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For this week’s #welldesignedlife series, we are discussing life with the wonderful Alissa Circle! We admire that while Alissa wears many hats, she strives to divide and spend her time and energy cultivating each of those “hats” to the best of her ability! Without further adieu… 

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Let’s start off with an introduction! Tell us about yourself. Roles you play and what you do.

My name is Alissa and I’m a wife, mom, coffee enthusiast, fitness fanatic and CEO. I have been blogging since 2007 and really fell in love with the blogging community. Social Media has a beautiful way of bringing us all together and knitting us together in ways we would never expect. We’re able to support, encourage and share content people create in a way that we’ve never been able to before. Word of mouth is a powerful tool!

But more importantly, the relationships I’ve built with the people I’ve been so fortunate to meet over the last several years have resulted in meeting some of my closest friends and have opened the door for so many new and wonderful opportunities. I’ve also had the chance to partner with some amazing brands on my own blog, Diary of an Addict, and wanted to pave the way for others to have the same opportunities. Thus, Pollinate Media was born!

Pollinate Media Group was founded two and a half years ago with Cost Plus World Market as our first client. Our goal was to become a premium matchmaker between bloggers and brands who saw the importance of working with social influencers. It’s all about finding the right partnerships and that’s where we come in. Having partnered with brands to create content on my own blog, Diary of an Addict, I realized how important the authentic storytelling aspect is to creating brand loyalty. How do people truly know if they want to purchase a product unless they can see how naturally it fits into someone else’s life? After all, aren’t you more likely to go buy a new product if someone you trust swears by it? I would! Pollinate is comprised of the blogging industry’s top digital publishers – we have high standards to get in and high standards to stay a part of the community. And when I say community, I mean it! We truly value members of “The Colony” and respect the incredible work that they do. In return, we bring them the best brands in the industry to work with, like Sharpie, Land of Nod, Aloha, ProYo, Rubbermaid, People Magazine and so many more.

Weave Made Media was founded in April of 2014 with the goal of creating opportunities for emerging markets to work with brands – the biggest one being Men and Dad bloggers. Did you know that 54% of married men shop for groceries and household supplied more often than their spouses? If men are the decision makers in their home when it comes to what food they eat, what products they use (from detergent to vacuums), how can you deny that this is a group of voices that need to be heard? You can’t! With the launch of Weave, we also created a Weave community for emerging female bloggers, multicultural bloggers and military bloggers.

If you haven’t had a chance to check out both communities, we’d love for you to do so! Pollinate just launched a brand new website in November that we’re extremely excited about!

What accomplishment are you most proud of in life so far? 

I would have to say the accomplishment that I’m most proud of so far is that our companies have paid out over $1 million dollars to content creators for the amazing work they’ve done for our clients since we founded the company.

Tell us about your big dreams. Where do you want to go, what do you want to do, and why?

Whew! Well I can’t share them all, you know because some things you keep in your back pocket (lol!), but I’d love to write a book that incorporates life, family and my favorite family recipes with a “twist.” Beyond that, my biggest dream is to be with my family, traveling the world, creating long lasting memories!

What are some struggles you’ve faced in achieving your dreams so far? Have you learned anything from them that you want to share? 

I think my biggest struggle is getting out of my own way. For a long time I didn’t feel like I was a born “entrepreneur” even though I was a self-taught sewer, opened an online shop and successfully sold and marketed my handmade products. Even when I began building brand partnerships, which, in turn, led to the founding of my company Pollinate Media, I allowed my own insecurities to own me way more than they should have. What I’ve learned is that when you come up with a great idea and you turn it into a successful company there are always going to be haters and you have two choices – you can either let the haters rule how you move forward and make decisions or you can focus on your passions and making your dreams happen. I’ve learned that my passions and dreams are more important and I’m not going to let people cut me down.

Do your dreams look different now than they used to? (5 years ago? 1 year ago? Yesterday?) If so, what changed about them?

Five years ago, my dream was to build my handmade business so that I could hire seamstresses and a marketing team. I was doing all the sewing and marketing myself, but it taught me a lot about how valuable it is to work with bloggers to share your product. It also let to my passion for blogging and growing my own blog, which led to partnering with other brands to market their products on my blog.

One year ago my dream was to continue to hire and cultivate an amazing team of people at Pollinate Media, something I feel we have definitely accomplished. My husband and I talk about how thankful we are for them everyday. They make us look good!

Yesterday my goal was to get through a hectic day of meetings and stay on top of emails. Haha!

It’s fun to look back over the last 5 years and see how God has shaped my goals and my career. I’m forever grateful for how it all started and that He saw something in me that I hadn’t yet seen and gave me the push I needed in that direction. Today may not look how I thought it would 5 years ago, but I wouldn’t go back and change it for anything!

If you could go back and visit yourself at any age, what would you tell your younger self? What kind of encouragement or wisdom do you wish you had at that time?

 If I could go back I would tell my younger self to enjoy the ride. I think I spent far too much time trying to check things off my adult “to do” list rather than really enjoying the season I was in. And I would definitely tell myself to travel more before having kids.

What three daily things can you not live without?

Coffee

Beef Jerky

Kisses from the Hubby!

What is something you strive to be intentional about?  How do you design it into your life?

My friendships. In the busy life we live it’s often our friendships that fall by the wayside first, so I really try to be intentional about texting, calling and scheduling coffee dates and a girl’s night out at least once a month with my friends.

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How do you create balance in your life?

While I don’t believe there is such thing as “balance,” I do believe that finding time for myself in my day gives me a sense of normalcy and allows me to fill my cup. If my cup is full, then I feel more “in balance” and am able to pour into my husband, kids and business. Here are some things I try to do for myself to help with this:

  • Get up 10-15 minutes before my day starts
  • Get a work out in
  • Set a lunch date once a month with girlfriends
  • Set daily office hours – boundaries are good
  • Find time, often, to “Woo” 😉 my husband
  • Snuggle my kids at bedtime
  • Find time to read a book
  • Write a letter of appreciation to someone
  • Enjoy a hot cup of coffee, take a few deep breaths
  • Time with my Business Coach
  • Saying No

What does your daily routine look like? Is there anything that helps you feel most successful at the end of the day?

I’ve got a big smile on my face as I think about how to answer this one. It truly is a juggling act for us around here, but I feel like my husband and I have got a great partnership going. Good thing we work well as a team! Here’s what a typical day looks like around here for us:

7am – I wake up, spend about 10 minutes checking emails and social media (of course), then I get the kids up and ready for school. Kyle gets up and begins his day, checking emails, responding to the urgent ones.

7:45am – Kyle takes the kids to school so I can hop on my laptop and get some emailing done and social media scheduling for my blog posts.

8:30am – Kyle and I head to “The 12” in Irvine for a workout. Staying healthy and clearing your mind to prepare for the day ahead is really important to us.

10:00am – 12:30 – Get ready for the day, return emails, team calls

12:30pm – I pick up the kids from school and either bring them home or take them to any after school activities or play dates. We have a babysitter who watches them in the afternoons 4 days a week so I’m able to work un-interrupted till 4pm.
1-4pm – work, work, work!

4:00pm – Baby sitter leaves and I make myself a warm cup of coffee

4:30pm – Homework time. Set up our son to practice writing letters and numbers and my daughter and I practice her sight words, Bible memory verse and read together.

5:00pm – Start working on dinner if it’s not already brewing in the crockpot. I seriously want to kiss the person who invented the slow cooker – it saves my life most days of the week!

6pm – Family dinner

6:30 – 8pm – Shower time, clean rooms and then Kyle sits and listens to our daughter practice her sight words and reads with her.

8pm – Bedtime. After putting the kids to bed, Kyle and I have a debrief meeting from our day. Go over any decisions that need to be made, to-do’s for the next day, upcoming events on our calendar and then we snuggle!

At the end of the day, if everyone has a smile on their face, no has made a trip to the hospital and the house isn’t burned down, I consider it a success!

What checklist(s) do you live by?

One of the reasons I love my Day Designer (thanks Skye for the referral) is because it allows me to put all my OCD tendencies in one spot. I can make lists, check them off, keep a calendar, plan for the future, set goals and reminders. I’m a huge list maker and feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day when I can get everything done and checked off. That being said, I’m learning to give myself some grace and flexibility and move things to the next day if they don’t need to be a priority.

 What do you wish you had less of in life?

Negative bullsh*t. Can I say that? I’ve had to learn to minimize time forthose who feel the need to complain about life rather than seeing for all the blessings we have.

Do you have a life motto?

If you’re too busy waiting for your life to find balance, you’re going to look back and realize all the moments that passed you by.

If you could share one thing with our readers, what would it be?

Don’t think, just Start. Don’t let your fears get the best of you. It’s often the things that are the scariest, that we work the hardest for that, in the end, are the most worth it!

 

Weren’t Alissa’s words just the perfect kick in the pants to get started? If you’re interested in keeping up with her work, you can find Alissa on Instagram, Facebook, and blogging at Diary of An Addict