We had the good fortune of connecting with Molly Stillman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Molly, other than deciding to work for yourself, what else do you think played a pivotal role in your story?
Learning when to say yes and when to say no. I am a (recovering) people pleaser, I’m an enneagram 2 wing 3, and my love language is Words of Affirmation… so, by nature, I gravitate towards saying Yes to things… often when I don’t *want* to say Yes. To which I’d end up overextending myself and then I’d experience burnout and it all became a vicious cycle. In the last few years, I’ve had to really, intentionally practice saying NO to things that weren’t the right fit, weren’t going to move the needle in my business, or just weren’t things I could really give me all to. It’s been so hard and I’ve made mistakes along the way, but I’ve never regretted saying NO to something I knew I needed to say no to.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
The road of my professional career has been windy, bumpy, and often ended up in dead ends. I was an English major in college with a concentration in creative writing. My dream was to be on Saturday Night Live. I wrote and performed sketch and improvisational comedy for nearly 15 years. When I graduated college in 2007, I started working for then Virginia Governor Tim Kaine and had been blogging regularly to serve as a creative outlet for my comedy writing. I wanted to be the next version of The Onion. Clearly that went somewhere.
Over the course of the next few years, I changed jobs, moved to North Carolina (during the peak of the recession), and I kept writing. My blog began to evolve into more of a lifestyle blog as I documented and wrote about my life. Between moves, unemployment, working four jobs at the same time, getting engaged, planning a wedding… there was no shortage of material.
By 2011, I realized people were actually reading this thing and by 2012 I rebranded my blog to Still Being Molly and started monetizing. In 2014/2015 I was able to leave my day job and pursue the blog full time. Then in the summer of 2016 I launched my podcast, Business with Purpose, as an extension of my blog.
While the content has shifted over the years, the core mission and vision has not – I just want to bring joy to people. I want women to know they were created on purpose, with a purpose, for a purpose. I want people to know that they can make a positive impact on the world. I want people to know that their messy, broken stories are not on accident and that there’s a purpose and a plan for it all.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I live in Durham, North Carolina and we have such a rich culture here! There are so many incredible restaurants, things to do, etc., but honestly, my favorite thing to do is just hang out here at home on the farm.
BUT, if I *had* to choose, we’d for sure get burgers from Town Hall Burger, go for hikes at the Eno River State Park, and get soft serve, farm fresh ice cream from Broken Spoke Farm.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
It might sound cliche, but I’d be lying if I gave any answer different than this: I am who I am today because of my faith in Jesus. I came to faith in Christ in my mid-20s and everything in my life changed. There’s no single person or anything that’s had a greater impact on me in every way imaginable and I’m forever grateful. I’m not perfect and I don’t try to do anything on my own anymore. I spent years and years entrenched in “hustle culture” trying to do everything on my own strength and “pulling myself up by my own bootstraps.” That only led me down a path of depression, debt, and destruction. I realized I wasn’t created to live that way… We were created to live in community with God and with each other. We aren’t meant to carry all of this (this life, this work, stress… all the things…) ourselves. And that is so freeing.
Molly Stillman Rebecca Keller Photography Mick Schulte Photography