Productive Flourishing
Productive Flourishing
Meighan O’Toole: Making It Online (Episode 148)

Meighan O’Toole: Making It Online (Episode 148)

Meighan is a digital strategist who previously ran My Love For You, and was recruited by Yahoo! to work as a social media strategist. On today’s episode, she shares some of what she’s learned during her years in the digital trenches of creative work. Meighan and Charlie cover topics like the role of her community in her online work, the importance of starting and continuing to make things online, and working through the fear that comes along with creative stuff with and for other people.

Key Takeaways:

[2:50] - During her online career, Meighan’s moved back and forth between San Francisco and Boston a couple of times. She had built up an online community in San Francisco, and found that the community was hard to replace or sustain in Boston. While she has found some online communities and made connections in Boston, she has found that it has had a negative impact to not have a local community to engage with and recharge.

[6:20] - Many introverts have a powerful group of people, usually local, that they’re connecting with that’s feeding them. One of the things introverts tend to pull together and transmute is the social energy around them, but the group from which introverts draw this social energy is usually pretty selective.

[9:00] - While Meighan’s family is very supportive, it can be hard to explain her work to people who aren’t connected. It is important to find a community of peers and colleagues that can help to foster creative work online.

[13:47] - Online businesses (and really every business) will likely face an internal disruption and an external disruption every 18 months. There’s a content wheel that is always spinning, and when you enter those creative spaces, you have to think about where you are now, and where you’ll be in a year. Things are constantly changing based on what people want.

[19:09] - Meighan is always coming back to her “Why” to keep her moving forward in her business. It is important to pay attention to why you do what you do, rather than getting caught up in vanity metrics.

[21:04] - Meighan talks about how she began her journey with online creative work. She originally ran an online art blog. She talks about the change in how easy it was to turn her idea into something that people would want to consume. Thinking back to those times when she first started helps Meighan to move forward in creative stuff and doing new things in her current business. Even though there may be a lot out there now, it is never too late to get started!

[28:48] - When you’re first creating something new, you have to start so you can get in front of people and see what works. At the very start, you’re in one of the best places because nobody is paying attention yet. When you finally put it online, it takes on a life of its own.

[32:43] - Meighan and Charlie talk about failure. One of the things Meighan has learned is that as a business owner, you constantly have to have different ideas, and not all of those ideas are going to make it. You can’t let little setbacks keep you from moving forward. Even if an idea might not work, it’s still important to do it anyway.

[36:35] - As creative people, you never get to a point where you’ve made it; you’re only continually making it. At a certain point, the good stuff rises to the top and you get good about showing the good stuff. Meighan suggests there’s a balance between arrogance and humility when it comes to our expectations about our work.

[40:00] - Charlie and Meighan talk about steps taken to learn new things in order to grow. In the beginning, learning new things for yourself is really fun. But there may come a time when it’s worth it to invest some money or switch programs to reach your goals quicker.

[43:55] - Meighan talks about doing a lot of coaching around fear, and her own experience with fear. She talks about how this influences her work and how it ties into her connection to her community.

[48:18] - Being authentic and being open are two different things. Strive to be your authentic self and tell the stories that will enhance the connections you make with people.

[49:55] - Meighan’s challenge: Create what you’ve been putting off. Forget about the beautiful website or the right name; just start.

Mentioned in This Episode:

Productive Flourishing

Quiet, by Susan Cain

The Small Business Life Cycle, by Charlie Gilkey

Tara Gentile

My Love For You.

Meighan O’Toole

Productive Flourishing
Productive Flourishing
Productive Flourishing (formerly the Creative Giant Show) explores how to do the work that matters to become your best self in the world. Host Charlie Gilkey and occasional co-host Angela Wheeler take listeners on a deep dive into the lives of leaders, changemakers, creatives, and entrepreneurs who are thriving in life and business by doing work that matters. Listen in to see how they cultivate meaning, success, and happiness as well as their approach to productivity, business, health, and the challenges (yes, even the deep, dark ones) that show up in their lives.