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Ep. 6: Ali Green — Co-Founder and Creative Director at Green Mellen Media: Her Focus on Culture, Leadership Style, Core Values, and More.

Ali Green on Episode 6 of the GoWP Digital Agency Owners podcast
Digital Agency Owners Podcast
Ep. 6: Ali Green — Co-Founder and Creative Director at Green Mellen Media: Her Focus on Culture, Leadership Style, Core Values, and More.

In this episode of the GoWP Digital Agency Owners Podcast, we welcome Ali Green from Green-Mellen Media. Join us to hear the story about her focus on culture, establishing her leadership style, the importance of core values, finding your audience, and much more.

Listen to Episode 6 of GoWP’s Digital Agency Owners Podcast:

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Read the transcript:

[00:00:00] Morayo: Welcome everyone to the GoWP, digital agency owners podcast, where we speak with members of our WordPress community to uncover the secrets of their businesses and their life success. 

[00:00:19] Joanne: Hi, everyone. I’m Joanne. And before we begin, I would like to see a few words about GoWP in case anyone listening isn’t fully familiar with us yet I GoWP. We create happiness for digital agencies and help them become more profitable. Whether it’s joining in our incredible valuable weekly. Our calls, or if you’re looking to grow your team with a developer, a copywriter, a designer, or a virtual assistant, we’ve got you covered.

[00:00:49] Joanne: We also have services like case studies, blogging, website, maintenance, content edit page builds that you could completely outsource to our team.[00:01:00] 

[00:01:00] Morayo: Today we have Ali Green who is joining us from Atlanta, Georgia. In 2009. Ali co founded Green-Mellen. A digital marketing agency with Mickey Mellen, who is a previous podcast guest of ours. And he’s also a long time friend of GoWP. Green-Mellen specializes in branding, website, design, and development, WordPress support, digital marketing, as well as growth and measurement analysis.

[00:01:25] Morayo: So, so nice to have you here today, Ali. 

[00:01:28] Ali: Thank you. Thank you. I’m delighted to be here. I’m happy to join the GoWP family as Mickey so often. Does. 

[00:01:36] Morayo: Well, we are certainly, we’re certainly, you know, just ecstatic to have to have you represented here today. And I first off want to talk a moment, talk for a moment about your backgrounds. I know that you all are in Atlanta now, but is that your home state or are you from elsewhere?

[00:01:54] Ali: I have been here for the majority of my life. And the other [00:02:00] states that I’ve lived in have been so infrequent or so I was there, so. Little bit of time. We I was originally born in Connecticut actually, and I lived there for a whole nine months and moved down to Atlanta from there.

[00:02:14] Ali: And I’ve spent the majority of my life here floated off to Auburn, Alabama for a few years and actually. A year in south Florida, that was kind of a fluke and came right back up to Marietta. So I’ve established my roots here, which is really a valuable, a valuable thing when owning a business is all of the networks and connections that you have in your town.

[00:02:36] Ali: So my family’s here and it’s it’s home. 

[00:02:41] Morayo: And I can’t promise, but the reason why I asked that question was because I knew that you were a fellow Southern girl, and I might, I’m known to work that in sometimes the comments. So it just, I wanted to verify that before 

[00:02:54] Ali: Where is home for you?

[00:02:57] Morayo: Well, home for me is just outside of [00:03:00] Charlotte, North Carolina, and similar to you. I’m I was actually born in Delaware. So I guess technically I’m a Yankee proud Yankee, but we moved south. My dad’s job moved us to the self when I was about six. So it’s kind of home 

[00:03:12] Ali: We are so very similar. Yes. I have to claim my Yankee roots as well. My, my mom’s actually from Delaware, so yes 

[00:03:20] Morayo: You know, D Delaware’s such a small state. I would not be surprised if our family somehow know each other because it’s everybody knows everybody 

[00:03:27] Ali: That is a a hundred percent. Yes, I have to think. Oh, well, w Wilmington, right? Let me turn. Delaware’s where she’s from. 

[00:03:33] Morayo: That’s where my family is from. That’s amazing. 

[00:03:36] Ali: is hilarious. They she’s, my mom’s actually going up for a two week get away with her, with her sister next month to just relive their, their childhood together 

[00:03:46] Morayo: Well, tell them, tell them I said, Hey, because my aunts will probably be around there too. No, that’s so we’ll have to talk offline. Yeah. They my grandmother has a park right in the right, not in downtown Wilmington, but it’s in near the heart of London and it’s named after her, [00:04:00] the Helen Chambers park.

[00:04:01] Morayo: They probably, they might know it. That’s that’s me, grandma. 

[00:04:04] Ali: What a small world. That’s really fun. Okay. 

[00:04:07] Morayo: Yeah, Very Yeah. we’ll talk offline. Absolutely. So the first shifting to business although a lot of business occurs in Delaware partnerships, that was a topic of discussion when we had Mickey on the podcast he, during that conversation, we acknowledged that he was the first of our guests who worked with the business partner.

[00:04:24] Morayo: We, we asked him about working. And partnership dynamics and what drew him to you. So I think it’s only fair that we pose that same question to you. So was your partnership with Mickey deciding to go into partnership with him? Was it a calculated metric based decision or was it a more of a personal connection and, and gut feeling about going. 

[00:04:47] Ali: I wish I could say that more of my my journey has been calculated, but I think for anybody in life so much of it is driven by being in the right place at the right time. Right. And Mickey and I worked together at [00:05:00] our, my first job out of college and he managed websites and I did graphic design.

[00:05:06] Ali: I went out on my own to do my own freelance things. And I thought that would be my, my foreseeable futures freelance. It gives you flexibility. You know, when it’s time to, to raise a family, you can kind of ebb and flow scale. And but I needed help. I needed Mickey to help build some websites that I designed.

[00:05:25] Ali: And neither of us had ever run a business before in our own. So we leaned on each other for a lot of advice, a lot of insight, a lot of therapy sessions and. It just, you know, it worked out right, right. Timing. We were doing, we were almost splitting projects down the middle for a, for a good year.

[00:05:43] Ali: And at some point we just said, you know what, we should just put everything into one pot and split it in half. So it was, it was, I like to say. We created an accidental agency out of that partnership. And it’s been 30, nearly 13 years [00:06:00] and we’ve, we’ve never fought. We’ve only if we ever have a disagreement, it is easily resolved because.

[00:06:08] Ali: I kind of have my perspective from a creative design lane and he stays in his lane with more data analytics and, and development. And we, we know what decisions each of us own. So it’s worked out really.

[00:06:22] Morayo: That’s that’s marvelous. And that’s a great lead into where I was going to go with this question, but you really. have already addressed it. I w one area that I wanted to approach with you. I guess a word of advice or warning for other entrepreneurs who are out there. And my, my own experience I, I wouldn’t call this a company, but a friend and I, he and I, we started the theater collective together and we were good friends and knew each other really well, artistically.

[00:06:49] Morayo: And the division of labor fell into. Naturally for us. And so what I was going to w what I plan to ask you, you really, again, I’ve already addressed [00:07:00] for others out there who may be in a similar situation where they have friends or professional connections, and they are trying to decide you know, do we forge a professional partnership or do, do we remain solo businesses?

[00:07:13] Morayo: You’ve already spoken to it, but maybe to go deeper, what, how can. Two parties have that conversation amicably about, you know, we, we have a good, we have a good working relationship, but we have a good personal relationship. How, how, what tests or what considerations should they give before they make that huge step into going into business together? 

[00:07:35] Ali: Well, it’s interesting that your example is something that you obviously are passionate about. I mean, you wouldn’t do a theater collective. Or any kind of business around theater, if that wasn’t your passion and maybe your hobby. So I think there’s two different reasons that you can go into business.

[00:07:50] Ali: One is, it’s a hobby that you are turning into a business and it’s what you love and you do it well and you enjoy it. Or you could go into business because, well, you want [00:08:00] to be a business owner and you want to grow a business and you have an aggressive entrepreneurial spirit. So a lot of agency owners that I know sometimes.

[00:08:08] Ali: I don’t really care about the context of the business. They just want to create a business and grow a business. And then there’s, Mickey’s in my scenario and your scenario where we loved doing this type of work, and we stumbled our way into a, a business that we know we enjoy doing anyway. So I would say for those that are starting out or growing a business, It’s easy to create a business around what you love to do.

[00:08:36] Ali: It’s much harder to scale it. It’s much harder to ultimately make the decision to remove yourself maybe from what you love doing and turn it into something that you now manage. So. My advice or word of caution would be to learn about yourself first. It’s it’s learn what you’re good at. Learn your natural gifts, your superpowers, and [00:09:00] figure out how that scales with your business as your business is going to grow.

[00:09:03] Ali: You may not always be the designer sitting behind the computer, working on something. You may not always be the star of the show. You might end up behind the. Drawing the curtain doing the lights, you know, there’s, there’s so many different, different roles that a business has to accommodate. So Mickey and I started designing and developing.

[00:09:21] Ali: And now I’m very much not a part of that world and I’m actually happier as a result watching what I’ve orchestrated and put together. Work in harmony. And it’s so neat to see my team perform better than I could have ever performed on my own. In order to create a team that can work and perform better than I could ever do on my own.

[00:09:43] Ali: You have to have, we didn’t have the foresight into it. We thought it would just be the Mickey and Allianz show forever. But What I’ve learned now is having an, what we call an accountability chart. And if you’ve ever read into the EOS system the book is Traction. You’ll learn about [00:10:00] an accountability chart and plotting out the roles that you know, you want, you want to have on your team some day, and you don’t have to have names.

[00:10:09] Ali: You just have to have seats at the time. And in order to do what I love my hobby, my, you know what, I’m building a business around, what seats do I have to have at the table and work to fill them in a way that makes sense. So a partnership is, is wonderful and, but it’s not where it ends either. Mickey and I work hand in hand together, but I also work hand in hand with, you know, all eight of us or all seven of the other team members.

[00:10:32] Ali: And each of them feel such a crucial role in this company. So planning. For that future growth. Even if you’re starting out just you or just you and a partner and, and documenting along the way, how do I do this service? How do I provide the skill? How do I, what is my process? If I could’ve looked back.

[00:10:56] Ali: And drafted processes at the very beginning [00:11:00] and had something to fall back on and in place as I grew, it would have been a much smoother ride. So processes people and passions, I think would be my three piece. 

[00:11:13] Morayo: I want to give you a standing over for that response. I, 

[00:11:16] Ali: Would you put me as a lead role in your.

[00:11:19] Morayo: I think I’m, I think I would audition for it to. But 

[00:11:23] Ali: I like the competitive nature there. That’s good. 

[00:11:25] Morayo: that, that was you. You mentioned trash attraction. Mickey did mention that book in EOS when he was here, but, Oh, my gosh, what you just said, I hope that you also are planning your own book because that 

[00:11:36] Ali: going to have to write that down. Cause I made that up as I went. So what did I say? Passionate 

[00:11:41] Morayo: Well, we’ll send you, we’ll, we’ll edit for you and we’ll send it back to you. 

[00:11:44] Ali: Thank you. That’s great.

[00:11:47] Joanne: When you’re starting a business and obviously finding your niche is so important and defining your target audience is definitely. The one of the number one, [00:12:00] and things to keep in mind, because if you’re building something that nobody needs or wants, or it doesn’t like fix a problem for anyone that can be, that’s going to make your road ahead, that all, all the more bumpier.

[00:12:13] Joanne: Right. So. Last year, you and Mickey co presented a very awesome webinar for us, that focused on the important KPIs and metrics every agency owner should be watching. And one of the areas you addressed was financial health and account segmentation. 

[00:12:31] Joanne: And today we’d like to do a little visit back to this segmentation again, but in a broader digital marketing sense. So for those who may not know, segmentation is related to engagement with your target audience. In your Green-Mellen promotional videos, you advise your audience to be intentional with content for their audience, to be intentional with their goals and sequences.

[00:12:59] Joanne: [00:13:00] So it was a long walk, but here I am with the question, let’s explore a little bit, but first let’s start with your, understanding of your audience. So why is clarity about having a target audience and buyer personas so crucial.

[00:13:19] Ali: Hm. Yes. Such a good question and something that we over time have been able to adopt into our processes. So tightly your ideal. Clients. I like to say, so buyer personas are kind of big words and target audience, you know, we throw around, but who is it that you want to do business with?

[00:13:38] Ali: What would make you happy? You know, do you want to do business with a, a fortune 500 company, or do you want to do business with a local business, a local company, a small small agency, or excuse me, a small company. Your ideal customer really gives you insight into what their struggles are, what their challenges are in their own [00:14:00] businesses.

[00:14:00] Ali: When you understand those challenges, now you can relate to them and have conversations with them that they feel heard, they feel understood. So if you are a social media agency, you can, you can tell your clients or prospective clients that I understand. It’s so hard to. Manage your business and stay present on social media.

[00:14:24] Ali: That’s asking too much of one person. So understand how you feel. Now, let us help you solve that problem that you’re faced with. And you can have a proposition, you know, one call a month and we will fill a social calendar for you and manage your social account on your behalf. And that, that relief that you’re able to give your target ideal customer.

[00:14:49] Ali: Should be enough to, to instill some trust in, in your, in the fact that they can now breathe a little bit easier and offload some [00:15:00] of their work and without understanding those challenges and understanding your target audience, you’re not going to hit the mark when you’re having those conversations with them.

[00:15:09] Ali: Not only define who you want to do business with, but give them, give them a name, give them you put them in a life state, give them kids and a spouse. And, and that way, when you’re talking about who you’re marketing to, you can picture who they are. Notes here, the the the of establishing your message on the forefront will inform the rest of your marketing for all other channels. And it’ll help you figure out where best to be.

[00:15:43] Joanne: Something that you also mentioned was effectively managing and executing content for these audiences. Could you share what are some common mistakes that you learned or actions that agency owners take that may derail their execution?[00:16:00] 

[00:16:00] Ali: A great question, because when you do, when you define this target audience and how to speak to them, it’s also important to define. What you are not, or who, what you don’t want to do. I’m trying to be everything to everyone is, is going to lead you astray. Over the past 12 years of doing what we do, we’ve learned very much what we don’t do and who we don’t want to work with.

[00:16:27] Ali: And it helps us say No to certain situations that are going to lead us to misalignment. And one lens you can do this through is looking at your ideal customer and not offering services to them that they wouldn’t find valuable. So if you define that who you want to work with, you can then define what services you should provide to your customers.

[00:16:47] Ali: And, and if your ideal customer. Is a service-based company, local service-based company, then you can better define, well, I don’t need [00:17:00] to provide e-commerce services and I don’t need to provide, you know, you can, you can really narrow your service offering so that you’re doing something that better serves who you want to serve it.

[00:17:11] Ali: It took us some time to figure that one out. We were trying, we were the yes. Men for a long time. Yes, we’ll do that. Yes, we’ll do that. And it felt really good to say, you know, If this scenario, if this, if this opportunity to present, it presents itself to us, we can, we now have permission to say no.

[00:17:27] Ali: Giving yourself permission to say no is a really powerful tool.

[00:17:32] Joanne: And no as a full sentence as well.

[00:17:35] Ali: This is a very good 

[00:17:36] Ali: point. Yes. 

[00:17:37] Joanne: Yeah. And has there been a scenario where in the past that has happened where a agency owners, a little bit thrilled and execution, has there been a scenario where the Green-Mellen team has helped guide them back to where they quote unquote need to be or, or want to be.

[00:17:58] Ali: I would say less an [00:18:00] agency owner, but so our clients, so, you know, we’re working with a client that is trying to be everything to everybody, or has a very misaligned marketing strategy. And what we always start with with any client that we work with is. What we call messaging strategy and messaging strategy is at the high level defining that ideal customer.

[00:18:22] Ali: But digging into the challenges and solution statements and all of that informs the marketing plan. So it’s so easy to just start doing and just start diving into what you think feels right and saying yes to everything, but backing up and looking at your marketing strategy, your business plan, your.

[00:18:40] Ali: Service model your accountability chart of who you want to have on your team. You know, don’t try to grow beyond what you have already established because what’s your. What’s your future state looks like as soon as you start derailing, you know, going off of your path, then you’re going to find yourself in a situation where you’re, you’re just kind of grasping at straws.[00:19:00] 

[00:19:00] Ali: So my, my advice would be stay true to your, your messaging and your brand at a core and your core values and your core values. I think you need to keep in mind, should. The characteristics of your own personality, it should be a natural extension of yourself. And if you can think of your brand as a, as a person and you want it to make your brand, a likable person, what personality would you give it?

[00:19:25] Ali: What characteristics would you give it? And that’s what your core values should be. They should be something that you truly believe at your core, your ethics and our core values, which Mickey and I have created this. They’re an extension of who I am and who Mickey is. So some of them are more Mickey and some of them are more me.

[00:19:44] Ali: And I think that’s what a partnership really brings. 

[00:19:46] Joanne: Yeah. I love that because core values, not only offer so much in terms of who you are as a brand, who you are as company. But it also [00:20:00] something that I’ve learned is that it offers a framework for decision-making when you’re, if you find yourself in a tough spot and you don’t really know you find yourself challenged or, or, or, or anything, going back to your core values, whether it’s.

[00:20:20] Joanne: If the team has a core values, or if a brand has core values, going back to those core values, it’s like a moral code. I see it as a moral code on how to make decisions. Something that we do here at Go WP is one of our core values is. Keep it simple or simple as best. and for me, that’s just So powerful because whenever I find myself that I am either deep in the weeds or just like drowning in a glass of water, because I’ve made a project a little bit more complicated than what it needs to be.

[00:20:55] Joanne: I just go back to that core value. Simple as best. And I’m [00:21:00] like, okay, wait, no, I actually need to reel it in. So I, I really appreciate and value that, that outlook on the whole core values conversation.

[00:21:10] Ali: there’s such good reminders of staying true to yourself. 

[00:21:13] Ali: I completely agree. 

[00:21:15] Joanne: Absolutely.

[00:21:16] Morayo: yeah, I love that. And always having that with core values, I think helps to reduce work stress. I wish when, when creating some of these questions, I wish I kept it simple. So sorry if somebody long lead-ins to these questions when we spoke to Mickey last and I promise not every question we’ll ask is preface with when 

[00:21:37] Ali: No, he’s your, he’s the leading man, you know, he’s definitely paved the way so. 

[00:21:42] Morayo: Well, and plus he did email us and said, please preface mean every question that you post to Ali to be fair for 

[00:21:48] Ali: Oh, sure. I believe that completely. Yes. 

[00:21:50] Morayo: No, but, when we did speak with him we did touch topic of the pandemic and impact of your team and, and how you as a company shifted what you [00:22:00] did. One of the things that he shared that I, that I found really impressive was that you in the world, the world was worried.

[00:22:08] Morayo: People were losing their jobs left and right there was tension and certainty, but one of So much and well warranted fear. But one of the things that the both of you did, which I thought was really wise is that you just remain transparent with your team. And since you two, both. Regularly check in with your metrics and you have your scorecard.

[00:22:30] Morayo: You share that with your team. So to show that we are in good shape and that you’re taking the steps to, to make sure you, you remain healthy. So when it comes to strength and health of a company’s brand healthy communication is part of that it’s vital. I heard you say that messaging is a company’s spoken brand. It’s how you talk about your company and your services. So how do you teach, train or lead your team members to speak about the Green – Mellen brand?

[00:22:58] Morayo: In client communications, [00:23:00] social media, et cetera. Like how, how, how do you all get that? How do you both get everyone on the same 

[00:23:06] Ali: On the same page. Yeah. It’s, it’s certainly not easy, but it’s helpful that we have a small team and a small team that is so collaborative and believes in the same, in the same things. But we treat Green – Mellen. We are a client as well. So Green – Mellen is, is a client of ours and our team. Even when we do our project review meetings, every Tuesday we go through every single client and Green – Mellen is one of them.

[00:23:30] Ali: Sometimes we say, okay, we don’t have enough time to dig into Green – Mellen today. So move on to the next client, but we treat them as if they, they get equal real estate. And w w and as a result, we have less. Our brand through the same process that we lead our customer and client brands through. So we first, so any, any one of our clients goes through messaging as the very first filter into working with us in Green – Mellen, we have a various hellish messaging strategy as well.

[00:23:59] Ali: So [00:24:00] our, our marketing coordinator, our marketing manager those are in our project manager are really our three most. Client facing roles. And they pull directly from our messaging for so much of the content. I mean our social content, we have a feature where we do feature a core value and how we demonstrated that core value.

[00:24:22] Ali: And then with all of our. Blog posts. We go through and expand on our core values and we have a blog post for each one. So we stay true to those internal messages that we use so that people can see outwardly who we truly are. And I think through the practice of writing and through the practice of crafting that content, naturally, our team is going to learn and, and become more and more.

[00:24:45] Ali: Well-versed in how we speak about ourselves. 

[00:24:47] Morayo: Yeah. You know, one of, one of the follow-ups that I was going to ask. You know, how does an agency that has not incorporated this before? How do they incorporate it and maintain it? But I, I [00:25:00] love that that action that you all have a pre in Green – Mellen as a client and reviewing it along with other clients.

[00:25:06] Ali: it, that’s it. We, yeah, we definitely don’t want to be the case of a cobbler in his shoes. You know, we want to make sure that we give ourselves and we’ve been guilty of that for years and years where we had a website that stayed the stale for far too long, but. We’re actively working on others, but to get a team that is truly optimized and works well and works fast and works in harmony together.

[00:25:27] Ali: I think it’s a really special thing to find, and I know we’re there with our team and when you have that, you can move quicker and your own brand doesn’t feel as daunting. It feels more exciting. We recently just started doing quarterly photo-shoots with the teams so that we have fresh content for social media and for our website, we can begin update images on our website and those little things that, that. make a difference from the outward brand perspective.

[00:25:54] Ali: Inward. It’s also a time that it’s fun to do a photo shoot together and we spend time [00:26:00] together once. So our team has always been central centrally located to Atlanta Marietta area, but the pandemic did allow us to hire a few remote employees. One of which was with us locally for years, and she moved back home to Michigan.

[00:26:18] Ali: And so now she can be close to family. We probably never would have given that the AOK without experiencing the two years that we experienced of distributed work and it, it, we never imagined it would have worked as well as that. But now once a quarter, everybody comes together and at some more special time and we call it, we called it Green Day.

[00:26:39] Ali: When everybody was local, we spent one day and now it’s Green Days because they come in for an extended period and we try to make that time special. We and we can kind of talk about what we do there. I think as we, as we get a little bit deeper into some of the questions, but that is our time to really work on our brand and [00:27:00] spend time on Green – Mellen. And it’s so important to have that focus time Green – Mellen comes out as a better company because of it.

[00:27:09] Morayo: And you, and you have great music to, to play in the background for all of these Green Days. So. 

[00:27:14] Ali: Exactly. Exactly. Very well-branded hopefully no copyright infringement things. They’re totally internal branding. 

[00:27:22] Morayo: I love it.

[00:27:23] Joanne: Well, also something so important is that a big part of brands are its people because people are the ones who are doing the work. They’re the ones who are showing up. They’re the face of, in many, in many ways, they’re the, in many companies, the people are the face of the brand and it’s just so important to Elevate elevate the people who you’re working with.

[00:27:50] Joanne: And especially if you’re a leader as a leader, it’s so important for morale and to give that feeling of belonging [00:28:00] and it’s so it’s so important to find that. That good balance. Right. You know, because if someone, you know, if someone comes across a review of, of you and your job performance, they’ll often find a reference to your ability to bring two worlds together, whether it’s bringing together creative ideas with technical requirements, or as one of your clients has written, “Ali is a creative genius who is able to generate a message that is both concise and eye catching.”

[00:28:30] Joanne: Okay.

[00:28:30] Ali: Thank you client. I forget who wrote that? 

[00:28:33] Joanne: But also it’s so fascinating because your educational background includes the world famous SCAD. So Savannah College of Art and Design and a Business Degree from Auburn. 

[00:28:44] Ali: Hm. 

[00:28:45] Joanne: so I feel like your brain is like completely lit up, you know, let your left side and your right side are definitely balanced and working.

[00:28:52] Joanne: So during your life and career, how are you able to bring the best of both sides of yourself to [00:29:00] work? Or is it simply a matter of organization and cataloging or juggling as some people call it? Or is it something else?

[00:29:09] Ali: I have so many different ways. I can answer that question from the left brain right. Brain piece. I think that was a journey of finding, finding my superpower, finding what I’m truly good at and design I’m so grateful that I spent time learning design, because it did land me in the industry that I’m in.

[00:29:26] Ali: That’s so fun and has such a great such a great casual, you know, industry. It’s just a really great place with a lot of great people. The where I finally settled was was the ability to orchestrate a team and create harmony and a team and create happiness and, and bring everybody together. So I love that.

[00:29:46] Ali: I’m no longer doing the actual. Design I’m more over the team and making sure that everybody is enjoying what they do and, and we have a really good healthy culture. The, the idea of [00:30:00] balancing life is a whole nother can of worms that I have that has come into my journey. I, I, it really began because I was all in for 10 years, eight years Green – Mellen was my baby.

[00:30:15] Ali: This was what I put all of my time and work into to the point where I would go on vacations and my friends would say, Ali, do you ever unplug, well, you don’t understand. I own a business. This is, this is my life. Well throw kids into the mix and a family. And when I had. First child, my daughter, who’s now five, almost six.

[00:30:39] Ali: She really threw me for a loop because all I ever did in life was manage a company and this was my baby. And now I have to give a hundred percent in two different places. And this is when I became really, I was, I hit a brick wall and I, in my mind, I had the. And I am so [00:31:00] grateful for the influence of business coaches and mentors that I’ve had, that I was able to spend time with, who gave me permission to be creative with my days and creative with my decisions.

[00:31:12] Ali: And I was able to sit down with Mickey and. Decide that I’m going to go part-time in my own company. And that’ll give me the space that I need to balance my home life, my family life, and my work life. And it has been the best decision. Ever made and having a partners. The only thing that really made that possible, because I have somebody I can rely on who is still a hundred percent in the business and I call what, I’ve, what I’ve kind of come to live.

[00:31:44] Ali: My life by is called. I call it scheduled variety. So. I used to live in the sense where I have to be on from eight to five. And this is, this is my day. And if I step away from the computer away from my phone, then That’s you know, I’m doing myself a disservice [00:32:00] and now you should see my calendar. It each and every day is interjected with something personal and something professional and something for me and something.

[00:32:09] Ali: I mean, there is no day from nine to five. That is that isn’t somehow. Offering me some variety. And at the end of every day, I feel so accomplished professionally and personally. And I think that is. What we all, as, as humans look for in a day is to feel that level of accomplishment. And we weren’t built to sit at a computer for eight, nine hours a day.

[00:32:32] Ali: So it gives us more clarity. It gives us more ability to be creative. And I guess I, I think COVID and the pandemic has. A lot of people there. I’m, I’m thrilled that I had kind of jumped on that even earlier with the ability to have flexibility in my, in my days, the one thing that I’ve been cognizant of is allowing my team to have that same flexibility, because I can’t be, I can’t be leading a company and, you [00:33:00] know, checking out for school, you know, mystery reader or going on a walk and not allowing my team to do the same. So I always encourage my team to also schedule their days with such variety. And I think we’re all happier for it.

[00:33:16] Morayo: That’s I’m sure they are. And that’s that’s great that you lead by doing and encouraging your teammates to do the same. And that’s certainly. Aligned with our mission. I GoWP to create happiness and I concur. We weren’t made to sit at the desk for multiple hours a day,

[00:33:32] Joanne: No, sir.

[00:33:34] Ali: You’re right.

[00:33:34] Ali: That tells you that. 

[00:33:35] Morayo: Yeah. It tells me every day, girl, you need to get up. need to stretch me. You need to stop, stop playing like you’re 20. Cause 

[00:33:41] Ali: Yeah. You need some hip openers. 

[00:33:43] Morayo: need some hip openers. Yes. And I will. I love your recommendation, your practice of your creative scheduling. You know, I try to be cognizant of that, but then there is still a tinge of guilt, [00:34:00] you know?

[00:34:00] Morayo: Oh, if I it’s, you know, it’s beautiful outside. If I take this hour to go walking around the neighborhood, shouldn’t. I shouldn’t, I, you know, take lunch at homes in the kitchen and I can hear somebody calls me. That’s ridiculous. And that’s just, 

[00:34:12] Ali: It does not go away. I can tell you now I’ve been, I’ve been. For nearly five years and that guilt does not go away. You just have to fight through it and know that what you’re doing is best for yourself and, and, and maybe stay plugged in. I keep my earbuds in while I walk in case something pops in and I can, I can dictate back to Siri pretty easily.

[00:34:32] Morayo: I love that. I have everyone listening has Ali’s permission to it’s okay. To check out, you know, it’s for it’s for your good.

[00:34:39] Ali: and even silence is good. You’re going to come up with some of the best ideas in silence. 

[00:34:43] Morayo: I have found that there and that yes, there have been challenges, like work challenges that I couldn’t quite figure out. And it’s, it’s almost, it seems quote, unquote magical. I just going out for a light jog or a walk and there it is. There’s a solution, 

[00:34:59] Ali: different [00:35:00] perspective, different shapes, different colors, different, different inputs. Yup. 

[00:35:03] Joanne: The different stimuli.

[00:35:05] Morayo: Absolutely.

[00:35:07] Ali: And as a designer, I experienced the same thing when I was designing more. More often some of my best ideas would come when I was sitting at dinner or at a concert. And you’re like, oh, this is the color or the shape or the, Yeah. You just need different 

[00:35:22] Morayo: The sub the subconscious takes over and, and there it is. There it is.

[00:35:27] Joanne: Also giving your mind a break it’s it’s it’s truly a lot of people say, oh, why do. Has come to me when I’m in the shower, when I’m about to go to bed, because you’re finally giving yourself a break to just allow thoughts to roam and happen in your brain without entertaining every single one.

[00:35:47] Joanne: So yes, take the break, go on a walk and. Yeah, give yourself it’s it’s we, we just, we’re so hard on ourselves, so, but sometimes, most times, and just want to remind everyone, [00:36:00] treating ourselves with a little bit of compassion. You know, we, we were just talking before. Recording on how we’re, we’re our harshest critics.

[00:36:10] Joanne: And we tend to be so tough on ourselves and treat ourselves with contentment’s when you know, mistakes are just not mistakes, but, you know, mistakes, guilt, regret, all of these things are part of the human condition. You know, we, we gotta be a little bit. Yeah. Anyway, I digress.

[00:36:29] Morayo: now. No pastor Joanne. I loved it. I loved it. Speak on it, 

[00:36:33] Ali: Amen. 

[00:36:34] Morayo: Amen. Ali. Thank you so much. I, and I think I can speak for Joanne too. Like this has been a really wonderful conversation and inspiring and informational. I love it. It’s so valuable. 

[00:36:47] Ali: Oh, Thank you. guys so much. I completely agree. I love sharing our story and I mean, this was very culture focused and a lot of what I do with culture focus that I wear a lot of different hats. So it’s fun to put that hat on for the day. [00:37:00] 

[00:37:00] Morayo: Yeah. Well, we’re glad that you know, that we could be the center where you could wear that different hat that have dashers that one. Isn’t that what it’s called? Anyway, I digress. If, if you would like to read more about Green – Mellen please visit their website@greenmelon.com. Green is spelled like the color and then Mellen is M E L L E N dot com.

[00:37:21] Joanne: Yes, not the fruit again. Ali, thank you so much for joining us today and thank you so much, everyone who has listened, or if you’re on, over on YouTube, listening over on YouTube, don’t forget to like, and subscribe. And yeah, sign up to our newsletter. It’s on our landing page on our website, gowp.com/podcast, and you can get this episode and other episodes of the GoWP, digital agency owners, podcasts, wherever you get your podcasts.

[00:37:51] Joanne: As a quick reminder. At GoWP, we want to help you become more profitable, whether it’s by listening to [00:38:00] our podcasts and getting amazing insights, like the ones that Ali has offered or joining our weekly happiness hours, doing informative webinars, hosted by our friends, like Mickey and Ali or friends of the WordPress community.

[00:38:15] Joanne: And of course, by growing your team with our skilled developers, copywriters, designers or virtual assistants, Go to gowp.com to read more about our services and to schedule a call. Thank you so much.

Books Mentioned:

Traction by Gino Wickman

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