The third in the Growth Stories series, this week our Junior Marketer shares his story and how storytelling has impacted his life.
Net Positive Growth – Mariah MacInnes
Mariah MacInnes' Net Positive Growth story revolves around her finding purpose through fear, then experimenting and overcoming.
Finding purpose through fear
Mariah MacInnes is the founder of Content Queen Mariah, helping entrepreneurs inform and educate with easy-to-understand content. Mariah specialises in content marketing, attracting aligned audiences with powerful storytelling and purposeful content. Her journey, like any success story, has had some ups and downs but her guiding light has been finding purpose through fear. Mariah wanted to find her passion and monetise it.
Mariah knew from a young age that her love was writing, a future in journalism. Mariah believes that the current career path needs revisiting. The journey of CV crafting, working in X amount roles to demonstrate authority isn’t the only path. If you’re making money, sustaining and enjoying your life, your job title is just that, a title. Further, who says that you can only have one stream of income? Why do you need to be fixed on only one role?
Her previous roles did allow her to experiment, to see what work she was best at, and enjoyed the most, although she was writing a lot of internal communications. The corporate life just wasn’t a fit for Mariah, wanting to travel and work simultaneously.
In response to her situation, she started doing freelance writing for websites and PR releases for new and challenging topics. Mariah has a love for people, for marketing and for educating. The coaching route offered promise but Mariah found the lack of hands on work problematic.
An agency. Mariah figured out that if she developed an agency she would be able to continue the work she loved, but could help more people, develop other content writers and join her passions together.
It’s the fear that stops people. What will people think? How will I make money? What if I try and I fail? Mariah faced all these questions yet still soldiered on. Fear was present, yet her passion kept her going. The time will pass, money will be spent. It might as well be on something that you’re passionate about.
May 2019. Mariah was working in PR and Marketing but wanting to start a side hustle. Her biggest hurdle was telling her boss. The thought made her feel sick. Fear eclipsed her. The fear was often focusing on things that wouldn’t likely happen. Mariah would go into work, tell her boss and be immediately fired, it was possible, but quite unlikely.
Instead of being controlled by fear, she chose to prepare. Mariah made a plan, she identified the fear first. She was fearful of telling her boss, launching socials, and telling the people close to her. In response, Mariah then listened to countless podcasts, found mentorship, and with enough behind her, chose to overcome it.
The planning helped. She prepared answers to any questions her boss would ask, she changed the perspective to how this would make her a better employee. She identified, planned and rehearsed, then picked a date and did it. It worked out great!
Journaling can be a brilliant mechanism, and Mariah employs it regularly. She recorded her fears, and with all her preparation she took the leap of faith.
Mariah was able to work from home far before lockdown was affecting the world. The beach can be her office, her schedule is flexible and she values the real freedom her life offers. The freedom element is what inspired her to share her journey, to be able to travel and show what working for herself looks like.
Growing up in rural Victoria, her work style is a little strange to some back home. She’s accepted that she likes different things, she isn’t caught up in the perceptions of others. Mariah isn’t trying to tell people how to live, instead, she offers an alternative path.
Mariah understands that people can be caught up in comparison and following. People might see a successful entrepreneur or a superstar within the corporate world and want to follow their path. She advises that we need to look for internal validation rather than looking externally.
Like so many people, Covid19 meant that Mariah lost all her clients, some even completely ghosting her. Questions of doubt began to enter her mind, like:
– Is this worth it?
– How am I going to financially support myself?
Mariah reached out for help, she put herself out there and re-marketed her business. She responded.
Her Hospital Journey
Mariah was diagnosed with two tumours early in 2021, requiring major surgical procedures. A shocking life development that brought a lot of perspective to her life.
She underwent the surgery at the beginning of March and has been recovering while still bringing in more clients. Despite going under the knife, she made a profit during the month of March.
Blessings & Learnings
In any trial, Mariah believes one of two things will eventuate, a blessing or a learning. Mariah believes that playing the victim when dark times approach means you’ll be blocked from the lesson.
Mariah reevaluated her definition, understanding and value of health within her life. There would be no business without her health. Health became the priority. She analysed her behaviour, her brushes with burnout, the role stress played in her life and realised that a more balanced perspective was required.
Mariah better recognised the role that passion played within her life and the lives of others. Her employees would unlikely be able to match the same level of personal investment she had in her business. This realisation allowed her to see the impact of others from a new perspective. Help, as a concept didn’t just mean reaching out and talking to people, it meant hiring a VA, or better delegating, Mariah would never be able to do everything alone. Analyse all your processes, what do you not like doing, what could you outsource.
Mariah’s first week back after surgery was marred with two lost clients. Stress quickly arrived. Mariah stopped, wrote everything out and she voiced her concerns to those around her. The situation didn’t appear as daunting anymore. The next day calmness re-entered the room.
The perspective of the hospital visit meant that the worst thing was death, everything else, her mind and body would be well equipped enough to handle. Letting stress run rampant, returning to old habits and not prioritising her health could lead to burnout or worse. Instead she sought to give back to herself, before she would give to others.
Mariah believes strongly in the power of mentorship. You don’t need to have a relationship with someone for them to be your mentor, you can just consume their content.
Mariah joined SheMentors, a women based mentoring program based in Melbourne. This program has created friendships, clients and they offer a mentor hour to connect with someone within the community. Mariah encourages surrounding yourself with people who will lift you, and learn everything you can from them.
Work/Life Balance + Productivity
In the transition to running her own business Mariah worked the same 9-5 hours to properly adjust. A consistent routine helped guide her, but she experimented to find when she was most productive and stuck to it.
Google calendar is her best tool! Mariah blocks out all her time and properly assigns it. She leans into the type of worker that she is, systematic over ‘go with the flow’.
Accountability is key. Mariah’s internal accountability is really strong, so she can stay on task, but identifying how you’re best accountable is really important. This process is experimental, so be sure to evaluate. Efficiency and optimisation come from regular experimentation.
There needs to be things in your day that you do for yourself. During those periods, you can’t be answering your phone, you need to switch off. Find things that make you happy, and keep doing them. Experiment with these too, find new activities, you never know who you’ll meet, a genuine friend, a potential customer, you never know how they’ll help you in the long run.
Mariah’s advice for content creators is to be very niche. Don’t fall into the trap of trying to make content for everyone, and fix every problem. Tik Tok is a great example of the success of niches, some accounts have enormous following because they do one thing, and do it well. Establishing the audience is the priority of the niche, once you have a real audience, create the persona and market to them. Then you can be more open to new ideas and avenues.
Mariah’s journey into running her own business constantly challenged her, she was forced to grow. She kept one thing consistent, her passion and purpose. Finding purpose through her fear and her trials have brought about real change and development.
Along with being a signup flow startup, we believe in rising tides lift all boats. There is always something to learn from those we admire and work with. If you’d like to learn more about Upflowy, click here. Read more of our Net Positive Growth Series here