SOBCon08 Notes Wendy Piersall | When Your Business Takes Off

Presenterwendypiersall-barbararozgonyi Wendy Piersall: on When Your Business Takes Off: Strategies for Managing Business Growth

About the SOBCon08 notes series . . .

On May 2-4, Liz Strauss hosted SOBCon08: Biz School for Bloggers in Chicago. During the sessions, I typed notes to share with you. To presenters and attendees: please feel free to clarify and comment. I will share notes from each session along with how I’m using the knowledge to improve my reader/customer experience.


Wendy Piersall founded Sparkplugging under the name eMoms at Home just over two years ago as a hobby blog. Sparkplugging is now a blog network with 16 channels of interest dedicated to providing business and lifestyle resources for people who work at home. My notes from Wendy’s presentation about strategies for managing business growth. . .

We’re here to talk about all the amazing stuff we’re put on earth to do. We jump between business stuff and personal stuff every day.

eMoms at Home was supposed to be a hobby – a place where she would blog about her start-up. So, she spent a lot of time on sites like copyblogger and Lorelle on WordPress.

As the eMoms at Home blog grew, Wendy expanded her single blog into a blog network with multiple channels. This last spring, she realized that eMoms at Home as a name wasn’t working – even for moms. Rebranding her site was a tough decision. In April, eMoms became Sparkplugging.

Letting go is one of the hardest things to do. You have to do it – it gets messy along the way. Getting outside of that comfort zone and letting go of control was difficult – as was admitting to personal challenges.

Wendy went to SXSW and heard award-winning blogger Dooce‘s presentation about revealing your personal challenges in a way that lets people relate. Wendy blogged about the fact that maybe you have seasonal affective disorder, too. Wendy says she talks about her past struggles to invite people in similar situations to come with her and then walk together back out into the light.

One of the biggest challenges in changing the blog was: for the blog to grow, she had to grow with it. Every single day she heard that voice that said: Who are you to be doing this? Wendy lives by the quote that appears on her twitter page: We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?

Walking through it means you have to open up and start peeling the layers of the onion to say: I can do just a  little bit more today to work towards getting “there.” There’s always going to be another “there” because that’s how we’re wired: to always want more. It’s getting through the chapters of the day. It’s moving through this stuff. It’s important to have a BS filter in your head, it’s really easy to buy into this. Take all the information back and apply it.

Defining Success

How you define success is really, really important. Do you even know what that success is –  both personally and professionally? Her goal? 1 million page views/month. You have to have little goals today – can I touch someone’s life? Those little things on a daily basis keep her going.

Think about short-term and long-term. Last of all, give more of you and you’ll amazed at how all of this stuff falls into place. 

Reflection and Implementation

Typing while Wendy talked was hard: I was taking pictures and I wanted to experience her presentation rather than report verbatim. This is the third time I’ve seen Wendy speak so I’m kind of a fan. We’re in a mastermind group together and she comes from a place I call home. Over the past year, I’ve followed her success from a successful hobby blogger to the roll-out of She’s intense, driven and passionate.

Wendy challenged us to: Give more of you and you’ll be amazed at how all of this stuff falls into place.

Last week, my ezine focused on ten things I learned and shared with my readers. There’s so much more of my life I need to share.

I love the quote Wendy refers to . . . here it is in context in a passage from A Return to Love, by Marianne Williamson

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Afterwards I said to Wendy I felt so inspired by her presentation that I wish we’d had time to complete the plan of action. She reminded me: it’s all the SOBCon binder. Defining what success means to you after a day of info intake and chatty interludes is probably not the best time to plan your future; reflecting back adds a rich dimension. Wendy’s first question is a motivator for accomplishment: What does success mean to you specifically? How about you? How do you define your success?

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