To close out this amazing Women's History Month, I'm excited to spotlight yet another young woman who has a passion for social media like myself, and is building an awesome brand to further connect with her millennial peers. The Social Outlaws is her newest endeavor, in which she and her co-founder look to highlight the latest in discoveries in social media and social business for their readers. It's also pretty cool that she's a fellow Evanstonian as well. :-) Meet Alissa Trumbull.
Born and raised in Evanston, Illinois, Alissa started her undergrad work at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin as a Technical Theatre and Biochemistry major. She then transferred to Loyola University Chicago during her sophomore year, and received a Bachelor's in Social Work and a Theatre Minor. "I stayed on at Loyola for a Master's in Social Work with a dual concentration in Health and Children & Families, and also received a MA in Bioethics and Health Policy," she says. And while she has chosen not to use her Social Work degree formally, she has always had opportunities to utilize the skills that she has honed, as all jobs require an understanding of human interaction. Currently, she works as a freelance writer and graphic designer, and moonlights at a local restaurant, The Lucky Platter. "I love everything about what I'm doing."
CC: What has inspired you to launch Social Outlaws? What have been some challenges in launching this awesome endeavor, and what have you learned from them?
AT: Social Outlaws came about through a meeting with Matt Hannaford (@mhannaford) during the inaugural #SemanticChat (now on Mondays at 12 EST). Both Matt and I had been interested in starting our own blogs for some time, but wanted to make sure we had enough original content to keep them going. By partnering up, Matt and I have found editors, great critics, and inventive collaborators in each other.
Our biggest challenge has been figuring out WordPress. There are SO many options for layout, design, plugins, etc. We're still working on what to use and what to keep, and really making sure the Social Outlaws brand we are projecting is consistent. A great piece of advice I got from Jason Viglione (@JayVig) is that we need to make Social Outlaws an extension of each of our personal brands. It is important that people see me as Alissa M. Trumbull and Matt as himself, and that Social Outlaws be our platform for sharing the content we're creating so that we can both continue to grow individually as newer brands in our own right while still developing Social Outlaws into what we want it to be.
CC: What inspires and drives you? Who are some role models that you admire, specifically any women #WhoRunTheWorld?
AT: I am a very passionate person. When something is interesting or rewarding I go full-steam ahead, giving my all. It is incredibly important that I feel good about myself and what I'm doing in all areas of my life. It's cliche, but we each only get one life - there's no sense in being unhappy in it. These are just a few of the many women in my life that continue to inspire me:
My mom. The older I get the more I appreciate my mother and her strength. She is a smart, educated, dedicated woman who continually walks the walk of living a fulfilling life. My ability to have both family and career without sacrificing either comes from seeing the way my mom balanced the two while I was growing up. I also think I get some of my fearless, adventurous spirit from her.
My Kappa Alpha Theta sisters. Theta is the most fulfilling way I give back to other leading women. I have stayed involved by being active on the board for our Chicago alumnae chapter and as an adviser for a local college chapter. Theta changed my life in many amazing ways. It is through my continued service to the organization and giving to Theta Foundation that I find the most reward.
April Dovorany. I met her while working for the Miss Wisconsin Scholarship Pageant. She is an incredible, determined, and poised young woman who knows what she wants in life and is taking steps to make her dreams reality. Not only is April making her career take off, she shares my priorities and makes sure to take time for her family and friends, to center herself, and to give back to her community in areas that have impacted her own life.
To Alissa, a "Millennial on a Mission" is a strong-minded individual open to collaborating with a variety of other people in a myriad of settings both in person and via technology in order to make strides towards his or her life goals and leave a positive, lasting impact on the world. "Brian Fanzo of Millennial CEO notes that millennial is also a mindset, and that we need to focus on the open and forward-thinking values of millennials which can be shared across generations in order to be more successful and more productive," Alissa says. "I like this view because it doesn't pigeonhole millennials into simply being one thing or another. It is important to see cross-generational values for continued success in life and in business."
And her advice for young entrepreneurs? Just go for it! Successful people always start before they feel ready. "I left my job at the end of November, and since then I've changed my mind several times about what I want to do. And that's totally okay," Alissa recalls. "I had a broad idea of where I was headed and have been able to streamline my writing and my long-term career objectives as I work towards being a happy, successful person one day at a time."