Posts tagged mom 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!!

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 ;)

Cora Lively turns two
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How. How is she turning two today. 

She's smart, independent, spirited, loving and observant. She loves Moana and Minnie Mouse, church and her daddy. She rubs her eyes and grows sleepy the moment I start to sing her a nighttime lullaby and begs me to see pictures and watch videos of her friends and family on social media. 

Cora Lively means "heart full of life." My prayer for her has been that her love for life would be contagious. By the way she waves, smiles, high-fives, blows kisses and dances for every person she comes across on planet earth, this gift is already being lived out. 

She has a future filled with faithfulness, joy and influence. But for now, I'll just cuddle my confident, self-assured, infectious two-year-old and celebrate the light she's brought to my world for two whole years. 

When life is what you signed up for
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In my teen years, I read the biographies of missionaries like Hudson Taylor, Amy Carmichael, Jim and Elizabeth Elliot and Lottie Moon, and ask God to help me be as bold and sacrificial with my life as they were. I thought it would lead to exotic missions somewhere foreign like India or Kazakstan. At the very least, I thought I would do something dramatic for a few years, then maybe settle down to a more "normal" American lifestyle. 

As fate would have it, I went to college straight out of high school, grabbed my first real world job close to home and then met and married Philip. Those early dreams of being bold and sacrificial faded as I skipped dramatic and went straight for mundane - or did they? 

Today, I'm experiencing the busiest and fullest phase of life yet. With Philip working for Elevation Church, myself working full-time, raising our daughter and still managing to keep up passions like running, couple's counseling (now that Philip is ordained, we are doing more and more pre-marital and it's the BEST), worship leading and, obviously, side hustling this brand writer thing, life has never been more demanding. But to us, it doesn't feel demanding. It feels full, overflowing and filling.

In the past year, we counseled three couples preparing for marriage. Last weekend, I held Cora as we watched Philip baptize two children. A couple weekends ago, after singing during worship, I got to watch from the stage as a man overwhelmed by emotion raised his hand indicating he had accepted Jesus as his savior. And, the company I work for is all about community transformation and spreading the gospel, which means I am able to lean on a ministry mindset for what I do there too. 

I used to think being used by God was supposed to look like cleaning orphans' faces or Bible translation in a distant land, but now I see that God is using me just as powerfully to demonstrate what John Piper meant by not wasting your life in a place where ambition, wealth, comfort and leisure steal so much potential. If the way I live challenges someone to pursue Christ more, especially to the point of some sacrifice, that's what motivates me through an extra long day. 

Whenever I start to think it's all too much or unfair or too limiting to our leisure time, I think back to those early prayers for God to help me leave this earth wrung out from every eternity-focused act I was able to do. And then it dawns on me; this is that life. The extra commitments, the full weekends, the ministry to individuals in addition to the crowds - that's what sacrifice looks like. I can't resent what I prayed for. I signed up for this.

Grand Cayman Withdrawal

Our little family of three just returned from Grand Cayman. Yes, I'm having withdrawal. We have friends who live there and this was our fourth visit. Spoiled much? Absolutely. 

This time was extra special because their son is only a few weeks younger than Cora and it was their first meeting. It was also Cora's first time flying and traveling further than three hours to see family and no, she didn't do great. It was 30% angelic gazing out the plane window and 70% kicking seats, throwing Cherrios and forcing the people behind us to keep picking up her "Ellie" wubbanub. May God bestow a very special Christmas blessing on those poor passengers in Jesus' name. 

No, it does not get any cuter. 

No, it does not get any cuter. 

It was also Cora's first time at the beach. This is what she thought of it. 

Don't worry, she got used to it after a few days and the next thing we know she's renting beach chairs and ordering pina coladas. Figures. 

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We did the Outbreak room and I felt exactly like Brad Pitt in World War Z. Honestly. The same experience. 

We did the Outbreak room and I felt exactly like Brad Pitt in World War Z. Honestly. The same experience. 

While the babe was sunbathing, Philip and I took the time to attempt Locked Inn, our friends' escape room business. We came about two minutes short of success but it was a blast. If you're Cayman-bound or stopping by on a cruise ship, it should definitely be on your list of activities. 

On our final night there, we risked toddler tantrums to go - all three - to a beachside restaurant and watch the sunset over dinner. I really have no words to describe how fantastic it was - or photos that do it justice - but here's trying.

No tantrums. Only winning at life. 

No tantrums. Only winning at life. 

Thank you, random restaurant guy, for offering to get a shot of all three of us! 

Thank you, random restaurant guy, for offering to get a shot of all three of us! 

Where's your favorite place to vaca? Leave a comment below!