It’s time we start being honest about what it takes to succeed.
If you’re someone who wants to make a difference, it’s hard to be in business.
Your head is filled with plans for how you’re going to change the world, but every day you’re faced with the same dilemma: how do you make a difference and also make money?
That balance between doing meaningful work and making money drives us all insane. We all want to do work that matters. It’s why we left our stable 9:5 and started on this path in the first place.
It’s not that you can’t have both. It’s just that it’s not so easy.
When you choose to be in the driver’s seat of your own life, it is hard.
Entrepreneurship is the most challenging thing you’ll ever do. You’ll come face-to-face with your insecurities, vulnerabilities, fears, and doubts every. freaking. day.
It's time to start being honest about what it takes.
If my career in mental health taught me anything, it’s that we’re all struggling with the same things.
We’re just not talking about it.
We’re all suffering from spirals of self-doubt and overthinking, worried that we don't have what it takes. And that's not even the bulk of it. The real thing that keeps us up at night is this:
No one wants to die with the best still inside of them.
I want you to start being honest about who you are and what you want.
Stop judging yourself by other people’s success metrics and start defining your own.
In order to do that, you have to shed the layers of bullsh*t you’ve acquired over the years and rewrite the invisible scripts that are running your life.
If we have any hope of getting you to blend meaningful work and making money, we need to get through the muck of the emotional baggage we’d prefer to ignore.
So, we’re going to talk about that.
Because that seems important.
If you're still unclear on what this is, let me clarify. This is my personal website and you just read what we'll call a "manifesto." I write articles and post them here, recommend books worth your time here, and run a virtual coworking space for solopreneurs with online businesses here.
You can read my "formal" bio and judge my credentials below.
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The Professional Bio
Let's move this to the third person.
[ahem] [clears throat]
Margo Aaron began her career in academia as a psychological researcher for a prestigious mental health clinic where she discovered a problem.
The problem was: How do you get people to care?
She took this question to grad school for further investigation, only to find a new version of the same problem:
No one cared about the life-changing information researchers were discovering because it's hard to understand, poorly explained, and purposefully unintelligible.
Like the word, "unintelligible."
So, Margo set out on a journey to share this life-changing information with the world, but when she got there people got bored and ignored her.
Determined to fix this, she worked nights and weekends to figure out how you turn information no one cares about into something people care about.
That’s when she accidentally ended up in marketing.
Turns out marketing is a convenient tool for connecting people’s problems to existing solutions (but no one mentioned it because researchers don’t talk to marketers).
So, Margo learned everything she could about persuasion, direct response, copywriting, branding, digital marketing, market research, strategic planning, and all the other buzzwords.
She learned so much she said, “Bye Felicia” to corporate after a few years and set back out to finish her mission of getting people to care.
Her LinkedIn calls this part “Argotics, LLC.” which is the company she started that did not succeed in getting people to care. It did succeed in making her money and making her pull her hair out. Deflated and confused, she started writing about what she witnessed in the trenches on a website called That Seems Important.
The rest is history.
Margo Aaron is a proud graduate of Emory University (BA), Columbia University (MA), and altMBA where she won the prestigious Walker Award. In 2017 she founded The Arena, the first virtual coworking space for solopreneurs.
She’s a regular contributor to Inc and lives in Jersey City as a Daywalker.
If you’d like to “pick her brain” you may do so here.