Thursday, April 21, 2016

The complicated dichotomy of having a brand online vs actually living

I find myself frustrated. Frustrated by bad SEO and articles I have no control over. I had someone post a bad review of me -- someone who brought on a band to my platform and failed to mention it wasn't the "original members" who had the hit in the 1980's.. failed to mention a missing member owned the name.. and although the band wasn't upset with us -- asked us to change out their single on a compilation album we had already pressed thousands of on an extremely limited budget. We were able to convince them to let us sell through the CD's we had pressed, they gave us the condition that we cut off all communication with the guy that brought them to us.. apparently he had miss-represented them in other ways in other situations.  the guy was upset we cut off communication with him at the band's request, and decided to write a nasty review of me, persoanlly -- not at all mentioning what had happened here, just attacking my credibility -- saying I was a red-headed stepchild and that I didn't know what I was doing. The really sad part is that all of this was 6+ years ago-- I'm still friends with the band, the person who wrote it realized he had done something morally deficient and asked the site to take it down, which since it is an anonymous site, they would not, but it shows up #2 in my search results when you search Amanda Ridinger, my name. It doesn't say anything about my company. It doesn't give any real facts about me. It just attacks me in a very vague way -- and very publicly. This is frustrating. I contacted services to see what I could do about it, any service that could possibly handle this costs $7500 - $15000.. which I very much do not have even for the bigger things in life.. like buying a well for my property in Virginia to make it livable.. let alone to have a link removed from google...  It has me thinking about changing my name.

There is also a blog, about my company that is riddled with inaccuracies. A random attack from a person I have never met or done business with. He gets away with it apparently, because he fills all his blog with the statement that everything is "in his opinion" It doesn't matter that the facts are way way off the map -- because he isn't stating them as facts.. which confuses me -- if you state a company charges a certain amount.. or does or does not do something -- how can that be an a opinion -- They charge that amount or they don't -- it's not an opinion. And when we don't how in the heck can he get away with it.

Trying to build a solid brand for myself, I have worked very hard to grow my social media presence and SEO. The biggest challenge.. is it is all very time consuming. How do we find the time to get done all the blogs, the social media posts, take the pictures and still have content to fill all that with.. what do I mean? Well if It takes me several hours to edit a video -- 2 hours to write the blog, I have to spend time posting on social media -- connecting with others there and driving them back to my posts -- fill in all these different sites, edit photos and post -- and I still have to DO the stuff to write about -- I need time to be out there experiencing and enjoying life so I have something to post about. Now granted the fact that we can somehow make money off of just experiencing life and sharing that with the world is quite a beautiful thing. It makes it all worth it. But I must say it is really really hard to manage. When do the people that do it perfectly, sleep?

I somehow have a bit of nostalgia for something I've never even experienced. I want to go back to the hunter gatherer days.. everything a new experience and living in life for myself, no money.. having to hunt down and catch my food.. having to search for it.. spending my days.. not contemplating life.. but instead actually living.. experiencing... Isn't that the point...

In some ways what I just described is a joke.. a total joke.. but seriously.. I make it look pretty good online... but it's a lot.. and sometimes I think I make it too good. It causes the people around me to think its all play and no work lol..  and I guess I'm a pretty sensitive person so, for me, sometimes it gets a little heavy. You have to look like you are having fun, like you are very interesting, like your life is awesome online, in order for it to be effective. But its quite a lot of work, and it isn't always quite as fun as it looks. Don't get me wrong, I love the freedom of being able to travel the country, meet new people, experience new things every day. But I probably spend 90% of my waking hours working, 5% working out-- both so I can look and feel the way I want to but it is also very motivating that I need to work out, in order to post about working out -- and i need to find a way to take pictures and videos without getting in the way of my workout, and the other 5% is split,  I need to find time to go out to eat so I can take pictures and have experiences to write about, I need to find the time to attend music industry events -- to meet people, to have artists to interview, to have shit to post about, to keep current so I know what the fuck I'm doing. I also have to do all of the normal, boring, non-work, life shit -- like doing laundry, cleaning my house (bus/rv), paying my bills, maintenance on the bus, grocery shop, cook, eat, shower, personal hygiene, etc.  I also need to find the time to keep up with my friends and family so I'm not a lonely depressed fuck lol and so everyone doesn't forget about me and hate me.. I already hear a lot of complaints. I worry a lot that I'm not good enough, that people don't like me anymore.. I just can't seem to help it. And then I need to manage 20 different social media pages, I need to answer hundreds of emails.. I need to answer texts.. I know this is now the new "problem of man".. or human I really should say - but seriously how does everyone do it?

I guess something unique to me, is I'm associated with money. I don't have it, but I know people that do, so people assume I make lots of it or much much worse, and much more often people assume I am handed lots of. I wish I did.. I wish I was.. I'm seriously working on making it.. but it's really overwhelming when people come to you and pretend to be interested in what you are doing.. only to expect you to give them some of the money you don't have, that they don't deserve, that you haven't offered. It sucks! Knock it off people!! And they get mad when they try to con you into giving them the money you are looking for by pretending to be interested, and you don't have it.. and they are mad?  I've been trying to figure out how to make that work to my advantage.. I haven't figured it out yet..  as of now, its just very annoying.. and honestly depressing.. and somewhat offensive. I don't have time to waste.. and people waste my time feigning interest because they don't believe I'm a start-up. They look at me only as a potential investor in whatever their endeavor is. Grow some morals people -- I know you believe in what you are doing.. but I believe in what I'm doing as well. don't waste my time trying to get money from me that I don't have. I'm very good at being frugal, I'm very good at saving, I'm great at living on a very limited budget.. I'm a master at it. I plan to bring in more money.. but my plan is to continue to be frugal.. eliminate expenses.. set up my off-grid property. The area I picked, the property taxes are around $100 a year -- I want to grow my own food there and really live! Run my businesses and my brands from there and from the road in my off-grid RV.

What sucks about the brand online part of being associated with money is, people google, they think I'm rich, and assume I'm some spoiled rich kid who doesn't know what I'm doing. I'm not.. I've been in the trenches since I was 19 or 20.. I've worked very menial jobs since I was 15.. I did the whole save up for my first car bit when I was 16 and I paid my own insurance in my own name. I've worked my ass off in the music industry.. put in my own money when I was making $2000 a month to support 2 people.. I was the roadie carrying gear, I was the merch girl, I was the booking agent, I was the tour manager, I've been the social media manager, I built the team, I dealt with the lawyers, I've really done it all and worked my ass off.

So in conclusion of my rant, which I needed to get off my chest (I promise most of my content will be so much more positive and greatful.. but sometimes you just need to get it off ya chest) I know it is not just me.. everyone doing this struggles... we all have to balance so.. seriously tell me how do you do it? Comment and give me your tips and tricks.