Posts in Life
My marketing agency side-hustle is now my full-time small business! Cue the confetti!

I did it. I quit my full-time corporate marketing job and made the leap to full-time entrepreneurship as a small business marketing agency. Today, August 19th, 2019, marks my first official day as a small business owner. I honestly wasn’t sure what this day would feel like. The day I’ve had pinpointed between the proverbial crosshairs for months.

Now that I’m in it, it’s a numbed kind of overwhelm. Like a weird collision of acceptance - because, yes, this is now reality whether I’m ready or not - and euphoria. Oh, definitely some fear in there too. Yeah, actually, lots of fear.

When I first launched Lindsey Wagnon Marketing two years ago, full-time entrepreneurship was not the goal. I simply needed and wanted a creative outlet I could completely control. One where I wrote about more than types of mortgage loans and closing costs and insurance. Cora was 1, I’d backed off a lot of my extracurricular commitments like music and fitness in her first year and though I was still carrying a pretty full plate, I wanted to see what I could do with a little bit of entrepreneurial energy. So I asked my graphic designer sister to make me a logo and leaped headlong into SquareSpace website design.

If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll remember my first business name was Lindsey Wagnon Brand Writer. My services were limited to copywriting, the marketing skill I have the longest tenure in and am most comfortable with. But also saturated in. It wasn’t long before I realized I didn’t want to just write copy for people. I wanted to give them the whole package.

In those early days, I’d learned enough about the bigger picture in marketing from my corporate 9-5 that when clients contacted me, I couldn’t help but talk to them about much more than brand scripting their copy. I desperately wanted to help them think through how everything was fitting together. Good copy is only part of a fantastic marketing strategy. If you haven’t approached the other aspects of marketing well, solid copywriting isn’t going to fix conversion problems or suddenly bring you an onslaught of leads.

I wanted to know what my customers’ goals were, who they were really trying to reach, if their website was converting visitors well, if they were on the right social media platforms, what their SEO looked like, if their content was consistent and effective, and were they utilizing email marketing to drive purchase? To me, it became so evident that one marketing service - in my case, copywriting - was usually not what business owners needed most. They usually need much more big picture marketing direction. Someone to say, hey, you don’t need this service as much as you need a more functional website. Let’s audit and strategize first, then figure out what you should actually spend money on.

A year in, I found myself offering full-service marketing agency packages. SquareSpace website design, email marketing, SEO, paid ads on Google and Facebook/Insta, consultations, planning, some social media (I keep my social media offering on the light side. I have no desire to only do social all day long, ugh. Thank goodness for my social pro friends who I’m happy to outsource to.)

I also noticed a gap in the area of marketing planning with clients. A good marketing plan is SOOOOO underrated. That’s when I launched The Marketing Plan Shop - which hasn’t gone much further than basic concept, but I have big plans for it so stay tuned.

Today, I’m operating in the marketing director chair for several small businesses and couldn’t be more fulfilled. Yes, I still do the single side projects like email campaigns and brand messaging (fancy for copywriting) Pause. That was such a Fancy Nancy toddler mom moment. Unpause. But I am the most grateful for the company owners who are trusting me with the full scope of their marketing. Because let’s face it, as entrepreneurs, we only have so much time to wrangle multiple service providers to piece together marketing campaigns. Who wants to waste time on that? And if you’re doing that, how do you know it’s all fitting together properly?

With the growth of my business came the realization I wanted the change it could support. You know, the same reasons many people switch from working for someone else to working for themselves. Control over my time, availability for the heavy seasons of ministry life, the option to keep my daughter home with me, creative variety, the choice of who to work with and who not to put up with, earning potential that isn’t left up to HR and finance departments, the frustrating crawl of filtering ideas and approaches through too many people…

Oh yeah, about that fear I mentioned at the beginning. I’m also processing through all the trepidation you would expect for a new business owner who just gave up steady, dependable paychecks. Right along with “yay, this is finally happening” is “oh, crap, this HAS to happen!!!” Will I successfully apply all the productivity podcasts I’ve been devouring for the last two years? Will I get distracted by all the things that need to be picked up or cleaned around the house - a HIGHLY likely temptation for this Enneagram 1? Will I get lonely working from home alone? (eh, not likely.) Will I charge enough and bring in the clientele willing to pay? So many small business owners lack the understanding of “you get what you pay for.” Now that this business needs to feed my family, I’m much less willing to put up with cheapskates.

Consultant. Strategist. Planner. Director. Vendor liaison. Branding. Content. Data. Lindsey Wagnon Marketing is all of it in one. And now, I’m available full time. From side-hustler to small business owner in two years. To all the mompreneurs out there with a tiny idea you’re dying to try - do it! It could evolve into the surprise career shift that is everything you didn’t know you need and long for. It could become the key to controlling your life, time, energy and wealth.

If you relate to any of this, I want to know. Comment below!!

My top 5 podcasts

I have a podcasting habit. As an enneagram 1, I’m all about effective use of time and podcasts are one of my favorite ways to learn, recharge and get inspiration while running, walking, driving or cleaning. I like to bring up the podcasts I listen to on the regular which leads to the frequent question, “hey Lindsey, what are you listening to lately?” from friends, family and my team at work.

top five podcasts

Whether you’re a podcast lover like me or curious where I get many of my ideas and motivation from, here’s a list of my top 5 favorite podcasts.

Building a StoryBrand with Don Miller

This one is my favorite for marketing and a bit of business sense. I’ve been following Don Miller and the StoryBrand formula for a couple years and it’s transformed how I approach copywriting and putting together a clear marketing message. The podcast is easy to digest, light and entertaining while providing a ton of great ideas and inspiration. If you’re looking for great general marketing advice that isn’t too technical, you really need to check this one out.

The Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast

Been a long time listener of this one and it’s absolute GOLD for anyone in a leadership position or working with a team. The episodes are usually about 20-30 minutes long and the content is well developed - if you use the website, there are leader notes for discussion. I often use his podcasts as conversation for my team at work.

Lore

A guilty pleasure. Normally, I’m hitting play on something a little more serious but when I need a mental escape from the daily grind, I choose Lore. It’s a storytelling podcast that digs into historical myths, legends, odd occurrences, mysteries and anything creepily fascinating. It’s extremely well done and offers a completely different type of entertainment than binging Netflix. I get so hooked on some of the episodes I can actually listen to them while I run. Yeah, they’re that good.

Rachel Hollis’ Rise Podcast

I’ve listened to quite a few girlboss podcasts in the last year or two but Rachel’s is the one most consistently offering the kind of content I can appreciate and apply. She lands incredible womaneur interviews and offers a ton of vulnerability in sharing her own story. It always feels like I’m in the same room, completely welcomed into the conversation she’s having with special guests. This is one to listen to whether you’ve got goals to reach or need a consistent voice of wisdom in your life.

EntreLeadership

Fascinating interviews with successful business owners and high achievers, EntreLeadership offers exceptional coaching for business owners and leaders. The focus is that combination, but the stories exposed offer vastly more insight and inspiration applicable to every area of life. The episodes are normally around an hour and sometimes combine interviews with TED talk style clips from Dave Ramsey & Co (EntreLeadership is under the Ramsey umbrella) speaking engagements.

The most important goal to set for 2019

I can set New Year’s resolutions all.day.long. I love goal-setting, planning, prioritizing, checklists, checking goals off when I’ve reached them. Have I mentioned I’m a 1?

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This year, I have bigger goals than ever. And I’m SO FREAKING EXCITED ABOUT THEM. Physical goals, financial goals, investment goals, relationship goals… Give me all the goals. I’m a goal digger, surrounded by a community of achievers both on and offline.

But if goals are what gets you through a week, a month, a year, it’s time to take a hard look at what you are actually achieving.

I believe we were made with an ultimate goal already built into our DNA. The goal to know God. To live beyond life on earth and for the far bigger end of eternity with Him.

Sadly, our goal-getting can cause us to lose sight of this. To lessen the priority of what’s most important. And even to forget who we are and what we were made for.

If goals - however noble they may be - become our main motivation from one day to the next; becoming more fit, increasing our financial standing, gaining influence and building a bigger kingdom - whatever that looks like - we will gradually lose the true purpose of our life in numbed forward motion.

I’m loving my goal-setting this year, and this is not to knock the act of it. But I have to regularly stop and remind myself that one day, I will leave earth and all these achievements behind. One day, I will talk face-to-face with my maker and share with him what and who I lived for.

I will start this next year already losing if I neglect the ultimate goal of each and every breath I’m given: To live in-step with God and fulfill the purposes He’s given me.

Especially this purpose.

Beyond the smaller, less important goals I’m looking forward to achieving in 2019, I have a bigger, much more meaningful goal to know God more deeply this year. To be more intentional in my time with him. To align everything else with his whispers and Word. To be bolder about my faith in Jesus Christ. To live in a way that inspires and challenges other believers. These are the goals I will be proud to invest in - the eternal goals that don’t pass when I take my last breath.

If you’ve made it this far, thank you for letting me preach a bit. And let me encourage you to add faith goals to your list. In fact, put a big one at the top of your 2019 resolutions. Don’t go soft when it comes to living out your beliefs.

If God is asking for more from you, let this be the year you fully commit to what that is. More focused attention during devotionals. More prayer. More openness in worship. More effort in being involved with a church community. More exploring what you believe and why. More serving, sharing or giving. More accountability with someone you know will speak godly truth to you. More being the example in your family. More scripture memorization. Less distraction (even by what’s good or innocent) and more deliberate decision-making.

Make 2019 the year you deepen your faith. I will be setting the same goals with you, you won’t be alone!

Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. Romans 8:12-13

If you feel like you’ve coasted for too long and need a push, this is a good place to start.

And if this resonates with you, put a little heart below or leave a comment. I would love to hear your thoughts!

How I (am continuously) beating social anxiety

Admittedly, sometimes it feels like social anxiety is beating me (at least beating me up on the inside, even if I manage to put on a good face). But my battle with this particular type of fear and anxiety is one I win far more frequently than lose. And that’s what I want to focus on.

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For those of you who read this post, follow me on Insta where I occasionally mention this struggle, or who happened by this blog post randomly and are drawn in by the subject matter, I am not going to elaborate on the episodes of panic. I’m going to tell you what I do when I am most prone to them - in those moments, days, weeks, months where I feel (here are my triggers, friend) stressed, under pressure, abnormally tired or in upheaval or transition.

Whenever I post something or share about the war in my mind, I have at least one or more people ask how I deal with it. Here are the weapons that work for me.

A specific prayer

It’s not fancy or elaborate. It’s simply exactly what I need from God: “Lord, please make this a confidence-building day.” It’s what I pray daily, or throughout the day if I’ve got a particularly nerve-wracking presentation or interaction on the calendar. With these words, I’m praying not just for that day, but for the continual building of confidence that only consecutive days of wins can bring. Use it! It works!

A commitment to yes, I will

I have a personal commitment to myself to rarely say no to opportunities that will stretch me, even if it means I’ll be fearful, anxious or down right panicky. I say yes a lot even when I know it will make me nervous. If I didn’t, I honestly think I would be light years behind where I am at now in my confidence, self-respect, self-awareness and ability to handle the tough moments. There have been a few rare occasions where I just know I’m completely worn to the bone and saying yes would truly be detrimental, but about 95% of the time, I need to accept the stretch. Quick soapbox: Too many times, we use our fear as an excuse to decline an opportunity that is God’s exact answer to the fear. If you feel stuck, it may be because you keep giving in to the fear and living the same victim cycle. Start saying yes more often. Do it for you, even if you don’t get the best outcomes at first. *stepping off soapbox.

I went to counseling and did a workbook

It’s been quite a few years ago, but I had a cray-zay job in social work right around the time my nerves were first fraying. It was the catalyst for my first panic attacks and bizarre, fear-based thoughts clouding my thinking. My company offered a few counseling sessions (they needed to, it was SUCH an emotionally brutal line of work) and I took them up on it. The lady I met with walked me through some helpful calming exercises, but the best thing she did was encourage me to get a workbook. I did not expect it to be so beneficial. I can’t remember the exact one but it was something like this.

I use humor and interactivity

For my birthday, I was gifted three gratitude journals. My new favorite thing! Pictured is one from  May Designs .

For my birthday, I was gifted three gratitude journals. My new favorite thing! Pictured is one from May Designs.

Two things that happen to help me and inadvertently make me more likable. I’ve become adept at thinking of funny things to say right about the moment everybody puts their attention on me. Starting the conversation or presentation with laughter gives me a moment to collect myself when I feel the fear rising. I also love to teach and educate. I do NOT love to have lots of eyeballs on me. But the silver lining is that I’ve become very good at creating interactive presentations to point eyes away from me to a screen, a paper, anything else, which usually goes over better than if I was standing there rambling on anyway.

I’m proactive with positive thinking

This is the one I’m currently working on. I realized not too long ago that I need to be much better about intentional positivity. We can be so hard on ourselves - not realizing how often we belittle ourselves, put pressure on ourselves, compare, downplay, criticize and beat ourselves up. All in our minds. I replay my failures and bad moments way more often then I do the good ones. I’ve realized I have to be very intentional about bringing positive, encouraging thinking into my day. Two ways I’m doing this is through gratitude practice and meditating on Philippians 4:8. Not as weapons for weak, anxious fears but as constant nurturing of a stronger, grateful, truth-filled mind.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. - Philippians 4:8

Those are a few of the main ways I combat social anxiety. If you can relate, have questions for me, or have your own proven coping tactic, I would love to hear about it! Comment below :)

Yes, I'm alive!

Oh hello, friend! 

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I've been a little off the radar this summer and you may have noticed right away that something seems different... Well, a few somethings are different. The most obvious to you is that I redesigned my website. As I create SquareSpace sites for clients and explore new templates and functionalities, I get the itch to update my own. So, welcome to the new and improved lindseywagnon.com! It's simple because I like to keep things simple, but I like it a little better than the version prior. And I'm sure I'll like the next update better than this one, but for now we're going to enjoy what you see in front of you, k?

We moved into our planted house in July! It was a whirlwind five days but we're in and every day in awe that we've been so blessed. If you're curious to see what it looks like and the daily happenings in our new digs, you should follow me on Instagram!

Let's see, what else is new?

I'm obsessed with Rachel Hollis. Her podcast. Her couples podcast. Her book. Anyone else with me?

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Cora and I took a road trip last weekend to Richmond, VA for my younger sister's baby shower. Her baby boy is due on October 31st so we refer to him as "Baby Boo". It was nice to be somewhere unusual, even as quick as it was. I, of course, listened to Rachel Hollis podcasts to pass the drive time. 

Over the summer, I wrapped a website build, an email campaign and a brand relaunch set of brand descriptions and statements. And that's just with the side hustle. 

At my corporate job, I've been eyeballs deep in leading our content creation, including marketing and social, project management and marketing education. My days are a blur and consist of everything from explaining website funnels to audience targeting to value propositions to brand awareness. 

I'm fulling immersed in worship leading again, a passion that was a flicker in my heart for the couple of years after Cora was born. It can be time consuming but I've come to learn that if you love something enough, the time spent isn't a burden at all. 

Enough about me, I'd love to know one thing that's new with you! Drop a comment, girlfriend, and let's both catch up ;)