Monica McCarthy from ShowandTellStories.com and MonicaMcCarthy.net is featured in this episode. Monica shares her experience of breaking up her main brand into smaller components to serve different purposes and audiences.
Monica talks about her current success factor – shifting to create more depth and meaning in her work, fears that she struggles with on this new adventure, and how to launch a movement – not just another product.
TOPICS DISCUSSED INCLUDE:
- For your business, do you keep everything under one roof or many homes? Why and how to choose the best approach for you; showcase or sell?
- Do what you’re “supposed” to do… even if the product/service isn’t a good fit for you
- What are you trying to do with your business
- Letting down your anchor – going for depth and meaning versus masses
- How does the fear show up and/or creep in?
- Being able to take care of self
RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Coming soon – new community/movement site: CheshireParlour.com
- Monica’s web designer and brainstorm partner: FurtherBound
Want to get in touch with Monica?
- Twitter: @MissMMcCarthy
- Website with what she delivers: ShowandTellStories.com
- Personal website: MonicaMcCarthy.net
MORE ABOUT MONICA MCCARTHY
Monica McCarthy helps prolific organizations and artists share their messages with multimedia storytelling. Her boutique video production company, Show & Tell Stories, creates dynamic cinematic experiences as well as offering strategy and development consultations. Monica shares her own stories of misadventures and musings on philosophy, acting, and travel over at MonicaMcCarthy.net and loves to say hello on twitter @MissMMcCarthy.
ENJOY THE PODCAST?
- Click here to subscribe on Stitcher!
- Click here to subscribe on iTunes
- Click here to subscribe via RSS
Melissa Anzman (00:00): This is the launch yourself podcast with Melissa Anzman episode number six, featuring Monica McCarthy.
Melissa Anzman (00:08): Hello, hello, and welcome to the launch yourself podcast, career, business, and brand advice to help you be seen, make an impact and deliver at your maximum potential. And now here's your host, Melissa Anzman
Melissa Anzman (00:28): Monica McCarthy helps prolific organizations and artists share their message with multimedia storytelling, her boutique video production company show and tell stories creates dynamics, cinematic experiences, as well as offering strategy and development consultations. Monica shares her own stories of misadventures and musings on philosophy acting and travel over at monicamccarthy.net and loves to say hello on Twitter @MissMMcCarthy. Hi Monica. Thanks for coming to the show. Welcome. Thank you so much for having me. I'm very excited. I'm excited to have you too. We actually got introduced by a mutual friend of ours, the fabulous Jenny Blake, who I think I have officially mentioned in just about every podcast that I've had. So maybe, maybe I should stop kissing up on that, but talk about her. She's so wonderful. I know. But I'm so glad she introduced us because I am a big fan of yours and have been sort of behind the scenes before we were officially introduced.
Melissa Anzman (01:29): And now that you have so much great stuff going on, I thought you'd be a great guest for our podcast and talking about your various launches and where you're at. So to start us off we hear define at launch yourself a launch as a specific point when you purposely decide to take action to fulfill your maximum potential in your career, business or brand. So with that in mind, could you maybe give us a little background on where you're at and perhaps a launch that you want to talk, want us to talk about today? Sure. First, I love that definition. I wish I had known about that definition when I was sitting stressing in my room and figuring out what to do next, because I think that is brilliant. It's not quite so technical and scary as I always thought of launches to be.
Monica McCarthy (02:17): So the biggest transition that I made finally happened at the end of last this past year. And for me, I had everything under one umbrella called show and tell stories.com. And when I say everything, I mean, my background and what I did was I started a boutique video production company that catered toward small businesses, organizations, entrepreneurs, and I also had a blog there. I also really enjoy writing and traveling and sharing my own stories on there. I'm an actor and speaker and I was trying to fit it all under one roof because that was what more people kept telling me. Like you don't want to, you don't want to have more than one site. It'll confuse people. You don't want to drive traffic to different places. And what I found
Monica McCarthy (03:00): Though was I was basically on watering down everything I wasn't being really great I'm I don't really enjoy writing posts about like five tips to feel more comfortable on camera. Like I, I enjoy that when I'm consulting with people or with companies, but when it comes to writing, I don't feel like talking about how to do video translated as well. And, and plus I just also really miss the actual writing in storytelling form. And so then I just found that it just became less and less excited to do anything with the site really. And then the more I thought about it and the more I talked to my designer, who's also one of my closest friends Hannah Loaring at furtherbound.com who is a wonderful writer herself. We decided, you know what, screw it. I'm just going to go ahead and create two sites with show and tell stories, being just for the video production and having it be very simple site and focusing on having a, you know, a gallery of, of some of the videos that I've created and then having Monicamccarthy.net, unfortunately, Monicamccarthy.com is taken by Monica McCarty who owned both.
Monica McCarthy (04:10): Who's like a romance writer or something. But having Monica mccarthy.net, which I did own back from like the beginning from my acting days and have it be in a home, like really feel like an online home. And that's where I could write whatever I wanted to write about. There's a section that's just about travels. There's a page that's just about, you know, what I speak about and my performance background. And it's just so mean both sites got this, you know, an actual physical design overhaul, which Hannah's so wonderful at and it's changed everything because I now, I mean, I have right now in front of me, I'm looking at this page, I've got eight topics and I'm like in the middle of reading blog posts for that, I'm so excited about that I would, I just would not have done on the other site and people more and more people are very quickly finding me and contacting me based on that writing.
Monica McCarthy (05:06): So it's, it's really interesting and some of those have to do with video. So it does like translate, you know, you never know where people are going to come from, but I really found that once I allowed myself to have that separate home, that, that I could really be me. And and then within all of that, this is the longest answer you've probably ever gotten because it's totally different path. And so, no, it's okay. So I also have this whole other like platform and idea this book that I'm in the middle of writing. I haven't, I've been wanting to create this in person events and, and so that actually I have another domain called Cheshireparlour.com spelled the British way. Actually, I, I think I both, but and the premise of that is it's like a contemporary salons, but like in the days of Gertrude Stein, which has had Picasso and Hemingway over and they would discuss the big ideas and art.
Monica McCarthy (06:02): And I feel like nowadays people are so focused on niche. And so, you know, as an actor and actress, actor, actors, and writers, talk to writers and entrepreneurs talk to entrepreneurs, and there's not as much cross dialogue as I would love to see. I know I personally am the most inspired not to write, not from something else I've read, but from music I've heard or movie I've seen or piece of art. And and then also my background that a lot of people didn't know is I also studied in addition to theater philosophy and religion, and I am very, very fascinated on why and, and archetypes and meaning. And, and what does this really trying to say? And so that home basically is going to be basically an online salon that I also hope to branch out into monthly in person salons, where I've got thought leaders from various mediums in one place.
Monica McCarthy (06:55): And also, you know, the working title for the book that I'm working on is called Renaissance 2.0, and it's solving 21st century problems looking at, we know what philosophers and playwrights and artists have to say. So it all, that's where that's going to live. And again, I toyed with having that, just be a Monicamccarthy.net, because I do tend to write about those things, but I wanted that to be my personal space and Cheshire Parlour will be more of the community space. So I'm sort of going against the grain, the, keep everything in one, one spot. But I guess that just ties in my connection with their whole Renaissance man woman idea of it's okay. To have more than one thing more than one place, more than one niche. And so yeah, so it does make launching more complicated, but, and it's definitely taught me to think in terms of like immediate versus medium versus longterm goals and reach, but that's where, that's where I'm at.
Melissa Anzman (07:59): I love it. And I love all the ideas in there. And I do want to talk more about the Cheshire Parlour site and what you're building right now. But I do want to, before we move to that and focus on that launch, which I know we are going to talk about, cause that's super exciting. I do want to talk briefly about this idea of the advice out there not being true for you. So, you know, the advice of having everything under one roof versus having different sites and I'm particularly interested because I actually started out opposite of you. I had three different sites that were doing three different things and serving really three different audiences and it worked for me, but everybody I came into contact with in our online Narnia as Pam slim calls it thought it was so confusing and strange, like why, what umbrella holds it together?
Melissa Anzman (08:57): How are you the same person doing X, Y, and Z? And so in November, I actually pulled everything under one umbrella and launched launch yourself. And to be very honest, I am still struggling with the idea of why does this need to be together? And, you know, it makes sense and it, and there is a tie, but to your point, it may not be the best solution. So could you just talk a little bit about, you know, that, okay, it's time to just go against the grain and follow what feels good to me versus what I should be doing. Sure.
Monica McCarthy (09:38): It's so hard because I'm still in the midst of it. So I wish I could say like, yes, and now I'm making millions of dollars and that was the way to go. But I just, the thing that I'm learning more and more every day is that you've got to do with what resonates with you. If you don't eventually you will drop it. It's, it's too much, there's too much, especially if it's your own business and you're an entrepreneur or you're a writer and you're artists. And, and if you're trying to, to do what other people are telling you to do, and you also have your, all these other things on your own that you have to self motivate for. I don't know for me, I just found that that did not work. And I think it really depends though on what your goal is, what your outcome is.
Monica McCarthy (10:26): So for me, it also took me a really long time to realize that I don't want to sell products. I don't want to write an ebook. I don't, that doesn't speak to me. I totally get why other people do it. I love the idea of it. I love the idea of, you know, be being location independent and, and, you know, having an idea and turning it into something and people buy it in my sleep. Like that sounds great, but it doesn't actually resonate with me. And that took me the past two years to realize. And so I think that if your goal is to sell something from your site, that the niche advice, the very specific target audience, the have everything in one place maybe makes more sense, but from the perspective of wanting the site to be a launching pad for other things, as far as, you know, like I said, I don't want to, I did have this before.
Monica McCarthy (11:25): I did have a product that was how to be comfortable on camera. Right. And and, and it did fairly well considering I didn't do much marketing for it, but eventually I was just like, you know what? This doesn't feel. Right. So now the site can just really be here's my work. Here's how to find me and done and done, you know? So yeah. I don't know if that's the clearest answer probably not, but I think that so much of it really does depend what is the purpose of, of the site and yeah, because if it to showcase work versus sell work, I think that that's very different.
Melissa Anzman (12:04): I love it. And I think that's a really good distinction and one that honestly never popped into my mind until you just said that of, you know, what's the goal and showcase versus selling very different and very different audience drivers. So it's definitely imperative to have that answered before you start either merging or breaking out. So I think that's great. Thank you for that. Okay.
Monica McCarthy (12:29): Of course. I mean, the biggest thing is that it's really hard, right? Because there's so many people out there who are creating these massive platforms or writing these bestselling books or whatever. And we it's really hard not to compare where our path with their path or like what I did. I'm very, I'm like a chameleon, it's that it's from the acting training, I'm sure of whatever's going on around me. I sort of absorb. And so I would see how other people were doing it and assume that was how it needed to work for me. And then I berate myself when I wasn't doing it as well. And actually Jenny Blake, who, you know, you're talking about the beginning. So she had, I of course become really, really close friends. I mean, we've spoken so much lately about audiences and brands and blah, blah, blah, and coming to the realization for me that I'm not trying to lead a small army. I'm not trying to have the masses. I'm trying to be more involved with the thought leaders that then lead the small army. You know what I'm saying? So that that's a completely different conversation and a completely different launch strategy and all of that than, than somebody who is trying to aggregate thousands and thousands of followers and sell their online product totally different,
Melissa Anzman (13:45): Totally different. And we fall into that trap, right. Of seeing what's working for somebody else or what appears to be working right of these big people who have tons of followings. And, you know, we all talk about, and we all read, we all think that's the way to go. And when we pivot and try to do it and follow what they're doing, we find that not only are we not getting the same success they have told us they've had, but it doesn't feel right for us. And it sounds like that was a great realization for you in this whole journey onto building where you're at now
Monica McCarthy (14:21): Very much, very much. And there is that idea of a lot of the people that are big players now got in the game early. So now if you try and get to where they are, I wrote this post about that. It's basically like trying to follow in somebody's footsteps, you know, you'll never catch up and that shouldn't be the goal anyways. And so that's why I'm so fascinated now with this concept of, I think that where we're heading is instead of trying to constantly move ahead so quickly that it's more about letting down our anchor and claiming this as our own, and this is what I do and, and going for depth and meaning versus massive. And that's, that's my theory. We'll see how right or wrong I am, but that's okay.
Melissa Anzman (15:06): Absolutely. I think it's a good one. And it's a great segue back to what you're currently in the process of building out, which is the Cheshire parlour site. So, you know, that is sort of the third iteration of what used to be your one website show and tell stories. So how has this site been coming along differently then Monicamccarthy.net, and what are, what is your sort of a launch plan around this new site?
Monica McCarthy (15:36): Sure. Well, I wish I could say I had a real plan. It's more like my part of site statistics being like, I'm ready, let's work on it. And I'm like, okay.
Melissa Anzman (15:44): I think that's the plan.
Monica McCarthy (15:46): Yeah. I think for, for me the challenge of this site, more so than the other sites is that with this it's also that I'm trying to express an idea, a belief with, with the other sites, it's more of, you know, show and tell it's, here's my service that I offer with Monica McCarthy. It's like, here's, here's who I am. Here's what I do with Cheshire parlour. It's I actually, Jenny come up with this word for me. And it's so true. It's, it's a, that I'm, it's a movement it's so it's, it's more complicated in terms of the copy that will be on the website because it, it, it, it's not something that people are super familiar with in their every day. And so it's just, I'm finding myself feeling that Steven Pressfield resistance to writing it, because I believe in it so much, but it's also so hard to articulate that that that's where I'm at now and allowing myself to then take more time.
Monica McCarthy (16:56): Like the Monicamccarthy.net. I visited my designer in France in December. We busted that thing out in like two days practically, you know, okay, this color, this font, this photo, like, let's just do it, you know partly because I knew that I needed that space to, to get, to be able to move forward. I just, I could feel it. And so yeah, was this one I can tell it's going to be a bit lower of a process because the content is a bit more complex because it is explaining an idea and also sort of rallying that this movement so should be interesting and there will be multiple levels within it because of first be sort of expressing what it is. And then they'll be, like I said, that the gatherings of the thought leaders around an idea, maybe one month it's justice and another month it's love.
Monica McCarthy (17:54): And, and then on top of then after that, there'll be this level of like growing a community. So it will be interesting to see I'm not normally a longterm vision person. I'm used to, even with everything with paycheck, you know, it's like paycheck to paycheck, all of those things. And so to try and really build something is scary. You know, Mo I don't think I'm opposite of most people. I think most people would be scared to live in the very, you know, like I said, paycheck to paycheck or week to week, day to day sort of living for me again. I think that comes from growing up and doing acting in LA and New York and elsewhere, that sort of what I am used to, and the idea of building something longterm is actually scarier for me.
Melissa Anzman (18:40): I love that because I, I do think you're right. If people are usually the fear comes in in the opposite direction. So, yeah. So I hear the fear in that, and, and I do think it's very interesting that it was for you more of the long term than the short term, other than the resistance and the fear of the longterm, what things, or, or action items or thought processes these along this journey have been scary for you. Where, where have you seen the fear creep in every day
Monica McCarthy (19:12): Where you know, it's been interesting because the same time that I've been going through all of these iterations personally, I was also going through a lot in terms of right around the time that my business was finally getting off the ground. In fact, I was in the middle of like a big shoot. I ended a almost decade long relationship and suddenly found myself like nowhere to live. What am I doing? And I'm also like, have these edits that are due. And anyone who's ever tried to move in New York city often knows how crazy that is and you know, other relationships stuff and finances. And, and it, it was crazy too, to try and express what I wanted to express and go through all of these things at the same time. And so for me, I really, really learned the lesson of you almost.
Monica McCarthy (20:10): Can't like, you can't get to what really needs to be done when the rest of your life is falling apart. Like, I know it's, some people are able to pull it off better than others, but that wasn't there. And so I noticed this is a very strange answer, but I guess what has been the stereotype is just constantly questioning, what am I trying to do? What am I trying to say? Like, you start to really, I've never been somebody who's just been like that really enjoys just bringing in the money or paying bills, or I've never, you know, that's never been something for me. And so the scariest part has been when I knew that I needed to bring in the money. I knew I needed to be able to eat and pay my bills, but I felt emotionally so drained and mentally so drained and even physically so drained that then trying to create anything thought impossible yet.
Monica McCarthy (21:08): I couldn't imagine going and, you know, working at a desk or going back to waiting tables. And so that, that feeling of, I have no idea what to do next happens. I think it happens to everybody and during a launch, but I think even where I was and where, especially this past year that was terrifying because I, even with everything going on, I, I knew that I wanted to do these things. I just lost sight of how to make that happen, how to, how to keep progressing forward. So yeah, the rest of the stuff is like, you know, technical stuff scares the crap out of me. I'm don't even get me started, but like all that stuff to figure out about, right? Like you've figured it out and you find somebody, you figure it out. But the, a lot of people don't realize with entrepreneurship and launching and anything that's self motivated and self created. Like you have to be able to take care of self in order to do any of those things. So, yeah.
Melissa Anzman (22:11): And how did you, I mean, that's, that is the most clear and honest answer to that question that I've gotten. So I appreciate that. Thank you. And well, and it, I think it's also that space where we don't want to admit to, we were going through a hard time or admit to the fact that when everything blows up in our face or things are, you know, one day they're one way and the next day they're completely different that creating while in that same space, doesn't always happen. It's not feasible for, you know, certain situations or what have you. And so then you have, at least in my experience, you have that added layer of,
Melissa Anzman (22:53): Okay,
Melissa Anzman (22:53): I don't even have my creativity to fall back on. Right. Like, and so how did you get through all of those huge life changes and big, scary things to come out the other side with this great idea and a visual representation of here's my new direction.
Monica McCarthy (23:14): Definitely first and foremost, it was a handful of really good close people in my life. So actually like more recently, Jenny, my designer, who I'm close friends with, who totally gets me my best friend since college, those, even those three women, I would say just that was a lifesaver pretty much literally. And, and being willing to say, this is what's going on was instrumental having them remind me and serve as a mirror of, of what they saw and what they believed in me, because I would have quit writing. I would have quit all of this. I mean, honestly, if it wasn't the people saying, no, I view you can do this. I believe in what you're doing. Here's why, blah, blah, blah. You know, I'm actually writing a post about this right now of like, I just, I understand the lone ranger concept.
Monica McCarthy (24:09): I understand wanting to pull ourselves up from the bootstraps, but at some point for many of us, it's not possible and I couldn't afford a therapist and I couldn't afford a business manager. I just, like, it just took having somebody who saw me and understood me and which is, I think one of the things that's so amazing about just even the online space and everything in a way that that can happen too. And then the other thing for me was reawakening my relationship with philosophy. And I don't mean that in a woo woo way. I mean that in a really real way, like when I wasn't allowed to see my dog, cause my ex girlfriend and woman to see the dog, like I didn't know what to do. I literally did not know what to do. And and then I started reading Seneca again.
Monica McCarthy (24:56): And what he talked about about, you know, it's almost like a serenity, prayer and controlling what you can and letting go of what you can't. And, and I've found that now to be true for everything, the more I read about it, the more it there's these, these problems that are these huge problems that everybody faces have been our problems since the beginning of time. And so for me to see those archetypes and to see what has been said before has been really, really, really helpful. It started with a book called constellations of philosophy, but I'll end the button. Who's a famous sort of contemporary philosopher and and then sorting through my own story and my own relationship to philosophy. And, and yeah, for me, that's been huge, which is again, why I'm wanting to go forward with Cheshire parlour and go forward with, with all of that that comes with it. So,
Melissa Anzman (25:51): Yeah, it sounds like that experience. And what was the turnaround for you that looking within and, and the going back to seeking what's been done before and the philosophy really ignited a new business idea, and maybe it wasn't new to your thought, but maybe it's cemented to you. Like this is something that's viable, this is something that's needed and can be helpful.
Monica McCarthy (26:15): Yeah. Because, you know, for me, this buzzwords that are thrown around like crazy. So around the time that I started showandtellstories.com was when storytelling became this huge word. Right. And you know, my peers mentioned, her peers were like, this is perfect, you know, and, and you're, you're right on target with what's going on. And, and I finally said, it really was like, well, what is storytelling? And, and do, I mean, it the same way that these brands meaning it and do people even understand? And I don't think people do, I don't think to this day, people understanding they hear like tell better stories. I don't think people are equipped to, to know what that even means for the most part. And so to, again, to be able to question my own thoughts of what matters and why I'm saying certain things and why I'm using words like convergence and whatever, I'm like, Oh, it's cause I heard it somewhere, you know? So to be able to really look at, at at the Y and, and ask questions and almost the Socratic method was huge, huge for me.
Melissa Anzman (27:23): That's fabulous. So I know that you're in the midst of launching it and, and this go around for Cheshire parlour, you're doing it slowly, right. You're not rushing to get something out there. You're not spending a couple hours with your designer to pop it up. What, what sort of is your process with that either timeline-wise or puzzle pieces wise? Like where, why are you taking it slow this go. Okay.
Monica McCarthy (27:52): Well, I think, like I was said before, you know, the idea that it's a little bit more complicated because it's an idea it's a movement it's, it's community based. And so just, just to be able to flesh out my thoughts even around it is one thing, another thing is people don't know me as that they're starting to through my writing. And that's another thing is that now I have sort of a funnel for what I'm going to be writing about the next couple months on Monicamccarthy.net that will sort of help people understand what this is. It's not just like I've shown up and I'm like, Hey, this is it. Join me. You know, that, that people can really be able to grasp it for themselves. So that's a big part of it. And then also again, in, in being super honest, for me, there's immediate goals of finances and what I need to take care of on a personal level versus medium goals versus longterm goals. And so I've, you know, it's difficult for me, like I said, but I've had to say, okay, it's I a parlor, it's a bit more of a meaning, the longterm goals and reaching more video clients and working on a longer contract with a think tank or an NGO or a nonprofit is more of a focus immediately. So it's sort of both things it's out of necessity and out of desire to really have it grow organically.
Melissa Anzman (29:17): Love it. So the, my typical closing question for you would be if somebody were in the same state that you're in, so somebody has these different ideas and maybe they're in one site and think they should branch out, or maybe they have an idea of a movement. What would your best advice be for them?
Monica McCarthy (29:41): Hmm. Great question.
Melissa Anzman (29:44): Deep in it right now that you are
Monica McCarthy (29:46): Talks with Jenny Blake. She's really helpful. I would say this is going to be really hard and people will not believe me when I say it and they won't listen to me, but I'll say it anyways, is stop reading other people's stuff for awhile. Stop looking at their sites, thoughts and what they're doing and spend some quality time with yourself, figuring out exactly what it is that you want to say exactly who it is that you want to say it to and how you want to say it and look at short term medium versus long term. And, and then go and reach out to whoever you need to read it out to your designer. Your friends have got great advice, the, you know, the guru or the mentor or whatever, but if you allow yourself to just keep taking in what everybody else is doing, you'll, there's a good chance you'll end up. Like I was for awhile. Like a lot of people I know of, of more feeling paralyzed, but then aided by it. So I think that looking at, at really like your, why you're doing it in the first place is huge. And then you'll be able to better filter what it is that everybody else is saying and apply it to how that, that works for you instead of you trying to mold yourself to what ever everybody else's is doing in launching. Brilliant. Love it.
Melissa Anzman (31:19): So why don't you, Monica? You remind everybody where they can find you online.
Monica McCarthy (31:24): So I'm at Twitter @MISsMMcCarthy, which is M I S S M M C C a R T H Y. Yeah. Not the best. But, and then I am at monicamccarthy.net and showandtellstories.com and some day soon cheshireparlour.com.
Melissa Anzman (31:44): Absolutely. I will be sure to include all of your online home and homes and spaces in the show notes, but I just wanted to say thank you again so much for coming on the show. It's been great to not only meet you virtually, but also to have your perspective and, and guidance and advice shared because it isn't for my audience, it's not sort of the same old, same old it's really fresh and new, and your perspective is amazing. So thank you so much for taking the time. Thank you. I'm honored truly. I want to thank Monica for coming on the show and for being so open and honest about where she is in her career and her entrepreneurship path and changing her models to suit her needs. So going from trying to build an army and build the masses to going into something more suited for her of creating a movement and going deep and creating meaning, I think it provides a
Melissa Anzman (32:40): Very interesting opportunity for so many people in our space. If you enjoy today's show, you can find the show notes on the website at launchyourself.co/session6. Again, that's launchyourself.co/session6. And if you have some good words to say, please subscribe on iTunes, leave us a review or on Stitcher until next time.
Melissa Anzman (33:07): Thanks for listening to the launch yourself podcast. Join the conversation at www.launchyourself.co.
Sign up to receive email updates
Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast.