769. She Wanted to Make Money and Have Fun
“I decided I just really couldn’t be a mostly stay-at-home mom and only a little bit of an editor. I needed to swap those roles. I am not a naive 24-year-old anymore. I am a married mom with two little kids, but I just decided, ‘Hey, I’m going to start my own business.’ I hung out my shingle as a copywriter in 2009, and just by hook and by crook, I grew it into a small marketing agency. When I started, I just wanted to do work I loved and use my talents.
Monika Jansen is head copywriter and strategist at Jansen Communications, a boutique marketing agency that specializes in copywriting and social media marketing. Most clients are small to midsize companies you’ve never heard of, but past clients have included Groupon and web.com. She was named marketing influencer on Twitter by Libris last summer and she’s an Amazon bestselling author for a book she co-authored with a client. When she is not working, she hangs out with her husband and kids, travels, snowboards and laughs as much as possible.
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
A summer job at a Christmas shop turned out to be one of Monika’s favorite jobs. Although she did not think of the co-owners as mentors at the time, in hindsight she sees how they taught her about managing people by giving her a clear idea of the job and the freedom to use her creativity and develop her writing, management and people skills. These are the skills she still enjoys and develops today. “My career has not been a straight line. It has been circuitous, but I often think about them today, especially when I’m managing people.”
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
“I was working for a fantastic company, but had a horrible, dragon lady boss. She did not know how to manage people or provide direction or encouragement. At 22, I was fresh out of college, excited to use my talents and make a big impact and have fun doing it. She kept yelling at me and I felt like a bug that kept getting stepped on. I was in tears. My younger brother said, ‘Monica, why don’t you just quit?’ Somehow it had not occurred to me I could do that! A couple of days later, I did. It was a huge relief! It was like I had been carrying Mount Everest on my shoulders. It was a turning point─something very big that has stayed with me my entire life.”
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
“A lot of people just don’t know where to start or even what options they have. These days you can Google anything and get the information you need. If you take your main passion, which in my case is writing, there are so many different ways to use writing in a career. The important thing is to take that first step, no matter how small. Just get started. And, if you feel you are not using your talents, quit what you are doing and find some way to use them. Find a way to have fun!”
Steps to Success from Monika Jansen
1. Take action, no matter how small. That first step is the crucial hardest part.
2. Do not be afraid to quit a job if it is not the right fit. Do not stay where you feel you are wasting your talents.
3. Trust yourself and your creative impulses. It is important to have fun.
4. To build a business, you really cannot give yourself an out. You have to use the network you already have, build a new one, or some combination.
On Her Bookshelf
Know Your Options: How to Build Wealth Using Proven Options Trading Strategies and Technical Analysis, by Bob Lang and Monika Jansen.
Connecting With Monika Jansen
Visit Monika’s website to download “The Small Business Guide to Blogging” or “The Small Business Guide to Social Media Marketing.”
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