Are there parts of your life that you hide in the “name of your brand”? Maybe they are topics that you don’t think your audience will be interested in or areas that you don’t excel at. It happens so often when we try to show up online as the polished, finished versions of ourselves instead of the raw, real humans that we actually are.
This was where my dynamite conversation with Angie McPherson started, and it only got deeper from there. Angie is a branding photographer and marketing strategist out of Virginia, and we had a super interesting conversation on how we minimize areas of our life, like motherhood and in her case, a cancer diagnosis, to keep up appearances in our business. We talk about how going through cancer at a young age changed the way she decided to show up for others, how she used her story to inspire those around her, and how hitting a wall in our lives changes our priorities.
She shares some amazing tips on eliminating the word balance from our vocabulary and focusing more on things like being well-rounded, focusing on what’s important, and living our life to the fullest NOW while we have a life to live.
Pulling Your Personal Life Into Your Brand
When Angie was diagnosed with cancer in her early thirties, she was a solopreneur with two young children. Instead of keeping her diagnosis offline and out of her business, she chose to share the experience on social media and talk about what she was going through.
Opening up in this raw, vulnerable way inspired others to check in with their own health, sometimes catching an early diagnosis for themselves, and created a deeper connection between Angie and her clients/followers. We talked about how we shouldn’t be afraid to share the things that happen to us, because our story can really impact someone else’s life. We don’t often know who our story is for, or the impact it will have until we share it.
“Don’t be afraid to show up as you are and bring those parts of yourself into your story because you really could be helping other people. Sometimes hearing your story is the prompt people need to take action.”
How Cancer Changed Her Outlook on Life + Work
When her diagnosis occurred, so much of Angie’s life shifted. The structure of her business and how she spent her time altered to fit her realigned priorities.
“I thank god for being alive. I’m doing the best I can to live a long life, I love so much harder. I want to have a beautiful life, I want my kids to have a beautiful life. It has really shifted how I live.”
Angie shares how she built up the online side of her business through digital products, courses, and memberships so that she can be more selective with her time.
Before cancer, life was work, work, work; and everything else fit in where it could. She’s brought more self-care into her daily schedule and no longer works on Fridays. These boundaries have been essential to maintaining the time and energy that she wants to dedicate to herself and her family.
Living a Well-Rounded Lifestyle
We talk about the elusive unicorn of “balance”, and I loved Angie’s reframing of this ideal that’s so often unattainable. Instead of balance, her goal is to “live a well-rounded lifestyle”. That means time with family, time for herself, and time for her business.
We all hit a wall at some point that makes us evaluate our priorities. It could be health issues, burnout, relationship struggles, you name it. So how can we make changes within our life NOW before we hit the proverbial wall?
- Get control of your own calendar: Where you spend your time is where you spend your life. Get clear on how much of your time you want to dedicate to different parts of your life
- Look inwards and find out what your goals are
- Shift who gets your best energy to align your energy with your priorities
I’ll leave you with the biggest lessons Angie has learned along her journey.
“Give yourself lots of grace. The less you work, the more you make. Focus on what’s most important and go out and live life to its fullest.”