095: How Embracing the Mess Propelled a Career with Jillian Tohber Leslie from MiloTree


by Raquel on Apr 25, 2017 in Podcast

How she started Catch My Party, what problem MiloTree solved for their business, and using popups on mobile.

Welcome to episode 95 of the Food Blogger Pro podcast! In this episode, Bjork interviews Jillian Tohber Leslie from Catch My Party and MiloTree about making successful career changes by embracing the mess.

Last week, Bjork talked about 5 techniques you can use to keep going when you’re feeling overwhelmed with your blog. To go back and listen to that episode, click here.

Embrace The Mess

As with life, business isn’t always pretty. No matter how put-together someone’s business looks from the outside, you can bet your bottom dollar that they’ve had their own fair share of messy affairs to deal with in their business.

Jillian Tohber Leslie learned early in her career that the key to moving forward was embracing this messiness and using it to help propel her career and her businesses forward. She and her husband started Catch My Party, the largest party ideas site on the web, and went on to found MiloTree, a social and email growth popup that’s perfect for bloggers.

How she started Catch My Party, what problem MiloTree solved for their business, and using popups on mobile.

In this episode, Jillian shares:

  • How she successfully changed careers a number of times
  • Why messiness in life and business is okay
  • What her first drafts look like
  • Why she left Hollywood to start Catch My Party
  • How Catch My Party’s users defined their business
  • How she solves tech problems
  • How they monetize Catch My Party
  • Why they built MiloTree
  • Whether or not you can use popups on mobile

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Bjork Ostrom: In this episode we’re talking to Jillian Tohber Leslie from CatchMyParty.com about what it was like to write for Disney TV shows the process that she went through in launching her business, CatchMyParty.com, as well as a brand new business that she has. We’re going to be talking about some of the advice, that she has to work within your passion and to push through some of those fears that you have in order to do what you love to do. And the advice that she has after building a site up to millions of followers each month, as well as launching a brand new software tool.

Hi everybody. Bjork Ostrom here coming to you from Minneapolis, Minnesota. I hope that you’re doing well and I am excited to share this interview with you. We’re talking to Jillian Tohber Leslie today. She has a website called CatchMyParty.com, and she and her husband also just launched a site called MiloTree.com. And we’re going to be digging into the details of that, but also talking about her history as a screenwriter, and why she got into that, how she got into that, and how that can apply to building a business online? As often is the case, our history can impact our future desires. In Jillian’s case, she wanted to be a writer for a while, but then realized, that wasn’t necessarily the career path that she wanted to take. So she shifted, adjusted and went into a new career path, and built a business online. We’re also going to be talking about her husband knew, but not only knew, he was kind of the right hand man for Tom. Remember Tom from MySpace? Kind of a fun story there. Let’s go ahead and jump into the interview with Jillian Tohber Leslie from CatchMyParty.com. Jillian, welcome to the podcast.

Jillian Tohber Leslie: Hi. It’s great to be here.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. excited to chat with you. So like any of these interviews we do kind of a quick check in at the beginning and talk about the general kind of path that we’ll take for the conversation and even just in that little snippet of time, we covered some things that I’m really excited to bring up. I think we should just dive in and go for it. What do you say?

Jillian Tohber Leslie: Absolutely.

Bjork Ostrom: Okay. One of the things that I did in researching the podcast was … Or that I’d like to do is look at somebody’s LinkedIn profile, and just see if they have information about kind of their history and the different jobs they’ve done. Mine is a terrible … I have a terrible LinkedIn profile, because mine says like Internet Marketing Ninja in training, which is so nondescript, and it doesn’t do any, justice for any of the career moves that we’ve made. But you have a pretty detailed one, and you outlined some of the different careers that you’ve had. And one of them that was so interesting to me. It is the career of a screenwriter. I’m so interested to hear about this in even before that … It’s interesting, because you didn’t start out with screenwriting. You had your MBA. So I’m so curious to hear your story going back a little bit and I would love you to talk about that a little bit as we jump in here.

Jillian Tohber Leslie: Sure. Okay. So I would have to start with … After college, I moved down to LA and I got a business job and my whole goal after graduating from college was to be able to support myself. So I got to this cool … What I thought was a really cool business job at Disney, and I was like, oh my God I’ve made it and I’m 22. And then I started the job and I hated it.

Bjork Ostrom: What didn’t you like about it and what was the job?

Jillian Tohber Leslie: I was an analyst in their strategic planning department. So it was like, what companies Disney should buy, and it was a pretty high level. We had a lot of exposure, but I just realized, that it was the most uncreative thing I could ever do and I felt like my brain was being rented. From Monday through Friday, all you had to do was put some other smart person in this role and they could do the job and it had nothing to do with me. So it around age 25, I had like a major mid-life crisis and thought, Oh God, what am I going to do? And I thought … I started to look around at people in Hollywood. And I’m always looking at who has the best job and who gets to wear the most casual clothes?

Bjork Ostrom: Right.

Jillian Tohber Leslie: And what I saw was, like the people who were working in movies, those people looked cool and they looked happy.

Bjork Ostrom: And they were wearing casual clothes.

Jillian Tohber Leslie: And they were wearing casual clothes. It was like a badge of honor. So I ended up getting a job working for Beth Midler in her production company at Disney and I was an assistant and that meant I was answering the phone, getting coffee that kind of thing. But the one thing I was able to do, I was able to copy scripts and I was able to go home and read them.

Bjork Ostrom: When you say scripts, for those that are unfamiliar, what kind of scripts?

Jillian Tohber Leslie: Screenplays.

Bjork Ostrom: So for TV shows, for movies, for …?

Jillian Tohber Leslie: Movies. It was typically movies. And then what I would do is I’d go home and I would read them and not only read them but I’m kind of a geek and I would outline them and figure out the story structure and stuff like that, because the writer would come in and have a meeting and all of a sudden, what the writer said everybody listen to him, and the writer … Again remember, I’m always looking for who has the coolest job and it was the writer who had the coolest job. So I was like, Okay this is what I want to do. I want to be a writer. So I took a kind of a segue and I went to business school. I went to Stanford, because I felt like, I don’t know if I can be a writer, and at least if I have this degree, I’m not going to starve, because I was always my fear. I went to business school and the weird part was, I’m the person there going, Hi guys I know you’re into business and that’s super cool, but I’m going to be a writer.

Bjork Ostrom: So you knew at the same time that you were interested in writing, you also went to business school.

Jillian Tohber Leslie: Yes.

Bjork Ostrom: The idea being that you would maybe write on the side and then do business as your main thing or that somehow you’d find an overlap of the two?

Jillian Tohber Leslie: I think it was to get the courage up to go and be a writer. I needed those two years … By the way I loved business school. I loved it. It was kind of fun to go back to school and not have to care so much. And I knew that I’d have this thing in my back pocket. It was like an insurance policy. It was two years really to grow up. Because I feel like, in your 20s-

Bjork Ostrom: Figuring stuff out.

Jillian Tohber Leslie: It’s hard to know, yeah. So, after business school … And I had this job that I had I knew I could go to a consulting firm called McKinsey. If know anything about this … They were so cool, and they said, hey. I said like, I really kind of want to work for you guys, but I want to pursue this writing thing. And they’re like, you know what? Go pursue it, and if it doesn’t work out, come back. So I was like, Okay, you know what I have to go do this. So everybody graduates from business school with their big jobs, lots of money and I’m in my crappy apartment in Los Angeles by myself writing scripts.

Bjork Ostrom: What does that look like? You’re at McKinsey, which is a great job and it’s a well known consulting company, and a lot of people would really strive to get to the point, where they could get into something like McKinsey, a company like McKinsey and then you say I’m going to be a writer. I think a lot of people have that ambition whether … Obviously a lot of people that listen to this podcast would be food and recipes, so they say, maybe I want to work for a magazine or maybe I want to be a photographer or whatever it would be. It seems like you had this idea and then you did it. When you look at the path, the trajectory, it’s like working at McKinsey and maybe you’re getting here and then working at Walt Disney as a staff writer. What did that look like in between making that transition?

Jillian Tohber Leslie: It was hard. It was really hard, but the one thing is that … And again lots of struggles, however I’m the kind of person who, if I say I’m going to do it, I will do it. I’ll do it super messy. It won’t be pretty. My process is never beautiful, but I said I really want to do this and I really want to get good at this. And I knew that it would take like not just writing one script, it was going to take writing multiple scripts. And then this is where I’m kind of strategic. Screenplays are long, but a half hour sitcom is short, in a half hour sitcom you have so many elements that you know, right? So with the way it worked to get into writing for TV was, you wrote what’s called a spec script, where you took an episode of a show that you love, and you wrote your own version of it. And that’s then what would get passed around in Hollywood …

So I picked like show … Like all of a sudden I know the characters, I know the setting. I just have to come up with a couple of elements, like a story. And it felt like a smaller sandbox. I could do this, and scripts are shorter. So I could get through them faster, and what happened was I started learning, and I always say this to people who want to work in Hollywood, which is people like, how do I get an agent? How do I get my stuff shown? And I’m like, everybody is so thirsting for great material. All you have to do is write it and it will get found.

Bjork Ostrom: That’s interesting. I feel like it crosses over into so many different areas where it’s less about the end result and it’s more about the product that gets you there. So I think a lot of people think how do I get a lot of traffic? I think it’s less common to think about how do I produce really good content. I think that’s an interesting crossover. The focus isn’t necessarily on traffic, when we’re talking about blogs and websites. The focus should be on, how do I create something that is super, super awesome and it sounds like that was kind of the strategy that you took for your screenwriting.

Jillian Tohber Leslie: Exactly. Ultimately through weird connections, my scripts ended up getting to people at Disney, and I ended up getting … Disney has been very good to me. I ended up getting into a fellowship at Disney, where I got paid to write and I remember being like oh … My first checking, that wasn’t a lot of money and I was like, I am a paid writer. And that was so reinforcing. I’m going to keep going. I’m going to keep going. So I did and. So I ended up getting staffed on I guess four different shows and having that experience of being in a writer’s room and working with other sitcom writers and learning just trying to soak it all up. And that was cool. And then I decided that I wanted to become what’s called a feature writer, a movie writer. And again I wrote a really bad script, because just because you can write TV, doesn’t necessarily mean you can write features. There’s definitely a learning curve. And then again one of those I at had an agent and a manager and all of those people. So I wrote a script and ultimately it got back to Disney. I ended up getting into another program at Disney, where I was a writer in residence there for two years. And I got to work on a bunch of movies, and I got to write my own movies and then after that, I was a feature writer.

Bjork Ostrom: It’s interesting with your story. One of the things that I’ve heard you said a couple times that I think is important to point out with the screenwriting is that it was messy to begin with and I think one of the things that people often run into as they’re starting their thing, whether that’s a screenwriting or a blog or a new website is they will look at people that are 10 years down the path or five years down the path or even one or two years down the path, and they’ll compare their thing to somebody, who’s further along and get intimidated by that or discouraged by that. But one of the things I appreciate with what you’ve said a couple times, is you’ve been okay with the messy as you’ve gotten into things, and I think that’s so important to point out. Such an important part of your story.

Jillian Tohber Leslie: Yeah. I want to write a book someday about how it’s all just mess.

Bjork Ostrom: Everything.

Jillian Tohber Leslie: It is. Being a parent, it’s the messiest thing you could ever do. It is the most … All these things are so humbling. And by the way, I sound like, oh I’m so good with mess. I’m not good with mess. I struggle with mess as much as everybody else. I’m frustrated with myself. I think, Ah, this is so messy. It will never get to be anything else. It’s funny there’s this writer that I love name, Anne Lamott I don’t know if who she is, and she wrote this beautiful book called Bird by Bird and she wrote this thing that is so true. And I used to feel this way when I was a writer especially, but I still feel it now, which is she write a what she calls a … I’m going to not use the word but like a sh … first draft.

Bjork Ostrom: For sure.

Jillian Tohber Leslie: And I feel like everything in my life is a sh … first draft. And she’s always so afraid that she’s going to write it. Write her first draft that’s awful, and then die in a car crash, and then people are going to go back and read it and go, What the hell happened to her?

Bjork Ostrom: This is for her stamp on the world, yes, the first draft.

Jillian Tohber Leslie: The first draft and I so relate to that, because the first draft is always awful. It’s always embarrassing. It’s always like, what happened? But with the … this is where I think I am good, which is going back and reworking it and reworking it and polishing this tiny little piece and then this other little piece and then lo and behold it starts to kind of … I would think of it like carving a piece of marble. And you’re kind of like chopping off these huge pieces and it doesn’t look like anything, and then you get a little more, and you’re like, well maybe there’s a bust in there. There’s a head in there. And then you start fine-tuning and you get out your special tools.

Bjork Ostrom: And that takes time and energy. It’s not an easy process.

Jillian Tohber Leslie: No. Exactly.

Bjork Ostrom: Yesterday we were doing a live Q&A call. We do this once a month on Food Blogger Pro and somebody asked Lindsay, they said what does it what does your writing process look like? How do you write a post? And this individual said, I just feel like I go back and I do so many revisions on it. Lindsey said almost the exact same thing that you said, where she said I do a really quick first draft and then she said I revise, and I revise, and I revise. And it’s almost like … My dad is a potter. He does ceramics. And it’s like your first draft can kind of be like putting down that clay on the wheel. Like, oh, man that doesn’t look good. But it’s the basis of what you need to then finesse and work into the thing that you want to create.

Jillian Tohber Leslie: Can I just say one thing?

Bjork Ostrom: Yes, please.

Jillian Tohber Leslie: For bloggers and writers out there? I so believe that. And what I believe is that the process that works for me is I sit down and I will give myself maybe let’s say 15 minutes, let’s say to write a blog post and I will set my timer and I will just write.

Bjork Ostrom: Non stop.

Jillian Tohber Leslie: It will say it will have things in it, like this sucks. I don’t know what happened here, but I’m just going to keep going and I will write that and then I will have something. So I know in 10 minutes or 15 minutes, there’ll be something up on the screen and then I can deal with it.

Bjork Ostrom: With something like that, you’re attempting to start and not stop for 15 minutes on a certain subject?

Jillian Tohber Leslie: And it weirdly gets that horrible critic, that sits in my brain. It kind of pushes it out because I’m too busy.

Bjork Ostrom: And then you take that as the kind of clay for your creation process and then you finesse it from there.

Jillian Tohber Leslie: And the weird part is, again, it’s mess it’s horrible, but there will be, this is always so shocking, little teeny gems in there. So I will probably rewrite 96% of it, but there is something in there. There’s like a spirit, that I can feel sometimes, when I’m going fast and I’m not thinking about what I’m doing. I’m kind of in that flow state. And they’ll be like special things, like, I didn’t know that. Well, that was an interesting realization that keeps kind of coming out of my subconscious.

Bjork Ostrom: And then you can take those, and polish those. And those I would assume sometimes become the gems of whatever it is that you’re doing, whether it’s the blog post or in bigger projects, screenwriting or things like that.

Jillian Tohber Leslie: Definitely.

Bjork Ostrom: So one of the things that I try to bring up on the podcast a lot is how important our history as workers or creators or job or whatever it is, that could fit under all those categories, how important that is looking forward in applying that to building an online business or a blog or whatever it is that people are passionate about, and for whatever reason they’re listening this podcast. For us the examples … Lindsay was a teacher. So transitioning that over, she doesn’t have a background in tech, doesn’t have a background in food, but she has a background in teaching and delivering information. She’s really passionate about that communicating with people. For me, I have a background kind of in IT.

I was at a nonprofit, but I was really interested in websites and web design and I got into that. Obviously can apply that moving forward to what we’re doing. For you, it seems like your history in screenwriting and crafting words and content and communicating was able to translate into this blog, that you’d started, this business. I’m super interested to hear you talk about what that transition was like, because I can see … So if I pull up your LinkedIn path, your career path, I can see from your last screenwriter job was with Paramount Pictures in 2008 and then in 2009, that’s when you launched this site called Catch My Party. And I’m curious to know, was that something that you intentionally started and said, I want to create a business out of this. Or what was that transition period like and I’m also interested to hear how you used your skills and abilities from your job before to apply that to this new venture?

Jillian Tohber Leslie: Sure. Okay. I’ll try to impact that. First what happened was my husband at the time … He’s still my husband. At the time my husband was working at MySpace during its heyday …

Bjork Ostrom: Which I’m really interested in. You mentioned that in the email. And maybe we can talk about that after, but yeah.

Jillian Tohber Leslie: So my husband was working in MySpace. I was a screenwriter. MySpace was blowing up. It was an exciting time and we said to each other … We had met earlier at a startup. I was a writer and he was a technologist and we created this little web show together. So we worked really well together, and so on the side, we just said, let’s just start throwing around some ideas and so we came up with this idea for Catch My Party, but we kind of put it … We were slowly working on it-

Bjork Ostrom: It was 2009, like you started it and said, hey let’s do this.

Jillian Tohber Leslie: We started thinking about it in like maybe 2006, 2007. But then, we had a child. And again this is one of those things where you have all these expectationsbefore you start a family, and then things happen and you just go, oh my God, I had no idea. So it literally changed everything for us in terms of our priorities. I remember sitting in a meeting at Paramount and I just had my baby, and I’m like pumping milk in the parking lot of Paramount and I’m thinking to myself, Oh my God. I don’t want to just sit here and kind of BS around. I have a more important job. I’m Laney’s mom now. And this weird thing happened to me where things just started kind of changing. And I was under the assumption, that I’ll have my baby and I’ll just keep writing it, it’ll be like nothing, and all of a sudden Hollywood just didn’t seem as cool and sexy as it was. And again, I was writing. And in fact then I had a movie that was about to get made. Garry Marshall was attached to direct it and just after I had my daughter, the movie died. And it had nothing to do with me.

It had to do with the fact that the star dropped out. And the movie got put in what’s called turnaround. And it was like two years of serious work and all of a sudden it was gone. Now again, I was still writing and still going out for jobs and still working, but it was like, that was going to take me to this next level, and so I turned to my husband and I said, you know what? I want to take our fate in our own hands. I want to control something. So we said, remember this idea that we had. Let’s work on it. So I started to really work on it, and then I started to really like it and then I had to go to my agency manager and all these people and say, guys guess what. I’m gonna start this business. And they’re like what? But I was hanging out with celebrities and it was just not as cool. It was really cool I have to admit. It was fun and it was like yeah, and then it just lost its luster.

Bjork Ostrom: Do you feel like a big part of that is that you didn’t have freedom that you wanted to have in terms of deciding what you work on when you work on at the time involved deadlines things like that?

Jillian Tohber Leslie: Yeah exactly. That’s the thing that I would say. Is the beauty of my job, and I’m sure you relate to this, which is there’s always. You can always be working … When you’re in charge or when you have to do this to make a living you can work 24/7. But it is also your own time. So that was it and especially throwing in having a child in there, it was like, I need my life back, I need to be able to control my fate and control my day.

Bjork Ostrom: The idea for Catch My Party, it had been something that you’ve thought about for a couple years it sounds like, but for those that are unfamiliar, I’m curious … I’d be interesting here to talk about, what was the original idea with it and is it similar to what you thought it would be?

Jillian Tohber Leslie: No. So because my husband worked at MySpace, it was all teens. Teen girls, stuff like that. So we came up with this idea to create a social photo sharing site for teen girls to show off their Sweet Sixteens, and their proms, their Bar Mitzvahs and stuff like that, because there was a show on MTV back in the day called My Super Sweet Sixteen, and we’re like, hey, let’s create a site for this. And then it was so fascinating, because what we did was we did it, really bootstrapped it. We hired a developer in Indonesia to build our site. My husband is really tech savvy. He was in it. We wire framed it. We hired a designer and all this stuff and we made this really obnoxious pink and purple site for teen girls, and then it became weird, because we had that chicken and egg problem of how do you get people to add their parties to your site, so that other people will then come to your site. So I’m there, and I’m in the on that this 30 year old woman and I’m stocking these teen girls online like, Hey I have this site.

Bjork Ostrom: Probably using MySpace is that right?

Jillian Tohber Leslie: I was using MySpace, anything. I was using everything, Flicker, MySpace. And I was getting no traction. And it was really awkward, and then what happened was we went on vacation, and then two or three Etsy vendors, moms, who threw unbelievable parties added their party photos to our site, because we always said like, add links and will promote you and all the stuff and they found our site and they started adding their parties. And we went, hot. And I remember being upset and thinking, Oh no. Teen girls aren’t going to think it’s cool to put their party photos up on our site, if there’s a strawberry cake party and a Lego party. Then we looked at each other and we said, Huh, maybe this is our site. And that was like the beauty. That was like the moment of, oh my God, you co-create with your users.

Bjork Ostrom: And they are the people that help you decide what you are versus you forcing it on people.

Jillian Tohber Leslie: Yes. Totally. Again talking about humbling lesson.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah and also, I think an important one for people that are listening to know that there’s this balance between saying, Here’s what I want to talk about, and here’s what I’m going to talk about, or what the focus of my site is going to be, if it’s more of a contributor site, and the other side of it being, here’s what resonates with people and here’s what people are interested in, and here’s what’s working and here’s where I have traction. At what point did it become … So you launch in 2009, January 2009 is that right? Is that when …

Jillian Tohber Leslie: It was 2009. I don’t know if it was January, but yeah.

Bjork Ostrom: 2009-ish. At what point did it become something where you said, hey I think this will actually work as a business and what were the things that helped you realize that?

Jillian Tohber Leslie: So again getting traction. Really getting people … Like all of a sudden people were like … I’d wake up in the morning and there would be parties added to our site and then my husband … So MySpace is going through all of its downward spiral, and I said to my husband like, Don’t get another job, like, Do this full time with me.

Bjork Ostrom: And when was this, what year was this?

Jillian Tohber Leslie: So around 2009 maybe 2010.

Bjork Ostrom: Okay. So maybe a year or two after starting it, some people are starting to contribute. There’s a little bit of traction. You felt like, Okay there’s something here we’re getting some interaction.

Jillian Tohber Leslie: Yeah, let’s dig deep. And also during my daughter’s first year, my husband was working all the time.

Bjork Ostrom: At MySpace.

Jillian Tohber Leslie: At MySpace. Yeah that’s cool. But it wasn’t as cool as watching her learn to sit up watching her do that and he didn’t want to miss out. So it was definitely especially the beginning, could it have been more lucrative had he gone to work someplace else? Yeah. But that’s where your life switches. And what I would say is, I think about it in terms of micro-adjustments, which, if you look at my trajectory, looks kind of weird, but what I’ve always tried to do is stay true to … Okay, screenwriting doesn’t feel right anymore, I want to go this way. And I want to see how that feels. And then I want to go one day at a time and decide like, Okay this feels right, I’m going to keep going.

Bjork Ostrom: And I think those micro-adjustment is … We talk about this concept of one percent infinity a lot and I think those micro-adjustments with career path or what you’re working on or what you’re focusing on can apply to that, where you do a little self assessment every day and say, are the things that I’m doing are things that I really enjoy, that I’m passionate about, that are interesting to me? Even if you’ve gotten to a place, where at one point was a really big goal, it doesn’t necessarily mean that, just because you got there, then you should stay there. That stuff changes over time. And even if you’ve had previous success with it, it doesn’t mean that it’s a bad move to shift or focus on something else, I think that’s really important. Go ahead.

Jillian Tohber Leslie: I was just going to say that there’s this kind of philosophy … I think it’s like a Buddhist philosophy, and the idea is that you have a drinking straw let’s say, and your goal always is to align your straw with the wind. So, that the wind flows through your straw. And so, you always have to kind of move your straw to see, when it aligns with the wind.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, we’ve talked to some friends and they talked about going through doors that are open, like you’re checking maybe kind of a similar concept, where … And I think that could be applied for what we’ve experienced with a Pinch of Yum is not necessarily the path that we thought that we would go down, but it’s like when doors open, you check it out and say, Okay is this somewhere where I wanna go? Does it align with what I’m interested in, what I’m passionate about? And is the door open? That’s the other thing. Because sometimes there might be things that you’re super passion about or super interested in, but the door might not be open at that time …

Jillian Tohber Leslie: Absolutely.

Bjork Ostrom: So before we get too far away from it I’m just curious, what was your husband’s job at MySpace?

Jillian Tohber Leslie: Head of product.

Bjork Ostrom: And for those that aren’t familiar kind of with the tech world, can you explain kind of ‘product’ and how that works and what that means?

Jillian Tohber Leslie: Any feature, if you go to Facebook, the features are called products. All of Facebook is a product, but now it’s so big, that any feature on Facebook is also a product. So anything from messaging is a product or search on Facebook is a product, in fact my neighbor does search on Facebook. So that’s why I thought of that. So it’s like any anything that you interact with.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. So, that’s a that’s a pretty big deal. I mean for head of product at one of the most popular social media applications at the time, probably a pretty stressful job for him?

Jillian Tohber Leslie: Definitely, but fun, because he got to be kind of, I don’t know if you remember MySpace, but there was Tom. My husband was like Tom’s kind of right hand person so he worked … So, that was again … My daughter was born and David’s work with Tom. So it was like this real push-pull and once Tom left, then it was like, wait what am I doing here?

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, and so you make the transition. It was after that to both going all in on working on Catch My Party is that right?

Jillian Tohber Leslie: Yes.

Bjork Ostrom: Can you talk about how you processed through that transition? And was the site at a point at that time, when it was making enough income to be a replacement for what a normal income would be? You don’t have to share numbers but …

Jillian Tohber Leslie: Yeah. It took us two years to build our site. And this is good. The one thing about having my husband as my partner is that he like understands Internet and he understands big numbers. So I remember, we had reached like 30,000 unique visitors and we’re living in LA and my husband goes something like, Well, that’s the size of, I don’t know Beverly Hills. And I remember going, oh my God. We’re reaching everybody in Beverly Hills? That’s amazing. And then my husband goes, oh no, but you see that number? That needs to get to a million. And I go, What? What do you mean it has to get to a million? So it was like that. I knew that it would. You know what my husband always has called it, and I think this is really Could. It is a long slug. Talk about again like this concept of messiness. It’s like it is a long slog. And you just have to be in it day in and day out. And kind of not be so in love with your successes and not mourn your losses. Like you have to kind of find this middle road.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah it’s so true. And I think that’s one of the things that from the outside, people looking in, it can seem as if things are really seamless, well-oiled machine. And one of the things I’ve learned both on a like a big corporate level, whether it’s MySpace or Amazon.com or Pinch of Yum, there’s something that’s always broken and messy. That’s just one of the realities of building a website and a business and life in general, but we talk about kind of like in a business on the podcast, but it’s like something is always broken and something is always messy, and I think it’s really important to revisit that, because, from the outside looking in, it can seem like, that’s not true for a lot of people, but it really is.

Jillian Tohber Leslie: Yes. For example, let’s say we’re working with a brand and we’re doing some photography. And I can make a photo look really beautiful within the frame of my photo. And two inches to the left and two inches to the right is a mess you cannot believe. And my daughter now is 10, and I show her this, and I say, do you see this? Do you see, like this looks beautiful, and the rest is a huge mess, because as kids get on to Instagram and everything’s so styled and beautiful and filtered, I want her to know that this is not real life.

Bjork Ostrom: And I think it’s one of the reasons I don’t have an Instagram account. And one of the reasons that I don’t, is because I feel like that pressure that you feel from the outside looking at other things and then naturally, I think what we do is we filter all of that through our own life. It just says can be so overwhelming. So I think it’s important to remind people of that. I want to talk about Catch My Party just a little bit more, because I’m curious to dig into it a little bit more.

One of the things that I think a lot of people will probably be thinking about or processing through is that, there might be people that are doing this on their own. So they might be either the tech people, that don’t have as much interest in the content or I think more common is people that are interested in the content, so food or recipes for a lot of people that listen to us, but also it could be DIY. It could be crafts, it could be things like that. They want to produce this content, but they don’t have somebody, that plays that tech role. So in some instances, I play that with Pinch of Yum. I go in. I’m interested in ads. I’m interested in analytics, things like that. It sounds like your husband was kind of played that role with Catch My Party in the early days and probably still does in some way.

Jillian Tohber Leslie: Huge, yeah.

Bjork Ostrom: What would your advice be for people, that don’t have that person, that are more on the content side? How should they go about, maybe connecting with somebody or should they try to develop their skills on their own? Do you have any thoughts on that?

Jillian Tohber Leslie: Well first of all I have to say that I am so impressed with bloggers and content creators today, especially women who are in it, and who are figuring out how to learn HTML and things like that. It blows me away, and what I will say is, use tools that will help you. So for example, like we just built our … We have another site called MiloTree and I just built that myself using Thrive Leads.

Bjork Ostrom: Can you to talk about what that was like? What was the problem that you had and then, how did you go about building the solution?

Jillian Tohber Leslie: Oh I was I have to say that. So I have this thing with my husband, which is my husband is awesome, and he’s like the best technologist ever. And my friends of mine will come up to me and be like, because I have a website and stuff, and it works, they’ll be like, hey my iPhone’s not working. Can you help me? And I’m going, Oh my God, no. Because like when my iPhone breaks, I go David, can you fix this? And chances are he does. It’s that idea of like that saying, feed a man a fish, he eats for a day, teach a man to fish he’ll eat for a lifetime. Well for the most part, I do, because we have big sites and I get fish. There are times though, where I have to do stuff and solve stuff and I’ll see to David, like I need help with this and he’ll go, Google it. He helps me out, but especially over time, he is much more like, I was like, I need a tool to do video that captures my screen. And he’s like, Google it. And my husband can program and all this stuff and the way he learned? Google.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. I think it’s really true. I think I’ve talked about this before on the podcast. There’s a site called Let me google that for you, I think is the name of it. But essentially, in IT, it’s this kind of back-ended humor if somebody comes to you and says, hey how do you reset your iPhone? It’s like, you can go there and type reset your iPhone, and then it sends a link where it’s the cursor going up and clicking on Google and it types in, how do you reset your iPhone, and then it presses search. But I think there’s a lot of truth to that. There’s also the reality of there’s, on the tech side, especially when you get into some of the code type of things, there’s somebody who can jump in HTML, for instance with a site, it’s going to be able to figure things out really quick and apply that.

Jillian Tohber Leslie: Absolutely. Yes.

Bjork Ostrom: But I think, your point is valid, and it’s good to remind people that a lot of times, that information will be available in some way, shape or form. And I wanted to put this up, actually this was an email that I got. So in one of the episodes we did an interview with somebody named Mark, and he has a site called Quiet Light Brokerage and he buys and sells websites and every once in a while, they’ll send an email out and say, hey we have this website for sale. And this one came through today and it says, “Content affiliate site and it’s a survival in the survival niche” and I’ll just read the first paragraph because I think this is, for me it was really inspiring. It says, “Launched in 2010, this website is owned and operated by a 67 year old woman wishing to retire. Offering preparedness, strategies and tips that will assist individuals and families in attaining self-sufficiency in the event of a disruptive event, the business derives revenues from four sources; Direct advertising, Network advertising, Affiliate commissions and Amazon Affiliate Commissions.”

But here’s this woman who’s 67 years old and has started a blog and built a blog into this really successful business, spending 20 hours a week and they’re selling the business and it’s $260,000, but I saw that and I was like all right, like this is awesome. It’s somebody who wasn’t born into … Like they’re not a digital native. They’re digital immigrant. So it’s not like she went to school learning how to program and type and things like that, maybe type but not in the sense of typing that we do now, and she’s built this really successful business, and I’m guessing a lot of that was through the hustle and intentional effort that goes into building any business, and for those that feel discouraged by either not having that person in their life that does the IT side of things or feels like they can’t do it themselves, I just would want to encourage people and say, hey there’s people out there doing it, and they’re really successful with it. You don’t have to have that person in your life in order to do it. You might have to do a little bit more learning and a little bit more work in a certain area than other people would, but I just want to continue and encourage people that run into that, remind you, that there’s like people doing really cool stuff without having any previous experience with it.

Jillian Tohber Leslie: Definitely, and I would recommend that people have somebody like a consultant, that they could pay to pop in when things break. And so, you might pay them by the hour or something like that, because there are times when things break, and it can be pretty awful. However, so just to go back to this idea, like I said, I wanted to build a new website for MiloTree, which is this thing … It’s our popup that we offer, and I didn’t know how to do it and I said to David like what shall we do? And he said Google it, and all of a sudden, I found this company called Thrive Themes, and you get these prepackaged themes and then you can edit them and change them how you like, and you can do all this cool stuff and then when I would be stuck, I would Google it. And I was able to take our site to probably, I don’t know, 80% of the way there, we also have to integrate with stripe and things like that. So it gets a little more complicated, but I was really proud of myself, because I did it.

Bjork Ostrom: And it’s still using resources that are out there and available and it’s time and energy and effort, but it’s possible to do.

Jillian Tohber Leslie: Yeah. And the tools just keep getting better. When we started, there were no things like this. And now I’m like, oh I know how to use an editor, and I know how to do this and chances are this works like this program. The individual is so empowered today, that they can do so much on their own.

Bjork Ostrom: And it’s so much easier to, than it was five years ago 10 years ago to start a business, especially an online business.

Jillian Tohber Leslie: Totally.

Bjork Ostrom: Part of that means, that there’s more competition, because it’s easier. More people are doing it and so the cost of entry is less, but also for somebody that wants to start their own thing, it’s not as difficult as it was 10 years ago to start a blog for instance, or to start a business online. A few more things with Catch my party and then I would want to talk about MiloTree as well. It’s a contributor based business, but it’s also a blog, which one of those drives the most traffic?

Jillian Tohber Leslie: I would say … So we have user generated content. So if you guys throw beautiful parties, please add your party to our site, because I will happily show them off. I would say it’s a combination of both, because what we tend to do is take content that people add to our site, and use it and show it off on our blog.

Bjork Ostrom: Got it.

Jillian Tohber Leslie: So in terms of like Pinterest traffic, it tends to be like individual photos that people have added to our site. But we have certain blog posts, that are really like our kind of bread and butter, and that you really … We give away a lot of free printables on our site for parties. So we really try to be a resource.

Bjork Ostrom: Is it on WordPress? Is that what it’s run on?

Jillian Tohber Leslie: No. It’s actually a custom platform. We built it on Ruby on Rails. So it’s a Rails platform.

Bjork Ostrom: Oh you did. Great. Good for you guys. And then the other question that I had with Catch My Party is just what are the things that are working well for you right now? Obviously a lot of people that are listening to this are in the content business and anytime that especially from other industries, I think it’s helpful for … Obviously you share some food related stuff on the site, but that’s not all that you do. I’m curious to know the things that are working well and maybe things I could cross over into the food and recipe niche as well.

Jillian Tohber Leslie: Yeah, I would say seasonality.

Bjork Ostrom: Can you explain specifically, what that looks like?

Jillian Tohber Leslie: Again our users, our visitors are typically moms with small children, and they are living through the seasons. So that means that, let’s say it’s going to be summer and kids are going to be out of school. We’re always thinking in terms of where is our audience. And how can we serve up something that will hit them right at the right time.

Bjork Ostrom: Do you mean, where is my audience in terms of their mindset?

Jillian Tohber Leslie: Yes.

Bjork Ostrom: Got it.

Jillian Tohber Leslie: And where they are in the flow of their lives.

Bjork Ostrom: Do you have an example?

Jillian Tohber Leslie: Like for example in terms of what does well for us, you can just watch the seasons, and you will see for example, a bunch of Easter posts were really popular, and now that has completely died down. And now, we’re going to put up like a printable, I think tomorrow, because next week is teacher appreciation week. So it’s about really tapping into where people are living, how they’re living and what’s coming and how can I help them.

Bjork Ostrom: So let’s say for Easter, are you then emailing those people? Are you pushing it on social media? What does it look like in terms of getting that content in front of people? The reason that I asked that, context for that. I think a lot of people can get stuck in the mindset of continually creating content, which I think is really good, but a lot of times people have 100–200–1000 posts that they can go back to and repurpose and I think people aren’t as good about thinking about repurposing content and I’m wondering if that’s something that you do and how you do that?

Jillian Tohber Leslie: Yes. So for example what we’ll do is we’ll go through our … Okay, Beauty And The Beast has just opened. It’s huge movie, and we know, that we’re starting to see Beauty And The Beast party show up on our site. So what we do in anticipation is we create some free printables. They’re Beauty And The Beast printables, that we created and we give them away on our site. So we will do that as a blog post, then we’ll also is go to our site, look at all the Beauty And The Beast parties, that have been added over all the years and pick out the best ideas. And we’ll put that together as a round up post. Then what we’re always doing is we’re kind of dicing and slicing our content to create new content, that people are looking for in kind of bite sized pieces.

Bjork Ostrom: I think that’s another thing that is a really valuable takeaway, is repurchasing content that you already have. A super easy example that I think a lot of people do is if you have a video don’t just put it on Facebook, put it on Facebook and Instagram and YouTube, if you have a YouTube channel. But also you can repurpose content by doing a round up, and saying here’s 10 or 20 popular smoothie posts or in your case …

Jillian Tohber Leslie: Doing it with for us, seasonality. Here are like the best July 4th desserts, or something like that. We’re always thinking about not just our editorial calendar, but how it fits in with the regular calendar.

Bjork Ostrom: And then the last thing I was curious about with Catch My Party, what is … it’s a little bit different in that I’m guessing there’s multiple avenues of revenue. So in terms of like percentage base, what does that look like for the site, advertising products as well, sponsorships.

Jillian Tohber Leslie: The way that we monetize is via ads. We want to grow traffic, which is … and our biggest traffic driver is Pinterest. We monetize via working with brands. So things like Instagram are really important to us.

Bjork Ostrom: Because that’s important to brands right now.

Jillian Tohber Leslie: Because that’s important to brands. We monetize via affiliate links. So what we do is we have a vendor directory. It’s free to join if you want to join it and if you are an Etsy shop owner, we will automatically import your Etsy products onto our site. And we did this before Etsy had an affiliate program. We did this just as a service to them, to say, hey get your products up on our site. We get a small affiliate fee for anything that people buy on Etsy through our site.

Bjork Ostrom: Which is a great way to implement that on the site, because I’m sure there’s a ton of people that are creating party-related products on Etsy and they’re wanting to get as much exposure as possible. So it makes sense for them-

Jillian Tohber Leslie: Absolutely. And then we have also a vendor directory, like a premium plan like Yelp, where we have a free vendor directory, but if you pay us, then we’ll also give you advertising and promote you and things like that. Lots of bells and whistles. Those are really the four channels.

Bjork Ostrom: Have you noticed companies that are interested in being a part of that? Is that something that has had traction and people are interested?

Jillian Tohber Leslie: Yes, definitely. Again that was one of those things where the vendor directory really again was … We had a lot Etsy people. And they were really trying to promote their products in their shops. And we’re like, hey, how can we create something that helps them?

Bjork Ostrom: The idea is people will pay a monthly fee or a yearly fee to be a part of this vendor directory, where they’re featured more often-

Jillian Tohber Leslie: And their products will show up at the top and that kind of thing.

Bjork Ostrom: Got it. Cool. Yeah, it’s fun to hear, because like I said it’s always interesting to talk about sites with a different focus, as opposed to just a food blog, because you’re able to take unique angles, that maybe people in the food space haven’t thought about before. So those are a couple of ones, that I thought were interesting. We still have little bit of time here and if you’d be interested, I would love to talk about MiloTree. One of the as I mentioned when we were getting started here is we kind of have a similar story in that both of us started out primarily in the content business. Catch My Party is a little bit different than Pinch of Yum in that you also have user generated content. But basic idea being that you have content, that you create income from advertising and affiliates and some products as well.

Jillian Tohber Leslie: And sponsors, I don’t know if I mentioned. We work with brands a lot.

Bjork Ostrom: Working with brands. So kind of the traditional content way to monetize your content site, but then you also have launched a software product. And that’s something that we’re starting to get into as well with NutroFox and WPtasty, the recipe plugin that we’ve launched recently, and I’m curious to hear what that’s been like for you and also to talk a little bit about why you launched MiloTree and what the purpose is behind it.

Jillian Tohber Leslie: Sure. Okay. MiloTree just so that everybody knows, it’s a popup that you install on your blog or your site and it pops up and it asks your followers to either join your email list, or follow you on Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest. What we did was we built it for ourselves or Catch My Party, because what we realized was Pinterest all of a sudden became this big traffic driver, and Facebook, remember when they started turning down the spigot, and we were like, Whoa. Wait a second we need to really figure out how to grow Pinterest. So what we did was we built a popup, with my husband, we built a pop up ourselves and it sat on our site and popped up and we tried to make it really pretty and we populated it with photos from our Pinterest page, which gave a sense of social proof. So that people could say, oh they’re real, they’re real. And it would say, follow us on Pinterest. And guess what? It worked and it worked really, really well, because we care about our experience a tremendous amount on our site. So we’re not going to be throwing a popup up that shakes in your face.

We wanted something that felt good. Once it worked, and we had proof of concept, we said, hey wait a second. What if we could take this and think about it as a container and have it pop up and ask people to follow us on Instagram? What we did was we changed it, built it out for Instagram and populated it with Instagram photos and then we realized, oh wow, that works too. And then we said, what if we can have it alternate? So that when somebody comes to your site the first time, they get one, but when they come back to your site they get the other one. And that worked. And then we said, wait maybe this is something that we could offer to other bloggers to help them grow their social following. What we did was we started to think about it as a separate company and we were in Hawaii. And there’s a beautiful …

I was taking a yoga class and they said, for the yoga class meet under the Milo Tree, and it was such a lovely moment that afterwards we were thinking about what we name our business and we thought let’s name it MiloTree, for meet under the Milo Tree. That was how we launched. So then we launched it. What was interesting was that food bloggers were some of the first people to find it and use it. And then, we listened to the food bloggers and they said, can you make it grow Facebook? So we said, Okay, and so, we created again using MiloTree the same popup thing but now you can grow your Facebook following with it. And then we kept hearing, we also want to grow email. So we created then a version of it that will grow your email but we call it a smart popup, because you get to program it to grow what you want. So you can grow multiple platforms at once with the popup.

Bjork Ostrom: It can be social media. It could be email as well is that right?

Jillian Tohber Leslie: Yeah, email, and it integrates with all the major email providers, and two things. One, we are launching YouTube very soon. So you can grow your YouTube subscribers, and then two, philosophically back to what you were talking about which is that it’s really … It can be really complicated for bloggers, especially if your interest is in creating content and not dealing with all the backend stuff. And I know you and my husband love to geek out on features and things like that, but when we built MiloTree, we did it very intentionally with the idea that we wanted to make it simple to use, because those studies that say that if you go to the grocery store and there are 30 different types of ketchup, you’re going to end up getting overwhelmed and leave.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, confuse the customers or the customer.

Jillian Tohber Leslie: It is just too much. It is too much mental load. So that by offering just a few features, it’s just so much easier to do, and that has been our intention, and I’m sure you deal with this too. There’s this concept in building software called feature creep, that all of a sudden, you just start building stuff because you can, because somebody thinks it’s cool.

Bjork Ostrom: And it’s one of the hardest things in building a really good product is building one that doesn’t have a lot of unnecessary features or one that has … I was just listening to a podcast today about Pinterest they were talking about Pinterest and how in the early stages one of the things they focused on was not building features for the power users, because that would make 2% of the power users really happy and 98% of the other people confused. And it’s a really interesting thing with building software is listening and being aware of the 98%, that is probably less vocal.

Jillian Tohber Leslie: Totally.

Bjork Ostrom: Which is just a very interesting dilemma and problem to work through.

Jillian Tohber Leslie: So what we think is, if we can make the choice for the user, and be 99% right, we will do that. So for example Okay. So there’s this big thing with Google and I’m sure you’ve heard about it no popups on mobile right? Google came out and said, oh popups on mobile, but the truth of the matter is that’s not what they said. What Google said was really intrusive popups on mobile, that your site could get … It’s not even penalized, but it won’t be featured in Google search results right? So what we did was … Again, we eat our own dog food. We use MiloTree on Catch My Party. So we take all the stuff very seriously. So we said is, Okay what we’re going to do is we’re going to create a version for mobile, that fits within the Google sidelines and then, what we will do is we will know when somebody comes to your site, whether that person is coming on desktop or coming on mobile, and we will show the appropriate sized pop up for that user. So you don’t have to think about it.

Bjork Ostrom: So if it’s on mobile, it’s not going to be half the page or a full page, it’s going to be the appropriate, whatever it is, one fourth or one fifth or whatever the size guidelines are on mobile. Yeah.

Jillian Tohber Leslie: Exactly. So people contact me and say, oh my God, I need to turn it off on mobile, and I’m like, no you need mobile. Mobile is where most of your traffic’s probably coming from. Trust us like, we’ve got your back, and you can feel comfortable using our popup on mobile and you don’t even have to think about it because we’ll figure it out for you.

Bjork Ostrom: And I think one of the things that’s great about a software solution like this is that it is a way that for bloggers to think intentionally not about just building traffic. We talked about this before, where people oftentimes think about traffic, traffic, traffic, when first of all you should think about content as well, and how do you get people to your site. But another part of that variable isn’t necessarily thinking about traffic, traffic, traffic. It’s thinking about traffic, and then what? A lot of times people just think like, how do you get that number higher, more people there, but I think it’s also important to think, about maybe more important to think about if you do have those people coming what are they doing? If you’re just treating it as a page view, that’s not going to be valuable long term, versus if you think about it as a page view plus some type of call to action. So in the case of a service like MiloTree, that helps you to take that action or to define that call to action, maybe it’s following on Instagram or Facebook, where then that person is part of your ecosystem, as opposed to just looking at a recipe and downloading that, where then you can have that touch point further on email, Instagram Facebook whatever it is that you decide to move on with this for your strategy.

Jillian Tohber Leslie: Totally. I couldn’t agree with you more I just want to build on that for a second. It’s a lot to ask people for their email address. It’s easier to ask them to follow you on Instagram. And what I always say to people is to think about how they monetize. Do they monetize via traffic? Do they monetize to be a selling products or services? Do they monetize via awareness. So for example if you’re food blogger and you want to work with brands, you want to grow your Instagram following, because that brand is probably going to care. So it’s like really thinking about what you want to grow, and you can grow multiple things with MiloTree, but it’s again not just going after everything. It’s about putting some attention behind that.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. And intentionality. And it’s interesting too, that changes. Instagram is a really hot platform right now. We notice a lot of brands that are coming to us are interested specifically with Instagram, and even more specifically with video on Instagram. It makes sense to think about, Okay how are we using some of the other places that we have traction, whether that’s email or just in general traffic, to then engage people over into other platforms whereas it would be Instagram that we would focus on. Even talking about this it gets me thinking like, Okay, I can totally see how we need to be intentional at this and move forward with this.

Jillian Tohber Leslie: And I just have see this one thing, which is we give our popup away for free. So we are a freemium model, which means you get a lot of features in the free version, and that we have a WordPress plugin and then, if you want any customization that’s where you pay us. But we wanted to offer it as widely as possible.

Bjork Ostrom: Awesome.

Jillian Tohber Leslie: And offer something of value.

Bjork Ostrom: And that’s MiloTree. M I L O T R E E. I can see on the about page there a Milo tree. Ir can be inspiration for the service itself. So that’s really cool. The last question that I like to ask people about on the podcast Jillian, is if you were to start today, sometimes I say, if you were to go back and do it again, what would you different but I want to change it up a little bit and say if you were to start today. So let’s say you were to wipe everything out all the momentum you have you didn’t have anything here, what would you do in order to move forward quickly and build a successful business online?

Jillian Tohber Leslie: Test. Build and test. Build and test. Build and test.

Bjork Ostrom: Can you explain that a little bit further and flesh that out what you mean by that, why that’s important?

Jillian Tohber Leslie: Yes because. It’s this idea, that we build stuff and then we think we know, and the truth is we don’t know. And it’s so humbling to discover that what we think people are going to respond to, they don’t respond to, and then you find out, oh wait, but they’re responding to this. So, it’s like constantly keeping your users your customers or visitors in the process, like build with them. That’s what I would say.

Bjork Ostrom: It’s interesting that you say that. I did an interview with a guy named Mike. He has a podcast called The Membership Guys and it’s actually him and his partner, so it’s not technically guys, but they did a community podcast, where they had people that run a membership site contribute and say, what are your tips and advice. And one of the questions was what would you do differently, if you started over again? And what I said … Or what would your advice be for people that are starting a membership site?

And what I said is almost exactly what you said, where what we did is we did a pre-launch and then we sold memberships and then we built a site over three months and we launched. If I were to do it again or if I were to advise people I would say get something up this week, today, tomorrow and start to sign up memberships or get people on board and do those micro-adjustments like you said, test as you’re building it, because what’s going to happen is, that’s going to allow you to walk down the path, but change that path by tiny little micro-adjustments along the way. So, three months down the line, you’re going to be in a more accurate space, and you’re going to have a better understanding of what it is that you want to do versus being in a black box and creating the thing that you think is going to work really well, when actually it might not. So I think that’s great advice.

Jillian Tohber Leslie: Oh good yeah, definitely. Again, be willing to put stuff out. Reid Hoffman when he started LinkedIn said, if you’re going to … I’m going to flop this, but it was something like if you’re launching too late … If you’re not embarrassed by your product, you launched too late.

Bjork Ostrom: If you’re not embarrassed by your first person or something like that.

Jillian Tohber Leslie: And I totally agree with that, which is just put it up, put it up, and let it be messy, and let it be not polished and see what happens.

Bjork Ostrom: That’s great. And I think good advice to end on. Jillian, where can people follow along with what you’re doing online?

Jillian Tohber Leslie: Okay. You can find me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). First of all, Catch My Party is everywhere. Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook all that, but you can reach me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and I respond to everything. And if you have any trouble at all with MiloTree, you have any thoughts for us with MiloTree, please let me know. We love our Foodbloggers and we have a free WordPress plugin. So again, we want it to be so simple.

Bjork Ostrom: Thanks for sharing your contact information as well. I know people appreciate it. Thanks so much for coming on the podcast, Jillian, super fun to talk to you and I know that people will get a lot out of it. So thanks for sharing.

Jillian Tohber Leslie: Thank you. It’s been such a pleasure.

Bjork Ostrom: That’s a wrap for this episode. Thank you again to Jillian for coming on and sharing her story as a screenwriter building Catch My Party, and as well as building MiloTree.com. Really inspiring stuff there. Thanks for sharing. All right. Wherever you are, I want to say thank you to you, listener. Hope that we can meet in person some day. The funny thing with these podcast interviews is I wish that we could all be sitting in a room and having a conversation instead of just kind of a one way broadcast of this. So if we’re ever at the same time and same place, be sure to reach out and connect. I would love to connect with you and I have an impersonal conversation versus being just in your ear buds or your car speakers. We’ll be back here next week, same time, same place. Until then, make it a great week. Thanks guys.

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