Get inspired by these 4 creative entrepreneurs who are killing it professionally
by brittany taylor | November 20, 2017
Back when I was a baby writer, I had major writer jealousy. I’d read awesome stuff by awesome writers, and instead of enjoying it, I’d pout. I’d sulk around the house, throw my clothes all over my room. (Super mature, I know, but I’m 30 now so I can look back at baby me and laugh.)
Why didn’t I write that? I’d think. I had an idea that was basically the same thing! Why didn’t I pitch it? It’s just not fair. I’m never going to be that good.
Wah wah wah. (Don’t you just want to smack me? It’s tempting, I know.)
I was 24-ish and working at The Magazine when I finally kicked my jealousy down the street. Does it come back sometimes? You bet. But nowadays, I want to applaud the content creators who are kicking ass.
I was sick of feeling jealous and snarky all the damn time. It would build up in my brain until all I could think about was how much I wanted what other people had. I was cranky, I was exhausted, and I was stagnating.
What I wanted more than anything, then, was to become a better writer and to make more opportunities for myself. Complaining wasn’t achieving that, so what I did was sit down and pretend I was back in my high school AP English class. I dissected my favorite magazine and newspaper pieces. I highlighted amazing sentences, I scribbled down vocabulary words, and I outlined every article to figure out how these pro writers crafted them, piece by piece.
I do the same thing today. Instead of whining about why other creative entrepreneurs are killing it with their content and I’m not, I ask myself what I like about the blog posts, newsletters, and social posts others are creating and what I can do to bring more of that to my life and my work.
Today, my goal is different than when I was a baby writer. Today, I want to share personal stories on my blog to the best of my ability.
These four creative entrepreneurs are the ones who inspire me to push myself further every single day.
The one who turns memoir into lessons: Laura Belgray
I think of Laura as the Abbi and Ilana of online creative entrepreneurship (But minus the sex toys. I think). Her stories are all kinds of hysterical, relatable dorkdom, and yet here she is, knocking us all over the head with her zany experiences-slash-truth-bombs.
She’s also an uber-successful copywriter. Heard of Marie Forleo? Heard of The Copy Cure? Yep. Laura Belgray is the pen behind Marie’s script and the co-creator of the only copywriting course I’ve seen people rave about with zero affiliate connections. Also, just look at her website. I mean, come on.
Here’s an assortment of favorites:
The one who's all stories, all the time: Sarah Von Bargen
I’m convinced Sarah is the coolest, nicest normal person on the internet. I think this both because she is a professional writer (like me!) with journalism roots (like me!) and because one time, I emailed her to ask her advice on building my client repertoire, and she answered me in basically a split-second with genuine feedback I’ve been using ever since (Thanks Sarah!).
Also: She’s one of those people who you feel like you know based solely on reading their blog posts. She created her blog, Yes and Yes, to fill a hole she saw in the world of online content. It’s lifestyle-plus: travel, adulting, family, relationships, goals, food, and really great stories, but with more depth than you find on the standard lifestyle blog.
Here are a few recent examples of how Sarah uses her masterful storytelling to promo her Facebook group, freebies, and products:
The one who makes F-bombs delightful: Ash Ambirge
I fucking love Ash. I do. When I first discovered The Middle Finger Project, I rejoiced. It’s the kind of balls-to-the-wall life and career website I needed at that particular moment. Glorious independence? Hell yeah!
Ash has a marketing/professional writer background (so sue me, I’m drawn to other unicorns), but the way she expresses herself is so unlike any other marketer I’ve seen. She’s all raw emotion and shocking truths. She says the things no one else is saying in a way that is purely her own. And also R-rated. See: the Unf*ckwithable series of products and communities, including the upcoming Unf*ckwithable Woman, Unf*ckwithable Business, Unf*ckwithable Girlsfriends, and Unf*ckwithable Words.
Here’s a few doses of Ash’s badassery:
The one to watch: Sarah Morgan
Sarah isn’t a newbie. If you’re a creative entrepreneur who’s been kicking around the internet for awhile (or Pinterest for half a second), you know who she is. She’s the creator behind the Dare to… series of online courses for people like us: Dare to Blog, Dare to Email, and Dare to Grow (get ‘em here). Her business is big, her follower counts are huge, and she’s wildly successful by pretty much all measures.
But success isn’t the secret sauce to being happy at work, a lesson shared with us in a recent series of blog posts that got wayyy more personal than Sarah ever goes on her (value-packed) blog. And I’m thinking we’re gonna see more of the brain behind the business savvy—and I can’t wait! Go Sarah!
Here’s that super-personal series of posts to catch you up to where Sarah’s going next: