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Filtering by Tag: Advice

The Balancing Act

Megan Merry

I am a wife, a mom to a full-of-life toddler with another babe on the way, a full-time Creative Director and run Megan + Jane on the side.

As much as I hate the word “busy” (everyone’s busy), I do feel I have a lot on my plate… and, like most of us, it’s by choice. When I take a moment on those days that feel overwhelming, I realize I chose to marry an amazing man I’m lucky to call my husband. I chose to become a mom. I chose to work really effing hard in my advertising profession to become a Creative Director. And Megan + Jane… well, I love it and I’m damn lucky to be this “busy”.

Since I was 20, I've been designing wedding invitations for friends — before I really had any idea what I was doing. I did it because it made me feel like I was part of something special... because I was. When I was starting out, not every project was perfect, Instagram-worthy, or ended with me getting a full night's sleep – but I learned a lot.

I learned how to manage expectations, how to really refine and push my design-skills, handle a budget, work with vendors, set appropriate timelines, be honest with myself about what I can realistically accomplish, and meet some truly amazing people along the way. Thus, I felt confident when launching Megan + Jane.

It hasn’t always been easy—and still isn’t. The notion of work-life-balance is silly (IMO). Life is a balancing act of priorities, and to be successful we have to be flexible. We have to be okay with saying no. We have to be okay with wanting to zero-in on our careers, while still finding time for our passions. We have to make space for sick kiddos and the call from daycare that can cause a mad scramble of re-prioritizing your day or week. We have to be okay with doing laundry in 5 or 10-minute increments throughout the week so we can enjoy the weekends. We have to embrace what makes us interesting. Most importantly, we have to be present in whatever we’ve chosen to commit to at the time—and do our best. That’s really all we can do.

Perimeters.

Megan Merry

Something I've been encouraged by for as long as I can remember is asking questions and not really worrying too much about whether that person's background is applicable. And as I get older I see people are resourceful, and tend to ask people in their field questions about their field.

But what if we stopped doing that.

What if we started asking people with absolutely zero background about the topic at hand?

What if we started asking people who had enough life experience instead of industry experience?

What if we asked people younger than us?

I truly feel we'd learn, might get a fresh perspective, might be able to solve problems we didn't even know existed, might open our minds more than we originally planned.

Think of the magic in that.

Celebrating 3 Years

Megan Merry

I just pinched myself.

It’s now been THREE YEARS since the launch of Megan + Jane. I’m humbled by how far I’ve come, and most importantly, how many amazing people I’ve had the pleasure to work with! Thank you so much for all your support and words of encouragement along the way. It’s truly what fuels Megan + Jane.

Every November I take a moment and reflect where I was three years ago before launching Megan + Jane. What I realize first and foremost is how much I’ve learned. Ask anyone who knows me, I love to learn. I’m a curious soul. When I started out, I must admit I was courageous (and somewhat naive) — but that’s the only way it could have happened. And since my launch, I’ve seen my business-thinking skills unfold, stretch and grow. I’ve noticed how the things that terrified me then are now not such a big deal… because there is a whole new set of challenges to be excited about. And that makes me proud.

As a thank you, please enjoy 30% OFF all cards
in my Etsy shop and $2 flat shipping!

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Saying No + Cartwheels

Megan Merry

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.” ― Warren Buffett

To me, this quote says: Make time for yourself, your family, to dream, to be curious, to explore, to make time for the projects YOU value instead of always trying to please someone else.

Saying no is hard. It’s something I personally wrestle with, and don’t feel alone in. Over the past several years I’ve challenged myself to pause and ask myself whether or not I’ll find this project energizing before giving an answer. (Granted there are times when I just have to say no — I am not willing to risk over-promising or sacrificing the end goal on a project... even if it's a project I am passionate about.)

What I’ve noticed is the more I work to embrace saying no, the better I’m finding my professional (and personal) life. It’s a matter of creating space for the opportunities that make me want to do cartwheels down the hall—instead of missing out because I’ve said yes to all the other projects that simply weigh me down.

My philosophy: Embrace the cartwheel moments and be the best possible you.

One year down

Megan Merry

We did it!

One year ago I took a leap and launched Megan + Jane. Words cannot express how grateful I am. Everything from the people I work with to the professional (and personal) growth that joined me for the ride have proven to be more than I could have asked for.

As most of us do, I set goals for myself when I set out on this entrepreneurial adventure. Every couple months I check-in to see how I’m doing. Sure, the analytics and numbers are important, but I’ve been most interested with my personal and professional growth. These check-ins are something that work for me. They help keep me focused, and appreciate how far I’ve come. When reflecting on the past year, here are a few areas that I feel most proud of:

Lesson No. 1

Find the uncomfortable.
Getting out of your comfort zone and trying something new is one of the best (and quickest) ways to grow. Before launching, I had no idea how to price my product, how to position myself in a saturated industry, how to approach businesses about possibly carrying my branded Megan + Jane cards… no idea about a lot of things. But I asked a lot of questions. I tried different approaches. I got creative. I followed-up. I introduced myself and my products to strangers. As a result, I learned. Now my cards are found in some of the most adorable boutiques and paper good stores in the Midwest!

Lesson No. 2

Find your tribe.
In the past year I've worked with some amazing people (re: paper vendors, printers, business owners and brides/moms-to-be). Providing a quality product is my number one priority. Finding and working with smart paper vendors and printers who care was key. I'm so thankful to have met people in the industry that I can trust. Meeting business owners and having my branded Megan + Jane cards carried in their stores has been terrific. I love that my cards are selling for them and that I'm getting requests for reorders. Designing custom pieces for people is always an honor. This year I was involved in a number of weddings, bridal showers, baby showers and birth announcements. I love being part of such monumental life moments.

Lesson No. 3

Find the magic.
It took me awhile (okay, many, many, many late nights and weekends) to figure out a process and design aesthetic for Megan + Jane. From the look of the cards, to the branding, to using the camera—a learning curve was involved with every piece of the puzzle. In the past year I’ve refined my craft, and am continuing to evolve the Megan + Jane brand. Most importantly, I am improving my knowledge of how to balance innovation with the bottom line. It’s good for me to tame my "perfectionist" traits in order to evolve and try new things more freely because that’s where the magic happens.

Thank you SO MUCH for your support this year!

To show my appreciation, I put together a merry-mix to celebrate. Listen here.

Plus, get FREE shipping with code ONEDOWN in my Etsy shop now through December 1. ♥

Get in there

Megan Merry

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Making a decision can be difficult. There’s the stress of weighing the pros and cons, possibly making the wrong choice, the unknown, or heaven forbid the fear of failure creep in! I’ve definitely been there, which is why I wanted to share a clip from Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, by Jerry Seinfeld, that I think of whenever I start to waiver on making a decision.

Approximately 11 minutes in, Seinfeld drops some knowledge that I’ve taken to heart:

“Everything you need to know, you’ll figure it out when you need to know it. Even if you miscalculate and make the wrong decision, you needed to know that.”
–Jerry Seinfeld

So instead of stressing about what you don't know, GET IN THERE(!). Make the best decision you can with the information you have. And remember you're smart enough to figure out whatever comes your way and more resilient than you think.