Welcome to episode 59 of the Food Blogger Pro podcast! In this episode, Bjork and Lindsay talk about 9 ways to avoid blogger burnout.
Last week, Bjork talked about a little problem all bloggers eventually have called The Resistance, and he gave some examples and ideas for how to overcome it. To go back and listen that episode, click here.
9 Ways to Avoid Blogger Burnout
It’s August and summer is in full swing. As happy as that generally makes us, summer can often be a difficult time for bloggers – it even has its own moniker, the summer slump. During the summer slump, traffic goes down, ad income falls, and worst of all, bloggers can get totally burned out.
Bjork and Lindsay are no strangers to burnout. They’ve both experienced it many times with their businesses. However, they’ve also been intentional about learning how to deal with burnout when it happens and what steps they can take in the future to keep it at bay. In this episode, Bjork and Lindsay share 9 tips (plus 1 bonus tip!) that you can use to avoid blogger burnout.
In this episode, Bjork & Lindsay talk about:
- The importance of taking time fully off
- Why you should pass up good opportunities
- Getting an office for your work
- How to separate yourself from negative comments
- Why it’s okay to not produce 10/10 content all the time
- How unplugging helps you feel refreshed
- Finding other people to talk to about your business
- How to redefine your definition of success
- BONUS: How to be a trickster, not a martyr
Listen to the Food Blogger Pro Podcast below or check it out on iTunes or Google Play Music:
- Lindsay’s “At the Cabin” post from 2015
- CoSchedule (Food Blogger Pro members get a deal on CoSchedule on the Deals page!)
- Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions for interviews, be sure to email them to [email protected].
Be sure to review us on iTunes!
If you’d like to jump to the comments section, click here.
Bjork Ostrom: Welcome to episode number 59 of the Food Blogger Pro podcast. Hey there everybody, I wanted to jump in here real quick before I welcome Lindsay on and let you know about something kind of fun that we’re doing, here on the Podcast. Basically, we want to hear from you. We’re curious to know what’s been working well for you and we know that there is lots of really smart people that listen to this podcast and it’s not possible for us to interview every single person but we want to give you a chance to come on the podcast and share a little bit about who you are, where people can find you and then, one quick tip or trick that you would like to share with the Food Blogger Pro audience and here is how it works.
You can go to foodbloggerpro.com/call, C-A-L-L and that will redirect you to a page where you can leave a message. What we want you to do is leave your name, your blog or website, if you have one and then one piece of advice that you have for the Food Blogger Pro audience. It doesn’t have to be very long, just be 2 or 3 minutes and it can be about anything. It could be social media, it could be something that’s working well for you with time management. Maybe it has to do with being a parent and running a business and how you do that. It could really be about anything as it applies to things that we talk about in this Podcast.
It could be psychology, again social media. Maybe it has something to do with traffic. Maybe it has something to do with email management, all those different things and we would love to include everyone, we don’t know if we’d be able to do that, depending on how many people submit their responses or their ideas but what we’ll do is we’ll gather them up and then we’ll publish it in a podcast episode so we’d love to hear from you, foodbloggerpro.com/call. Okay, so now, I’m going to transition in and welcome Lindsay into the Podcast. We are actually standing here in the same room, same time, same place.
Lindsay Ostrom: Hi.
Bjork Ostrom: Hey. I’m never good at introing when somebody is actually in the room with me.
Lindsay Ostrom: I’m standing right here next to you.
Bjork Ostrom: That was maybe a little weird, I feel like, I want to have … I have these headphones in but they’re kind of awkward and I don’t technically need them because I can actually just hear you because you’re sitting right next to me.
Lindsay Ostrom: Yeah, it’s a little weird.
Bjork Ostrom: Maybe I should just try to take them out.
Lindsay Ostrom: You take them out yeah.
Bjork Ostrom: Okay, but then I feel weird. It’s like …
Lindsay Ostrom: Take them out. You can do it.
Bjork Ostrom: Now, it feels like we’re just standing here talking, which is kind of cool.
Lindsay Ostrom: Yeah, that’s normal life. It’s good.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. Weird. Lindsay and I actually just back from a week away and we were in what Kraft Singles has awarded as the single best town in America.
Lindsay Ostrom: It’s so weird. I still can’t figure that out exactly but it is a really amazing town.
Bjork Ostrom: It is. A tiny little town in Wisconsin called Three Lakes and Lindsay’s family goes there, to a cabin so in Minnesota, maybe Wisconsin as well, we would say that you go up north and for us, we went up North for a week so we had some time away. We’re getting back to it today, it’s the end of the day here, just coming up to 5:30 and we’re kind of chilling out a bit but we said, “Hey, let’s record a Podcast episode and talk a little bit about kind of what we were trying to do or attempting to do, maybe we were doing it,” but with a week away, kind of avoiding blogger burn out and that’s one of the things that I think is really important as you work really hard on your blog.
I think, or your business or whatever it is that you’re doing, it’s not necessarily, all bloggers that listen to this but one of the things that I think is really common in this industry is talking about how important it is to hustle and work all the time and early mornings and late nights and things like that and I think that’s really important but there is also a rhythm to what we do and there needs to be time away where you can refresh so you don’t burn out. Do you have any thoughts on that Lindsay or even like with a week away, what your hope is as you get into that? What are the things that you try and do and try and accomplish when you have time away?
Lindsay Ostrom: Like a week away, like a vacation week?
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, for instance like, well, and maybe it would be interesting to talk about this week, this summer versus last summer, those were a little bit different.
Lindsay Ostrom: Yeah.
Bjork Ostrom: Maybe let’s start with that. Can you talk a little bit about last summer what your experience was because we were up there a little bit longer and you are also a little bit more intentional about like really drawing a hard line and saying, I’m not going really touch any work stuff at all, is that right?
Lindsay Ostrom: Yeah, so last year, I viewed our 2 weeks at the cabin because we were there for 2 weeks so viewed that time as like completely disconnected vacation so if you go back on Pinch of Yum to, I don’t know sometime in July last summer, 2015, you will find a post that’s just a picture of me and Bjork, standing on the dock and I’m holding a sign and it says like, at the cabin, be back soon or something like that and that was just a post that I put up, while we were gone to kind of make a statement, not even so much to other people but to myself to publicly say, I’m leaving, I’m taking vacation. I’m not … like I didn’t work ahead, I could have worked ahead and also, I just chose not to like I need just a full blown vacation.
That was last year, how I approached that time at the cabin and then this year, it was a little bit different because, we actually have a trip coming up in October, a kind of big exciting trip. We’re going to Europe for the first time ever, for the 2 of us. That’s going to be a big trip for us and so, because of that, kind of to balance and offset that, we decided that the cabin experience this summer would not be the full blown like, don’t pause, don’t do any work but it would kind of be more of a maintain week. It’s actually really nice because that’s what we do so we can go up there and still have vacation while still maintaining things but for me, this time around, it wasn’t, I wasn’t fully disconnected. I was still working and I was still checking in on the blog everyday, a little bit so that’s kind of the different approach to the 2 weeks.
Bjork Ostrom: Do you feel like you had, like when you compare last summer to this summer that you have, like how do those feel different? Was it kind of nice to be able to stay on top of things so you didn’t come back then have a bunch of work to make up or would your preference have been to like really just unplug and not have any work to do when you’re up there, I’m just curious to know what that felt like for you.
Lindsay Ostrom: Yeah, that’s a good question. Last year, I remember it being really awesome. I didn’t … I wasn’t frazzled when I got up there because I wasn’t trying to, a lot of times before our trip, if you’re a blogger, you know this, like you, maybe shoot a couple of recipes and you have them on your computer and you take your computer with you and you … I was just talking with someone else about this today and you think, I’m going to write all this post, I have the content done, I just, I’ll put the post together when I’m there and then you get there and it’s like … it’s just becomes a chore, it seems like a less of a big deal when you plan it but when you actually are sitting on the dock at the cabin and you’re like, “Oh my gosh, I have to go back.”
“I’m going to actually write post. It’s kind of a bummer,” so last year, I remember that being really awesome that I just was like done clean cut and didn’t post for 2 weeks and it’s like, I think one of the reasons that you can get to a point like this is because you kind of deny yourself out for a time, which sounds weird to say but like, I had a stretch of probably 4, 5 years where I didn’t give my self a break because I just love doing it and I was kind of like addicted to the growth process of it and also, I wanted to see it grow strategically and so this was really the first time that I’ve ever been able to do that.
Doing that last summer was just … it felt, I remember it being really awesome and feeling really free as opposed to this summer, it was still awesome, like I had a good time at the cabin but it was not as relaxing as it was. I mean, it’s kind of like an obvious answer, like well, which one was better, well, it’s better to just not work straight for 2 weeks but I think, there is a place for both.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, for sure and it’s interesting because this industry, so I’m speaking specifically to people that have content based websites that are trying to build that into some type of following or some type of potential income if you’re growing it to become some type of business. In this type of industry, it takes so long to get to the point, where it’s actually moving forward and I think that’s why we always talk about this idea of like the long term, right, so like really putting in time and energy and effort over an extended period of time and that’s kind of what I heard you talking about where you’re like in these early stages, you’re like, in the growth process, you’re really interested in that.
Also, it’s important to remember that if you hustle really hard for a year and then you fizzle out and you burn out then, it’s going to be a wasted effort potentially because what it really takes is years and years and years, if you are in the content based business like we are obviously there is lots of different ways, that you can quickly scale up different businesses but if you’re bootstrapping a content based business like a food blog, it’s going to take some time and energy and effort to really build that up to a point where you have enough engagement and following that you’re able to turn it into something and that’s, it’s not easy to do.
That’s why I thought it was important to do this episode and that’s why I ask you on Lindsay and I’m so glad that you came on to share some of your thoughts and ideas with this and what we’re going to do is, Lindsay has a post that she wrote a while back that I thought was really cool, so we’re going to revisit that. It was actually 15 different ways to avoid blogger burn out and we’ll link to that in the show notes but what we’re going to do is we’re going to look at just a handful of those. We’re not going to look at all of them. We’re going to do 9 and then a bonus one, that’s not actually on there.
Lindsay Ostrom: Bonus. It’s going to be good.
Bjork Ostrom: Stay tuned for the bonus so what I’ll do is I’ll read through these and then Sage will give her input as well.
Lindsay Ostrom: Can you hear … I mean like, can, do the mics pick that up?
Bjork Ostrom: I think so yeah. That was Sage in the other room. She is not burned out at barking at the mailman.
Lindsay Ostrom: She’s, and her whole life is a vacation.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. I’ll read through these and then would love to hear you talk about them a little bit and then we’ll kind of bounce some ideas back and forth, so is that sound okay?
Lindsay Ostrom: Yeah.
Bjork Ostrom: Okay. The first one we’re going to talk about is studying inspiring work outside of your niche. Can you talk about what that means to you and seeing maybe a couple examples of where you look.
Lindsay Ostrom: Yeah, so for me I have written a post about this or several post about this. I can start to feel like constricted by a competitive nature sometimes, my own competitive nature. You’re leaning in like you want to add something.
Bjork Ostrom: No, I guess it would make sense, yeah.
Lindsay Ostrom: I don’t know. I’m just a naturally competitive and like driven person which is both a positive and a negative sometimes and in this situation, I would say, it’s kind of a negative. It could just become exhausting to always feel like, you see other people being successful and you think, “Oh my gosh, should I be doing that and blah, blah, blah,” and it’s hard to actually draw inspiration, because you’re always … you’re always comparing yourself basically. For me, it’s really helpful to look for that inspiration and kind of have the people that I follow closely with, be people that I’m not necessarily actually close with in the industry because sometimes it’s those people that I’m super close with or they’re doing a really similar thing to me.
That’s where things for me start to feel I don’t know, if competitive is really the right word but just like, it makes me feel self conscious about my own content and like should I be doing it like they’re doing it or should I be doing it better. I look to people, I don’t know, if this is kind of a weird example but I look at a lot of bloggers internationally or bloggers that are in a different food space, like I don’t do for example, vegan, all vegan recipes. My recipes are pretty mainstream but I love to draw inspiration from the plant based blogging and food people out there, whether that would be on Instagram or be their blogs or Facebook or whatever.
I just like to watch what other people are doing. I also like to pull like bits and pieces of inspiration from my favorite authors and that could be how they’re using social media. Some of them are just really engaging and fun writers on social media. Sometimes, it’s reading their blogs, sometimes, it’s getting their email list. Basically, finding those other people who aren’t like your super, super closest people in the industry and looking like one ring out for your inspiration can be a really helpful thing I think in kind of reinvigorating you, getting you inspired giving you fresh inspiration without having that added layer of, should I be doing that too and is that person doing it better than me and kind of those comparison traps that we set for ourselves.
Bjork Ostrom: It’s hardly because I think naturally, it’s something that you’re interested in, so you want to follow along and look at what other people are doing but it kind of reminds me of … I have friends a lot of friends that are into acting and I asked one of them once. I said, is it enjoyable for you to go to a play or a musical. He was like, this was somebody who was in LA for a while and kind of trying to make it as an actor. He said, to be honest, it’s kind of hard and it’s interesting that somebody can be so in love with something and enjoy it so much and yet also, it can be this point of tension where, if you see somebody else doing the exact same thing that you’re interested in, you feel like either you need to be doing it.
You need to be doing what you’re doing better or like what you’re doing isn’t good enough and I feel like all of those things combined can make it not very enjoyable to do the work which I think results in burning out.
Lindsay Ostrom: Yeah, it just … I think it just creates a drain on you and it creates this motivation of like scurrying around or hustling …
Bjork Ostrom: Just crumble. Yeah.
Lindsay Ostrom: I mean hustling, there is good things that come from hustling so I don’t want to totally villainize that word but I think if we’re talking about restoring, we’re talking about like, refreshing yourself creatively, kind of breathing new creative joyful life into your soul as a maker. This sounds kind of like, really, if it’s talking about like, re-soaking the sponge a little bit and getting reinvigorated then I think getting inspiration from outside … an outside work space is a helpful thing.
Bjork Ostrom: That’s great. Number 2, say no to almost everything. That’s a really hard thing. This is a really hard thing to say yes to, saying no to almost everything.
Lindsay Ostrom: Yeah. That’s … yeah.
Bjork Ostrom: Can you talk about maybe how that’s developed for you through the years and maybe a time where you’re saying yes to more things and then some of the things that you started to say no to and what … how that impacted you and kind of help you avoid burn out.
Lindsay Ostrom: Yeah, so one thing, I literally just did this today because I need to do this regularly, but I like to make … I keep kind of a loose bullet journal which is basically just notebook full of different ideas and like list for myself and one of the thing that I wrote in my bullet journal today was I made like a triangle diagram and it’s basically like an inverted triangle, actually, I used an idea that you gave me Bjork.
Bjork Ostrom: Sure.
Lindsay Ostrom: Up at the top, it’s flipped upside down so the point of the triangle is facing down and then up at the top, I kind of list out in order the things that I need to do in terms of what their priority level is and their significance to me. From my inverted triangle, it’s started at the top with blog post, really good, high quality engaging blog post and then the next thing was maybe like Instagram and Snapchat or personalized social media. Then, the next thing from that was video and kind of listing all those different things so I think I have 5 things total on the list but if you think about all the emails that any given person much less a blogger who’s work is all online and all related to the emails back and forth.
When you think about that, you’re going to be saying, if all those emails are coming in with a different opportunities, “Hey, try this, check out this. Jump on a call with me here, take a free sample of this.” There is all this different things and if you really only actually have 5 things on your little triangle, probably most of those tings that you are going to email us about don’t necessarily fit in or actually move you forward in any of those things that are on your list or in your own job description so I think just really critically thinking about what do I do, what do I not do. One of the things, like, one of the things that we get asked a lot about is, it’s kind of weird example but like, casting calls for different TV things.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, it’s weird.
Lindsay Ostrom: Why?
Bjork Ostrom: No, just like the idea of us, doing a TV thing. It’s like, it just sounds so terrible.
Lindsay Ostrom: Yeah, it sounds like really painful to me so that one is not too hard to say no to at all.
Bjork Ostrom: For example, it’s like …
Lindsay Ostrom: Yeah, right, because then you get this email and it’s like, “Oh my gosh, this is a big TV like, this is a network that I’m not familiar with and oh, that could be really cool to me. Maybe this could be a really good opportunity,” but I’m constantly going back to my list, whether that’s my self given job description or my inverted triangle or whatever it might be and saying, does this actually fit with like, where I’m trying to go and what I want to do. Most of the time, the answer is no and even if it’s a good opportunity, sometimes you have to say, almost all the time, you have to say no and that’s okay to pass up a good opportunity because you have a clear vision of what your goals are.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. I think that’s good. One of the things that I want to go back to is this interview that I did with Amy Lynn Andrews a while back and I think it relates to this because she talks about how can you go about managing your schedule and one of the things she talks about is literally like time blocking so you put in the things that are non-negotiables in your calendar like maybe it’s taking kids to soccer practice or something or journaling in the morning. Those are the things that you know you want to do so you put those in and then you have this list of things that you want to do or things that you’re focusing on, kind of what you talked about Lindsay.
Then, you can go back and literally slot in times in the calendar for those. What I’ve realized as I’ve done that is just how little time actually then is left over. Then I feel like that helps you to say no. When you literally put that into the calendar and see like, I just don’t have time for these other things. I think seeing that laid out is really helpful in order to kind of step back a little bit and say, this isn’t something that I need to focus on, even if it’s a good thing individually on the broader scale, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it would be a good thing. How about this, get an office, outside of your living room.
I think this is really important for people that work from home. I work from home and you have for a year as well before you had this studio. Can you talk about this and then also, maybe your story with it and tied into that, what do people do, like if you don’t have the budget right now to rent an office or an office space?
Lindsay Ostrom: Yeah, I don’t think by any means, this does not mean you have to rent an office space or yeah, get a studio or whatever that might be. For us, well, I’ll just give you the Pinch of Yum story. When I was teaching, obviously, I just did my blog at home because that was like, my off time and it would have made sense to have an office. You had an office, right, at that time when you were … do you have an office while you were still at Youth Frontiers?
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, so I was at a nonprofit and then was kind of slowly transitioning into doing this work. It was kind of doing each part time and the nonprofit that we’re connected with, we’ve been at the Philippines a few times to work with this organization called the Children’s Shelter of Cebu and they have a Minnesota office. I don’t know if this is longer than you wanted this explanation to be. We’ll go for the full back story here of not only … and then I’ll describe some of the lighting and the smell in the office as well. Anyways, Children’s Shelter of Cebu. They have an office location and they literally have like a spare, like little cubicle area that I rented from them, for $200 a month or something.
It’s still cost money but it wasn’t as expensive as like, getting an official space. That was when I was there like 2 days a week.
Lindsay Ostrom: That was kind of our first foray into having a space outside our home, an official space and then you got another office like an actual, like we’re paying a lease, whatever office or not yeah, it would be a lease and then when I quit Pinch of Yum, I was working at home and it was about like one year into that that I just really started to feel like, “Oh my goodness, I have to get out of this house like, I am becoming weird and getting like socially not capable of talking to people,” really rusty and so anyways, so that was kind of what made me say … and also doing the workshops, so it made me say that “Hey, I think I want to get like a studio or I want to get a space outside of our house, outside of our tiny little house.”
Then, we got the studio and that’s where I work now, is this studio that we have in Minneapolis. The point of this whole thing is not to say that you should even necessarily need to go out and get a $200 office space much, almost like a full blown studio. I think the point is sometimes working from home just makes a person crazy. Sometimes, the best thing that you can do for yourself is drive 10 minutes to a new place, bring your computer or even if you don’t have a laptop, like just bring your notebook and go somewhere else and read and write down ideas and think about recipes, look through cookbooks, whatever it might be, just get out of your same zone because that I feel helps to kind of like shake up your brain enough so that you get fresh inspiration.
Another thing along with this is, kind of like a side idea to this would be, the idea of like pairing something negative with something positive. For example, you have a really big project that you’re working on for a client, get out of your house, like make it fun and go somewhere, go to a coffee shop, during the day or whatever, allow yourself like the fancy drink or whatever it might be. Something that associates a positive treat with something that otherwise, feels like, I’m just at home, I’m doing this day in and day out daily grind kind of stuff. That’s the main idea behind this, I don’t think it actually has to mean, go out and sign a lease on a space. Although if you can do that, maybe it is worth looking into. It’s been a really good experience for us. Even if it’s just going out to a coffee shop or to a restaurant or to a park, sometimes, Bjork goes to a park with Sage and they go work outside.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, it’s awesome.
Lindsay Ostrom: Get out of your house if you can.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, that’s … I was just going to say, some of the places that I … I’ve mentioned this a few times but I think people assume that you and I are working together all the time but in reality most of our day is spent apart and you’re at the studio and I’m here at home and one of the things that I feel like is pretty consistently around 2 or 3, I’m like, “Oh man, I need to go shake it up and do something different.” I’ll do coffee shops, I’ll do Barnes and Noble every once in a while which I really like being a book guy. Occasionally, I’ll go like you said, to parks and they’ll have like coffee shop and stuff like that.
I always find that it’s easier for me to do work and it feels like less of a struggle, when it’s a new place with new surrounding and I don’t know why that is but it’s pretty consistent, that when I go somewhere else, it feels different and it’s easier to work versus just being in the same routine, same spot, things like that.
Lindsay Ostrom: It feels like a little bit of a trickster move.
Bjork Ostrom: Trickster move. That’s a little teaser.
Lindsay Ostrom: Which … that’s a tease.
Bjork Ostrom: Coming up.
Lindsay Ostrom: Yup.
Bjork Ostrom: Set strict rules. This is number 4, set strict rules for social media and comments. This is something that you still do and how do you do that?
Lindsay Ostrom: I do, I do it less than I used to, like when I wrote this post, I really did have strict rules, like when I would check an Instagram post, I would hold my thumb over the number of likes so I couldn’t see it, just only to look at the comments and be able to respond to the comments and the reason for that is because, I felt like, I got too tied up in the numbers of it and I was like, it would throw off my mood for the night if I did a post and it was like, I was really helping and this would get a ton of likes and it didn’t, because of that, I just for myself, had to say, just don’t look at that, like you don’t need to know and maybe a week or 2 later, I would go back and look through those post and then check what the numbers were on those.
It was like putting a little bit of a buffer in between this constant overload of do more, do more, get higher numbers, get better engagement, blah, blah, blah. Just putting up, just putting up a little bit of a buffer for me to just enjoy it for what it was a little bit more. How I still do that now is particularly with comments. I just don’t … well, now, for us, it’s a little bit different because we have an office manager who helps us with our comments, Jennah, who’s amazing and maybe you’ve seen her on Pinch of Yum comments, if you’re a Pinch of Yum reader but she will go back through the older post.
Kind of monitor the comment situation on all those older post while I’m still on the newer post engaging with people who are commentating on stuff as it goes out. One of the things that’s super helpful for me is not having to see a negative comment on a post from literally 4 years ago or 5 years ago or whatever it might be.
Bjork Ostrom: Though you feel like the potential for negative comments goes up the older it is.
Lindsay Ostrom: Yes. My gosh, for sure because it’s like the recipes weren’t as good. Just, general it’s not, just a general quality or lower.
Bjork Ostrom: I think the people that are reaching it aren’t necessarily people that are connected to you, they’re just kind of random people that maybe have a strong opinions and voice now.
Lindsay Ostrom: Yes, and then I would, what would happen would be, I would be going through all my comments, like this is before I had some … had helped with this but I would be going through my comments and it would be like positive, positive, positive. Thank you, thank you, thank you and then, I get this one on literally opposed that I don’t even remember anything about and it would be so negative and so mean and it would just throw me and it would throw me off and I wish I could say, I was like, super strong and that stuff doesn’t, it doesn’t bother me but definitely it does bother me so setting some clear rules about that like for myself, the rule is that when I have Jennah doing the comments, she comes back to me with this awesome concise little report and says, “Hey, here are the comments people didn’t … here are the recipes, people didn’t like.”
Just so I can get a feel because I know not everybody likes everything all the time but having some, again, to use that word buffer, having somewhat of a buffer in there, somebody else to see it and like take on the message of it and then just communicate to me this recipe might needed be retested again rather than all the mean words that come along with that, is super helpful and this is a quick, another quick follow up to that would be the time of day that I actually do go in and respond to those negative comments if there are any that I actually need to follow up, and like just today, I did that, there was a negative comment, someone was upset about something that I had written about and so, Jennah and I talked and she sent me the comment.
I said, I’m going to respond personally but I made sure that I didn’t go to respond until I was really in a good place with my self. I’m not going to go and respond when I’m feeling already … some days, you just have a day where you feel less good about yourself or less secure in what you’re doing and maybe just less nice overall, I don’t know. It’s like picking those moments, intentionally and I think if I were to sum this all up, it would be like, being a little bit of a horse with blinders on intentionally. That can be a good thing. Don’t feel like you always need to take in every single thing that comes at you from social media and comments.
You can intentionally put up some boundaries around that so that when you do go to respond to them, you’re ready for them, you can respond appropriately.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, and it helps you to avoid burn out because I think every time you have one of those interactions, it drags you down a little bit and I feel like, burn out is all about getting down so far that you’re like, you don’t feel good about the work you’re doing or you feel discouraged. You feel like you kind of have a mud on your shoes that it’s hard to walk forward and continue to create content. This is one of my favorite comics. It’s a little bit vulgar but the oatmeal, if you’re not familiar with theoatmeal.com, he does comics, how do you describe them?
Lindsay Ostrom: Yeah like, comics.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, long form comics.
Lindsay Ostrom: It’s like a blog post but it’s just one long comics.
Bjork Ostrom: He has one and we’ll link to this, it’s theoatmeal.com/comics/making_things, not that anybody would ever type that in after I say it but I started so I finished. Let me rewind that a little bit so I can catch it into that in. It’s called some thoughts and musings about making things for the web. If nothing else, I think it’s really good for us, us being people that are creating stuff online to read through this, because it’s also the universal feelings and one of the areas that he talks about is like how happy he feels after reading a thousand nice comments and then he reads one mean comment and then it just feels like the world is coming to an end. It’s such a universal truth and I feel that and I would assume, that you feel that in some way Lindsay. It’s a funny comic to check out, again a little bit vulgar but it’s very relatable in terms of things he says.
Lindsay Ostrom: Yeah, funny.
Bjork Ostrom: Number 5, singles, not home runs, what does that mean?
Lindsay Ostrom: Yeah, this is, I have to give you credit for this little catch phrase …
Bjork Ostrom: I have to give credit to Joe Mauer of Minnesota Twins, because that is his strategy.
Lindsay Ostrom: Nice.
Bjork Ostrom: Do you know that?
Lindsay Ostrom: I guess I didn’t know that.
Bjork Ostrom: I don’t know if it’s officially his strategy but if you’re a baseball fan, you might know Joe Mauer.
Lindsay Ostrom: Yeah, I mean.
Bjork Ostrom: Minessota Twins, baseball player, as well as Saint Paul Native.
Lindsay Ostrom: Yeah.
Bjork Ostrom: Anything you want to add to that?
Lindsay Ostrom: No.
Bjork Ostrom: He’s a singles hitter though.
Lindsay Ostrom: Yeah, and so are we all sometimes, period, the end, goodbye, mic dropped. No, okay, so singles not home runs, just basically is a mantra to remind you that everything you do doesn’t have to break the internet and actually probably most of it won’t probably most of it …
Bjork Ostrom: Break the internet for the better.
Lindsay Ostrom: Yeah, yeah. Sorry.
Bjork Ostrom: That’s one of the things that we joke about sometimes, it’s like the internet melting because of how popular something is.
Lindsay Ostrom: Popular, popular.
Bjork Ostrom: Sarcastically, like when nothing happens.
Lindsay Ostrom: Right, I guess if I were to say that again, it would be, that not everything that you do has to be amazing, has to be like 10 out of 10 amazing. If it is, then, you’re awesome and we should have you on the Podcast. For most people, probably a lot of what they do is 6 out of 10, 7 out of 10 maybe, the occasional 5 or 4 out of 10 and I think if you have the perspective that it’s okay to have repeated singles and not home runs every single time, you just like lighten your own load, a little bit. You don’t get so hard on yourself and expect that every single time you hit publish on a post or an Instagram or whatever, put a tweet or a Facebook post out there, that you’re going to have to get so, so, so, so much engagement and it just lets you create without the pressure of needing it to go viral every single time.
Bjork Ostrom: Yup, I think that’s great, and really, that’s one of my favorites and I think what it does is it alleviates some of the pressure that you feel and like it has to be totally epic and it has to be best thing ever and sometimes, what can happen is if you feel that then you never get that thing out the door because you’re expect … it’s like you don’t swing unless you know you’re going to hit a home run and it’s like who knows are going to hit a home run, nobody then you never end up swinging but if you’re like, I’m okay with a single, I think you get up to bat and you’re more confident swinging every time to bring the baseball analogy even further.
Lindsay Ostrom: Nice, I like it.
Bjork Ostrom: You can use some sports analogies if you want to, at anytime, a swimming analogy. Lindsay was a really good swimmer, fun fact.
Lindsay Ostrom: Yeah.
Bjork Ostrom: Speaking of swimming, have no phone times, because you can’t use a phone in the pool.
Lindsay Ostrom: Don’t take your phone swimming, that is probably the best advice for now.
Bjork Ostrom: How about that for a transition?
Lindsay Ostrom: Yeah just that times that are no phone times and maybe strictly no phone times. I think we’re so connected, we’re so over connected all the time. That contributes I don’t know, I think it’s a huge, huge contributing factor to burn out over all, is not only the fact of all the burdens we’re putting on ourselves, the comparison trap and the amount of work that we’re trying to do in hours within day that it’s not even possible to do that much work but above and beyond that, it’s the fact that we’re always accessible and we’re always connected and I think there is some really awesome things about that.
I love that I can be in the car on the passenger seat and don’t do this while you’re driving but in the passenger seat on my way to a friend’s house, and be quickly responding to an email or doing an Instagram post for a brand or just like … it’s really amazing and crazy what we can do kind of on the go with our phones but then it also means, we haven’t always carry this ball and chain with us and have to be accountable and ready and feel like we have this, feel like we have to report in all the time for duty and that’s just not healthy. If we’re looking at burn out, then that reality of having our phones with us all the time really isn’t a … isn’t a helpful thing.
Disconnecting from our phones, getting a little mental space, just to be like enough and to be a person in the world, not needing to be held accountable for your email and whatever else is a really healthy thing, I think.
Bjork Ostrom: I think that this is one of those things people get and I think people actually want this but it’s actually hard to do, it gets really hard to have a time where it’s no phone or even to paint with a broader stroke like no tech or no screens. Do you have advice on what that would look like or even a small step that people can take to get in … like to take that first step.
Lindsay Ostrom: Yeah, I mean, I think you could put an hour limit on it, so you could say like after 9pm, 9:30, 9:45 whatever. After a certain hour of the day, I don’t use my phone or for the first hour that I wake up, I don’t use my phone. I don’t go on my computer so putting some time parameters on it can be helpful. Also putting location parameters on it so like when I am outside with my dog, after work, I say, dog because we don’t have any kids or anything so for you fill in the blank maybe it’s like something more … like your human child or something. For me, it’s my dog, when I’m outside with my dog, after work, I don’t have … I’m not on my phone like I’m not doing email.
I’m just being outside and enjoying the day or when I’m eating a meal, dinner or breakfast or whatever, I think you could set it around location, you could set it around time, you could set it around certain activities but putting some kind of specific parameters on it is super helpful.
Bjork Ostrom: I think it’s important to remember, I think depending on where you are, sometimes feels like we always need to be accessible and that if we’re not able to respond at something really quickly then things will crash and burn. One of the things I would encourage you if you’re trying this out is to do it and then to say, okay, did things actually … did this actually have an impact but I think almost all the time, you’ll realize that it doesn’t. Obviously that applies to different people differently, depending on the industry that you’re in but usually outside vast majority of people, it won’t matter if you disconnect and aren’t available so I’d encourage you to do that.
I think it helps avoid burn out because you get this by letting your phone recharge without you, you yourself get a chance to recharge and just to think about different things and to experience not moving on something right away, right when you think of it, like, “Oh, I should check that email or oh, I should jump in and check Slack, a few Slack.” I think to exercise that muscle of not crossing something off the list right away is an important muscle to exercise. How about this one, number 7, get a supporter and specifically, someone who really understands you and the blogging. Can you talk a little bit about that?
Lindsay Ostrom: Yeah. I’ll just talk about you.
Bjork Ostrom: Okay. This is a good lead and I added this, I was like, we have to talk about this one.
Lindsay Ostrom: Can you please talk about this? No, for me, it’s, Bjork obviously that would make a lot of sense because do I … should I talk about you in the, to you or should I talk about you in the 3rd person? Do you know what I mean, I never know, I kind of do both a little bit.
Bjork Ostrom: Maybe 3rd person so like you’re talking to people that are listening.
Lindsay Ostrom: Okay, I’ll be talking to the people who are listening, all right, here we go. To the people who are listening, I will not look at Bjork right now. I’ll just only look at the wall and pretend, I’m talking right to your face.
Bjork Ostrom: Perfect.
Lindsay Ostrom: For me, Bjork it feels this role, really well because he understands blogging. He’s a part of what I’m doing with Punch of Yum, he’s naturally interested in it. He does similar and related work at this point. That is a really helpful thing. Also, he’s my husband so I would want to talk to him about my work anyways. Bjork has been a huge, huge, huge supporter and I would say, huge reason why Pinch of Yum is still around. If nothing else other than picking me up off the ground and being like, okay, come on, it’s fine, you can do this again. You don’t need to be freaking out about this. On another level, I think there are people who like are maybe more so pierce in this case, it’s a weird example because technically, you kind of are a peer, slash partner of mine in what I’m doing.
Let’s just say for example, you did not work in blogging, you were my husband but you did not work in blogging, sure, I would still love to talk with Bjork about my blog but I would really need to find some other people who truly understand blogging and understand the unique struggles with … struggles and challenges and also, the winds and the things that are working, the things that are not working. Just the industry in and outs and general and have that be based in a peer group as opposed to just your friends and family. For me, that has looked like connecting with other bloggers that I really admire and respect, and saying, “Hey, do you want to jump on a call once every month or once every couple of months,” or whatever it might be or even to do something like, “Hey, let’s do an email, check in.”
I know some people do like a Slack group or like a Facebook group, where they connect and just are connected throughout the day, almost like, periodically, like they report into work and some people actually like there used to be more so when I started blogging, people would use Twitter for that, they’ll get on in the morning and all of a sudden, there would be these friends, you have activity, tweets from people in the morning so wherever they …
Bjork Ostrom: Tweet storm.
Lindsay Ostrom: Yeah, it’s a tweet storm, a food blogger tweet storm but if you can find your supporters, whether they would be your family and friends or actual peers in the industry, that is a huge piece of the puzzle in combating burn out. Yeah.
Bjork Ostrom: Cool. One of the things that I was going to say with this, that is you’re kind of talking aboutm Slack group, Facebook, things like that. One of the interesting things like scheduling a time and actually jumping on a call and talking about it is it forces conversation in a good way, versus, like a Facebook or Slack which you have to feel something pretty strongly or like really be processing through your problem in order to go there and share it. I think one of the things that is nice about actually talking on a phone call or maybe Google Hangouts or something like that is you would talk about stuff that you maybe normally wouldn’t post in a group.
I found that to be something kind of interesting and also hear people talk about something that maybe you would never even think about. For me, there is a couple of different groups that I’m kind of plugged into and we’ll do calls occasionally and things like that and that’s always been one thing that I found is like, something I’ve never even thought of comes up and it’s like, taken out, this is something I need to take action on. One of the things that I think would be worth talking a little bit about is for those that are trying to figure out where they go for that, what would your advice be to them?
Lindsay Ostrom: I mean, it sounds kind of weird but I would just look at the people that … whose blogs you like and who you feel like are at a similar place in their blogging career. I’m using blogging specifically, obviously there are multiple food industry people that probably listen to this Podcast or other industry, I’m not really sure but for me, it’s food blogging, so looking at other people who are either at a similar place and how long they’ve been blogging or the level that they’re blogging out like what they’re audience size is or where they’re trying to reach people. Maybe there is a group of … there is a group of people that you know through Instagram and you all have the same kind of size of following and you’re using similar strategies to build and grow.
Those would be good people to reach out to and I think, I mean, I know it sounds weird but hopefully there are those people that you already know through leaving a comment on their blog or sharing their content in some way or another. I think it’s just reaching out to people and like via email or Instagram message or a snap or whatever it might be and saying, “Hey, I’m putting together a group and I would love to have you be a part of it.” Maybe you start with like a short term commitment like you say, let’s do a 3 month, mini mastermind where we meet 3 times, once each month and we do like, an hour or 2 hour meeting and we share what each of us comes to the table to share one thing that’s working for us and one thing we have a question about so everybody has a chance to share.
Honestly, even above and beyond like the group mentality, I think just having that one person even can be super helpful. Even if it’s just sending someone email saying, “Hey, I really like what you’re doing. I think it’s really cool,” and starting that relationship so that as time goes on, those are the people that you then come back to and ask questions to and then they can come to you and ask questions and basically, it’s like making friends 101.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, I think, your point about being the organizer, is a really important one. Sometimes, myself included, people would think, how do I join this group that exist and I feel like vast majority of the time, anytime that I’ve had success and like, gathering your group of people and having conversations, whether career, otherwise, it had to be me that takes a step to organize it. Not that we never get invites, but like, if that’s something you’re feeling, it’s going to be a lot more success that being if you’re feeling like, you want to do this. It’s going to be a lot more successful if you are able to take those initial steps as opposed to like just kind of hoping that invite comes.
I think another thing that’s probably at least worth mentioning for this is to bounce back up to that first one of studying, inspiring work outside of your niche and if possible, finding somebody who does similar work but isn’t in the exact same niche as you. I think this … there is positives and negatives with this but, I mean with a group of … it’s 3 people now and one is a guy that has a DIY blog and then another is an individual that has a … like it’s, how do you describe it, like a fashion blog, I guess, yeah. Then, the other is somebody that buys and sells websites, Mark who I interviewed in the Podcast. That’s such rich conversation because we all come from similar angles with the same general industry.
It’s something that’s been really positive for us. I also have groups, we all meet together and chat with people or just individual connections with people that are in the exact same industry and those are beneficial as well but, I just want to throw that out there because I think it’s worth considering at least and to let you know that it doesn’t always have to be somebody in the exact same industry. Sometimes, it can be really beneficial if they’re a little bit different so that was number 7.
Lindsay Ostrom: Okay.
Bjork Ostrom: Get a supporter. I think that’s really important. Number 8, stick to an organizational system. I’d be curious to know what it is for you, I can talk about mine a little bit too but I know yours has kind of changed a little bit throughout the last few years and would be curious to know what you’re using right now?
Lindsay Ostrom: Right now, I am actually using a calendar kind of editorial tool called, CoSchedule and I really like it because it gives me a place to put all my ideas, to put post drafts and drag and drop and move them and it just a really nice functionality for all the moving parts that are a part of publishing a food blog including social shares, social messaging that kind of stuff, like your campaigns, any other content you might be doing like email related stuff. It’s just like one place for all of that to live. I think when you think about burn out or when I think about burn out, what I think about is an overwhelm.
Some kind of like, excessive burden, repeated overtime and just a heavy, heavy weight on your shoulders. Even having that weight come from tiny things but it’s like all those things piled on top of each other to make this heavy weight or this heavy burden, that eventually gets you to the point where you can’t or don’t want to move forward anymore. For me one way to combat that is to remove as many of those decisions as possible and having an organizational system so when I have an idea, I know right where to put it. It’s not like I’m searching around for a scrap of paper and then thinking, where did I put that scrap of paper or which … what page in my notebook has whatever.
I still … I mean, some of that is like going to happen but in general, if I were to give someone advice on that related to burn out or let’s say, get a good system going, so that your mind can be free to be creative within the constraints or the boundaries of your organizational system.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, that’s great. I was just going to say this real quick, if you’re a Food Blogger Pro member, you can go to foodbloggerpro.com/deals and we have a deal on CoSchedule which is that software that you use for 60 days free and if you want to try it out and get a feel for that. Some of the ones that I like to use, programs, it’s not hooked into WordPress like CoSchedule is but Things, it’s for apple, Asana which is really good specially if you have a team because you can work on projects together so that’s what you use both for Pinch of Yum and Food Blogger Pro. Then, I was just going to mention this because you talked about that little decisions thing.
One of the things that’s been really helpful for both of us and just for the businesses in general is to have a password management application which doesn’t … well, I supposed that applies to organizational system but it’s just somewhere to put all that stuff so you don’t have to deal with it. We use one password for that but all of those little things will help to make it a little bit easier to do your work each and everyday and you don’t … the more you have those little bumps in the road, along the way, the more that you’re going to want to pull over and just not continue moving forward.
Those are things, specially, the organizational system type stuff that can smooth the road and make it easier to continue to move forward. All right, speaking of moving forward, we’re coming to the end here. Number 9, rewrite the definition of success. I think this could be one of the most important items here and I think it’s really important for people to hear this.
Lindsay Ostrom: Okay, so the concept behind this is if you’re feeling burned out. If you’re feeling like you’re not good enough or like there is so many decisions to be made or you’re just … you just can’t cut it in whatever area you’re trying to cut it in and make it in, just try to rewrite the definition of success and really yourself, what am I trying to do, okay, because most of us have … all of us probably have a bajillion things that we’re thinking about so we’re thinking about Facebook, we’re thinking about Snapchat, Instagram and then what about email marketing and, I had this give away going and then also, I was going to work with brands and then what about ads and video and blah, blah, blah.
That’s not even mentioning all that goes into one single blog post. There is so many things that we could try to excel at and that we could use as a marker of our definitions of success or markers of how successful we’ve actually been and I think if you really step back and ask yourself, what am I trying to do, it really helps you pair down that list of things and kind of gives you that hyper focus to your one thing. What is my one thing that I’m trying to do that I can use to define my success and I would even say, you could do that on 2 levels. You could do that for yourself within your business in the food slash, blogging industry and also just do that with your life.
What you’re doing with your work becomes your life. Those decisions that you make on a day to day basis around how you’re defining success is what your life actually becomes if you stop and look at your day to day hour after hour, day after day time in and time out.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, I was going to say this, this is funny because you can see me leaning in. I think that one of the things that ties into that is needing to like creatively think about the work that you’re doing and how you’re tracking the results with it because for … specially like blogs and websites and stuff like that, there is so much data around it which makes that more heavily weighted in terms of what you track and there is all different ways that you can define success and track what you’re doing but the easiest one is always this idea of like traffic or am I at the point where I’m making enough from a blog to transition into doing that as a full time job.
Do I have likes on a Facebook post or an Instagram post or how many people of you, my story on Snapchat and all of those things are so easy to track but that doesn’t necessarily have to be the definition of success which I think is a really important point and you were also going to say something else, do you remember what it was?
Lindsay Ostrom: I don’t know if I was … I was just going to basically explain it more which is what you said.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, cool. I think that’s a really important one. One of the things I occasionally talk about specially if you’re in your first phase of building your blog, like your first year let’s say is this idea of user controlled analytics and that you’re looking at things that you can control as opposed to things that maybe you can’t directly control as much. I think that can be applied throughout the entire process and maybe just this, could potentially be a lead into the next one as well but one of the things, I think that we can look at, as whether we’ve been successful in that is like, how much are we enjoying the process. Is it something that we truly enjoy doing and are interested in.
That can be part of the success metrics because if you’re waking up everyday and doing stuff that you don’t necessarily enjoy, I think a lot of people myself included would consider that to be something that’s not super successful and I don’t know, I guess an important to make so I’m glad that you brought it up.
Lindsay Ostrom: Yeah.
Bjork Ostrom: I brought it up and you talked about it.
Lindsay Ostrom: Yup.
Bjork Ostrom: You posted about it and then I brought it up then you talked about it and then I talked about it.
Lindsay Ostrom: Yeah, it’s the ultimate volley back and forth.
Bjork Ostrom: Lots of volleying here, so that was 9, we want to get through 9 but as we had talked about we have kind of just a bonus one that Lindsay hadn’t mentioned.
Lindsay Ostrom: What? You can’t even call me the right name. We’re tired, we’re tired.
Bjork Ostrom: It’s a long day.
Lindsay Ostrom: This is late, this is 6pm.
Bjork Ostrom: We’re going to keep pressing on.
Lindsay Ostrom: Do you not want me to say it a time, too late, I already said it.
Bjork Ostrom: No, I said it at the beginning, remember, I said, 5:30.
Lindsay Ostrom: You said 6 … Okay.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, if people are tracking along unless they’re listening at double speed then they’ll know. This is the bonus one. I want to talk about this a little bit because it’s something that you’ve brought up and I thought a lot about as I’ve been doing work or as I’ve … just in life in general I think and the idea is staying light on your feet which is a phrase that I think people understand and they’re familiar with but if you dig into it a little bit more I think there is a lot to uncover there so can you talk about that?
Lindsay Ostrom: Yes, I’m super excited to talk about this one because this is my like mantra lately, like my … I do really love it like a phrase, like I guess mantra would be the word, like a short phrase that I could just repeat to myself over and over again. Those stick in my mind really easily. Words and phrases so anyways, this is my little mantra. It would be related to being a trickster, not a martyr and kind of staying light on my feet. The concept for this comes from a book called Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and it’s a great book, really great book. I would highly recommend it, specially if you’re dealing with burn out or you just need a creative refresh and specially if you’re into writing in any capacity with what you’re doing.
Really, really, highly recommend this book. The concept is the martyr versus the trickster, goes like this. I’m going to actually read a little excerpt from the book. Is that okay? Can I do that?
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. That’s great.
Lindsay Ostrom: Cool, so it says, this is from, again, Big Magic and that’s written by Elizabeth Gilbert. We all have a little bit of trickster in us and we all have a little bit of martyr in us. Okay, some of us have a lot of martyr in us but at some point in your creative journey, you will have to make a decision about which camp you wish to belong to and therefore which parts of your self to nourish, cultivate and bring into being. Choose carefully. I’m skipping ahead a little bit and she says what is the difference between a martyr and a trickster, you ask, well, here is a quick primer. Martyr says, I will sacrifice everything to fight this unwinnable war even if it means, being crushed to death under the wheel of torment.
Trickster says, okay, you enjoy that, as for me, I’ll be over here in this corner, running a successful little black market operation on the side of your unwinnable war. Martyr says, life is pain. Trickster says, life is interesting. Martyr says, the system is rigged against all that’s good and Sacred. Trickster says, there is no system, everything is good and nothing is sacred. Martyr says, nobody will ever understand me. Trickster says, pick a card, any card. Martyr says, the world can never be solved and Trickster says, perhaps not but it can be gamed. Martyr says, through my torment the truth shall be revealed and trickster says, I didn’t come here to self repel.
Martyr says, death before dishonor. Trickster says let’s make a deal. Martyr always ends up dead in the heap of broken glory while trickster trots off to enjoy another day. I feel like that concept of being a trickster, staying light on your feet, really following your curiosity, following your wonder, what gets … what does naturally peaks your interest. What gets you excited following those things and letting those guide you is, for me, has been a really helpful thing in thinking about burn out. I default to the martyr. I am like, I’m going to work as hard as I can. I am going to grit my way and hustle my way through and where I found that that has led me, that have been some good things that have come out of that.
I feel like, most of the time where that leads me is well beyond the good things and more into me, being completely desperate for some lightness in my life and staying light on your feet, staying interested in things, stay curious, stay happy and joyful. Another good book would be, I think it’s called the Happiness Advantage. That’s a really good book, on the actual strategic benefits of staying happy and joyful. Not only because it feels good to happy and joyful but because it’s good for your work. If you, yourself, are in a good place, if you’re light on your feet. That is like a cycle and cycles back to have a positive impact on your work.
Really would encourage you to figure out what it is that helps you stay light on your feet. What makes you interested, what gets you excited about life and then follow those things.
Bjork Ostrom: Do you have an example for, specifically for the trickster versus martyr, because I think concept, again, I just love that concept and I think people would understand that, specially people that have … I think it maybe ties into a little bit of the resistance as well and I think the resistance which we’ve talked about a lot it was actually the previous podcast episode, if you don’t listen to that, can feel like the martyr sometimes. The trickster is a lot of times the response to that but do you have any, like a concrete example of how you’ve applied trickster mentality to your work and maybe how that’s helped you avoid burn out?
Lindsay Ostrom: Sure. I feel like I talk about Facebook a lot, because Facebook is a struggle for me, for us. I don’t know, I like it personally a lot but for Pinch of Yum, we’ve had some ups and downs and Facebook in general with brands right now is kind of challenging. I would say if I think about Facebook for Pinch of Yum, I would … my martyr site of my brain says, “I have to figure out what’s working on Facebook and like Facebook is so annoying right now and Facebook is just, I’m really struggling with Facebook and I really need to … I have to,” it’s the I have to statement. The trickster says, I wonder what would happen if, fill in blank. I’d be really curious to see, fill in the blank.
Specific example, I wonder what would happen if we tried posting that video really late at night instead of in the middle of the afternoon. It’s just staying curious about things as opposed to feeling, it’s like a mental bending of things. It’s bending, it doesn’t even have to mean that you do different work. It’s how you actually look at it. You’re saying, here is the thing I have to right, away when you hear yourself saying that and you feel the, I don’t want to, like I’m dragging my feet. You feel that heaviness, stop yourself and say, what can I be curious about, what can I be interested in.
Is there an I wonder statement that can go along with this that helps you to be a little lighter on your feet.
Bjork Ostrom: I’ve never talked to the trickster but I bet if I had a conversation with the said Trickster, they would view work not as an obligation but as a privilege in some ways. That is something that we get to engage with and be curious about. I feel like, if like in my mind, if the trickster is also, like maybe one version of the trickster is also like a first grader where they come in to school and school isn’t school. It’s like, it’s this chance to play with Play Doh or whatever first graders do. It says, opportunity as opposed to maybe as you move on life and you start to view work as kind of this obligation and something you have to do or like, Facebook, this is something I have to do but instead putting on that mindset of the trickster and saying, I’m curious, like it would be so fun to play around with this and see, I think that’s interesting.
Lindsay Ostrom: I think it can be both on like the I have to and the I’m curious or I wonder if. Also, it can be helpful in navigating your direction and kind of do go back to rewriting the definition of success, like where should you actually be working because if you find that every single aspect of putting together a blog post, brings up feelings of the feelings of the martyr in your mind, then think like a trickster like what sounds like fun to you and the people … this is who I imagine the trickster is, is like the really young 20 something who is building an Instagram following for fun that then blows up into this massive thing and now, they … that’s their career and they’re an influencer with a huge audience on Instagram.
It’s like they were just playing around. They were just, I mean, that’s not to say there is no strategy behind it because I think for sure there are those pieces layered in but I would say, really at the core, a lot of the people who are really successfully making it are tricksters, they’re light on their feet, they’re loving what they’re doing. They’re finding the things that keep them curious and interested in their work as opposed to feeling like every single thing is a chore. I’d encourage you if you do feel like every single thing is a chore, just reanalyze and I feel like the Podcast is a good example. I don’t know if maybe you want to talk about that, like the blog post versus Podcast.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, for sure. For me, I feel like Podcast are just such a better medium and I had written blog post a while and like kind of enjoyed that process but it was definitely like long drawn out like it wasn’t a super good fit for me but I think in transition to podcast, it felt like a much better fit, as opposed to, for you, I feel like writing and the post feel really good and not that Podcast don’t but maybe more so like lean into the writing side as opposed to … for me it’s finding a medium that worked better which is Podcast. All that to say though as an interesting side note, just to take those even deeper. I think that you still, you can possibly have a trickster mindset. Do something that you enjoy and is a good fit and still feel resistance in doing that.
Lindsay Ostrom: Yeah, for sure.
Bjork Ostrom: There is like … it’s a weird line between something that’s maybe not a good fit and something that is a good fit but then you still feel a resistance in doing it, because I think there are people who and maybe the Podcast is another good example, I think I enjoyed doing it as a good fit and yet, there is still some anticipation that I have like if I’m going to be coming up to an interview with somebody or preparing for that, I was like, it would be easier not to do this, I kind of feels some resistance towards it.
Lindsay Ostrom: Yeah and I think, we’re just … we could take about this forever. We’re over thinkers, can you guys tell that we’re, we’re like chronic over thinkers.
Bjork Ostrom: To over think a thought and over thinking, I want to say this real quick. I think that part of why it’s important is because so much of it is not just the tips and tricks, it’s also the mental piece of it.
Lindsay Ostrom: Yeah.
Bjork Ostrom: I think that’s just such an important part.
Lindsay Ostrom: Yeah.
Bjork Ostrom: would you agree?
Lindsay Ostrom: I do agree.
Bjork Ostrom: What percent?
Lindsay Ostrom: Probably a hundred percent. Okay, this is the other thing I was going to say, trickster versus martyr. Another way to think about it is just for whatever reason that image of like something heavy and versus something nimble. It’s like static versus fluid. The martyr is, the … Okay, I’m trying to think of an example that doesn’t like, put boxes around something.
Bjork Ostrom: Elephant.
Lindsay Ostrom: The elephant, no. Well sure. The martyr is …
Bjork Ostrom: I love animal examples yeah.
Lindsay Ostrom: No, this is what I’m going to say, the martyr, I’ll use myself as an example, because I have plenty of martyr moment so to go back to, well, let’s say Pinterest, okay. I’ll pick on Pinterest instead of Facebook for once. Pinterest recently changed its algorithm and rather than me sit around and say, I work so hard to build my blog and my Pinterest is falling and now all of it isn’t worth anything which I’ve definitely had moments and have leanings towards the martyr as Bjork knows. He laughs knowingly from the corner. The trickster is light on their feet, like they’re not going to be bugged down by an algorithm change because they’re light on their feet. They’re going to try to have fun, try to stay curious.
I’m basically just saying the same thing here but giving it another example, other than bringing in the resistance and all the other context we’ve talked about but, thinking about it as being fluid, being open to change, light on your feet, that’s the best phrase in my mind to sum it open, just staying light on your feet, staying nimble, staying flexible and fluid in what you’re doing.
Bjork Ostrom: To bring it full circle and to wrap it up, I think it helps you avoid burn out because as you know if you’ve been in this industry for one week, it’s so quickly changing and moving and if you feel like … if you feel martyrdom, if you feel like a martyr too often then, what will happen is you’ll just get totally bugged down and you’ll burn out because things changed so quickly. We’re just talking about Instagram changing and now it has stories. It’s like, you have to be light on your feet and curious in order to stay with it. As opposed of feeling like, another change. Why can’t things just stay the same or why do things always have to be updating or why are things in a different place, why can’t it just be like it used to be. It’s so important to stay light on your feet, which I think you do a good job but even though you give yourself a hard time about being a martyr.
Lindsay Ostrom: I don’t know.
Bjork Ostrom: That’s a wrap for this week’s episode, Linds, thanks for coming on and talking through some of this. I really appreciate it.
Lindsay Ostrom: Yeah. Thanks for having me.
Bjork Ostrom: It was fun. I know it’s a little bit weird to do an interview with us just standing in the room here and …
Lindsay Ostrom: Yeah, it’s a little weird but people can’t see it so …
Bjork Ostrom: People don’t know, for all they know we could be on the opposite site of the world. What are you betting there? The other thing I never do is transition into the outro, while you’re on …
Lindsay Ostrom: To the outro, do I need to give you a countdown?
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.
Lindsay Ostrom: Okay, ready?
Bjork Ostrom: Twenty.
Lindsay Ostrom: No, no, no, no, 3, I’m going to do 3.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.
Lindsay Ostrom: Can I … I’ll just say bye one more time and thanks everyone for listening. We love you, okay, 3, 2, 1.
Bjork Ostrom: Go.
Lindsay Ostrom: Go, go.
Bjork Ostrom: That’s a wrap for this episode. Thanks for listening. One thing I wanted to mention real quick here at the end is we’re going to be doing a user generated podcast so if you have thoughts or ideas that you want to share, we want to hear what those are. It could basically be anything that’s been working well for you lately. We talked about different social media platforms here, off and on throughout this. Maybe you have a tip for us that we can use for Facebook. Maybe it’s Pinterest. Maybe it doesn’t have anything to do with social media but it’s more around like time management or some of the psychology stuff that we talked about, trickster versus martyr.
If you have anything that you want to you share, you can go to foodbloggerpro.com/call and that will redirect you to a page where on your computer, you can just press record and leave a message. Here is what we want to hear from you. Your name, if you have a blog or a website, what that is and then you can leave your tip or trick for us and again, we will include that in the show notes for this episode so you can click on that or you can go to foodbloggerpro.com/call and record that. We also have the information for that on that page or the instructions for that so you don’t have to remember. Thanks so much for tuning in.
I really hope that you guys are doing well, wherever you are and that is a wrap for this episode. We will see you same time, same place, next week. Until then, make it a great week. Thanks, guys.
Wow! I loved this podcast! You guys have been a huge source of inspiration for me to start my blog in the first place and now I feel inspired all over again as I am trying to build traffic to my blog. I recently have made some big purchases towards my blog and am seeing positive results because of it. 🙂 So glad I am a part of Food Blogger Pro. Thanks!
So happy to hear that, Megan! Thanks for letting us know.