To wrap up the year, my husband Andrew and I are doing an “Ask Me Anything” question and answer with you! We asked you for your most BURNING questions on Instagram and nothing was off limits! Some of you wanted to know personal things, design advice and others sought out business tips and tricks.
The most common question asked was, “How do you balance everything in your life, career, marriage, self care etc.?” This is the one I’m most excited to dive into, so let’s go!
You can watch the video as we run through each question OR read each question and answer below. Whatever suits your fancy!
How did you start blogging & how long did it take for you to make a living from it?
I started my first blog in 2015 and this here blog in 2017! You can read all about the journey here. Truth be told, I don’t make a living from my blog right now! Yes, I make some money, but nothing compared to my corporate day job & my digital marketing agency where I offer services to other entrepreneurs and small businesses. My goal is to increase my blog income and decrease my amount of digital marketing clients!
What is your best advice for landing PAYING clients?
When I first started my digital marketing agency, I reached out via email to people I personally knew to see if they would be interested in having me run their social media for a monthly retainer. A few of them said yes, so I typed up a formal proposal and sent it to them!
Flash forward two years, most of my clients find me in female entrepreneur Facebook groups. My team looks for posts where people are asking for social media management services. When they find people in need of our services, they drop a link to our service page and try to get them to book a free consult call with us.
Also, anytime I hear a conversation (usually in a coffee shop) that sounds like someone is looking for our services, I don’t hesitate to introduce myself and set up a consult call. I get super nervous to put myself out there like this, but it’s worked in the past, so I push through the awkward nerves!
What are your favorite WordPress plugins for blogging?
I actually don’t have a lot of plugins on my WordPress blog! I use one to display my Pinterest, Instagram feed, RewardStyle, and YOAST for SEO. Be careful adding too many plugins because it can slow down your website!
What’s your favorite photo editing app?
Lightroom mobile (free) + desktop is hands down my favorite photo editing app. In the past, I’ve used VSCO, but Lightroom is so much better. I recently started using Pixaloop for adding those fun animations and movement and Life Lapse for the multi-photo mash ups that look like a flip book!
How do you combat fraud syndrome??
Fraud, or imposter syndrome, is a REAL thing.
Imposter syndrome can be defined as a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success. ‘Imposters’ suffer from chronic self-doubt and a sense of intellectual fraudulence that override any feelings of success or external proof of their competence. They seem unable to internalize their accomplishments, however successful they are in their field. High achieving, highly successful people often suffer, so imposter syndrome doesn’t equate with low self-esteem or a lack of self-confidence. In fact, some researchers have linked it with perfectionism, especially in women and among academics (HBR).
I’ve suffered from this at many times throughout my life. I honestly feel like it’s driven by my high achiever and perfectionist tendencies. Perfection doesn’t exist, so when that is where you set the bar, you feel like you are failing over and over again in everything you do.
I struggled with imposter syndrome hardcore when I became a business owner. I remember so vividly, sitting in the pedicure chair and the nail technician asking me, “So, what do you do?” My immediate default was always, “I’m a Marketing Manager for a medical device company,” because that is where I feel comfortable. It was the safe, less messy answer, and I felt like a total fake when I would say I owned a shop or a digital marketing agency.
But this moment stuck out to me, and it changed me. Awareness is the first step to changing your thoughts and overcoming imposter syndrome. Take note of what makes you feel like a fraud and address it head on.
After that night in the nail salon, I started answering that question, “What do you do?” completely differently. Now, I confidently answer, “I own a digital marketing agency.” I’m still working on the confidence to call myself a lifestyle blogger, but I’ve come so far from where I started!
What do you think of personality tests? Do you know your enneagram number?
I am obsessed with personality tests. So obsessed that when my husband and I started “talking” I made him take the Myers Briggs to see if we were compatible. I can’t make that up! I’m an ENTJ and it is very similar to Enneagram type 8.
My best friend introduced me to the Enneagram a year ago & we stayed up until 2:00 AM laying in bed talking about all the types. I score almost identically for a type 1 and type 8. Both of those types describe me very well.
I love learning about the different personality types to better understand relationship dynamics! Both platonic and romantic. I firmly believe the tests and types are really good predictors of how relationships will play out over time.
I’m so obsessed with personality tests, and I think everyone should take them! For me, they really helped me better understand my weaknesses and embrace my strengths. I have an entire blog post about embracing your unique personality here!
There is often a struggle for those of us who have a very public life online. I wanted to write something that dove into how we can blur the line between real life and social media by embracing our personality types!
How do you balance working from home, family time and time for yourself?
Someone I follow asked their audience this question the other day, and here is my reply: Balance does NOT exist. I know that’s probably not the answer you want to here! It’s funny that I’m saying this, because my word for 2019 was “balance.”
What I learned was to LET GO of the idea and concept of balance & that has been so freeing in every party of my life. Sometimes your work will demand more attention, sometimes your role as a mom or wife will demand more attention, etc. There is nothing wrong with that!
I know letting go of that concept may be easier said then done. And I also know you still have responsibilities that HAVE to be taken care of regardless of what season you are in. My advice, focus on what NEEDS your immediate energy and do the bare minimum for everything else.
Some weeks, my house is destroyed, my client workload is overflowing, laundry piles up and I don’t go to the gym (not even once). Other weeks, my house is spotless, all my client work is buttoned up, my laundry is clean AND put away, and I go to CrossFit four times! If my marriage is feeling stale, I say screw the vacuuming, let’s get dressed and go grab a drink together!
That’s life and as soon as you make the decision to be OKAY with unbalance, you will feel a major weight lifted from your shoulders! So, I encourage you to throw your hands up in the air and surrender whenever you need to!
What is it like transitioning from girlfriend to wife?
I love this question because it’s so important and not enough women talk about it. I’ve been engaged twice, and for me, the first time, going from girlfriend to fiancé actually put me into a depression. I remember Googling, “Post engagement depression,” which led me to this Book. If you are engaged or think you will be soon, I HIGHLY encourage you to read this book and do the journal prompts. They were so helpful for me.
How do you keep your marriage fresh when you and your hubs lead such busy careers?
I think this question can sit aside the question about creating balance. Sometimes work or the kids will need more attention than your marriage, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect it all together!
Doing totally mundane, daily tasks together is one of my favorite ways to spend time together, especially during the busy weeks. We go to CrossFit and get to bond over our suffering. Then, I watch my sexy husband cook dinner, and we ALWAYS sit down and eat at the dinner table. A couple days a week, a bottle of wine will join us, too. Lingering and chatting after dinner to finish off a glass (or bottle) of wine is my favorite.
I also love setting intentional date nights. We like to plan them for each other! I’ll text Andrew on a Thursday and ask him if I can take him on a date Saturday and vice versa. It’s fun pretending like we are still courting each other. I find that date nights help our sex life, too!
I mean, what better way to keep your marriage fresh than consensual sex! The more sex you have with your partner, the more connected you are going to feel. We like to spice it up with toys, too. No shame in the sex toy game. And women, if you struggle to enjoy sex with your partner, I highly recommend introducing sex toys!
Trust me, I know sometimes your eyelids feel like cinder blocks when you lay down at night, but the impact sex has on your marriage is always worth it (IMO)! So, know that your marriage is going to go through different seasons, but be intentional. Date your partner & keep your sex life active. That’s my best advice for keeping it fresh!
How did you end up in Muskegon?
I’m originally from Jackson, Michigan, but I went to undergrad in northern Indiana. Then, I lived in Indianapolis, Indiana for 4 years. That’s where Andrew and I met (on a double date, NOT with each other). I hadn’t talked to him for a year when I got a text asking what there was to do in Michigan. I thought the text was odd, so I called him. Turned out, he was going through a divorce. Eight months later, I moved up to Muskegon to live with him! You can read all the juicy details on that here.
What type of doctor is your husband going to be?
Andrew, my husband, is residency trained in family medicine and hoping to do a sports medicine fellowship in 2020! I’m keeping track of our crazy medicine journey through a blog series called “Married to Medicine.” The next post will be coming in January 2020 after the fellowship match, and we find out where we will be moving in the spring!
When you had the rug store online, where did you originally find all the rugs and what did you look for?
I’m so glad you asked this, because I get this question all of the time! I am a huge fan of RugSource. Their Persian rugs are high quality and always priced SO well. Now that I’m not carrying new inventory in my rug shop, I’m partnering with them as an affiliate!
Favorite thrifted find ever?
OMG this question is SO hard. I don’t think I can pick a favorite, so here are a few things I love and will likely never part with, 1. My vintage brass tray coffee table 2. My midcentury dresser & mirror and 3. The 1950s barber stand with mirror.
When you go to friends’ houses, are you always redecorating in your head/noticing mistakes?
For all my friends and family reading this, I am so sorry! Yes, I redecorate spaces and places in my head ALL day long. I can’t help it. My biggest pet peeve is probably inappropriately hung curtains.
Sources You Asked For 🙂
New living room paint color is Minted Sage by Behr Paint. The rusty, dark orange jumpsuit is from Target & it’s not available anymore 🙁