Blogger Tyla Howard is changing the game with her fun, creative and inspiring online presence. Exploring, writing and encouraging others is her thing, read on to be inspired…
So, you’re the founder of Smile Seeker Movement, can you tell me a little a bit about what led you to start the site?
I began blogging in 2012 when I finished school. I have always had such a passion to encourage, empower and equip others to become the best they can be, and to recognise how important they actually are. It started as a small space on the internet that I swear the only person who read it was my Mum haha! But, a few months after creating the blog, Jesus dropped a god-sized dreams in my heart. So I turned the blog into a movement. Now, the Smile Seeker Movement is so much more than a little space on the internet. It is a global community passionate about imparting purpose into people.
You have quite a large social media following, what advice would you give to someone wanting to glorify God online?
I say go for it girlfriend! Sadly, in this society, the internet and social media is generally streamlined with negativity. It needs as much positive, wholesome and inspirational content as possible. If starting a platform online to glorify God is on your heart, don’t wait around, just launch it! Once it’s launched, make sure you stand firm in your venture. Don’t waver under the opinions or success of others. Remind yourself that you are doing an incredible work, for the glory of Jesus and His grace will carry you through.
Has there ever been a time when you were anxious about sharing your faith, whether online or off?
I’ve never really had an issue with sharing my faith online. However offline, I have had a few experiences where I have become nervous. There was this one time when I recoiled and withdrew when I was asked about my faith. Straight after the incident I heard Jesus say, “aren’t you glad I didn’t withdraw when I was asked to die on the cross for you?”. It hit me like a tonne of bricks, and put things into perspective: sharing your faith is always worth it. The only time you’ll regret it, is when you don’t share it. Side note: If you feel guilty about not sharing your faith, remember that God is not the God of guilt, He is the God of conviction and grace, He doesn’t want you to ever feel guilty or shameful.
Where do you tend to find inspiration when you’re stuck for what to write about?
I recently went through a stage where life was just full steam ahead. In the busyness, I lost all inspiration for blogging. Only after a couple of weeks, I had realised that I hadn’t spent enough time with Jesus. The moment I started pressing in to Him, my inspiration came back. I learnt that you can’t use Jesus like a coke dispenser and go to Him when only you need inspiration, but through spending time with Him and loving Him, inspiration flows.
How do you balance blogging with work/social life?
Oh no, this is the toughest question! I’m definitely still on the journey to finding balance. I tend to get fully passionate about one thing and neglect all the other aspects of my life haha! But one thing I have done to help with a balanced lifestyle is, I’ve asked a few close friends to keep me accountable. I’ve given them permission to say the ugly (and sometimes hurtful) truth of, ‘Tyla, your life is unbalanced’. They generally recognise it before I do, and they’ve really helped me in this area.
What’s your vision for the future of Smile Seeker Movement?
The Smile Seeker Movement is a global movement passionate about imparting purpose into people. My vision is for it to be a community where people can feel encouraged, empowered and equipped to keep moving forward, and to realise who they truly are. There are so many exciting things to come for the future of the Smile Seeker Movement, and I wish I could tell you all… but that would ruin the surprise 😉 You just have to stay tuned and find out!
I hope you were inspired by Tyla’s honesty and boldness, she’s pretty cool. And so are YOU. Let me know what projects you’re working on, Tyla is a perfect example of how a small vision can grow into something bigger than you could ever imagine.
Have a go, make a start. I’m with you, friend.