One of my most asked questions is always, “how did I become a full-time food-blogger?” Believe it or not, I actually don’t have any background working with food. I never worked in a restaurant and never had any culinary training.
I grew up in a household filled with foodies. Growing up, my dad would often pick me up from school early so we can go try out the latest, hottest new restaurant. All of my best memories from my childhood relate to food.
I didn’t start cooking until I moved away to study for university. I went to a school in a small town where there was no Asian food. At first, instant noodles were enough to fulfill my cravings, but I knew I had to get in the kitchen or not survive being away from home after a couple of months.
Like most people, I learned alot of my cooking skills from my mom, but I was also OBSESSED watching YouTube and reading food blogs.
One of my favorite things was to fall asleep while watching a Youtube cooking tutorial while dreaming about what I would make the next day. There were ALOT of trial and error, but I got better and better over time and started developing my cooking skills and recipes.
Cooking became my passion. Rather than studying, I would spend HOURS in the kitchen developing new recipes. Nothing made me happier than making food for people I love and sharing different cultures’ cuisine with them. I still remember making Pho for my housemates and the look of satisfaction on their faces as they slurped the hot bone broth.
So why am I sharing all of this? Because the number one thing that you need to become a full blogger full-time is PASSION.
I’ve been cooking for 11 years and attempted to start at least 5 “failed” blogs before TIFFYCOOKS. I always knew this was what I wanted to do, and I trusted the process and never lost passion for what I loved.
After graduating, I worked in a corporate 500 tech company as a sales consultant for three years. To be honest with you, I am so grateful that it took me this long to launch TIFFYCOOKS finally.
I learned so much from my 9-5 job that helped me become who I am today.
Here are some skills I developed from working at a Corporate 500 for three years:
- HOW TO WRITE EMAILS: I know this sounds as basic as you can get but TRUST ME, it is CRUCIAL to understand how to write emails. When you work for yourself, you are answering emails EVERY SINGLE DAY. You are pitching yourself to brands, and for brands to take you seriously, you need to learn how to communicate via email.
- DISCIPLINE: It may sound easy, but clocking in and out Monday – Friday and not being late takes discipline. When you first graduate, you are SO EXCITED to start your “big girl job,” but after a few months, you realize life is NOT a race … it is a LONG marathon. Work starts getting repetitive, and trust me; there will be days that you do NOT want to wake up and go to work. When you work for yourself, it becomes even easier to just “slack off” I am so grateful I developed discipline while working at my corporate job because now I am alot more efficient with my time.
- BRANDING: One of the most important skills I developed from working at a corporate company was how to build my brand. How do you stand out amongst your co-workers (in a non-toxic way)? How do you work with others? What is your BRAND at your company? Having a good “brand” doesn’t mean sucking up to management or just being top sales.
- NEGOTIATION: How do you ask for raises? How do you ask for a promotion? How do you negotiate your benefits, and how do you negotiate with clients? This is super important as you are CONSTANTLY negotiating as a blogger!
- CONFIDENCE: Working at my 9-5 helped me become confident in my skills and what I had to offer. After I graduated, I was lost, and working at a corporate company and “proving” to myself I can actually do it gave me the confidence I needed to take the next step and work for myself.
I am forever grateful for my corporate job. It helped me purchase my first car and my first home. I traveled to unique places worldwide, and I also developed great personal and business connections that will last a lifetime.
However, after working there for three years, I knew I wanted a change when I lost motivation. Nothing my manager offered me was able to make me happy.
At first, I thought I wanted a raise, then I thought I wanted a promotion, but it gets to a point where nothing satisfies you anymore when you lost passion and motivation.
That is when I knew I had to give my dream to become a food blogger another try. However, this time, before I started my journey, I wanted to make sure I was READY.
I posted a 100-day challenge on my own PRIVATE Instagram account, where I posted high-quality homemade dishes every single day for 100 days. After 100 days, I wasn’t tired, but instead, I got even more motivated and wanted to develop even more recipes.
That is when I knew I was ready. I didn’t care if no one saw my recipes, how many “likes” I had, or if I made money. I was happy posting 100-days on a PRIVATE account because my love and passion for food outweigh everything else.
Don’t quit right away. Just START and take your time. Turning your passion into your career is stressful both financially and mentally.
I posted my first ever recipe video on TikTok on Sept 3rd, 2020. I remember being SO nervous I almost didn’t post. When I woke up, the video had 40K views; I was SO SUPRISE.
To keep up the momentum, I started doing my 21-day series. I started with “Cooking Dinner on TikTok for 21 Days,” then I did “Cooking Street Food for 21 Days” after I did “15 Minute Dinner for 15 Days,” and since then, I’ve been posting recipes. At least three times a week!
Some might say it was luck, but I dont think so. A Roman philosopher Seneca once said, “ Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”
I believe that all the recipes I learned over the past 11 years have helped me prepare myself with “endless” content; that the three years I spent at corporate helped me develop my business acumen, that all my failed blogs in the past helped me developed my niche, that all the places I travel help shape my cuisines. I believe that all the ups and downs brought me to where I am today.
After four months of juggling my corporate job and my food blog, I finally decide to take the next step and take my passion to the next level. I am alot more strategic, and I am so excited for this journey.
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