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CYOP #91 - Doing One Thing Well + Getting Out of Your Own Way with Tina Essmaker of The Great Discontent

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CYOP #91 - Doing One Thing Well + Getting Out of Your Own Way with Tina Essmaker of The Great Discontent

Tina Essmaker of The Great Discontent // creatingyourownpath.com

CREATING YOUR OWN PATH
EPISODE 91:

Tina Essmaker of
The Great Discontent

 

Listen:

Interview:

Jennifer E. Snyder

 

Photo:

Ryan Essmaker

 

Subscribe:


Today I’m chatting with Tina Essmaker of The Great Discontent. Tina and her husband created the online and print publication because they wanted to talk to others about the highs and lows of creative work.

In the interview, Tina talks about the big changes she had to make in her own life before she could pursue the work that was right for her. She also talks about the importance of getting out of your own way, the realities of using crowdfunding to finance creative work, and why she believes in the power of picking one thing and doing it really well before adding elements to the mix.

Enjoy!


SHOW NOTES:

Follow along with Tina's adventures:

The Great Discontent

TGD podcast

TGD on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter + Pinterest

More about Tina

Tina on Twitter + Instagram

 

Other resources mentioned:

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

Kickstarter for The Great Discontent

Condé NastBuzz Feed

Wythe Hotel

Krista Tippet's interview on TGD

Kendrick LamarAnne LamottFrank Ocean

Ron Finley, The Gangsta Gardener

There's no external magic that's going to change your situation." — Tina Essmaker, The Great Discontent 

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CYOP #90 - Creating Thoughtful Reader Experiences + Mixing Things Up with Chris Brown of Refueled Magazine

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CYOP #90 - Creating Thoughtful Reader Experiences + Mixing Things Up with Chris Brown of Refueled Magazine

CYOP #90 - Creating Thoughtful Reader Experiences + Mixing Things Up with Chris Brown of Refueled Magazine // creatingyourownpath.com

Photo: Jason Lee


I’ve got Chris Brown of Refueled Magazine on today's show to talk about his beautiful quarterly publication, which is all about community, heritage, and discovery. In the interview, we chat about the importance print publications as they fit into the context of truly experiencing the stories and art we consume.

Chris also talks about the balance between doing what fulfills us creatively and focusing solely on what the audience wants or needs, how successfully selling a neighborhood newspaper at a very young age cemented his love for storytelling, and why he has taken Refueled in a slightly different direction this year. 

Enjoy!


LISTEN:


FAVORITE QUOTE:

"I think it's important to wake up in the morning and go to bed at night knowing you're being true to yourself." — Chris Brown, Refueled Magazine

SHOW NOTES:

Other resources mentioned:

Follow along with Chris' adventures:



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CYOP #89 - Merging Creative Work + Business Smarts with Lizzy Okoro of Bunch Magazine

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CYOP #89 - Merging Creative Work + Business Smarts with Lizzy Okoro of Bunch Magazine

Lizzy Okoro of Bunch Magazine is joining me on the show today to kick off a series dedicated to those who create print publications. With Bunch Magazine, Lizzy has built entire company based on the idea that creative endeavors and business acumen are not mutually exclusive. 

In the interview, Lizzy chats about how she came to the realization that her creative passions didn’t have to be relegated to hobbies—that she could actually build a sustainable business around them. She also goes into the details behind the growth of Bunch over the years, how she and her team share stories across multiple mediums and why she’s found it so crucial to be mindful about how she approaches the business.

Enjoy!


LISTEN:

 
 

FAVORITE QUOTE:

"Ask for what you want. Tell people what you're doing. I promise the whole world will open up to you." — Lizzy Okoro, Bunch Magazine // creatingyourownpath.com 

SHOW NOTES:

Other resources mentioned:

Follow along with Lizzy's adventures:


This episode is dedicated to my stepmom, Debi. You can find more information about how my family and I are honoring her memory below:



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Cover to Cover: Off Switch Magazine {+ an interview with Founder and Editor-in-Chief Katie Michels!}

It's not often I find myself walking hurriedly to the mailbox. We usually get our fair share of junk mail and bills. Sometimes we'll get nice cards from friends and family members. On Saturday, however, I was expecting a copy of Off Switch Magazine's fourth volume. So, I walked quickly, heel to toe, to the mailbox.And there it was...

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{All photos in this post are courtesy of Katie Michels.}

I had read online previews of back issues, but I had been dying to get a print copy in-hand so I could absorb all of the stories and interviews at my own pace, away from the screen. I found Off Switch Magazine several months ago through the powers of the internet and when I heard that the publication was using Kickstarter to help move forward with Volume 5, I didn't hesitate to contribute. I have a deep respect for those working in print publications. My papa was a newspaper man and I guess I've always viewed print as something special.

Now, don't get me wrong. I love the internet. I do. However, there is just something about physically turning paper pages midway through an article that gives me a feeling I simply cannot get from turning virtual pages.

After watching the video and pledging what I could, I reached out to Founder and Editor-in-Chief Katie Michels. I knew that I had to try to get a copy of the latest volume and feature it here on the blog. One special order of volume 4, multiple emails, some lovely photos shot by Katie, herself, and here we are!

Let me tell you: the magazine is beautiful. It's not only well-designed, but the content is also thoughtfully curated. Each issue is themed and offers everything from photo collections and book recommendations to interviews and creative non-fiction pieces. Volume 4 focuses on "Lessons Learned" and was a treat to read.

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From one couple's story detailing lessons learned from six weeks on the road to an interview with Seth Avett of The Avett Brothers, it was clear to me why so many others were supporting the Kickstarter campaign. While back issues aren't currently available for regular orders, several levels of contribution in the campaign will get you the entire collection and many include a copy of Volume 5!

Katie was kind enough to answer a few questions about herself, the publication and the Kickstarter campaign. I hope you enjoy her candid interview as much as I did!

1. How would you characterize Off Switch Magazine? What can people expect to find between the front and back covers?

We're relatable. Sure, we do our best to make things look good, but in the end our message — words, photos, and stories — is both human and honest. We want everyone who reads Off Switch to come out of the experience with a smile on their face and a stirring in their heart. A stirring that both inspires and motivates them to live passionately toward their dreams, big or small. At least, that's what we hope you'll find within our pages! If you like, you can simply enjoy the pretty pictures!

2. Tell us about your educational and professional background and how it prepared you for the challenges of the world of magazine publishing.

I am a twenty-three-year-old Midwesterner born and raised in a suburb west of Chicago, Illinois. I hold a bachelor's degree in graphic design, which beyond learning how to put together an editorial layout, didn't completely prepare me for running a quarterly magazine. School can be a great launching pad, but in the end observation and trial and error are the things that have taught me the most with regards to magazine publishing. I'm a strong believer in finding something you love and working hard to see it through. Trust your gut, know your limits and get ready to discover your capabilities!

3. What inspired you to launch Off Switch Magazine? Was it a single moment/incident or a collection of happenings that led you down this path?

Funnily enough, there was a single moment (or day, rather) where I decided to do this: my last day of college. While in school, I had taken a course in magazine layout/editorial design and fell in love with it. That passion for layouts and photos was the starting point. The hard part, I thought, was deciding what the yet-to-be-named magazine would be about. After tossing around idea after idea, I finally realized that the answer had been lying in front of me the whole time. I had kept a blog for the past couple years called Off Switch, a name that originated from a childhood phrase illustrating my inability to keep quiet. Over the years the term "living without an off switch" morphed from being about a chatterbox to living life fully and wholeheartedly. The blog chronicled my own pursuit of a life without an off switch, and now this magazine helps to chronicle not just my journey, but the journeys of my friends around the world. Looking back it's humorous to think I could have named the magazine anything but Off Switch.

4. You've launched a Kickstarter campaign for your next volume. Can you tell us what you hope to accomplish with a little help from readers and supporters?

With our Kickstarter campaign we will be able to give Off Switch Magazine a true shot at being a sustainable and profitable print magazine. Currently we print Off Switch in very small runs with an online-based printer, and have very little room to allow for markup, let alone be able to sell copies to boutiques at a wholesale price. Basically, funds generated through Kickstarter would help us to print the spring volume of Off Switch with a traditional printer at a higher overall price, but a much lower per copy price. As much as our dream is to be a quarterly print magazine, I am fully aware of the realities of life and money. I have plans in place should we not reach our goal. Let's just say things happen for a reason, and sometimes we have to adjust our plans and show a little patience. I'm open to whatever happens as long as I can keep working on Off Switch, whatever format that may be. Plus, it's a special thing knowing I've got the support of so many friends!

5. Tell us what we can look forward to in Volume 5. How will this volume inspire us to live life "without an off switch?"

Oh gosh! This volume is based on the super fun theme of "Come Celebrate." It's our second volume where we really adhere to a theme throughout, and that aspect very much makes each issue of Off Switch feel like complete and unique volumes in a growing series. Besides, who doesn't enjoy a good celebration every now and again? I have a feeling you will all LOVE volume five.

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I have a feeling she's right, don't you? If you'd like to learn more about Off Switch Magazine, please visit their website here. If you're as inspired as I am and would like to help, you can contribute to the Kickstarter campaign here (it wraps up on February 27, so hop to it)!

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