Margo Aaron: A Salad and a Glass of Wine

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For you foodies out there, this conversation is not about drinking or dieting. :)

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About Our Guest

I met Margo Aaron ( @margoaaron ) through Seth Godin’s altMBA course in early 2017, a transformational experience that helped me realize my potential and grasp where I want to take Feisworld. Most importantly, I was able to meet lots of likeminded people. Margo was one of them. 

This conversation was brutally honest and invigorating to both of us. Nobody tells the truth, the behind-the-scenes stories of early entrepreneurship.  That's precisely what we are here to do.

We might offend some of you, who believe climbing the corporate ladder is the only way, or prefer sitting in meetings rather than getting things done. 

Margo and I opened with the unfortunate phenomenon of women bullying other women at work (what we can do about it), the vicious cycle of constant travel, long hours and extremely poor dietary choices.

How I Discovered Margo

As part of altMBA, we did a lot of writing,  reviewing and providing feedback for each other's work, and shipping constantly - every 72 hours. Margo’s writing grabbed me.

It was midnight before our assignment was due, I was utterly exhausted but couldn’t stop reading. That’s when I realized that Margo could be a great candidate for Feisworld. 

Soon after altMBA concluded, Margo was recognized with the highest honor from the entire cohort - the Walker's Award. 

Margo and Her Business

Margo works for herself and she runs a blog called That Seems Important, where she helps shift your perspective of what it means to be successful and change the world. She dares to talk about things such as "Mastering your own inner psychology", and "The uncomfortable truth behind what it takes to lead". 

I’m on her email list, and it’s one of the few I read regularly. 

A psychology-researcher by training, a hardworking and talented writer at heart, Margo is a regular contributor for Business Insider, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur and Inc among others. 

The Arena 

Margo created the Arena, a virtual co-working space for solopreneurs with online businesses and virtual companies. She believes that "You don't need another course. You need a tribe." 

"The difference between having friends who 'get it' and friends who don’t is the difference between success and failure. " - Margo Aaron

 

This is a rare and yet irreplaceable opportunity for other to learn about early entrepreneurship. Talking to Margo and people like her has been my great pleasure as part of Feisworld. If you enjoy this episode, please share with one person to spread the word of these unsung heroes and self-made artists.

 

Show Notes

Part 1

  • [06:00] The work life known in many corporations and agencies
  • [08:00] Personal growth within the agency world
  • [12:00] Fei relating to Margo’s experience while working for agencies, and how they had to adapt their lifestyle to their work.
  • [22:00] When did Margo leave the agency life? What has she been doing since then? 
  • [25:00] Margo's first business experience 
  • [28:00] Margo's current business model (and one key takeaway if you remember nothing else from this episode) 
  • [35:00] Margo's "Arena" - the tribe and all the details Fei was dying to know 
  • [38:00] The launch process for the "Arena"
  • [40:00] The outreach and marketing program for the "Arena" 
     

Part 2

  • [02:00] How is the "Arena" same or different from altMBA?
  • [04:00] What is the general format month to month? How many things are predetermined upfront versus changing dynamically?
  • [07:00] Margo's POV on webinar and keeping the content exclusive to its members
  • [11:00] Concept to Reality (the "Arena" was a homework assignment from altMBA)
  • [13:00] What are the tools and resources to support "Arena"?  
  • [16:00] Fei and Margo sharing the baseline software suite for solopreneurs -  Convertkit, Mailchimp, Instapage, SquareSpace, Wordpress, AppSumo...
  • [22:00] How does Margo manage to write some of your most successful posts?
  • [31:00] When and how does Margo ship her blog posts? What are her writing habits? 
  • [38:00] Final thoughts 

 

Favorite Quotes

Part 1

[11:00] I worked with a girl from someone else's team  and she was so helpful and kind. She would teach me ways to be smarter than her. She wanted me to be better, and I remember thinking that  I wanted to run my business that way. I didn’t want to act like I was coming from fear all the time thinking that other people were going to rain on my parade.

[15:00] If you are a person who’s interested in growth, in bettering your life, no matter what it is, if it’s just financial, if it’s relationships, health, if it’s just well being. It’s hard when the culture around you doesn’t reward that kind of behavior.

[19:00] It goes counter to the actual science on productivity, and that was the part that was so frustrating. If they wanted me to be in my best, why wouldn’t you let me sleep, why wouldn’t you let me get real work done, why wouldn’t you let me take care of myself. That is how you do better work. There’s something to be said to really working hard, but at least that hasn’t been my experience in corporations.

[30:00] The psychological mind-field of being considered an expert in one space, and then having to have a beginners mind was very challenging for me. I put up a website and I knew my opt-ins were bad, I knew my CTAs were crappy. All these things I was fixing for clients I didn’t have, and I was so embarrassed about it. I didn’t promote it, I didn’t want to tell anyone. It was a real lesson in humility and what it actually takes to build something and put it out there in the world…

Part 2

[03:00] The connections expand business. People are building partnerships, people are expanding their following. We have one person that went from 10,000 to 60,000 followers on instagram just by playing around with a workshop.

[24:00 ]One of the things I try to do is to think about ‘what would I like to read’. 9/10 times when I write something and look at it afterwards I have to be able to get out of my own head, of what I want to say, into the mindset of ‘is this actually fun to read’?  There’s form and there’s content. There’s a lot of good content out there, but HOW you explain those things is what differentiate you from others…

[26:00] You want the stories, because we remember those. We remember stories more than facts.

[28:00] It’s about the little things that you can do. Because more and more I think that that’s what holds us up in business, in marketing, in life. It is that feeling that everything isn’t fixable, or figuratable. And that’s what I try to convey…

 

Acknowledgements/Music