Are you tired of the constant pressure and mental strain of being on social media? Maybe you've even tried to delete the apps, but FOMO pulled you back in.
I don't blame you. We have so few examples of folks who have left social media, but there is another way!
I made my exit from the world of social media in August of 2022 and our guest, Amelia Hruby, was both my inspiration and my guide.
On today's episode of Multi-Passionate Mastery, Amelia shares her story of quitting social media and how it catalyzed bravery and clarity in her life and inspired her to help fellow creatives to do the same.
We chat about:
Get ready to question everything you thought you knew about needing social media to be successful!
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welcome back to the show. Today we're going to be continuing a conversation that I brought here on the podcast in 2022 with my episode titled How I'm Responding to the Changes Happening on Instagram as a life coach for Multi Passionates. And then I did a follow up later that week to announce that I decided to leave Instagram altogether. Well, that decision was made in a myriad of ways, and you can go back to episode 20 in the episode 20 follow up if you wanna listen in on that. But one thing that really supported me in making that decision to fully step off of Instagram and leave social media behind was listening to a podcast called Off the Grid. And today We have the host of that podcast with us so you're in for a big treat. Amelia Ruby is a feminist, writer, educator, and podcaster with a PhD in philosophy. She's the founder and executive producer of Softer Sounds, a feminist podcast studio. That supports women and non-binary small business owners, and she's the host of Off The Grid, a podcast about leaving social media without losing all your clients. She's multi-passionate and multi-talented, and as she likes to say, everything she does helps babes get their voices off of Schultz media and on to the airwaves. Amelia, welcome to the show.Amelia:
Oh, thanks so much for having me. I am excited to be here. I love this podcast. I'mJoi:
so excited to have you here too. And full transparency. I didn't really know if me talking about my love hate relationship with Instagram was gonna go over well on the podcast, but it's one of the episodes where I've gotten the most personal feedback where people were reaching out to me and saying,"wow, that was really helpful to hear kind of your thought process." And a lot of people said, I'm gonna start transitioning off as well. And I'm like, okay. So your next step you need to listen to off the grid. That's where you're gonna get the step by step of how to do it. So before we get into all of that, which I'm so excited to dive into with you, let's start with the ice baker question. I already read in your bio that you consider yourself multi-passionate. I'd love to know what that means for.Amelia:
Yeah. You know, I'm not sure I would've said that before I encounter dear work, but I really enjoy the way that you talk about being multi-passionate. I think before this, I'd always heard the phrase like, Multihyphenate and I never liked that, or some people called'em like slashes, and I was like, no, that doesn't feel right at all for me. So I loved encountering the term multi-passionate in your work. And for me it encompasses a few things. One, it feels like it describes my. Creative career history and the path that got me here. I have done a lot of different things. As you probably heard in my bio, I have a PhD in philosophy. I was in grad school for seven years. During that process, I was a teacher. I taught at a university for five years, and I wrote a book. I published that book. I started a road tripping podcast. I did that. I was a radio dj. I've done so many different things and I was passionate about all of them, and for a long time, I'd say through my entire twenties. I really felt like that was a bad thing and I really struggled, like all I wanted was clarity. Constantly, like all of my like wishes and journal entries and spells that I cast were about trying to find clarity about what my path forward was and how to integrate. I always felt so fragmented, but what I appreciate about the multi-passionate. Label concept identity is, it allows me to really embrace more of those things and not feel like they are intention or competition with each other. So, Now being a multi-passionate, to me really just reflects my varied interests. You know, I still love music. I love reading tarot. I love talking about being off social media. I love podcasting, you know, and people encounter me and my work in different places. They might find my book and wanna talk to me about feminist affirmations they might find. My radical selfies or radical self-love course and wanna talk to me about selfies, they might find off the grid and wanna talk to me about leaving social media. They might find softer sounds and wanna talk to me about podcasting. I just had a funny experience this week where I got an inquiry through my contact form on my website that was like, Hey, I'd love to have you come teach in my membership. Awesome. And I get on this call like fully prepared to talk about teaching about leaving social media and they were like, we want you to talk about podcasting. And I was like, oh yeah, of course. That's obviously something I do, but I have these different areas of expertise that I'm really passionate about, you know, and leaving social media and podcasting are just the two that I kind of have businesses around, but there are so many others that I've created content around and sold courses around and. So to me, being a multi-passionate means that I get to embrace all of those things and share all of them, and that I don't need to apologize for or minimize that or feel some type of way about it, I guess.Joi:
Thank you so much for sharing that and. It's really powerful for everyone listening to hear how you're able to articulate all the different touchpoints that you have through your offerings, through your interests, and the way that people can connect with you, and for you to say it with such fluidity and confidence. I know that that can sometimes take a while to get to that place, but it's so helpful. Anytime that we have more examples of that, the more of us who say, yeah, I'm multi-passionate. Here's what that looks. And it's working for me the better because we're dismantling this idea. You know, being a specialist is the only way to have a successful career or to make an impact. So I really appreciate you sharing all of that. Thank you so much, and I'm looking forward to checking out your tarot podcast, by the way, because I'm tired of like Googling, it just breaks me out of my tarot. When I flip my card, I'm like, okay, now I have to get on the computer and Google. I feel like using audio would be a lot more centering and ground. So I'm looking forward to that and we'll link to all of Amelia's projects in the show notes from anyone else who's wondering. Okay. Let's dive right into the heart of this conversation. Amelia, can you take me back to like the moments leading up to you logging out of Instagram for the last time? What brought you to that place where you realized, you know what, this platform is not for me and I've gotta. Yeah.Amelia:
Oh, it was quite a journey. So to get to the moment I logged out of Instagram, we have to back up like a year and a half before that, really to the summer of 2019 when I signed my first and only book deal and. At that moment, basically I was told you need to grow your Instagram following. So the story of me leaving Instagram really starts with this moment where I have this amazing opportunity, like I get to write a book. I've dreamed of that my whole life, and I'm told that it really depends on me having a bigger following so I can sell the book. And so at that moment, I made a commitment to myself to grow my Instagram following, and I really put my all into it. You know, I spent a thousand dollars on a social media strategist. I spent a thousand dollars getting a new brand and website. I spent, well, just the brand. The website came later, but I spent endless time and money and support and all of these things really creating a strategic plan to grow my Instagram following and all the. That's necessary to do that. And so that all started in January, 2020, and I just really was like grinding hard on trying to grow for that entire year leading up to my book launch in October of 2020. Forget that there's a pandemic happening. Forget all these like major life events. I was trying to grow my Instagram against. Amidst it all and I did, you know, I started the year with about, I think just over a thousand followers and I ended that year with like 2,500 followers. So I was growing at a pretty solid organic rate of about a hundred followers a month. Not super fast, but definitely like still growth. Considering I was doing no paid ads, no, I didn't really have major collaborations. Nothing was going viral. I. Trying to, you know, find new people who were interested in the things I was interested in. And by the time I launched my book, joy, I was so burned out on Instagram. Like by the time my book was actually coming out, I was. Over it. I was so tired. I had spent so many hours making content and that really became a shift. Like I think that was when I started considering leaving Instagram. I got through my book launch and I was like, what am I doing here? Something that was really bothering me around that time was, Instagram was once again changing its terms and conditions and it was becoming very obvious that Instagram was asserting its right to track users across their phones, across their devices, whether they're in the app or not at any given time to use location tracking and really selling personal data to advertisers. That's, that was, it just became clear from the terms and conditions that that's what we were allowing when we used the. And that really rubbed me the wrong way. I've always been pretty suspicious of online surveillance for the sake of being sold things. And so I started looking into that more and learning more about that, and I started really paying attention to my relationship with Instagram, like the values misalignment. Was this first kind of like. Scratch. It was like wearing like a scratchy sweater and I was like, oh, I don't like this. But it was still like, but the sweater is really cute, so I'm gonna wear it. But I had this breakthrough at the beginning of 2021. Then after this whole journey, I've committed to Instagram. I spent a year growing my following. I put my book out. It starts to feel bad. So I decide at the beginning of 2021 that I need to set some boundaries. Boundaries are gonna resolve this. If I just set the right boundaries, I will be good to go. And so I wrote in my journal this like pages of like, these are gonna be my boundaries for Instagram. This is what's gonna make me feel confident and safe on this app. So it was like, I'm gonna log on on Mondays and do my Monday morning post. I'll stay on for three hours to monitor engagement. Then I'll log off, I will log back on on Thursday. So check in with what's happening. Then I will log off again. I will post about these two things and. When they're going on, I will do an Instagram live once a month. Like it was really regimented and I wrote it all in my journal. I made a version to post and share on Instagram, and then I got to the end of that process and I. Looked at it, and I just had this real breakthrough moment where I was rereading this list of boundaries and I realized that the only time I had ever needed that many boundaries was in codependent. Anxiously attached relationships that were really toxic for me and that frankly, I had gone to a lot of therapy to get outta, and I was like, am I really going to willingly enter into a relationship like this? Like I can see it now. When I did that in the past, I couldn't see what was happening. I can see it now. And that was the moment I knew I had to leave. And honestly, it was such a relief coming to that realization, having that breakthrough.Joi:
Wow, let's just let that Marin. Because I know that there are a lot of people listening who are going, oh my goodness, I've done the same thing. I've deleted the app on weekends, and I've tried to set all these boundaries. And even going back to the beginning of your journey of, you know, Instagram followers being an indicator of what your success would be with your new book, right? That in itself is just like, Can't we find another way? You know, can't we find another measure of engagement or, you know, how people will respond to this? And so it's totally understandable that when you are in a space of being dedicated and excited about the book project, what are you gonna do other than sort of fall in line and say, okay, well if that's what it's gonna take, I got this far right. I'm not gonna say no. Okay, so. You go through that experience, you list out your boundaries. And I also did an interview over on Off the Grid. It was like one of the highlights of my year, 2022, getting to tell this story. And it's interesting, I had a very similar parallel experience. We link to that interview on off the grid in the show notes if you wanna check that out. So I totally feel you on that. You start listening out these. Same thing, sharing it on Instagram. Like just so you know, you know, this platform doesn't own me and here's how I'll be operating. And then you realize, wow, this is interesting. This is an app. This is an app. And I'm doing all of this like inner work and boundary setting around an app that ideally, you know, we just have control over. We open it, we close it, we move on with our lives. So when you start to feel that relief and you're like, okay, you know, This isn't working. This isn't the place for me anymore. What happens after that? Specifically with the book? Like did the book already come out and so it didn't matter if you left. Did you have to have a conversation with the publisher saying like, you know, we're gonna need to pick another metric. Did that kind of just. Fade out. Were they already happy with your presence? Cause I would imagine that if that was still in play then that could cause some hesitation. Yeah,Amelia:
great question. Actually no one asked me about this and I have some reflections for sure. So the book was already out. The book came out in October and I of 2020, and I really decided to leave Instagram at the start of 2021 and didn't actually leave until April of 2021. So the book was already out and by the time I left, it had been out for almost six months. All in all, my book was not a success by anybody's standards, and now that I've gone through the process, like I don't feel any shame when I say that. I don't feel self-judgment when I say that. I just see how unsupported authors are. In publicizing their books, like publishers really push followings because they no longer have publicity budgets. So if you wanna be an author, they're really requiring that you have a built-in audience, that you're bringing the audience to your book because the publisher is not gonna show up for you and bring an audience to you. My book is kind of a funny anomaly in that I had already self-published the book two years before, and I then I got approached by an editor at a publishing company. To basically revise and re-release the book. So, you know, I think if I had gone through all of this work to write a totally new book and like get it out there, I might, I might feel a little differently. To me, it was all like icing on the cake because this book was just living on my website, not selling any copies, and I was like, great, let's breathe new life into it. Let's make it even more beautiful. But what I really learned was like, You know, you get your advance and then you write the book. You work with your editor to get it edited. You approve the proofs, you get the book out. And then my publishing company set up one YouTube live for me with a Chicago based bookstore. I mean, granted, this is October, 2020, so there's no like in-person anything. But they set that up and they sent maybe, Less than a hundred copies to books, to grammars that I identified for them. And they, they organized shipping out those free copies of the book. And that was it. Everything else, I did all the podcast interviews. I landed on ev, it was all on me. My advance was, It was four figures. It was not a five figure advance. So I didn't have money to hire a publicist. I didn't have money to hire a PR person. You know, I really was doing it all myself, and I did my very best and I worked my, you know, normal grassroots network and that did great. And my book sold, I think at its peak, like 3,300 copies. But another thing I didn't know about books is it's really hard to know exactly how many you've sold because like Amazon and book stores will order big and then return all of them. So I think it's actually less than that now if I actually looked at my royalty statements. So, yeah, actually, you know what? My book was kind of a failure. It was a success for me personally, and that it was beautiful and I loved it, but the truth is I did not have the following to make it a success, and I'm proud of how many copies it sold. I mean, even getting 3000 copies out there when I didn't have that many people on my Instagram or newsletter combined is awesome. But it is a real bummer to think about like this world we're in now where books can live or die on your personal follow. And I think that's also why book Talk is such a big deal because books can go viral on there and then really sell. And there've been a lot of cool articles about like books that came out years and years ago that even like ended up out of print because nobody bought them. And they get discovered on TikTok and then all of a sudden they sell like all these copies and authors suddenly get royalty checks on books. They just had counted out forever making any. So, yeah, that was kind of a swirl of things, but does that speak to your question about social media and books?Joi:
Definitely. Yeah. And my next question was gonna be, you know, if this were to happen again, let's say you write another book and maybe you wouldn't even go this route knowing, you know, kind of the, I didn't know that. And I think it's about the publishing industry, and I'm sure it's. Every publisher, but this is a reason to support the creative economy where you can, and if you know someone who's an up and coming book publisher who like wants to do it differently and even if they haven't had a lot of clients work with them cuz they're gonna work harder for you, right? Then maybe a traditional publishing company would, or maybe we walk into these scenarios with the best of intentions thinking. The publisher's gonna have the best of intentions. I don't have any personal experience with this, but I can imagine feeling like, okay, great. So if you're gonna publish the book, that means you're gonna help me get word out about the book so we can sell copies, and then feeling maybe a little bit left down or kind of just left to do it on your own. So my follow up question was gonna be if this scenario happened again, maybe it's not a book, maybe it's something else, maybe it's off the grid, which this would be weird if this happened, but maybe someone comes to you and they're like, we love off the grid and we wanna feature it. We want you to come and be on the TED stage. Amelia, we want you to come and do a TED Talk. But something that we require is that you'd be very active on Instagram and you have this many followers like, and I'm asking this kind of selfishly, right? Because this could happen to me too. Let me tell you, I won't even click a link if it starts with Instagram. I say to people, oh, like I've had people text me things and it's an Instagram, and I'll say, oh, I don't, I no longer click Instagram links. Can you send me a screenshot? Like I will not even go on the platform for any reason. So I'm asking this to get your perspective and a little selfishly, what do we do as creatives, as people who have big work to put into the world where these opportunities. On the surface, at least, maybe without negotiation, hinge on something like our Instagram following. We can just brainstorm together, but like, how do we navigate that?Amelia:
This is a great question and a really exciting one, and when I do podcast interviews, it's like kind of the same three questions about like, how did you leave social media? How can other people leave, what do we do? But this is like way more nuanced and I'm way into it. So just, you know, as a podcaster, a fan girling over the, the podcasting that's happening right now. But so what do we do? I would say, like for me, an opportunity that hinges on a certain size, social media following is going to be a non-starter at this point. I don't care what it is. I was trying to think like, is there anything, but I just don't, I guess if they were like, we'll give you a million dollars if you go get 50 Instagram followers, like Sure. Right. You know. But like, I think the other piece is like, I tried, I tried to build a big following, like, you know, I didn't opt out of Instagram from the beginning. I'm not one of those people who was never online. I did my very best and I maxed out at like 2,700 followers. You know, if I had kept going, I would've gotten a 3000 probably in a month or two, but, Like that was it for me. I wasn't gonna get huge and because of the type of content I made, the amount of money I had to spend on it, the things I was and wasn't willing or able to do, like it just wasn't gonna happen for me. And that was really hard to come to terms with at the time, something I've had to. Learn, and I still struggle with is like not all my dreams are gonna come true. And sometimes I just have to step away from them. And I think for multi-passionate, that can actually be especially challenging because you know, we wanna be bestselling authors and have number one podcasts on the biggest networks and you know, be these like huge celebrity sort of figures. But I think for me, at the end of the day, I saw behind the scenes in publishing, I saw behind the scenes in podcasting, and I just saw how much money it took to make those dreams come true. And. Oh, this is not gonna happen for me. So I need to like get off this platform and go really deep and do the inner work to figure out like what do I actually want and what is going to be enough for me and how can I get in touch with that and then work toward that, not work toward these like, Goals and metrics that, like Instagram is telling me like not work towards as one social media strategist told me, getting the K on my profile. You know, like cuz I have over 10 K followers. That's where I stand on like opportunities that require a social media following. And that's not to say I've like opted myself out of ever having another huge book deal. Like maybe that could happen for me. But I know better now. It's not gonna happen from my four figure advance for a small non-fiction book at any publisher. Like they're just not gonna put enough money behind it for the book to do really well, which is fine. I don't have regrets. I don't feel upset about it. I just feel so much clearer and that has really been something that's happened since I've left social media is so many of those like funhouse mirrors or like all this fog in front of things, and it's just all cleared and I can see like, oh, this is for me. This is not for me. Oh, this is promising something no one can have. Oh, this is clearly a manipulation. Like I've been able to recenter in my own judgment, which has been. Helpful and supportive. So I don't really know how to advise someone, you know, if you have those big dreams, if you wanna be on the biggest TEDx stage in the world, if you want that number one New York Times best seller, I don't know that I can tell you that. You can leave social media and have all of that, and that's something I really try to say on Off the Grid. It's like, Yes, you can leave social media without losing all your clients or customers, but you might have to radically change your business if you have one. And you might have to radically change your dreams so that you can create something that can support you without those platforms. But for me, I've just really decided that I wanna create a lot more value for a smaller number of people. And you don't need social media for that. Ugh.Joi:
Yeah, so good. I'm just like breathing that in. It is a really refreshing conversation and you know, it's like, can we get to the point where if that were to happen, if someone was to approach us and say, we'd love to see you on the TED stage, Amelia Joy, like we're doing an event, we'd love both of you to come. Can we just manifest this? Let's just manifest this. We'd love for you to come and be on the TED stage and you know each talk about your journeys, but we noticed that you, you know, we went to your Instagrams and all it says is where to find you elsewhere and that you're not active. Would you consider, you know, can there be a world or where there's space for a conversation around? Actually a part of the reason why I have such an. Email list or part of the reason why my community feels so safe with me is because they know that I made this big choice to not be on a platform that didn't feel authentic to me. And you know, is there room for any other way for us to consider what it might look like for me to have an engaged community? Can we talk about me going on a podcast tour and speaking to many people and using my voice? Can we talk about this? You know, and they may just say, yeah, but you still need, you still need a following on Instagram. It just kind of breaks my heart that something like that, a following a number on a social platform can make or break these opportunities. But I do think, you know, there's something to be said about having a level of acceptance around that, which is really, which you put so beautifully. And maybe not all of our dreams come true in the original fashion that we set them out, you know, as, but maybe they come true in a different, slightly better way. Right. Or a more nuanced way, as you mentioned, really connecting with people on a deeper level and having an impact and feeling that impact through community. Because, you know, maybe we're not on social media. As soon as I got off social media, I started connecting way more deeply and that was, it was ironic because my, one of my top fears was like, well, what if I don't ever meet anyone cool ever again? Because isn't everyone on Instagram? But when you. Set an intention of, okay, I'm gonna leave this platform, but I'm not gonna leave behind my desire to be in community. I'm not gonna leave behind my desire to create content that resonates. I'm not gonna leave behind, you know, things I like to say and share with the world. I'm simply choosing not to do it on this platform. You can find those things elsewhere. I guess I can just hope and dream that there'll be a day when, you know, the powers that be I'll, I'll say are people who are the gatekeepers for some of these opportunities are able to see it that way because a lot of those folks have a team running their social media, so they are technically off of social media or they check it every once in a while and just see that everything's running great and, and they don't have to really do anything. So yeah, I guess there isn't really a one and done answer, but it's good to acknowledge. This is a part of it too. Yes. There's the clarity part. Yes, there's the spaciousness and the peacefulness, which we'll get into in just a moment. But there's also the part of, you know, for me personally, where I can relate to this. Is I was a, an affiliate for a couple of products that I really loved and they would send me, you know, free product each month and I would post about it and then all of a sudden it stopped coming. And so I sent out an email like, Hey, I noticed that you didn't send me anything. Just wanted to let you know. I'm not on Instagram. I'm not sure if that's why, but I'm still on. Pinterest, I'm still talking about you in my email letter. I'm still talking about you in blog posts and long form regenerative content that's evergreen and actually has a longer shelf life than an Instagram post where you're still interested in working together. And they said, oh no, we're actually moving over all of our influencers to like TikTok campaigns. And I was like, okay, well it's been great. Like I guess there's nothing I could offer you then. So it is something that needs to be said that there are some opportunities. Depending on your business model, as you mentioned, that might fall away. So before we move on, is it worth it, Amelia? Is it worth letting those opportunitiesAmelia:
fall away? 100%. It is absolutely worth it. Yes. I think that something I was thinking as you were talking, joy too, was like, You know, having X number of followers also doesn't guarantee you'll get those opportunities. And I think so often we spend so much time like spinning our wheels, you know, to be like, okay, well once I have 10 K followers I can do this. But like, what if you just tried to do that right now? And then maybe if one of those. Things told you like no, you have to have 10 followers. Kind of like my experience in publishing like then maybe you reconsider working on it or like I did, you reconsider whether how much you really want that thing. So I think that that is another thing I try to remind myself. But yeah, I think this has been another part for me of stepping into kinda outta my twenties, into my thirties a few years ago, is just like getting really clear on what I want. And that is something that Instagram really. Screws up for you because Instagram is such an aspir. Platform and it's there to tell you what you want and to convince you you want 800,000 things all the time and you need to buy them right now on the app, please. And so it's so much easier to know what you, to figure out what you want when you're not being bombarded with those messages all of the time. And so then you can. Again, actually get clear on like, is this my dream is a book, my dream is a podcast. My dream is TEDx my dream? Or is it just that these six people that I think are really cool did that? And so now I think that's my dream. But actually my dream is to go like, I don't know, perform interpretive dance in the forest for frogs. Whatever, you know, that was a very niche example, but I think, yeah, and it's just a balance. What it comes back to, what I'm really trying to work on for myself is this, you know, movement between like abundance and enoughness. Like abundance is faith and enoughness and abundance doesn't mean having everything and getting everything you want. It means getting in touch with what is enough for you to feel the ways that you desire to feel what is enough for me to feel like a success because you. Joy. The other thing that happened to me when I got all those things, like I am a published author, I got a PhD, I have all of these external markers of success and validation, and I didn't feel it. Because they weren't the thing, like I didn't need those things or like those things actually weren't my enoughness things. And so it is 100% worth it to leave social media just to figure out what you really want, even if you end up going back afterwards. But then you'll know what you really want. And that is a gift for all of us.Joi:
Is it ever, and what a full circle moment, because you talked about how you were journaling and in all your journal entries, clarity kept coming up as a thing that you were seeking and. Your life experiences led you to a space where you were able to gain that clarity. And stepping off of social, it sounds like, was a huge part of that. A huge part of that. And so, yeah, I'm tempted to ask, you know, how can we go about leaving social media? But really if you're wondering that everyone, dear listener, go listen to Off the Grid. It's all already there. And I don't think we need to use this like precious time that we have with Amelia to talk about that when you can get that somewhere else. But I will say as you're listening to this conversation, if you're being activated into that space of, okay, well what could it look like for me to stop setting boundaries and actually step away, then go listen to off the grid. I would just listen to the episodes, honestly, in order. It's kind of like taking a course or a masterclass. You're gonna get everything you need there, and we're gonna link to that, you know, Amelia's podcast in the show notes. So, We're gonna kind of glaze over that, but just know that you can get that information on off the grid, and that's where I suggest getting that because if I were to ask those questions, you get a very abridged version today, but you can really dive in deeper with Amelia and transition off. And I'll say again, listening to off. The grid was so supportive for me. I mean, I was just like, I'm gonna binge it. I was watching the YouTube. If I was like moving around, cleaning the house, I was watching the YouTube. If I was doing something else, I was listening to the podcast and I just absorbed, absorbed, absorbed, and I was like, okay, I'm leaving. I'm good. I have everything that I need. So let's talk a little bit more about this clarity piece. I'd love to know if you have any personal stories to share around kind of just how your life changed. Are there any moments that stick out where you're like, this would not have happened if I was still on Instagram, you know, or I wouldn't have, I might have approached this differently if I was still on Instagram or you know, if social media was still taking up so much. That mental brain space. I know personally for me, when I left Instagram, at first I felt nothing. We kind of talked about this a little bit when I was on your podcast, that these, there's these like interesting phases. I was just kind of indifferent, like, eh, okay, whatever. I'm not on it. And then as more time went by, I started to feel like my days got longer. There was just a lot more spaciousness. And on the other hand I also noticed where. I still have apps on my phone that can pull me back into those patterns, and so it's good to be mindful of where we need to address our own habits as what needs to shift versus the platform itself. But yeah, I wanted to give you some time to think, so that's why I gave that example. But is there anything that stands out when you think about, okay, this probably wouldn't have happened if I was still on Instagram.Amelia:
So many things. I mean, it's not an understatement to say that my life, everything about my life pretty much has changed since I left Instagram. Not all of that is simply due to leaving Instagram, but. You know, since I left Instagram, I moved to a different state. I quit my job, I started my business. I married my partner. Like a lot happened in that time. So I think for me, I really see leaving Instagram as this early moment of me committing to myself and just being like, I am going to take steps that are right for me, even when they're hard, even when no one else is doing them. Even when maybe they don't quote unquote make sense and I'm just gonna do them. And then I, I like did that. You know, so I moved from Chicago to Nebraska. I like left my dream job to try to figure out what kind of business I wanted to start. Like I made a lot of kind of, again, quote unquote, like nonsensical choices, but I was just really trying to support myself and follow my intuition. And so leaving Instagram, Made me really brave in that way. I think, I'm trying to think of specific moments, like things that never would've happened if I was still on Instagram. I mean, really what comes to mind is I just have so much peace in my. Marketing for my business because I'm don't have to make content for Instagram. You know, I've never made a reel for my business. I've never designed an Instagram graphic for my business for off the grid. There's cover art, but there are no visuals because I'm not sharing on Instagram, so I don't need them. You know, I write emails or I just like share the cover art when I share a new episode. So often when people are running a business by themselves, one of their first hires is like a social media person. Well, my first hire is like a VA who's doing client work for me, so I can take. More client work and make more money and grow my business, and it's just been. Awesome. You know, if I was on Instagram, I don't think I actually would've been able to grow in this way, into this degree, not being on Instagram. It determined the type of business I wanted to run. So when I was on Instagram, you know, I was trying to grow my following so I could sell courses and books and like low cost things to many people. When I left Instagram I was like, well, You know, I can't sell a$9 thing, like I don't to what the 12 people who are gonna buy it off my email list. And then I've made like less than two, like after fees and stuff, I've made a hundred dollars. Like I, it just really made clear like that I needed to run a service-based business. I made a lot of very strategic choices. Because, you know, when I left my job and started my business, like I needed my business to support me. And it does full-time, like in its first year, softer sounds is probably gonna do, you know, almost like 80 K in revenue, which is great and it's because of strategic choices I made. And it's without social media, like I share that number because I really like transparency around finances, but also because. I think it can be really hard to judge, like I'm out here saying you can be successful without social media, and I wanna at least share what success looks like to me. So to me that means I have a business with a really healthy, happy client base and I managed to pay myself my like goal. Take home each month, which is like roughly four grand, sometimes more. And I'm able to do that while only working roughly 30 hours a week. And I've got a team of contractors that I love who do great work and you know, I'm able to do that without social media. So, you know, I think if I was on Instagram, I probably would've been what I would call now. I think I still would've been playing small. Like I, I still would've thought that I needed to run this sort of like low cost courses and books and there's nothing wrong with that. I'm not trying to critique that, but I just can see now that never would've given me the business that fully replaced actually, like I never made this much money before that like made way more money than my jobs if I was still in that mindset. So since I left Instagram, I was able to like really break out of that and build something that can support me and be a success in the ways that I want and need it to. And I just watch so many business owners spin their wheels on Instagram and give up on their businesses because they're not making enough money. And I think when we're in business, we have to be really real about the kind of money that we need to make for our lives. Instagram is just so rarely the way that you're gonna make that kind of money. Instagram, to me, was always a great way. I could make like a few thousand dollars a year maybe, but not, like, not full-time job money. That was kind of a, a circular or like I went around the way to answer your question. No, IJoi:
love it. There's a lot of things that actually do stand out. So the first thing that I heard was leaving Instagram was a catalyst for you stepping into making braver, bolder choices. It's almost like if I'm gonna make this choice, I'm not gonna like wimp out in the rest of my life. You know, I already did this radical thing. To say that leaving Instagram is a radical choice, take make it what you will. It is at this point in the society that we're living in, especially if you are a creative entrepreneur or aspiring entrepreneur, deciding to step away from Instagram in a way that's like, here's my profile. It will exist and let you know where else to find me, but I will not be coming back on. Like that is a radical choice. And so what I really heard when you were relaying, you know, your, everything that snowballed after that was that it set a blueprint for, you know, you Amelia, are someone who can make brave, bold choices. And that carried over into all these different other really important aspects in your life. And then we're back to the clarity. Right. Stepping away from Instagram and pulling yourself out of what everyone else is doing, what everyone else is working toward, and how everyone else suggests that you show up on Instagram. Cause it's, there's so much of that too. And thank goodness you got out before reels. Ugh. I like jumped on the reels thing and was like, okay, just dance, monkey dance. And it was so exhausting. Oh my goodness, so greatly. You got out before that. You got out before then. It's like a cult, like talking about a cult. But the clarity that comes from that, from no longer having all of these external voices and then being able to tap into the tone of your inner voice like that is so powerful. And someone might be listening to this thinking, okay, you guys are getting really deep. It's an app. But I want you to go back. I want you to listen to episode 20 where I talk about why I paused and evaluated my relationship with the app because yes, it is quote unquote just an app, but we are human beings who are interacting on that platform. We are human beings who have very real feelings when we post something and the algorithm decides it's not worthy. We're having real emotional, nervous system responses to those things, right? So if you're kind of tuning us out and going, you guys are just okay. You know, what a luxury to go to think all these, these things. No, you know, it's scary. Amelia didn't know when she left Instagram that she'd be able to start a business bringing in 80 K a year and being able to pay herself. It was a risk. It paid off, but it was a risk at the time. So, Stepping away from social media. If you do it from a place of feeling supported, which you will if you go listen to Off the Grid and feeling empowered that it's going to lead to the braver version of you who has more clarity about what they want, like that is kind of the overarching theme. That can help you at least consider it. And then when you're ready for the step by step, then you go listen to off the grid, and then you follow that, that step, that step by step formula. Oh, this has just been such a great conversation. I do have one more question, and that is, so you leave Instagram, you're rocking and rolling, you start softer sounds. You're producing all these amazing pockets, by the way, I have been. Hearing through the grapevine of the podcast that softer sounds produces, and I'm like, oh, okay. I see you. I see. So I am manifesting that multi-passionate mastery will be produced by softer sounds in the future when I break free of bootstrapping this, this thing. So, Absolutely a success. And I also wanna point something out too. It's really powerful, Amelia, for you to model. Being able to say, my book really wasn't a success. It felt great to get it published, but I wouldn't call it successful. And then in the same conversation be able to say, This business that I have, this is a success because you're so clear on what your success metrics are and what feels good and supportive to you. So thank you for modeling that, cuz that was very transparent. And we don't always get both sides in conversations like these. But I digress. So my question is, what made you feel passionate enough about stepping away from social media that you decided to create off the grid, A podcast dedicated to helping? Other people do the same thing.Amelia:
Well, first of all, you just said so many nice things, so thank you. And I'm also very glad I got to talk about kind of a failure story and a success story on this podcast. To answer your question, I created Off the grid actually kind of out of my human design, which I know is something you've talked about on the show before. So I'm a generator and my strategy is waiting to respond. And what I noticed is that. People really loved when I talked about leaving social media, I had the same experience that you're having of like, people really reach out, they're really interested in this. They really wanna know more. I used to joke that like in 2021, I left Instagram, got a PhD, moved to a new state, got married, did all these amazing things, and the only thing people cared about is that I left Instagram. Like that was it. That was the only thing they actually wanted. You know, my, of course my friends wanted to hear about my dogs and all these things, but. People really the thing that like at the end of the day, they were like, Hey, but will you really tell me about this? It was leaving Instagram, so I really, I knew at that moment I was like, oh, this is really like resonating on some level, and then I just kinda hung out with that and I just waited to figure out what's next. When I first left at like Beloved, Acquaintance and intuitive guide emailed me and said, I think there might be like work for you in helping people do this and the way you've modeled doing this. And I held onto that seed and I was like, okay, maybe, but not right now. I had just left. I was like, the last thing I wanna do is talk more about social media. I just got off of it and then, About six months later, I got an email from a dating coach who was really sick of social media and was like, would you talk to me about how I could leave social media? And I was like, okay, yeah, I'll do that. I just noticed all these like people started asking more and more, and so out of my generator strategy of waiting to respond, I felt like this was the moment of like, okay, I'm being asked to create this and so I should create this. And so I did. And you know what? To me off the grid has been an amazing success. I love it. I'm so proud of it. And also it has low download numbers. It's actually not a very downloaded show. The, I think the show overall has like 4,000 total downloads over 19 episodes. You know, most of my episodes get just under 200 downloads. Like it's not pop it like, it's not the big, I mean that those are good numbers for a first season, certainly, but like, they're not impressive. Speaking as a podcast person who looks at analytics all day long, like most of my clients have better numbers than me, but it's a huge success to me because it created the conversations I wanna create. I was able to host the refresh. I was able to make money from a season of my show, which was always the goal. I was like, I wanna make a free resource. And I wanna make money, so how do I do that? You know, like I really enjoyed making it, and it's felt like such a success because I was so clear on what I wanted from it, and I was able to achieve those things. And I didn't just go chase the like vanity metrics or the download metrics that everyone told me I was supposed to do, and I could never have worked through that process before I left Instagram, like leaving Instagram made that possible for. Yeah,Joi:
of course it's human design. We love human design. For those of you who are like, okay, now I'm really lost. What is human design? Go listen to episode 19 of, of my show, and you can hear from Crystal Woods who's a human design practitioner, and we give you a basic overview and why it's so key for. Clarity around decision making and opportunities and all those yummy things. But no, that was a perfect answer. You followed your human design strategy and that's what led you to it. And when we follow our human design strategy, we get led in really powerful directions. And you know, I wanna say personally, Same. I feel like multi-passionate mastery is pretty similar. You know we have right now, at the time of this conversation, we just crossed our 7,000 download mark, which is exciting, and each episode gets around, sits around a hundred. Or so for a while, and then after some time I'm starting to see that some of them have 200 s of my older ones. So it's kind of a slow and steady thing while you figure out how to distribute and get more people to listen. But it sounds like for both of us, what's the most important is. You know, having conversations that people are going to sit with after the earbuds come out, after the show is over. And I wanna just reflect back to you again that off the grid has absolutely done that. So I'm glad that you're keeping in mind that success metric as well, just the impact that it does have, especially because. If we think about this entire conversation, the impact that leaving social media has is massive and off the grid, I can tell you from firsthand experience, helps people get there. So never discredit that and you know, it'll just keep growing anyway. Okay, well I'm gonna wrap this up. I could talk to you forever, but let's just keep it a nice length for our listeners. Before we go, can you let everyone know the best places to find you and hang outAmelia:
with? Yeah. Thank you again so much for having me. Joy. If folks want more from me, you'll find everything firstname.lastname@example.org. That's our website address. So go to Softer sounds.studio. You can find Off the Grid podcast. There you can find the Leaving Social media toolkit there. That's gonna be your free resources to support you in leaving any social media platform. And we'll put a link in the show notes. I've also. Self-guided course called Business Success Without Social Media. It's a version of a live workshop series that Joy did with me called The Refresh Over Last Summer. So that is there to support you if, if you just love a good course like you know many of us do. And then on the Software Sounds website, if you're interested in starting a podcast, they're also a ton of free resources about podcasting. So we kind of talked a little bit about our podcast experiences here, and if you wanna learn more about what that could look like for you, just go to Softer sounds.studio and head to the free resources. Right in the header and you'll find tons of stuff to help you start a show of your own and then send it to us so we can listen please.Joi:
Amazing. And we'll link all that in the show notes. Amelia, thank you so much for being on the show today, my amazing listeners. Love you so much. See you in the next episode.
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