Reflecting on the year and the biggest lessons I’ve learned.

As the year is coming to an end, I think it’s important to look back at where I started at the beginning of the year and where I am now. It’s a habit that has helped me grow in areas of personal development and reaching my goals. At the beginning of 2017, I wrote down only one goal in the last page of my notebook: I want to become a full-time blogger.

I wrote it down and put it away on my shelf, knowing that my goal would not be an easy one.

Honestly, I had no idea how to approach this or how long it would take me to achieve this goal. When I talked to other bloggers, they were either living with their parents, had a wealthy boyfriend, and had some type of safety net that they could rely on. It was tough for me to relate because I only have myself. My family lives in Kansas City and I have Kyle and his family but I don’t want financial support from them. This goal was something I had to figure out on my own.

In February, I made a wonderful friend, Jeanne of The Grey Layers, and she gave me insights on the business and how to get started. While many things still didn’t make sense at the time, she gave me hope that it was possible and that was all I needed. It set me in motion on a year of learning and experiencing.

From zero to few partnerships at the beginning of the year, to working with some of my favorite brands ever like Converse, Under Armour, Call It Spring, ASOS, hosting an event for UGG with Teen Vogue, and even traveling to Shanghai by the end of the year. I can’t believe what I’ve accomplished this year and I want to share the biggest lessons I’ve learned through it all.

Start planning your future.

For most of my life, I used to live by “going with the flow” but the problem with this is that you can’t float your way to success. It doesn’t work like that. When you go with the flow, it means that external factors, situations, and people are the ones in charge of your life. There’s a really good quote by Jim Rohn and he says,

If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.

I’ve found this to be incredibly true.

Time is extremely valuable.

I work a 9-5 job. This takes a bulk of my time, energy, and I’m exhausted after work. There are many days where I want to come home, lay down, and watch Netflix. However, I knew if I did that, I would fall behind on my goal. Instead of watching Netflix, I spent my 5pm-10pm on reading, writing, shooting, going to events, and doing things that could move me forward. There wasn’t a weekend where I wouldn’t go out to shoot content because if I did, I knew it would set me back a whole week. If you read my previous post on time management, I go a little more in-depth on why time is so valuable.

Nothing happens unless you make it happen.

Have you ever been on a team project where no one does anything or even care about it except you? This scenario is similar to your life so you have to care and treat it like that team project. Make things happen for yourself. If you wait around on good things to happen, the consequences could be detrimental. You could wait a lifetime and nothing will happen.

You got to wake up and work your ass off to make things happen or settle for what life gives you.

The most important lesson: Be the best you can be and do the best you can do in every single situation.

Most people do just enough to get by everyday and that’s fine. But, if you want to live an extraordinary life, you’ve got to become an extraordinary person. Be the person that keeps their word and show up to your friend’s event, support them, and go out of your way to do things for people. Do everything and more at your job. All the good you do will pay off in the long run, even if it doesn’t seem like it will.

These four lessons have really shaped my year and move me forward in such a way that I could’ve never imagine. And I can’t believe what I’m going to say next…


Today, I quit my 9-5 job to work full-time as a blogger. I’ve reached my 2017 goal.

And I hope my story can inspire you to go after yours in 2018.

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  1. Good luck, hang! I hope 2018 is an amazing year for you and your blog 💙💙

  2. Hi!! Your blog inspires me so much. Thank you for all the things you post and the things you’ve done in the blog.

  3. Truly inspiring! Keep it up! I enjoy your blogs, pictures and everything. Your time and effort behind the scenes is truly amazing. Thank you for being you! 😘

  4. Monica Sand

    You’re such an inspiration Hang ! I love what you have done with the little times you had and made to create. I wish I has brave enough to do the same thing . I’m honestly excited to see your creations for 2018 !
    -Love 💕

  5. Thank you for being so brave and sharing your life and lessons with us, Hang! I truly can’t express how grateful I am to have found your blog and IG. You are a very bright, inspiring young lady and have motivated me to give it my ALL to make my dreams into plans and plans into actions! I am so excited to see what 2018 has in store for you and I’ll be following along!

  6. that’s amazing!!!! God Bless Hang, and keep smiling 🌟🌟

  7. Thank you for this inspiring post ☺️I can’t wait to see what amazing things you’ll be able to accomplish in the new year and in the future!

  8. Thungbeni

    I am so so so happy for and feel so inspired now. I am now doing my engineering which is what my parents want me to do cause it’s “safer “ but you have inspired me to work hard even in something I don’t want to do so that later I can achieve what I want to do. I hope I can make it just like you did. Love you so much hang. 3 years for following you on ig and then reading your blogs has been an amazing journey. ❤️

  9. Your story inspires me a lot! I am in the situation of finding a job in Australia as a graduate international student. The job seeking process is hard and I haven’t get through it. At the same time, I do have dream to become a blogger, which has been procrastinated because of me with not enough confidence and thinking too much.
    I like you said “Make things happen for yourself@. I will follow my heart and make the things I want to do to come true!

  10. Oh my gosh.
    I mean it. This Hang really inspires me.
    I think we all see the people who have accomplished as having had easier starts or some help. And we wonder how we shall write our stories.
    I love how you took action.
    Bless your future and may it all pull together to be extraordinary.
    I now need to think on this all myself.

  11. Must be very exciting times for your these days. Very inspirational and a very courageous move.
    What was the thing that made you “click” and quit your 9-5 to pursue a different career? What was the moment like? Was it during a meal, a late night convo, at a talk, or frustration at work?

    Whatever happens, don’t lose the contagious smile, aspiration, and motivation.

  12. Congratuation on quitting your regular day job and good luck in 2018! Keep up the great work!

  13. Wow someone got the same name as me here lol

    This is Jen/Jenny aka. bodyguard lolololol

    Once you made the public announcement about quitting your 9-5 job..whew all the memories just came back and I DMed you right away last night. What I mean about memories was earlier this year when I came to visit you. I still remember the day when you took me to the park and you told me you wanted to be a full-time blogger and how you were so conflicted. I remember thinking to myself that it is super risky and I was a bit worried but you have amazing supporters by your side. You’ve been building up your platform for years and I don’t see how you won’t be able to succeed. I remember saying that it is something you can accomplish because you already got this far after years of hard work but always have a plan B aka backup plan.

    I may not be your closest friend and we both are in a completely different path but words cannot describe that I am so proud of you and I CANNOT WAIT for what ideas or collabs you will be coming out with!! 2018 will be a amazing year ❤️

    If you need anything, I’m always available haha 😁

    Damn, I wrote a freaking essay LOL I’m sorry, you don’t gotta read all of it. I’m sure I made a lot of typos

  14. Words can’t express how happy I am for you, Hang! I’m very excited for this new journey, and I’m so inspired by your story. Like you, I come from a similar family background, and a creative career was never really considered a choice, at least from my parent’s perspective. I’m so proud of you because I know it takes so much courage to be able to take this next step <3 Sending lots of love, support, and encouragement!

    XO, Elizabeth

  15. Girl, not only are you gorgeous, but your writing is phenomenal!!! I absolutely loved reading this post & a few other posts you’ve made and you’re honestly one of the few bloggers who inspire me on social media <3 Keep hustling hard and congrats on achieving your 2017 goal! 😉

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