At ALifeOfLight.com we are always searching the web for positive people, no matter if their chosen profession is sales, motivational speaking, bell tower repair or in this case, Social Media Marketing.
Our online friends Amanda Schaub and Shane Van Oosterhout run a company named Media Beetle in Michigan and their goal is to help businesses large and small with their online marketing. And specifically with social media marketing.
They are both awesome human beings doing good in the world. If you own a business and are trying to find your way through the jungle of social media, Amanda and Shane are the pro's in that world and they can help you.
I asked to interview them and they were kind enough to answer a few questions. Here is what they said.
1) Could you tell me a little bit about your background.
Shane grew up in a highly manicured suburb of Grand Rapids, Michigan. The crime rate was zero, so the cops had nothing to do except harass kids on ten speeds for running red lights. The town was so clean you could eat off the sidewalks, even in wintertime. His dad was a stockbroker and his mom stayed home.
Shane received his BFA in graphic design from the University of Michigan. His work experience includes graphic design, digital photography, studio artist, and college professor. He has also worked in the field of horticulture, and as a volunteer coordinator for a large non-profit organization. In his free time he loves gardening with native plants, beekeeping, reading fiction and science, and taking photos of his four cats. His current favorite writer is Sarah Walters, author of The Paying Guests. “I love how Sarah Waters’ gets feminism right. Every one of her female characters are complex and fascinating, even the so-called Plain Janes.” He also watches a lot of Adult Swim cartoons and documentaries.
Amanda grew up in Traverse City, Michigan on a dirt road with 40 acres of backyard to explore. Her childhood consisted of playing in open fields at her grandparents’ house next door along with snow and water sports. She loved snowboarding as a teen and explored the extensive northern bar and restaurant scene as a young adult. Her dad owned his own construction business since she was a baby, inspiring her to one day own her own business.
Amanda received her BFA in illustration from Kendall College of Art and Design. Her work experience includes marketing, social media, customer service, retail management, illustration, and graphic design. She has also been a teacher and a volunteer for a family services organization. In her free time she enjoys camping with her fiancé and her beloved whippet Kelsea. She also enjoys football season, playing video games, shopping for stylish clothes and vegan cooking. Her current favorite writer is Gillian Flynn, author of Gone Girl. She watches a lot of independent films and low-budget horror movies.
How did Amanda and Shane meet?
Shane and Amanda met at Kendall College of Art and Design in 2009 when Amanda was a student in Shane’s digital media course. After the semester ended they met for coffee and quickly discovered they held many things in common—humor, philosophy, plant-based cooking and life experiences. Soon a great friendship was born. One afternoon while discussing their shared love for social media they came up with the idea of starting a media marketing business together.
How was MediaBeetle created?
Within a few months of brainstorming and planning they created a name and registered their company as MediaBeetle LLC. Local coffee shops and restaurants served as their mobile office space. WIFI was always a challenge but it kept operations cheap. Together they dipped into their personal and professional network of contacts to get their business off the ground and to spread the word.
2) Please tell me about how you came to be such a positive person.
I think positivity is something that takes a lot of practice, at least for me. Just saying, “be positive” isn’t something that ever made much sense to me for most of my life, because in the past I suffered from serious anxiety and depression. I had to work very, very hard to find the right therapies and tools to tackle my problems. It might seem easy to say, “I’m fixed, so why keep searching?” but that’s not me.
I’ve had to continue to push myself to learn how to react differently, to think differently about ingrained, negative emotional habits. There are no quick answers, but I always knew that I wanted to figure out how to be more outgoing, more approachable and more at-ease in groups. This takes a lot of practice, and feels very risky to a native introvert like myself, but I was determined to become the guy who could talk to anyone at a party without breaking into a cold sweat, which is how I once was.
I believe that when we shift perspectives through personal growth, we immediately become more positive. We become more empathetic and empathy is always positive, it expands the mind, it leads us to deeper thoughts and feelings and reminds us that the people we interact with are also fragile and anxious and hopeful, and we are all in this together.
I experienced a few big losses in my life, my mother being one of them, at the age of 16. I guess over time you realize you only have one chance; you only have a moment to make an impression, why not make a positive one? I became vegan at 25, and Buddhist at 26. These were very impacting decisions on my perspectives of life. But honestly, I have always been a bit of an optimist and have always loved helping others.
3) Please tell me about your business, what you do, who you help, what your goals are.
“Your goals are our goals.” - This is our company ideal.
Happy customers and happy employees equal a positive work environment. In order to meet MediaBeetle’s goals, Shane and Amanda know they must first reach the goals of their clients and the people who work for them. They do this by continuing to educate themselves everyday with leadership and media knowledge.
People who have any sort of honest vision, no matter how wild it may seem, is who Shane and Amanda help. This includes everyone from creatives to business leaders to new entrepreneurs. They are inspired to help businesses grow and have fun while doing it. They are also want to educate and build a brand that reflects their positive principles. *
4) Please tell me about your biggest dream right now.
My biggest dream right now is the same dream I’ve had for as long as I can remember, which is to work in an environment where there is creative purpose and happiness and rule-breaking and comedy every day, and to be doing it with people who share the same vision. Also that we have enough clients to keep us in business and the bills are paid.
My biggest dream is to live a mindful life, meaning to be conscious or aware of your surroundings, how you treat yourself and how you impact those around you. I have been working on this for years. I really don’t think it will ever end; it’s a constant changing and evolving life choice.
I hope to inspire others to live big, to jump in both feet first (with the right tools of course) and to remember, if you have the desire to make a change in your life, do it with passion, confidence, and integrity. And live in the moment. Like the famous quote from Buddha “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”
5) Please tell me about your biggest fear about that dream.
I had a nightmare the other night that I was asking Donald Trump to loan me money, and he said yes.
I try very hard not to focus on my fears, but it is important to understand them in order to overcome them. I guess my biggest fear of my dream, is I may not be helpful to anyone; it’s a personal battle with myself. I strive to help others, and can only do my best to lead by example.
We all make mistakes in our lives, big and small, and it is easy to tell someone “you are just fine, it’s not a big deal, move on with your life” but we are the hardest on ourselves, it’s up to us to use that for the greater good, and move forward.
6) Please tell me about your life if you knew you only had one week to live.
Gee, this has always been one of my least favorite interview questions because it reminds me of multiple choice tests, where I over-analyze and get the answer wrong. Ha! At my age the answer is pretty simple: I’d spend all of it in my gardens, snuggling with my cats, and telling my friends that they have to make me laugh as much as possible or I will come back and haunt them every night.
I think this question is somewhat trivial. I mean you really don’t know how you would react to something until you are faced with it. But I think I would probably do more of what I have been doing recently, taking more time for friends, family, and people that matter to me, taking in every moment of life, and making sure I leave a positive impression before I go. As a Buddhist, the idea is to focus on these things everyday, to live mindfully so you do not regret anything before your time is up.
7) What is the most important thing you could tell your audience about how and why you can help them.
People who have any sort of honest vision, no matter how wild it may seem, are the people Shane and Amanda help. This includes everyone from creatives to business leaders to new entrepreneurs. They are inspired to help businesses grow and have fun while doing it. They also want to educate and build a brand that reflects their positive principles.
Here is their Mission in a nutshell.
“MediaBeetle offers a knowledgeable, creative team that develops, shares and promotes media services for local businesses. We’ll help your organization stay competitive in tomorrow’s world.”
Amanda and Shane are good people intent on helping their clients succeed in the competitive world of social media marketing. When you need help with social media for your business please contact them. Here is how you can get hold of them:
Their social media marketing website is open 24 hours a day at MediaBeetle.com