Why I Chose Not to Do My MBA

As a blogger, hustler, entrepreneur and hopefully all around girlboss, people ask me how I became inspired to create and curate a blog. People also ask “Annika, how do you possibly have the time to work a full time job and be building a brand”? Well, to be completely honest and transparent, I am really motivated to make this work because it makes me happy! I find so many times in life a big decision spurs creativity and passion. For me, this HUGE decision was surrounding the choice of MBA or no MBA.

The process of deciding not to do my MBA was a really emotional one. The whole thing took about six months or so for me to really realize what I wanted. I think this made me dig deep because for so long I had this concrete plan in my head of what I “should” do, which I kept telling myself was what I wanted to do.

In the plan I had set for myself I had come to a decision point, the point where the MBA prep would start. I did all the things I was supposed to do: did my research on schools, joined a GMAT prep course and booked my exam date. Throughout the entire process I found things to be almost painful. Looking back now this is so interesting because I if I am doing something like blogging, even if it is hard work and late nights . . . I LOVE IT and it actually GIVES me energy. Whereas when I was doing all this MBA prep, it drained me right out and actually made me question so many things!

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My pivotal moment happened while visiting a good friend in London. She said, “Why do you actually want to do your MBA?. . . You don’t need it”. This struck me like a pound of bricks. At first I thought about the same old reasons like international experience and a good network (which she pointed out that I have a good start on and that those things can be achieved without the $100k price tag). It got me thinking about what the reasons were for driving me to go and spend a heap of money, consume a year or more of my life and take on some massive stress!

After some major inner searching I came to a root cause; I felt like having my MBA

. . . would make me enough and I would somehow be more worth it. . .

This was a troubling but liberating realization.

I realized for many years I had been doing things because I thought I should be, not because it was necessarily the thing that would bring me the most joy or passion. I took a step back and thought about what I really wanted:  Flexibility, an international life, and a creative business. These are the things that drive me, and things that inherently make me happy, why wouldn’t I take them into consideration? This is when the blog was born.

Maybe it is just me, but I would bet that there are many people similar to this. We put pressure on ourselves to be enough. There are, of course, the pressures that we get from society and many that we get from ourselves but there comes a time that you should just do it for you because it makes you happy.

Being a blogger who also works a full time job can definitely be a challenge at times! For anyone out there who is considering starting a blog or even for those who have and are looking for a few tips here and there I can share a few:

  1. Do it because you’re passionate! Like I mentioned above, if you’re not passionate, the tasks and time commitment will drain you.
  2. TIME BLOCK – You’re busy, we are all busy and yes, we all have 24 hours in the day (minus sleep and cocktail hour ;)) make good use of it! I love watching TV as much as the next chick but if you want to build a brand you better get your ass in gear!
  3. Network – I love to network. Networking supported me in my MBA research and in my decision not to do it. Networking is also so important (online and IRL) to grow your blog and your brand! Networking is how I met the FAB ladies @lipstickandmuffinmedia !

I challenge everyone to think about the passions and goals that you have. Are you taking yourself seriously and doing things for you?

Keep Hustlin’

Oxox Annika

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Annika Friesen is a lifestyle blogger from Toronto, Canada. The blog Fernweh Society specializes in travel, career, fashion and girlbossin’. You may find her running around Toronto cell phone in hand and jacked up on espressos or sneaking off to the airport for a jet setting adventure. Annika lives with her other half Dustin and their frenchie Karlsson.

Follow her on Instagram @fernwehsociety

#FeaturedFriday: The Importance of Having A Facebook Page for Your GirlBoss Business

Hello Girlboss!

For this week #FeaturedFriday, we would like to introduce to you the Founder of PiperMedia, Erin Montgomery. She will be explaining to us why it is so important to have a Facebook Page if you are in business. We love what she has to say and we think that you will do too!

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We all have a love/hate relationship with Facebook – or maybe that’s just me. And I know as a social media marketer that is the last thing I should be saying as Facebook has been a big tool in the growth of my business.

As a self proclaimed girlboss who launched her business on a whim and a cup of coffee Facebook has been a vital part of my business. And whenever I sign a new client the first question I always ask is do you have a business Facebook page? And you would be surprised at how many lady bosses have not seen the value in Facebook pages.

When Facebook first launched we used it to stalk our exes, look up old classmates and to post the occasional selfie or status we wished we never made public. But Facebook for business has been a game changer for girlboss’ and if you currently don’t have a Facebook business page – well what are you waiting for?

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Starting a Facebook business page should be the second thing you do after you decide on a business name. Growing your social media following even before you launch is a great way to gauge your audience interest in your subject and learn about what they want/need from your specific business venture.

Facebook is one of the largest social media platforms – 13 billion people log onto Facebook daily, that is a HUGE audience for your business. While it may be a little more difficult to grow organically on Facebook because it is so saturated with business pages it is possible. Facebook offers small businesses the opportunity to present their business to millions of people, to build their reputation and to become an expert in their field.

Facebook offers a wide range of tools for small business owners most are free but there are some that are very cost effective. When starting a business page one of the things I always recommend is run Facebook ads. Running a page promotion ad for your business can cost you as little as $30/monthly and it will help you to reach your target audience and get your business in front of thousands of people.

And one other tip I need to leave you with – is to post consistently. When you start a Facebook business page it is important to establish a proper posting schedule because it is something your followers will come to expect. I recommend posting to your business page at least once per day. But always remember that you don’t want to be to salesy. Self promoting is definitely something you should do maybe once every 3 days but don’t forget to also provide your followers with content that they will value. Try posting quotes, articles relating to your business, tips and tricks and the occasional behind the scenes look. Make sure you are offering more than just a constant sales push.

So are you ready to launch your Facebook page?

erinErin Montgomery is the founder of Piper Media, a boutique communications agency that specializes in social media management and blog assistance for small businesses. She has been working in the social media field for 5+ years and has worked female entrepreneurs for the pas year helping them to build their online presence. When she is not online she is spending time with her two little ones and shuffling between dance and karate lessons.