Posts tagged mompreneur
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!!

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.

Walking the talk
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When I set out to create Lindsey Wagnon | Brand Writer, I had stockpiled a LOT of information from more than a decade of professional writing and marketing work. I've blogged (I was among the first "professional" bloggers), been an ad agency copywriter, covered news for an NPR-affiliated radio station (bleh), wore the reporter hat for a small community publication, submitted countless lifestyle magazine articles and currently work full-time for the marketing department of a mortgage company. Yes, mortgage company

My thickening career portfolio (one of the perks of being in my mid-thirties *gasp*) may have given me the confidence to launch a personal brand, but wow, I was not prepared for the challenge of applying all my cumulative knowledge to my own company. When it's so personal, yet needs to be your best professional representation, it's another level of pressure. 

Raise your hand if you're an entrepreneur, girl boss, mompreneur who can relate. 

So, honestly, the past couple of months have been a test in walking the talk. I may know a lot, and even practice a lot of what I know on a daily basis, but doing it for myself is the hardest assignment I've ever faced. I thought I was aware of my weaknesses and limitations before, but I'm HYPER aware of them now *cough* design *cough*.

Fellow entrepreneurs, I salute you. You may, like me, feel the weight of everything that isn't up to your standard, needs more time or money that you just don't have, has glitches you don't know how to fix and isn't exactly at the ROI you expected by now, but listen, you're moving forward a little at a time and that's what matters. And let's be honest, we wouldn't be leading our own companies if we didn't kind of love being in charge of every part of it - even if it's shockingly demanding. 

With that said, I have a toddler, some chores and a marathon training run to attend to. Overachiever much? Nah, not me. Oh, and here's a Cora picture in case you need a laugh. 

Mac & cheese (emphasis on the cheese)

Mac & cheese (emphasis on the cheese)