When faced with a decision, ask yourself “is this decision bringing me closer to or further from my goals?”
Courtney Johnson is a writer, thought leader, award-winning digital marketing and social media expert, Director of Social Media at a top sales consulting firm, and a Co-Founder of MYSOLMAT yoga mats. She has created and grown multiple social media departments at top marketing, advertising, and sales consulting agencies and managed social media campaigns for hundreds of top brands. Courtney is a top thought-leader and influencer in the Social and Digital Media space, training others in her reflections, learnings, and predictions in the industry.
Courtney helped create MYSOLMAT, a company that creates eco-friendly, high quality yoga and fitness mats. She designs each mat herself, and leads all MYSOLMAT marketing, both offline and online. Courtney holds a Bachelor of Science in Strategic Communications from Texas Christian University where she was involved in extensive research on behavioral psychology and organizational psychology. Courtney is also an active volunteer at her local Creative Mornings chapter, a monthly lecture and event series designed to encourage career progression for professionals in the creative field.
Where did the idea for MYSOLMAT come from?
For years I could never find a yoga mat that I really liked, so I made my own. I knew I needed to act on my idea when I was working on a marketing campaign for a huge yoga event in Dallas. I was reviewing drone footage after the event of hundreds of yogis, and all I could think about was how boring all of the mats were. I talked to my family about it, and the idea for MYSOLMAT started to take shape.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I wake up at 6 every morning, eat breakfast, and listen to audiobooks or podcasts while get ready for the day. Then I head to my office, check my social media schedule, email, and calendars, map out my day on paper, and start working. I stay super productive and in the zone at work, I don’t usually take breaks or stop to socialize. After work, I’ll hit the gym, run, or go to a yoga class, then spend the evening cooking and reading.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I’ll do a brain dump of everything in my mind about a certain idea, essentially scribbling all of my notes and thoughts. I then take all of the messiness and categorize it to action steps. Then, I commit myself to taking one action step every day. Even if it’s something small, committing to a minimum of one step a day helps me stay focused and know that idea will be executed if I just keep going.
What’s one trend that excites you?
The growing importance of professional branding, especially on social media. There’s a huge opportunity for individuals to utilize personal brands in job search, selling, company, and business in general. With platforms like Linkedin and Medium, anyone can have a voice. Personal brands are going to become as important, or even more important than company brands in the next 5-10 years.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Every morning I write down my to-do list and highlight my three priorities for that day. I tell myself no matter what comes up, I have to complete at least those top three things. This has tremendously helped my prioritization.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Dream big, take risks, do more than others, and work your butt off. And don’t get caught up in perfection… action is much more valuable than sitting on ideas. Lastly, when faced with a decision, ask yourself “is this decision bringing me closer to or further from my goals?”
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
You should never buy your social media followers, and you should never use a bot for social media engagement. Sure it’s easier, but taking shortcuts will never drive true business outcomes. Focus on building a real community online, not vanity metrics.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Read, read, read.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Mastering social media community building has been key in our business. We’ve done this by establishing a really strong target audience and consistently building content around that.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I fail every day in some way. The best thing to do is be able to learn from it and fail forward. Every failure can be a positive thing if you reflect on what went wrong, then take your insights and apply them to future decisions.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
You can make some good money managing social media accounts. All the information you’ll ever need for training yourself on becoming a social media guru is online for free. As long as you have a good work ethic, an eye for creativity, and a pulse on social media, you can make this work.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
CLEAR. No more long airport lines!
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I’m a huge fan of HeyOrca. It streamlines your social media content creation and scheduling in such an easy and efficient way. I use it to create, schedule, publish, and share all of the social media calendars that I manage.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Made to Stick. Such a good book about how to communicate ideas in a simple and effective way.
What is your favorite quote?
The harder you work the luckier you get.
- When you have an idea, chip away with at least 1 action step per day.
- Personal brands are going to become as important, or even more important than company brands in the next 5-10 years.
- When faced with a decision, ask yourself “is this decision bringing me closer to or further from my goals?”
- You should never buy your social media followers, and you should never use a bot for social media engagement.
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.