found fashion blogs, but once I did, I was hooked! I was inspired back then by Blair Eadie who was also working a corporate job and doing blogging on the side. I decided to start my own blog merely as a way to be creative. I loved pulling together outfits and Phil agreed to take my photos before work each day and on the weekends.

fashion blogger mia mia mine wearing a white lioness blazer and a chanel bag
Fast forward a few years later and we decided to move back to Minnesota and I switched back to Stock Analysis. I kept my blog up on the side, but never dreamed it could really take off. Bloggers started to become a buzzword in the retail industry and I began to hear from a lot of retail CEOs talk about how important they were becoming to their businesses. My boss tasked me with analyzing the influence of bloggers since she knew I had a small blog on the side. The more I dug into the backstories of the big bloggers, the more I realized how much was attributable to good old hard work. Many of them had no special ties to the industry or huge sums of money to start their blogs – just outfits, makeup, a camera and someone who’d stand in as their photographer. I realized that the one thing I didn’t have was time. Working 80-100 hours a week on Wall Street just didn’t afford me a lot of time to put the effort into my blog that I wanted to in order to take it to the next level. I just kept thinking that if I put 80-100 hours a week into anything, I’d have to see some level of success.

fashion blogger mia mia mine wearing a white blazer and a chanel bag
In the fall of 2015, I took a leap of faith (with Phil’s support) and told my boss my plan. She was so supportive of me as everyone in my office was. In January 2016, I officially started blogging full time. Transitioning over the holiday period was great from an income perspective and it gave a me a great cushion to get through those first few months. I anticipated a slowdown in Q1 which is why I came up with tons of financial analyses and a business plan. Luckily, things never really slowed down. Those countless hours that I put into those analyses weren’t wasted though – they gave me the confidence to move forward and provided me a guide to establish a business.

fashion blogger mia mia mine wearing a white lioness blazer and a chanel bag
If you are just starting out blogging or pursuing a new passion, the best advice I can give is to establish a niche and then develop your business plan from there. Think high-level and start with where you want to end up then work backwards from there. Think about your daily activities and what little things you’ll need to do to drive towards that bigger goal.

xo, Maria

Outfit Details

Lioness White Blazer (wearing an XS, runs TTS, also bought this similar one)
CAMI NYC Black Lace Tank
Topshop White Denim (wearing a 24, size up)
Christian Louboutin So Kate Heels (better for budget here)
Gorjana Gold Choker
Quay Aviator Sunglasses
Chanel Bag

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