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Filtering by Tag: Business

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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Card Writing Tip

Megan Merry

Recently I had a customer ask the secret to not messing up cards. She found that as she was writing letters on her custom stationery, she was writing something that sounded off, spelled something wrong, or something didn't quite fit on the line as she was hoping. I'm sure this is familiar territory to all of us (re: we've all been there... do we draw a heart over the misspelling and call it good, own the squishy sentence that in no-way should have fit on that line, or do we scrap everything and start all over?).

My tip (and what I practice at home, because I'm totally guilty of drawing hearts over misspellings* and scrapping everything and starting all over): Write your letter out on a similar sized scratch piece of paper before using the card or custom stationery. I sometimes start with typing a draft email if it's a more complex message where I want the wording to be just so. Regardless, I do make it a habit to write the note out by hand beforehand.

I find it helps with spacing things out evenly. It helps me better articulate what I'm trying to communicate. And it warms up my writing muscles so I'm putting my best handwriting to use.

:)

*When I was just a wee-little-girl, my mom taught me to "just draw a heart" over any misspellings. I'm pretty sure all my aunts and uncles, grandparents and friends received letters from me with random hearts drawn mid-sentence. It's charming, and a really great way to encourage children to write letters and thank yous.

My 1st vendor fair

Megan Merry

I started Megan + Jane for a number of reasons. One being that I would be able to explore, flex new muscles and learn along the way.

Last month it was like, "Check... check... and check!"

I  participated in my first vendor fair: hutchFest Omaha.

It was fun, exhausting and an overall positive experience. hutch did an amazing job coordinating the event, handling a last-minute venue change (because, Nebraska weather) and bringing in a great crowd.

My booth was surrounded by inspiring and smart business women. We had a lot in common, and offered nothing but encouragement and support to each other as the day winded down. But hands down, the best part of my day was meeting people. The Sorry I Suck* card was pretty popular, and it cracked me up to hear why people were buying it.

I learned I can be shy to ask for help, but realized early on that I would need some to make this event happen. Which is why I am SO GRATEFUL for...

My bestie, who helped me set up my booth super early on a Saturday morning. My mom, who always encourages me to do what might be scary (turns out, everything usually turns out to be just fine). Friends and moms have a way of making things more fun... and saying just the right things at the right time.

My husband, who helped me turn a rough sketch of my booth into a real, living, breathing 3D booth (yep—I took over the garage mocking everything up beforehand, made like 5,000 trips to the hardware store and used power tools to create a booth that could stand up AND fold-down to fit in the back of my car). He also stayed home with our toddler so I could focus my attention on Megan + Jane for the day. I was grateful for his support—and also realized how difficult it is to be a new mom and juggle the side hustle.

If you made it out to the event: thank you! If you bought a Sorry I Suck* card: thank you (and know you don't suck)!

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.

Get in there

Megan Merry

GetIn.jpg

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.