Building My Own Recovery Experience and What My Recovery Experience Would Look Like

I have gripes about my current recovery center, yet, at the same time, there are aspects of it that align with me.

What works for me (and these not in priority order):

  1. Art class
  2. Outdoor cycling night
  3. Music lessons
  4. Outdoor hikes once a month on a Saturday
  5. Yearly duathlon race
  6. Recovery coaching

What doesn’t work for me (and these are not in priority order):

  1. Faith night that involves g(G)od being shoved down my throat and feeling excluded from faith night because I don’t want to hear about g(G)od.
  2. Art class with no guided instruction that doesn’t go deep or allow enough to time to do long-term projects and dig my teeth into something.
  3. Art class that is usually something to do with acrylic paint, and that’s about it.
  4. Feeling forced to eat at art class because people look at me like I’m crazy for not wanting to eat high carb foods and they don’t understand not wanting to break my fast.
  5. Art class is loud and people are so chatty and it’s never a quiet, restful experience.
  6. The person that leads the hike talks and talks and talks and talks. It gets old when you want to hike and you don’t want to listen to someone talk at you for half an hour.
  7. There’s no training program for any of the fitness activities that are offered.
  8. What’s on the calendar isn’t truly what’s going on at the recovery center. Lack of organization drives me nuts.
  9. Cycling night was surface level with no organization or planned or supported rides. The rules of the road are never followed.

What I would change or add to build my own recovery center (not in priority order):

  1. I would offer a combination of virtual and in-real-life experiences. Virtual for people not with me and and IRL planned experiences for people that live near me and can participate in real life.
  2. Planned rides that build and follow some kind of training plan.
  3. I’d have a training plan that gets people ready for the duathlon that the recovery center hosts so that the people that do attend the recovery center can be a part of the race. My husband and I were the only people who participated in the race who also attend events at the recovery center.
  4. I’d charge for membership. When people pay money, they have higher levels of commitment because they are paying for the experience. I believe having a place that is completely free is wonderful, but I think people would commit more and be even more involved and would show up more if they had to pay for membership.
  5. Guided art classes that focused on working on a longer-term project each week.
  6. IRL athletic programs and virtual ones targeted to people who are endurance athletes or who want to try endurance sports and not targeted to just recreational athletes. This would include cycling and running – things we can do IRL or virtually and talk about how things went for us afterwards.
  7. Community night that focused on spirituality and faith that didn’t shove g(G)od down people’s throats. There’d be no bible involved. There’d be no mention of g(G)od. It would be more based on meditation, gratitude and gathering as a community of like-minded people with a shift of the conversation to talk about how to contribute to society and be a good person without talking about the Lord. It would focus on community and helping one another out and building a recovery family without even having to mention g(G)od.
  8. Quiet hikes IRL and virtual hikes. Hiking for the sake  of hiking and not having someone talk your ear off in the process.
  9. I’d have the correct messaging and a consistent message throughout my center.
  10. Planned field trips into the community I do live in and to Chicago.
  11. Culture club. Field trips that are IRL to meet up and go visit Chicago and local places near me to see plays, operas, ballets, symphonies and also do other fun stuff like architectural tours or walking tours. Maybe plans to go out to eat afterwards and a chance to enjoy each other’s company.
  12. I don’t think I’d offer recovery coaching unless I could hire someone else who is trained properly to do it. I think recovery coaching is invaluable, but I don’t know that I could be the one to do it because I don’t have the experience or the training or the desire to act as a coach for someone for their life.

Final Thoughts:

So, if I build it, will people come? I don’t know. That’s part of my fear. This would be a for-profit recovery program that people would have to pay a membership fee for. It would be for people like me who like to dig deep, are introverted, who enjoy nature and endurance sport, are culture buffs and who aren’t religious. That’s me in a nutshell. I have a hard time finding people who are just like me. Sometimes, I don’t believe that they exist. I’ve been told that I don’t fit in and that it’s not ok to be who I truly am by my family of origin and my in-laws. I go so many places alone and by myself because I don’t know that many people who have the same interests as me. Yet, I know they are out there. I hear them speaking in podcast episodes I listen to and YouTubers I watch. I know people like me who are into what I’m into exist in the world, but I have such a hard time finding them, and I don’t want to keep struggling. I want to find them. I want to build a community of like-minded individuals. 

So here it is: I’m going to start building it piece by piece and see what happens. I’ll start small and work my way up. In building any business endeavor, part of the challenge putting yourself out there, testing to see what works and what doesn’t and continuing to keep trying until you find what does work. It’s easy to criticize an existing program, say what I like and don’t like and what I’d change, but it’s another thing to put it into practice.

So here we go. Keep an eye out on the blog for upcoming events and community invitations. I’m going to build something big, and see what happens. See if people show up.

Yes, girl!


P.S. Email me at if you’re interested. I’d love to hear from you, your ideas and feedback and to know if you’d be interested in being a part of my community I’m going to build.


Taking a Rest Day and Truly Resting

I need to take a rest day.

Photo by Lisa Fotios on

I wanted to share that I feel guilty about not being able to post more than this post.

So, I’m posting this tiny post, and then getting on with my day.

My brain is fried, my body is fried, my spirit is fried.

Sometimes we need to take a pause.

The goal of doing something every day is a hard one to achieve because we are human, and humans aren’t perfect. 

Deviation from what is normal is good because we come back refreshed.

Last night, I went to see the movie “Singin’ In The Rain”. The stars aligned for me last night, and it was one hour and forty-three minutes of pure bliss. I saw music, singing, acting and dancing on the big screen with barely any people to irritate me whilst sitting in a heated, leather recliner. I was so happy and giddy afterwards. That is therapy for my soul. The things I love that make me truly relax: the arts, no people and sheer comfort. Wow! 

ALL of those conditions aligning at the same time rarely happen. 

When they do align, I realize that I need a break.

Today’s dose of wisdom is to take a break. Take the rest day and don’t feel guilty for resting and enjoying yourself.

Have a great day. I hope you pause and relish in the break and do something you truly enjoy. I hope all of the stars align for you and whatever it is that makes you happy!


People Who Inspire Me and The Voices That I Don’t Hear

I’m a strong, independent woman. I absolutely love seeing other women thrive in roles that are traditionally considered to be male roles: entrepreneurs, business-owners, leaders in the business and creative world, sports, etc. Oddly though, my role models are mostly men.

Sure, the list changes, but the gender roles are always the same in that it’s mostly men I listen to via podcasts or watch on YouTube.

Current list of people who inspire me: Rich Roll, Peter McKinnon, The Minimalists, Brenè Brown, Dr. Gabor Mate, Arthur C. Brooks, Mel Robbins, and the list goes on and has one thing in common: It’s mostly male voices. There are only TWO females on my list. This is pretty typical for me, unfortunately.

I want to follow more women, but I always wind up following men instead. This baffles me. Where are the other women like me in the world?

It bothers me so much that I feel like I need to make my own voice heard, and be the change I wish to see in the world. I want to be heard. I want other women to be heard. I want to watch and listen to other strong women like me, and, yet, I don’t.

I admire the men I listen to because they are having beautiful, vulnerable, moving conversations with others, but they are mostly men who interview mostly other men. There’s something beautiful about hearing a man communicate emotion to another man because it’s a pretty rare thing to observe. Yet this rarity is something that women are very good at. If this is a skill that women are most notably known for innately having, then I cannot figure out why I don’t follow more women.

Why are women’s voices present on all of the platforms, yet, I don’t follow that many women? Why am I finding mens’ stories more relatable than other women? Is it because I’m not a normal woman? Is it because I often feel more masculine than feminine? Could it be because I don’t have children, and don’t feel particularly female because of that intentional decision I’ve made in my life?

I realize that things are changing in the world, and that the role genders play in society is changing. I would’ve said gender roles are chaining, but that ’s been true for a long time. Now, gender itself is changing.I’ve been educating myself on transgenderism and gender in genearl. I find it fascinating that science proves that gender is fluid. It’s made me question my own gender at times, and I’ve wondered if maybe that’s why I follow mostly men. Is there some part of me that is more masculine than feminie? My pronouns are she/hers and I don’t see that changing; however, that doesn’t mean that I am or have to be feminine all of the time. I am also able to look back and I can see how questioning gender in childhood could’ve helped me a lot. I wonder if I would feel differently about the gender I am now if I’d gotten the chance to explore it more 30 years ago. I always felt more masculine and feminine.  Maybe the more masculine aspects inside me as a person or in my DNA is why I follow men more than women. 

It’s something I’ve been wondering about as I listen to men have more and more vulnerable, feminine-like, deep conversations. I don’t think of these men as women, but I think it’s a really interesting time to be alive and be able to hear these vulnerable conversations. At the same time, it makes me question myself-what is it that is drawing me to follow men over women. There is representation of both genders on platforms like YouTube or podcasts. So, if I say I want to follow women and the messages they spread, then why don’t I follow more women?


Wanting a Not-So-Normal Life Wrong In a Sea of Normal

Sometimes I feel like I got a reset in my life. Other times I feel like I deserve a break because I was so traumatized and worked so hard for so little in my life. Occasionally I feel enraged over the past and what happened to me and how my life has turned out so far. More often than not, I feel happy, grateful for my life and like I’ve been reborn…or like a got a second chance…a reset.

It often feels too good to be true. My new life. My life in recovery. 

Is it bad that I feel guilty for having my own business and that I can work less and enjoy my life more now as a result? I’d say yes, it is bad that I feel guilty; however, no one should feel bad for wanting to work less, wanting more out of life and wanting to enjoy life. Oftentimes on podcasts I listen to or YouTube channels I watch, I hear business owners who in similar positions to mine apologize for enjoying their work and their life. Who wants to feel guilty for having fun in their life? No one. Yet, it happens. 


Because that’s what MOST people do. The majority of people do the normal thing. Doing normal things leads to normal results. Typical, right? For most people, TYPICAL is enough. For others, it’s restricting, restraining, induces a gag and choke reflex. I found myself in this typical life experience in August 2021: full time job working 32-40 hours a week at a job that caused me severe anxiety and stress, didn’t value me or my skills, grossly underpaid me and didn’t care about ME as a human being. I was another cog in a machine with no feelings working at large company with a steady salary, 4 weeks of vacation time, a steady paycheck and access to health benefits (that sucked). I was absolutely miserable. I left my 9-5 in August 2021. 

Some would say I had no plan. 

But I had to have had a plan otherwise I wouldn’t have left. That’s not me. Right? What if it was really me? Yikes!

I left my job without a plan? Oh, the wayward shame of it all.

Ok, I kind of had a plan, but mostly a deep knowing that if I stayed in this soul-sucking job, that I would waste away, in a sense, in the mundane and malaise of misery. I couldn’t stand it anymore. I am not a cog in a machine. I’m so much more than that. I’m a brilliant human being who wanted something else: something beyond what most normal people want: the chance to take risks and chances and try and fail and eventually succeed on my own terms doing what I wanted to do. I wanted to enjoy my life and 4 weeks of paid vacation, a steady paycheck (in the spring, summer and fall), paid holidays off just wasn’t enticing. It never really enticed me in the first place.

I went to college and my parents said, “Major in something that’ll make you a lot of money.” I wanted to dance. I wanted to be a professional ballroom dancer and teacher: not a profession that can make you a lot of money as a female professional dancer. If you add in the fact that my body was built so wrong for dancing, any kind of dance I’d ever tried like ballet, jazz, even ballroom, then the odds weren’t exactly stacked in my favor. So, I tried doing both for a long time. I tried having that corporate career that (NEVER) made me a lot of money, and teaching part time on the side. I learned a lot. I worked a LOT. I grew tired of it and quit.

Dance was my only interest for a long time. When I lost it, I had a corporate job. I was miserable and bored. That was the story of my life for 18 years out of college. In 2021, I started a plant shop. I started my own business. It didn’t succeed, but it didn’t really fail either. I got sales over that summer. I kept the shop open, and that was my plan when I left my corporate job in August 2021 that I couldn’t take anymore: run a plant shop. It was better than nothing. 

I made a promise to myself the day I quit: I’d never have an office job again because it doesn’t align with me. Mostly, at the time, I told myself I would never have an office job again. The alignment part of the story didn’t come until later, until this summer of 2022, when I worked myself into the ground for very little financial gain and landed myself in recovery.

Recovery from what? If I’ve never been addicted to substances, what could I possibly need recovery for? I needed recovery from what had been my life for 36 years of misery and 4 years of happiness. The 36 years was life in two suitcases: the first 18 years with my family of origin and the second 18 years with my husband and in-laws. I identify as an adult child of a dysfunctional family. It’s a real term. I’m married to an adult child of two alcoholics.  The results are the same: sobriety. Since I don’t have substance abuse in my past, I was seeking emotional sobriety, and oh, did I ever find it!

The only part of my life I ever felt happy and comfortable in was the four years I spent at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. My college years were anything but normal. I was an introverted young adult who loved ballroom dancing and the arts and culture. I didn’t enjoy partying or drinking. I enjoyed hanging out with people in the ballroom dance club and competition team. I loved practicing with my college dance partner on the weekends. I loved learning new things every day. I have the same traits today. I don’t dance now, but I love movement. I’ve grown up in many ways. In other ways, I’ve stayed similar to who I was in college: that quiet, introverted girl who had a lust for art, culture, movement and liked learning new things and enjoyed spending time on her own. I went to my first opera when I was 18 years old. I saw For The Love Of Three Oranges, and it didn’t deter me. It was a really bad opera to see as your first opera. It was long and boring, but I enjoyed the experience of it because it challenged me. I love a challenge.

So, the lesson I learned this summer seeking emotional sobriety and relearning to live my life and what life looks like now in recovery is this: I get more than 4 years of happiness in my life. Nothing magical happened I turned 41. The past stayed the same: the two suitcases of family drama and chaos split equally in time with one suitcase per family and this 4 year gap where I was sublimely happy and on my own and living my OWN life. That’s right: living my life on my terms. I can’t say that I’ve really had that in the past 36 years. The 4 years I was in college, and this current year: my 41st year, I feel like I’m learning how to live life on my own terms. I’m living my life for me.

We all deserve more than 4 years of happiness. That’s not a lot of time to be happy, and 36 years of misery and feeling sad and depressed is way too long.

I’ve always known I wasn’t “normal” and that “normal” things just didn’t work for me the way they did and do for other people, normal people: the average Jane or Joe. I’m not bashing “normal”. I believe we need “normal” in society. But we also need dreamers and doers. We need creativity, culture, art and movement. We need passionate people who can dig deep, who are quirky, quiet and introverted and shy. We need people do don’t feel like they fit into their own life. 

I got so stuck trying to fit into the mold of normal.

Now? I don’t bother with normal because I know I’ll never fit there. What normal is for someone else, is torture for me because I’ve always known that I defy what is considered “normal”.

It’s easy, now, in recovery, to see why I never fit in. I have the experience of life and the great gift that is perspective on my life and the ability to synthesize what happened to me in addition to being able to know myself really well and to recognize (finally) that normal doesn’t work for me.

Life in recovery has taught me that I matter. That I am enough. It’s enough to work 10 hours a week, and that can be enough. Will it be enough forever? No, I’ll want to grow and move on. Working 10 hours or less a week is great for me. Would it be great for everyone? No, because we are all different. 

Like the book title by Dr. Gabor Mate states: The Myth of Normal. Once I embraced that piece of information that I wasn’t normal, my life started to make sense. I didn’t feel like I was going crazy for not wanting to work two jobs. I was tired of feeling guilty for wanting to enjoy my life, and for how I looked at and experienced life as it was happening to me.

Recovery saved my life. It kept me from wanting to die. Plants saved my life. Knowing that I’m prone to just wanting to be on the move and love being active saved my life. Having my own business and seeing that I work better for myself than I did for other people saved my life. I saved my own life when I found recovery.

Recovery means the world to me, and it’s something I’m very passionate about. I’m passionate about a great many things, and that’s alright. Some people will tell you to focus on one thing. I did that for a long time, and it landed me in a place where I was lost when it was gone. Now? I do many things. Not just one thing. Somethings about me have changed since college, and some are still the same.

I still love opera. I love to go to the ballet and plays in Chicago. Hearing a symphony played live calms me down. I don’t dance anymore, but I’m still here moving. I am a passionate life-long learner. I’m an amazing teacher and coach of dance, life, art, and movement. 

I know I’m not normal. I’ve tried so hard to find others like me, find my tribe, and they are hard to locate. The strivers and overachievers who love to move and love art, dance, opera, theatre, symphonic music who are passionate, life-long learners who love to do many things, reject what is normal and who like to go against the grain in life. These other people, people like me, are hard to find in the sea of normal. But we have a lot in common if we can find one another.

That’s my mission now: to find the other people like me. I want to build a community of strivers and overachievers who are also addicts and in recovery in their lives. We matter. We are passionate. We are unique. 

If you’re reading this and you identify as anything but normal, please reach out and let me know if there’s anything I can help you with. I’m passionate about movement, dance, fitness, health, diet, mental health, art, culture, music, endurance sports, recovering from physical injury, being an addict and recovering. I go deep with the things I know, and I’m willing to spend time learning about things I don’t know. Some of my other passions include YouTube anything, writing, inspirational and public speaking, photography, videography, and plants.

Recent passions that I am nurturing: learning a new language (Italian), ultra endurance sports, recovery for the ultra passionate and ultra endurance, not-so-normal human being (people just like me), finding friends, connecting with people again and building a community of like-minded beings.

Build Your Own Creative Business With Organic Marketing With ZERO Paid Ads

Are you an artist, musician, writer, or another type of creative who struggles to make a living from your passion? Do you long for the day when you can quit your day job and do what you love full time? If so, there is good news: it is possible to build a successful creative business with little or no paid advertising.

It may seem like everyone else is using social media or Google AdWords to drive traffic to their websites and boost sales, but that doesn’t mean you have to do the same. In fact, relying on paid advertising can be a risky proposition; if your budget dries up, so does your traffic. And once people realize they are being marketed to, they are likely to tune out your message.

In today’s blog post, we’ll show you how to build a thriving creative business using organic marketing techniques that won’t cost you a cent in paid advertising. That being said, we will talk about strategies where you can incorporate paid marketing strategies as well.

What is organic marketing and why should you use it for your business?

Organic marketing is a marketing strategy that focuses on using organic methods to reach customers. This can include anything from using organic SEO techniques to create informative blog posts to maintaining active social media accounts. The goal of organic marketing is to build a relationship with customers and create brand loyalty. Studies have shown that organic methods are more effective at building trust and credibility than traditional marketing techniques. In addition, organic marketing is often more affordable than other forms of marketing, making it a great option for small businesses. Whether you’re just getting started with your business or you’re looking for ways to cut costs, organic marketing is definitely worth considering.

Organic marketing is a more natural form of marketing that can be more effective than paid ads, as it builds trust and credibility with potential customers. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a key part of organic marketing, as it helps to improve the visibility of your website in search engine results pages (SERPs). This can be done through optimizing your website content, building high-quality backlinks, and improving user experience. By using organic marketing, you can reach new potential customers who are already interested in what you have to offer.

Additionally, organic marketing can also help to retain existing customers, as they will appreciate your company’s commitment to using more environmentally-friendly practices. Ultimately, organic marketing is a more sustainable and cost-effective way to grow your business in the long-term.

Potential customers are increasingly interested in purchasing handmade products, and small business owners who use organic marketing tactics can tap into this trend. In addition to potential customers, organic marketing also benefits businesses by helping them to rank higher in search engines. Paid marketing can be expensive, and it is difficult to compete with larger businesses that have more resources. However, organic marketing is a relatively low-cost way to attract potential customers and improve your visibility online. When used effectively, organic marketing can be a powerful tool for small business owners.

How to get started with organic marketing

Hello, social media! So, you want to get started with organic marketing? Well, first things first: what is organic marketing? Organic marketing is a form of marketing that focuses on social media posts, free advertising, and search engine marketing. In other words, it’s all about getting your content seen by as many people as possible. And the best way to do that is to start with social media. Create some posts that are share-worthy, eye-catching, and relevant to your brand. If you want, you can boost those posts with some paid advertising if you do want to spend money on advertising and make a paid strategy part of your organic marketing strategy. You can also use social media to run contests and engage with your followers. Finally, don’t forget about search engine optimization! Make sure your website is friendly to search engines and that your content appears high in the search results.

To build your social media presence and followership, post interesting content related to your business or industry. Use hashtags, post often, and be engaging. You should also consider paid advertising on social media platforms as well as search engine marketing to boost your reach. Growing organically takes time and effort, but it’s worth it to build a solid foundation for your business.

The benefits of organic marketing over paid advertising

Paid advertising and organic marketing are two approaches that businesses can take to market their products or services. Paid advertising involves paying for a placement, such as an ad in a newspaper or on a billboard. Organic marketing, on the other hand, focuses on winning customers over through earned media, such as positive online reviews or word-of-mouth recommendations.

There are several benefits of organic marketing over paid advertising. First, organic marketing is more cost-effective since businesses don’t have to shell out money for placements. Second, organic marketing efforts can reach a wider audience since they’re not limited to paid placements. Third, organic marketing ideas tend to be more creative and unique than paid ads, which helps businesses stand out from their competitors. Finally, organic marketing generally has a more positive reputation than paid advertising, since it’s seen as being more authentic and trustworthy.

Overall, organic marketing is a more effective and efficient way to market your business than paid advertising. It’s also better for your reputation and can reach a wider audience. So if you’re looking to promote your business, consider using organic marketing instead of (or in addition to) paid ads!

Tips for creating a successful organic marketing campaign

If you’re looking to take your organic marketing campaign to the next level, digital marketing is key. A digital marketing strategy can help you reach a wider audience and generate relevant traffic that is more likely to convert. There are a number of free online marketing tools that you can use to reach your target audience, including search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, and email marketing. By utilizing these tools, you can create a successful organic marketing campaign that will help you achieve your business goals.

Organic marketing is the heart and soul of digital marketing. It’s a digital marketing strategy that focuses on getting your website seen by relevant traffic through free tools and online marketing. Creating a successful organic marketing campaign isn’t easy, but with a little elbow grease and these tips, you can get your website on the path to success.

 First, create a digital marketing strategy that includes organic marketing. This means including SEO in your plan from the start. SEO is the process of optimizing your website for Google so that when people search for terms related to your business, your website appears as one of the top results. In order to do this, make sure to include relevant keywords throughout your site, in titles and in your content. You can also use other free tools like Google Analytics to track keyword data and see which keywords are driving traffic to your site.

Once you have a digital marketing strategy in place, it’s time to start generating relevant traffic. The best way to do this is through online marketing. There are a number of ways to market your website online, but some of the most effective include pay-per-click advertising, social media marketing, and email marketing. All of these methods allow you to reach a wider audience and generate relevant traffic that is more likely to convert.

When it comes to organic marketing, the most important thing is to focus on generating relevant traffic. Once you have a digital marketing strategy in place and are generating relevant traffic, you’ll be well on your way to success. These tips should help you get started!

Overall, organic marketing is a more effective and efficient way to market your business than paid advertising. It’s also better for your reputation and can reach a wider audience. So if you’re looking to promote your business, consider using organic marketing instead of (or in addition to) paid ads!

Here are some tips for creating a successful organic marketing campaign:

  1. Start with a digital marketing strategy that includes organic marketing. This means including SEO in your plan from the start.
  2. Use relevant keywords throughout your site, in titles and in your content. This will help your site appear as one of the top results when people search for terms related to your business.
  3. Utilize other free tools like Google Analytics to track keyword data and see which keywords are driving traffic to your site.
  4. Focus on generating relevant traffic through online marketing methods such as pay-per-click advertising, social media marketing, and email marketing.
  5. Keep in mind that organic marketing takes time to be effective. It’s important to be patient and consistent with your efforts in order to see results.

By following these tips, you can create a successful organic marketing campaign that will help you achieve your business goals.

Case studies of businesses that have used organic marketing to great effect

Any business looking to market their product or service online will want to consider using organic marketing strategies. By definition, organic marketing is the process of marketing a product or service using natural, relevant keywords and organic traffic. Often, businesses will use organic social media to great effect, posting high-quality content that includes relevant keywords and hashtags. Case studies of businesses that have used organic marketing to great effect show that this type of marketing can be extremely successful in driving website traffic and conversion rates. When done correctly, organic marketing can be a cost-effective way to reach a target audience and grow a business.

Some businesses that have used organic marketing to great effect include:

1. InboundWriter – InboundWriter is a content marketing platform that helps businesses plan, create, and optimize their content. The company uses organic search to drive traffic to its website, and it has seen success in both generating leads and converting them into customers.

2. HubSpot – HubSpot is a leading inbound marketing and sales platform that helps businesses attract visitors, convert leads, and close customers. The company uses organic search to drive traffic to its website and blog, and it has seen success in both generating leads and converting them into customers.

3. Moz – Moz is a software company that provides inbound marketing and SEO tools to help businesses improve their online visibility. The company uses organic search to drive traffic to its website and blog, and it has seen success in both generating leads and converting them into customers.

4. Kissmetrics – Kissmetrics is a software company that provides analytics tools to help businesses measure their online marketing performance. The company uses organic search to drive traffic to its website and blog, and it has seen success in both generating leads and converting them into customers.

5. Unbounce – Unbounce is a landing page optimization platform that helps businesses improve their conversion rates. The company uses organic search to drive traffic to its website and blog, and it has seen success in both generating leads and converting them into customers.

These are just a few examples of businesses that have used organic marketing to great effect. If you’re looking to improve your online visibility and drive more website traffic, consider using organic marketing strategies. With a little planning and consistent effort, you can achieve great results.

When done correctly, organic marketing can be a cost-effective way to reach a target audience and grow a business.

How to measure the success of your organic marketing campaigns

There are a few key ways that you can measure the success of your organic marketing campaigns. First, take a look at your paid social media campaigns. How much did you spend on each campaign? How many impressions did each campaign generate? How many clicks did each campaign get? These are all important metrics to consider when evaluating the success of your paid social media campaigns.

In addition, take a look at your organic reach on social media. How many people are seeing your content? How engaged are they with your content? Are they sharing it with their friends and followers? The number of people who see and engage with your content is a good indicator of the success of your social media marketing efforts.

Finally, consider how well your organic marketing campaigns are raising brand awareness. Are people more familiar with your brand as a result of your campaigns? Are they more likely to purchase your products or services? This is an important metric to consider when determining the success of your organic marketing campaigns.

How to troubleshoot any problems you may encounter with organic marketing

Let’s say you’re having some trouble with your organic marketing campaign. Maybe your search engine rankings have dropped or you’re not getting as much traction on your social media apps as you used to. First of all, don’t freak out! These things happen to organic campaigns all the time. The important thing is to troubleshoot the problem so you can get your campaign back on track.

Here are a few troubleshooting tips: 

  1. Check your search engine results page (SERP) ranking. If you’ve suddenly dropped in ranking, there’s probably a reason why. Maybe you’ve been hit by a Google algorithm update or you’ve lost some backlinks. Whatever the case may be, identify the problem and take steps to fix it.
  2. Take a look at your social media apps. Are you using the right hashtags? Are you posting interesting and engaging content? If not, that could be why you’re not getting as much traction as you used to. Make sure you’re doing everything you can to optimize your social media presence.
  3. Check your website for any technical problems. Sometimes things like broken links or duplicate content can hurt your organic search rankings. Run a site audit to check for any potential issues and fix them as soon as possible.
  4. Take a look at your referral marketing strategy. Are you reaching out to influencers and thought leaders in your industry? If not, that could be part of the problem.
  5. Consider your target audience. Are you using long tail keywords that accurately reflect what they’re looking for?
  6. Take a look at your social media engagement. Are you regularly posting fresh content and responding to comments and questions? If not, that could be turning potential customers away.

By troubleshooting your organic marketing strategy, you can identify the weak points and make the necessary adjustments to start seeing results.

The future of organic marketing and where it is headed

I believe that the future of organic marketing is incredibly valuable. People are becoming more and more aware of the importance of buying local and supporting businesses that use high-quality, sustainable ingredients. As a result, I think we’re going to see a shift in marketing budgets towards organic methods that connect with consumers on a personal level. Content that is authentic, transparent, and truly informative will be key in engaging potential customers and building long-term loyalty.

Organic marketing is one of the most important aspects of any business. It’s the process of building relationships and connecting with customers through free, unpaid channels. The future of organic marketing looks bright, with influencer marketing, email marketing, and customer database marketing all playing a role. Influencer marketing will continue to grow in popularity, as influencers have more influence than ever before. Email marketing will become more personalized and targeted, making it even more effective. And customer database marketing will become more sophisticated, making it easier for businesses to target specific customers with relevant messages. As organic marketing becomes more refined and more effective, it will continue to be an essential part of any successful business.

With so much competition, it is more important than ever to stand out from the crowd. Potential clients are searching for you online, and you want to make sure you appear high in the search results. Social media is a great platform to connect with potential clients and build relationships. You can also use social media to share your work, give insight into your process, and showcase your personality. By staying active on social media and providing valuable content, you will be able to attract new clients and grow your business.

If I had to take a guess, I’d say that social media marketing is headed in a more competitive direction. With so many businesses and individuals vying for attention on social media, it can be tough to stand out from the crowd. That’s why it’s important to have a strategy for getting your content seen by potential clients. One way to do this is to optimize your search results so that your content appears near the top when people search for keywords related to your business. Another option is to use paid advertising on social media platforms to reach a wider audience. Whatever route you choose, it’s important to stay ahead of the curve and be prepared to adapt as social media evolves.

Why is content important in organic marketing for your creative business?

Content is important in organic marketing for my creative business because it helps you attract organic traffic, organic social media engagement, and organic conversions. Paid social media, on the other hand, can help you boost my reach and potential organic engagement with potential customers through promotion. By creating helpful, informative, and entertaining content, you can organically attract people to your business who are more likely to convert into customers or fans. Additionally, organic marketing allows me to build trust and credibility with my audience, which is essential for any business, creative or otherwise. People are more likely to do business with someone they know, like, and trust – so organic marketing is key to building a successful creative business.

Four prerequisites to getting more organic traffic to your creative eCommerce store

If you want to get more organic traffic to your creative eCommerce store, there are four things you need to do.

First, you need to produce high quality content. This means creating blog posts, infographics, and videos that are interesting and informative.

Second, you need to engage in influencer marketing. This means working with social media influencers who will promote your brand to their followers.

Third, you need to use email marketing to reach out to your customer base.

Fourth, and finally, you need to build up a database of customer information so that you can target them with relevant offers and discounts.

By following these four steps, you’ll be well on your way to increasing your organic traffic levels.

Free marketing ideas that require a little more effort

If you’re looking for some free marketing ideas that require a little more effort, search no further! There are plenty of ways to get free traffic to your website or blog, and most of them just take a bit of extra time and effort.

One great way to get free traffic is to optimize your search results. Make sure your website is appearing as high up in the search results as possible for relevant keywords – this will help you attract more organic traffic. You can also make use of social media platforms to drive traffic to your website or blog. Most platforms allow you to share links back to your site, so make sure you’re doing this regularly. You can also run ads on social media platforms – although this will obviously cost you money, it’s a great way to reach a wider audience. And finally, don’t forget about good old-fashioned word-of-mouth marketing! If you provide great content or products, people will naturally want to tell their friends and family about it.

Tips on optimizing the different social media platforms for your creative business to achieve organic marketing goals:

The very first step is understanding who your target market is. Once you know who you’re trying to reach, you can customize your content and language to best speak to them. Not everyone is going to be interested in what you have to say, and that’s okay! It’s better to target a smaller group of people who will appreciate your message than try to reach everyone and end up diluted.

The next step is understanding how social media affects your search ranking. Google and other search engines are increasingly taking social media into account when they rank websites, so it’s important to make sure you’re active on the platforms that matter most to your target market. Posting relevant, keyword-rich content will help you move up in the search rankings, making it more likely that people will find your site when they’re looking for information on your topic.

In addition to helping you reach new potential customers, social media can also be a great way to keep your existing customers happy. Showing them that you’re responsive and engaging with them on their platform of choice lets them know that you value their business. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter also offer opportunities for customers to leave reviews and testimonials, which can help new potential customers see that you’re a trustworthy business.

As with anything, organic marketing requires regular effort to be successful. But by following these tips, you can make sure you’re using social media in the most effective way possible to reach your target market and achieve your organic marketing goals.

Let’s focus on the different platforms for specific tips, tricks and techniques:


Assuming you have a creative business (ecommerce, blog, etc.), you’re likely always looking for new ways to target potential customers and optimize your site for better search engine results. Driving traffic to your web pages is essential for growing your business, and there are a number of ways to use Facebook to achieve this goal.

One way to optimize Facebook for your creative business is to create a Page that is specifically designed to promote your brand or product. Make sure to include relevant keywords in the Page title and description, as this will help potential customers find you when they’re searching on Facebook. You can also use Facebook Ads to target specific demographics with your advertising campaigns.

Another great way to drive traffic to your site is by sharing high-quality content on your Facebook Page. This could be blog posts, infographics, images, or even videos. Whenever you share something on your Page, make sure to include a link back to your website so that people can learn more about what you do.

By following these tips, you can start to optimize Facebook for your creative business and achieve your organic marketing goals.


Twitter is a powerful marketing tool for creative businesses. It provides instant access to target buyers and helps to raise awareness of your brand. Here are some tips on how to optimize Twitter for your business:

  1. Use hashtags to reach new customers. Hashtags are a great way to connect with potential customers who are interested in your product or service. Use relevant hashtags in your tweets, and also search for hashtags that are popular in your industry.
  2. Share original content. Tweeting original content is a great way to get noticed and attract new followers. Share blog posts, photos, infographics, and other types of content that will help you stand out from the crowd.
  3. Use Twitter ads. Twitter ads are a great way to reach your target audience. You can target users by location, interests, and other factors. Ads can be used to promote special offers, drive website traffic, or simply raise awareness of your brand.


If you’re like me, you’re always looking for new and creative ways to market your business. And what better way to reach your ideal customer than through Reddit? With over 330 million active users, Reddit is one of the most popular social networking platforms out there. And best of all, it’s free!

There are a few things you need to keep in mind when using Reddit for your marketing purposes.

First, you need to make sure your content is high quality and relevant to your ideal customer.

Second, you need to have a well-thought-out marketing plan.

Third, you should consider using Google AdWords to help get your content seen by more people.

Lastly, it’s always a good idea to consult with industry experts before posting anything on Reddit.


When it comes to marketing your creative business on Quora, it’s all about company personality. You want to make sure your company’s voice is front and center, so that potential customers can get a feel for who you are and what you’re all about. The best way to do this is to let your creative juices flow and create content that is truly unique to your brand. In terms of topics, focus on areas where you know your company excels. For example, if you’re a graphic design firm, you could write articles about the latest trends in design or share tips on how to create a stand-out portfolio. Whatever topic you choose, make sure it’s something that will really showcase your company’s strengths. And finally, don’t forget to include a call-to-action in every piece of content you create. Whether it’s inviting people to learn more about your company on your website or asking them to sign up for your newsletter, giving readers a next step is essential for converting them into customers.


As a small business owner, it’s important to have a strong organic social media presence. And what better way to organic marketing goals than Snapchat? Here are some tips on how to optimize Snapchat for your creative business: 

  • Use interesting filters and geotags to brand your Snaps. 
  • Take advantage of Snapchat’s Discover feature by creating compelling content that tells a story. 
  • Use Snapcodes to make it easy for people to follow you. 
  • Host a Snapchat Q&A or competition to engage with your audience. 
  • Leverage influencers to reach a wider audience. 


Here are a few tips to get you started on achieving your organic marketing goals on Instagram:

  1. Post relevant content. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important to make sure that the content you’re posting is relevant to your business and will interest your target audience. If you sell handmade jewelry, for example, posting photos of your latest creations is a great way to get people interested in what you do.
  2. Post regularly. Once you’ve got some relevant content lined up, it’s important to keep up a steady stream of posts so that your followers don’t forget about you. Try to post at least once a day, or even better, several times a day if you can. Just remember not to spam your followers with too many posts! They’ll quickly get annoyed and unfollow you.
  3. Use relevant hashtags. Hashtags are a great way to help people find your content, so be sure to use relevant ones when posting about your business. For example, if you’re a photographer, using hashtags like #photography, #photooftheday, or #filmphotography will help people who are interested in those topics find your photos.
  4. Engage with other users. Instagram is all about community, so be sure to engage with other users whenever you can. Like and comment on their photos, follow them back if they follow you, and overall just be active and friendly! This will help you create a strong bond with your followers and make them more likely to support your business.
  5. Use calls to action. Whenever you post something related to your business, be sure to include a call to action telling people what you want them to do next. For example, if you’ve just posted a photo of one of your latest products, you could include a call to action telling people to visit your website to purchase it.
  6. Run contests and giveaways. Everyone loves a good contest or giveaway, so why not use them to promote your business? You could, for example, run a contest asking people to submit photos of themselves wearing or using your product, and then give the winner a prize. Just be sure to make the rules clear so that there’s no confusion!
  7. Use paid ads. If you really want to give your business a boost on Instagram, you could also consider running paid ads. These are great for reaching a wider audience and can be very effective in promoting your business. However, they can also be quite expensive, so be sure to carefully consider whether or not they’re right for you before you commit to anything.


If you’re in the creative business, you know how important it is to stand out from the competition. And what better way to do that than by using TikTok? With more than 800 million active users, TikTok provides a great opportunity to reach potential clients and grow your business. But with so much competition, how can you make sure your content is seen by the people who matter most? Here are some tips for optimizing TikTok for your creative business:

  1. Use keywords in your profile and bio. This will help you show up in search results when people are looking for someone like you.
  2. Create catchy, attention-grabbing videos. Remember, people are scrolling through their feed quickly, so you need to grab their attention right away.
  3. Use hashtags strategically. Hashtags can help you reach a wider audience, but be sure to use them sparingly and relevant to your brand.
  4. Interact with other users. Showing that you’re active on the platform and engaging with other users will help you build a following of loyal fans.

By following these tips, you can make sure your content is seen by more people and achieve your organic marketing goals on TikTok.


If you’re running a creative business, LinkedIn can be a great way to connect with potential clients and market your services. Here are some tips on how to optimize your LinkedIn profile for organic search and referral marketing. 

First, make sure your profile is keyword-rich and search engine friendly. Use long tail keywords that your target audience is likely to search for. In addition, include a link to your website or portfolio in your profile so that potential clients can learn more about your work. 

Next, focus on building relationships with other professionals in your field. LinkedIn is all about networking, so use it to connect with people who might be able to refer business to you. Start by joining relevant groups and participating in discussions. You can also reach out to individuals directly and offer to connect. 

Finally, don’t forget to keep your profile up-to-date. Regularly update your information and showcase new projects or achievements. This will keep your profile fresh and encourage people to keep checking back. By following these tips, you can make LinkedIn work for you and help grow your creative business.


When it comes to promoting your creative business, Pinterest is a powerful tool. With instant access to millions of potential new customers, it’s the perfect platform to raise awareness for your brand and attract your ideal customer. But how do you make the most of this powerful marketing tool? Here are a few tips:

1. Start by creating a board that reflects your brand. Whether it’s highlighting your products, showcasing customer testimonials, or featuring behind-the-scenes photos, make sure your board tells your story in a visually compelling way.

2. Use keywords throughout your pins and boards to ensure that you’re being found by potential customers who are searching for what you offer.

3. Optimize your website for Pinterest by adding Pin It buttons to your product pages and blog posts. This makes it easy for visitors to share your content with their followers, driving even more traffic to your site.

4. Make use of Pinterest’s advertising tools to reach even more potential customers. By targeting ads to specific keywords and interests, you can make sure that your ads are being seen by people who are most likely to be interested in what you have to offer.


Having a creative business is amazing because you get to express your art in so many ways and connect with people who appreciate your work. But running a creative business is also a lot of work, and one area that can be especially time-consuming is marketing. You want to make sure you’re reaching your target audience and gaining organic social media traction, but you don’t want to spend all your time on marketing at the expense of creating new content. Luckily, there are some helpful tips you can follow to optimize YouTube for your creative business and achieve your organic marketing goals.

One tip is to use relevant keywords in your titles and descriptions so that people who are searching for content like yours can find your channel more easily.

You can also use tags to ensure that your videos show up in related searches.

Another tip is to take advantage of YouTube’s free tools, like annotations and cards, to help promote your channel and website.

And finally, make sure you’re regularly producing new content – if people enjoy your videos and see that you’re active, they’re more likely to subscribe to your channel and continue following you.

Final Thoughts:

As you can see, organic marketing is an essential part of any successful business. If you want to stay ahead of the competition, you need to have a solid strategy in place. By troubleshooting your organic marketing strategy, you can identify the weak points and make the necessary adjustments to start seeing results. The future of organic marketing looks bright, with influencer marketing, email marketing, and customer database marketing all playing a role. So what are you waiting for? Start working on your organic marketing strategy today!


Here are some popular questions I get asked frequently about growing a business with an organic content strategy:

How do you grow a brand without advertising?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best way to grow a brand without advertising depends on the products or services you offer and your target audience. However, some common organic marketing techniques that can help grow a brand without advertising include content marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, and email marketing.

What are some tips for creating high-quality content?

When creating content, it’s important to keep your target audience in mind and create something that is both informative and interesting. It’s also important to make sure your content is properly formatted and easy to read. Finally, don’t forget to promote your content through social media and other channels.

How often should you post new content?

There is no hard and fast rule for how often you should post new content. However, a good general guideline is to aim for 1-2 pieces of new content per week. More important than the frequency of your posts is the quality of your content. So, if you can’t commit to posting multiple times per week, that’s okay as long as you’re creating high-quality, helpful content.

How do you measure the success of your organic marketing strategy?

Some common metrics used to measure the success of an organic marketing strategy include website traffic, engagement (likes, shares, comments), and conversion rate (leads or sales). You can also use Google Analytics to track specific goals and see how your organic marketing efforts are driving traffic and conversions.

What are some common challenges with organic marketing?

Some common challenges with organic marketing include creating quality content, getting traffic to your website, and converting visitors into leads or customers. These challenges can be overcome by troubleshooting your strategy and making adjustments as needed.

How do you market your business organically?

The best way to market your business organically is to create a comprehensive marketing strategy that includes content marketing, SEO, social media marketing, and email marketing. By using all of these channels, you can reach a wide audience and increase your chances of driving traffic and conversions.

Is organic marketing worth it?

Organic marketing can be a great way to grow your business without spending a lot of money on advertising. However, it’s important to keep in mind that organic growth takes time and effort. If you’re not willing to put in the work, then organic marketing may not be worth it for your business.

How can I market my business with no money?

There are a number of ways to market your business with no money, including content marketing, social media marketing, and email marketing. However, it’s important to keep in mind that organic growth takes time and effort. If you’re not willing to put in the work, then free marketing may not be worth it for your business.

What is the difference between paid ads and organic ads?

Paid ads are advertisements that you pay for, such as Google AdWords or Facebook Ads. Organic ads are results that appear naturally in search engines or on social media platforms without you having to pay for them.

Both paid and organic ads can be effective ways to market your business. However, it’s important to keep in mind that organic growth takes time and effort. If you’re not willing to put in the work, then paid ads may be a better option for your business.

Holding on to your Value

Tonight, I saw a poll posted by the community manager of The Unmistakable Creative community app. The poll question posted was: “What are you hoarding for yourself that you could be sharing with others?”

I consider myself to be a creatively flexible person. I’m going to rephrase the question: “What value are you holding onto that you need to be sharing with others?”

Here is the explanation that I wanted to give, but there’s just not enough room to elaborate in a polling question. And I didn’t want to be that person that left a comment as long as many of my past blog posts! (Thank you for reading, readers!)

First, I look at the word value and here’s what comes to mind-what are my skills, what

Sure, I could share share my value with others. My question is “should” meaning, why am I not showing up in the world?

When someone asks me what I do, I always default to “I’m a Title Examiner.” I.E. I give out my job title as what I do. The nice thing, from my perspective, is that no one knows what that really knows what that is. It shuts the conversation down about what I do. Introverted me loves that we get to switch the conversation to something else.

When I say I’m a title examiner, people are looking to put me in a box and classify me on a socio-economic scale. People want to say-this is who you are, this could be how much money you make, and that will determine how this person fits into my world-are they above me or below me.

What if the question was rephrased. Instead of “What do you do?” someone asked “What do you value?”

On the rare chance that I have a conversation with someone new, I never ask them what they do. I really don’t care what they do for a living. I care more about them, what is important to them, their lives, what do they value? I think where you put your energy says a lot about you. Kind of like putting your money where you mouth is.

Often what we do for a living and what we value or where we put our energy at are 2 different places. Yes, I put 40 hours a week in at my job. Yes that does take energy. It’s my job that pays the bills. Let’s go deeper. There’s so much more to me than my day job. What’s your side hustle? What are you passionate about? If passionate is too strong of a word, maybe say what are you working on right now for fun? Even, what do you like to do for fun? What do you do in your free time when you’re not working for someone else? What do you do for you?

Do you spread your joy with others? Do you share your value with others? Should you? I think you should. Should you share your value with others? In this case, what you value and what your values are may go hand in hand-if you have a value that could cause harm then I would recommend channelling your energy into something else. There’s got to be something. If you value guns, maybe could you channel your energy into something positive-teaching people how to use them responsibly.

Here is some of my value, what I’m passionate about right now. And this will change in the future. I know that and accept that. For instance, in 2012, I was really passionate about being vegan. Time has gone by, and that is something I’m not passionate about right now. I’m ok with that. I’m the one that has to be ok with that change. If someone else has an opinion about it, then they are welcome to think it and preferably keep it to themselves.

After work and working out, I feel really drained. My energy goes out the window. Work requires a lot of focus for me for 8 hours. Once I’m done focusing, I want to do something not-so-focused. That’s why I have a hard time working on art, like drawing and painting. Those are new activities for me that I do not consider myself good at. I’m still learning and it takes energy. After work I like doing something I’m good at-I like to move. I usually go to the gym after work. If I don’t, I fall into a pattern of going upstairs, getting into my bed and watching television. Brain rotting away. Nothing good is going to come from me watching tv.

I give myself permission to go to the gym. I’m really good at going to the gym. Movement is pretty easy for me. Dancing taught me physical movement. Even if I’m bad at something physical, I almost always enjoy it. This is where I flourish and thrive. I love the feeling I bench press a heavy weight.

This whole blog post feels like me just talking. I have no focus. I’m all over the place. I can’t figure out what I want to say or talk about. I just keep typing. A lot of this is garbage. Will not be on this post. Will not make the final edit. Writing something down is easy. Going back and editing it is much harder because I have to read what I wrote. It’s like giving a speech and going back and listening to myself talk. That’s the painful part. Because I’m constantly judging myself. Thinking I sound like an idiot. I hate pictures of myself because I don’t like how I look. However, in that moment, before the picture gets taken, I’m having fun. It’s not until someone says, “hey, let’s take a picture” that I want to run out of the room. All I can think about is how I will look and what people will think and say. If I concerned myself with that all of the time, I would never leave my house. I’d never go out and have fun. And that would be a sad thing for anyone. We all need joy in our lives. We all need to have fun.

I give myself permission to wander. I let myself go because I know I’ll come back to myself.

Bulding understanding and empathy for others. We like what we know. We like what we’re comfortable with. I’ve found that experiencing new things can change how I think. I do a lot of things alone because I’m that person. I think, “well so and so won’t like this. I have no friends or no one to do this with. I’ll just go by myself.” And I show up. I show up by myself. I don’t get lonely or feel awkward when I go into explorer mode. I’m too busy taking in new stimuli to care what other people are thinking of me. There’s so many new things going on that I don’t get a chance to process.

A case for trying things alone. Why not learn who you are? Experiencing things on your own can be lonely. But you never know if you don’t try. That’s how I got into going to the opera. I started going by myself. I was in college. I got a ticket for “For The Love of Three Oranges.” I did not enjoy myself. This opera was not a good choice for a first-time opera goer. Oh my. I don’t think I ever want to watch that opera again! But the important thing was that I showed up and gave it a go. The second opera I saw was Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly.” This time I went with my mother and we had a blast. By going to the first opera, I built up a tolerance for sitting through a long opera. I exposed myself. My body knew it could take three hours, music, acting, foreign language and subtitles. That’s a lot to take in. The sound is different too. Opera singers are not usually singing into a microphone. That’s pretty amazing when you stop and think about it. When I go to the Lyric Opera, I sit in the heavens because that’s where I can afford to sit. I cannot see the actors faces or the detail in their costumes. But I can hear their voices. And wow, their voices are so beautiful.

What I’ve found is going to see the same opera several times has helped me really get to know an opera.

Or knowing the story helps. I’d seen the musical Rent before I saw Puccini’s “La Boheme”. That means “The Bohemian.” Rent is a musical about starving artists and the lives they lead. So is La Boheme-starving artists, a love story and the lives they lead. Yes, the music is stylistically very different. The sound is very different. But the stories are the same. Having seen Rent made watching “La Boheme” a little easier to absorb. I knew a bit about the story as I was watching a different version of it.

I read “Emma” before I watched the movie “Clueless”. “Clueless” is based off of “Emma” by Jane Austen.

A lot of the things in our culture came from somewhere. It’s important to go back and explore where those things came from.

I know there’s a nugget of wisdom in here somewhere. I only hope I find it!

My Favorite Poem

I wore braces on my teeth for 4 years when I was a youngster (under 30)! For Christmas my mom bought me a book of poems by Shel Silverstein. My favorite poem in the book, still to this day, is as follows:

“The walrus got braces, and now his face is a tangle of wires and steel. He’ll sit and he’ll wait, ’til his tusks are both straight, but meanwhile, they’re ruining his meal.”

There is a picture of a walrus with brackets, wire and steel on the page. The walrus looks as miserable as I felt on days when I went to the dentist and he would tighten my braces. 

I was thinking of this poem today. It made me laugh. 

Happy Monday!




This Friday afternoon, as I sat in my hot, stuffy office cubicle, I yearned for a bit of joy. So, I logged into Facebook to live vicariously through my friends’ status updates for a few moments. As I started to peruse the news feed, I came across this post from my friend, Tim Fealy:

NEEDED.. 1 or 2 attractive friends (man or woman but size small or medium) to model a “boot camp” shirt by the military tank this afternoon. Msg me if you are able to. Shirts provided. And I can pay you with a shirt. Thank you.

First, I thought to myself, “You can do this”. Then I wondered if Tim would be willing to trade the free t-shirt for a service donation to my marathon charity (Opportunity Enterprises—OE for short) instead. (FYI, a service donation is an exchange of one person’s time for another person’s donation to a charity.)

I messaged this to Tim: “I can help. I get out of work at 5pm. I work right at the intersection of Taft and Route 30 so I’m close by.”

Tim messaged me back with instructions on where the set for the photo shoot was. I was excited! A model? Me? Who knew?

I reviewed my self-doubts noticing one particular doubt I’ve always struggled with—my non-model body. Let’s face it—being 5 feet tall with an athletic, curvy build isn’t what usually graces the front page of magazines. Instead of having a sinewy Kate Moss-like body, I am built more like Olympic gold medalist, Shawn Johnson. I convinced myself that being built like an athlete wasn’t necessarily a bad thing at all for modeling at a fitness-related photo shoot. I was going to be photographed for a race called Beast Boot Camp 5K. Perhaps I could model fitness. Perhaps my strength would come across in the photos.

When I showed up on set, I found a tiny Sara looking up at this giant military war tank:


Photo taken by

By the way, funny tidbit, those Christmas lights are still on that pine tree to the left of the tank. You can see them clearly in the daylight!

Once I put on the Beast Boot Camp 5K t-shirt, I got it in my head that I should climb on top of the tank. Despite my flip-flops not making the climb an easy accomplishment, with a helpful hand from Tim I managed to monkey-climb my way up to the first level of the the tank and eventually climbed to the second, upper part of the tank. Once on top of the tank I found I had to relax and breathe to calm my initial fear of heights. After a few breaths I was able to weave my way around the tank to pose for photos like a spider on a web. Once Tim started taking pictures I found I’d left my fear of heights in the lost-and-not-wanted-anymore bin, at least for now. I felt so free on top of that army tank modeling a camouflage Beast Boot Camp 5K t-shirt.

I took an assisted lift from Tim to get down from my jungle gym in the clouds that I’d found. I posed for a few pictures on the ground next to the tank and then—the photo shoot was over…

So now what?

Tea with the photographer is what! In exchange for helping out my friend Tim I received the offer of tea and conversation with a friend at Sip Coffee House in Crown Point, Indiana.

I never got to ask Tim about a service donation to my marathon charity. I also hadn’t seen—and still haven’t seen—the photos that he took of me atop of and next to the tank. We sat in comfy chairs at Sip, had tea and a hot cocoa and chatted. Tim gave me some much appreciated advice about my blog—to write more frequently.

I’m so glad I answered Tim’s Facebook ad. I got to be a model and a friend tonight by taking a leap of faith and answering an ad I found on Facebook for a MODEL NEEDED.