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Behind the Blog

My Biggest Business Mistakes From the First 6 Months (And How I Fixed Them!)

I’m writing this post on a Saturday night after doing 13 straight hours of work, with only one break to inhale a few pieces of peanut butter toast.

It was a beautiful sunny day outside, and I didn’t see any of it.

This is not how I want to run my business.

All hustle, no balance.

It’s taking a toll on me.

Luckily, I am smart enough to realize when I’ve made some pretty awful mistakes and how to fix them. Today I want to get a lil’ personal with you and share my biggest struggles and failures over the past 6 months and how I’m overcoming them to become a better blogger and business owner.

I hope you can learn something from this post. Here goes.

Biggest Business Mistakes

 

1. No time for fun.

Talk about overscheduled.

Even my husband knows that if it’s not on my Google calendar, it’s not happening.

I’ve lost touch with several friends. Some of them understand, and others don’t. I even feel bad with how little time I’m spending with my dog.

It’s super depressing.

I ended up getting so burnt out, I didn’t want to do anything.

And that was my solution.

I realized that I procrastinate a lot. Not because I dislike my work, I love it, but because I’m too much of a perfectionist and I want “the perfect idea” before I start working.

Well, that just doesn’t exist.

I’ve learned to just start, and edit shit later. I’ve learned to be more productive with my time so that I can get more done in less time.

Ya know what the big magical secret to all that is?

CONTINUE READING

I’ve helped hundreds of bloggers and B2B businesses grow their profits with actionable content strategy advice. As a marketing agency brand strategist and copywriter, I’m on a mission to prove that you don’t need a fancy degree to market yourself, you just need the right tools. Find your voice online and grow your business! I’m known for being a crazy cat (+dog) lady, German car enthusiast and a bit of a wino.

Losing Your Way on A Winding Path (This Is A Metaphor for Getting Shit Done)

Oh, hello.

Remember when I said that when you feel like you’re fed up, and burnt out, you should connect with other humans that remind you why you love what you do? Wellllllll, that worked for me once. But now I have new advice: be a hermit.

How to Get Shit Done (fo realz!)

 

Seriously. The best advice I received for dealing with feelings of burnout was a few days ago, and that advice was: when you are so fed up that you just don’t care anymore, actively attempt to care less. Like just really get all the giving a shit out of your system. Stop caring at a molecular level. Split the atoms of the fucks you do not give, and then split them again. Create a nuclear meltdown out of all the energy that you’re not caring with. Enough metaphors for now…

In my situation, I could never focus on what I was supposed to be doing, due to a number of factors, some of them complex and one of them just being that I am an insane, quality-obsessed, control freak bitch-ola. I was so used to responding quickly to everything that came my way — emails, Slack messages, carrier pigeons — that people expected it of me, and I felt like I owed it to them.

But then my boss told me something radical. Like some life-changing shit right here. She said, “Just… don’t.” That’s basically what she said. There were more words and it sounded better than that, but that was the gist of it.

CONTINUE READING

I’ve helped hundreds of bloggers and B2B businesses grow their profits with actionable content strategy advice. As a marketing agency brand strategist and copywriter, I’m on a mission to prove that you don’t need a fancy degree to market yourself, you just need the right tools. Find your voice online and grow your business! I’m known for being a crazy cat (+dog) lady, German car enthusiast and a bit of a wino.

When What You Love to Do Gets Shitty: Fighting Creative Burnout

Hustlin’ be hard, bitches.

How to Fight Creative Burnout - When What You Love to Do Gets Shitty

 

Whatever your hustle may be — design, coding, strategy, project management, writing, something unmarketing related — you started doing it because you loved it. You continued because you loved it. You can’t imagine yourself doing anything else with your life, but yet, you hit a point where you just want to quit. What’s going on?

It’s not a lack of passion for your work. It’s not because of boredom. It’s not because you want to do something else.

So whyyyyyy.

But Why GIF

When you feel that feeling of loving what you do and being convinced that you’ve never been more connected to and passionate about your work, coupled with a feeling of absolute dread about going in the next day or doing any of the tasks on your list, congrats — you’re in creative burnout.

CONTINUE READING

I’ve helped hundreds of bloggers and B2B businesses grow their profits with actionable content strategy advice. As a marketing agency brand strategist and copywriter, I’m on a mission to prove that you don’t need a fancy degree to market yourself, you just need the right tools. Find your voice online and grow your business! I’m known for being a crazy cat (+dog) lady, German car enthusiast and a bit of a wino.

Learning to Care Again When You’re Out of [email protected] to Give

I think the hardest thing about working in an industry you’re really passionate about is the eventual feeling of “Is this worth it?” that creeps into your mind. If you’re like me, you’re a 110% kind of person. All in or all out, there is no in between.

Learning to Care Again When You're Out of F*@ks to Give

 

I’m happy and proud to be doing something I love for a living. I love the sense of accomplishment my work provides, and being surrounded by so many talented people with big ideas. It’s fantastic and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. But sometimes, it still gets tough like anything else.

And while I wouldn’t change a thing, sometimes I think, “Can I keep going?”

Field of Fucks lol

I guess some people call that burnout, but that’s not really what it is. To me, true burnout is when you are literally so done that you cannot be any more done. You know it’s time to walk away, find a new path, burn bridges to the ground, whatever. You want out of where you are.

But that’s not what I feel sometimes at all. Like I said, I wouldn’t change a thing. So it’s not burnout, it’s just a temporary case of a lack of fucks to give.

Once your supply of fucks to give is restored, all is well.

CONTINUE READING

I’ve helped hundreds of bloggers and B2B businesses grow their profits with actionable content strategy advice. As a marketing agency brand strategist and copywriter, I’m on a mission to prove that you don’t need a fancy degree to market yourself, you just need the right tools. Find your voice online and grow your business! I’m known for being a crazy cat (+dog) lady, German car enthusiast and a bit of a wino.

What Being Nerdy Organized Means

 

What Is Nerdy Organized?

I’m going to tell you a story today.

The story of Nerdy Organized — how it came to be, what it means, and how it came to be the way I describe myself.

Grab some wine for this one! ????

Let’s begin at the worst place to start: the beginning. The term “nerdy organized” was a phrase I made up to describe myself in my epic failure of an interview for the agency I work at now. Well, I guess it wasn’t an epic failure because I did get the job (and am still there now), but it was one of the worst interview performances of my life. Anyway.

I was being grilled about my digital marketing chops and oh yes, I felt the heat from the flames of that grillage. It was pretty intense. I blurted out that I had attention to detail, knowledge of the industry and terms, blah blah blah, all that stupid crap everyone says about themselves. Then I said I was organized too. I was met with neutral expressions. “Like… really… nerdy organized,” I word barfed next. I meant that I was good at getting shit done. There was light laughter. I managed to breathe for a second.

the-moment-you-realize-you-are-too-nerd_1272

The term kind of stuck, and I ended up changing my Twitter username to it as a joke. But here I am like two years later, still with it. I even named this weird blog thing after it (only because I have a dumb common name so the only name-based domain left would be MichelleMartin.isplutostillaplanet).

I accepted being “nerdy organized” as part of my identity, my ethos. I clung to this term and made it fit my personality to a T. To me, it means being thorough, industrious, knowledgeable, and above all… super fuckin’ nerdy.

CONTINUE READING

I’ve helped hundreds of bloggers and B2B businesses grow their profits with actionable content strategy advice. As a marketing agency brand strategist and copywriter, I’m on a mission to prove that you don’t need a fancy degree to market yourself, you just need the right tools. Find your voice online and grow your business! I’m known for being a crazy cat (+dog) lady, German car enthusiast and a bit of a wino.

Balancing Workload: When Is Enough Enough?

balancing-workload-nerdy-organized

I’m pretty sure that balancing workload is a problem all agencies have – either not enough work, or too much. It’s never just right, is it? Such is the nature of the business, and why it keeps my interest as a dynamic and ever-changing place to be. But sometimes, if you’re on the short end of that stick, it can feel a whole lot like burnout.

Deadlines, overbooking, sudden influx of everyone accepting your quotes… whatever the case may be, you’ve found yourself on Too Much Work island, surrounded by Holy Shit This Sucks sharks circling you. Not to fear. I have just the thing to get you through this tough spell.

It’s called…. WERK.

Werk your work like this cat werks this outfit. #FIERCE
Werk your work like this cat werks this outfit. #FIERCE

Just werk it.

Not twerk it. Well, you can… I guess.

Really, having too much business is probably the best problem you could have in your entire life, so just stop complaining and deal with it. Imagine how many companies and people would kill to be in your spot right now? Lots! People facing bankruptcy, companies in danger of having to do layoffs, and so on. And here you are, complaining that you are TOO successful, and TOO in demand, and just can’t seem to catch a break. I mean, really?! Suck it up and get it done. You should be thankful.

It does totally suck when you’re pulling lots of late nights to get stuff done, but in the grand scheme of things, you’re pretty frickin lucky.

CONTINUE READING

I’ve helped hundreds of bloggers and B2B businesses grow their profits with actionable content strategy advice. As a marketing agency brand strategist and copywriter, I’m on a mission to prove that you don’t need a fancy degree to market yourself, you just need the right tools. Find your voice online and grow your business! I’m known for being a crazy cat (+dog) lady, German car enthusiast and a bit of a wino.

Don’t Fall Into the Trap of Mindless Networking

I feel ranty this week. Maybe I’m just tired, or didn’t drink enough coffee, or am actually just a total cranky old bitch. But in any case, my ranty-ness is expanding into most aspects of my life. Today I’m ranting about something that happened about 6 months ago, which quite frankly I think we can all agree is clearly the sign of a totally normal, mentally stable individual.

Regardless, I still believe in my rant today, so here goes.

oh-snap-futurama-nerdy-organized

Months ago, I was at a Meetup event downtown. It was about content strategy, and it was a great event. The speaker was engaging and knowledgable and made a ton of excellent points I still remember to this day. The thing that annoyed me came after the actual event, when the talking to other humans part kicked in. For a cranky ass introvert like myself, talking to other humans can sometimes be a challenge.

Not because I don’t like people, but just because I often don’t know what to say. I hate small talk and fake interest in things. Let’s either talk about something mutually interesting or why bother, is how I view networking type events. But it’s also no fun to be sitting around by yourself in a room full of people, so, I make attempts at human connection.

CONTINUE READING

I’ve helped hundreds of bloggers and B2B businesses grow their profits with actionable content strategy advice. As a marketing agency brand strategist and copywriter, I’m on a mission to prove that you don’t need a fancy degree to market yourself, you just need the right tools. Find your voice online and grow your business! I’m known for being a crazy cat (+dog) lady, German car enthusiast and a bit of a wino.

Speaking in Front of Lots of People is Batshit Crazy

Today I got up on stage in front of a bunch of people, like a few hundred, and spoke for a bit. It was super nerve-wracking and at first, terrible. I was up there and talking and then thought, “Oh this isn’t so bad,” and looked around. Big mistake. It instantly got a million times worse and I decided not to do that again.

public-speaking-batshit-crazy-nerdy-organized

There was a stage thing, and a real podium and microphone and all sorts of shiz like that. And hundreds of pairs of tiny beady little eyes burning holes into my soul. At least I think that’s what they were doing.

I was only speaking for a minute or so, to do a quick promo and introduce the next speaker, but it was the first time I ever got in front of that many people and said anything, so that was pretty cool. I’m proud of myself for doing that and hope that one day I get enough nerve to actually speak at some thing, sometime, for some reason. I have no idea what that would ever be, but who knows where life takes you sometimes.

But for today… yay. Small victories.

PowerPoint LOL

I’ve helped hundreds of bloggers and B2B businesses grow their profits with actionable content strategy advice. As a marketing agency brand strategist and copywriter, I’m on a mission to prove that you don’t need a fancy degree to market yourself, you just need the right tools. Find your voice online and grow your business! I’m known for being a crazy cat (+dog) lady, German car enthusiast and a bit of a wino.