In 2009 I landed a job in two weeks using Facebook advertisements. That job search was covered by TIME, Real Simple and ABC News, and this blog was part of my campaign to work in publishing. If you’re going “Duh, Marian, I know,” then thanks for sticking with me through the long haul.
Though I didn’t say it aloud, publishing appealed to me because I’d always dreamed of being a writer. The job I got at a PR firm helping authors publicize themselves wasn’t quite what I had in mind, but having a job at all during the recession was a relief.
As it turned out, the blog outlasted the job. It came with me from publishing to the start-up world and beyond, and from England to New Zealand to San Francisco to Germany. Social media and branding made intuitive sense to me, and this blog made it fun to share what I’d learned and created, and to hear from other people exploring the then-Wild West of digital communication.
Along the way, I wrote about travel and friendships and feelings and careers. And while technically the blog was still about social media, sharing and hearing these stories quickly became my favorite part. Storytelling was what made the internet—and buzzwords like “connections” and “engagement”—make sense. More than that, it’s what made me want to get up in the morning.
Finally, a business
Being your honest-to-goodness authentic self on the internet can change your life. And speaking from recent experience, figuring out who that self is and what she has to offer can be the path to freaking enlightenment.
As it turns out, I have a knack for coming up with clever ideas that perform well online. When I work one-on-one with entrepreneurs, I’m able to magically tap into that idea bank.
Today I launch Waitlist, a one-on-one coaching program for solopreneurs to help them craft an online presence that feels good. This isn’t an infoproduct or spammy blueprint on making $100k overnight using MailChimp hacks. It’s a way to help creative people attract attention to the work they love most.
I want to help you use talking about your cat obsession as a way to help you sell handmade earrings on Etsy. I want to show you how your background in musical theater is going to help you kill it as a full-time yoga teacher. I want to help you integrate it all and put it to work for you.
Plus all-new design and content
Today, my blog finally looks on the outside how I feel on the inside. Like me, it’s all about stories and feelings. And it doesn’t apologize for the scary, dark ones, or the silly, funny ones.
This is a place for anyone who’s ever heard “Be the authentic you!” or “Let’s dive deep and get juicy!” and thought great, Oprah, but what the hell does that mean?
William Blake once said that “to Generalize is to be an Idiot; To Particularize is the alone distinction of Merit.” (Harsh, Blake.) But he nailed it. The particulars of our stories—of our lives—are what make them worth living and learning from. Who wants to read an inspirational quote like “Be vulnerable and joyful,” when you could hear about a real person who rereads the opening chapter of the first Harry Potter when she’s stressed, or likes to throw dance parties with her three-year-old nephew, who’s obsessed with Spice World?
In my near-decade of blogging, here’s what I learned: Sharing my stories has saved my sanity and my curiosity and soothed my loneliness and my indecision. And when I’m very lucky, it conjures those magical words: “Oh my God, me too.”
It’s a simple, powerful phrase. And it’s the secret to the power of stories. Finding those intersections, those magical, fertile places where your story overlaps with mine? That’s what this here blog is all about. Let’s see if we can make it happen together.
What to expect this month
To celebrate these changes and get newbies involved, we’re going to play a little game. You’ll have to check back Monday for details, so sign up below to be notified as soon as we go live. Trust me, it’s going to be hilarious and weird and epic.
Until then, thanks for making my corner of the internet a fantastic place.
Special thanks to Matt Mizwicki for the WordPress development, Launch Sessions for logo design and branding, Malia Moss for the photo editing, Dara Kaye for being a brilliant editor, Gabriele Galimberti for the gorgeous header photo and all the amazing entrepreneurs I’ve been blessed to encounter over the last decade.