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Check Out Jillian Livingston’s Story


Today we’d like to introduce you to Jillian Livingston. 

Hi Jillian, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
When I was ten years old my adventurous parents took me and my two older sisters from Massachusetts to Colorado and Arizona. Having grown up with a British mother, our summers consisted of traveling to Switzerland and all over Europe, but this trip stood out amongst the others. We stayed at a Dude Ranch where we took care of and rode the same horse every day for two weeks, competing in rodeos and playing ambushing games where we would hide in trees and gallop out to capture other groups passing by. We took a three-day raft trip down the green river and slept under the stars on the shores. We visited Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park and like the game Twister, stretched our feet and hands out to touch four different states at one time at Four Corners. We also rode down Bryce Canyon approximately 3K feet on horses. It was on that trip where I began writing to record my first love affair with horses, Sagebrush and Lupine, and swing dancing with real cowboys. 

After graduating Boston University with a BA in Broadcast & Film and a minor in photography, my passion for literature and storytelling was refueled when I became a publicity assistant at Simon & Schuster in New York City. Being surrounded by books and editors in that city cracked open my curiosity and creativity. 

Never losing sight of my first love, in 1990 I moved from the city to Aspen, Colorado landing a job in commercial film production. In that same month, I also fell in love with a handsome Colorado boy. Flash forward to 2009 I was living in a contemporary farmhouse in the countryside surrounded by mountains with my husband and our three little boys, yes, I married that Colorado boy, as a documentarian, writer, videographer, and photographer, I had been recording our lives on a blog. Through marketing it on Twitter I soon developed a following and was reaching over 40K hits to my site, which led me to attend Blogher and immerse myself into the mommy blogging circuit. I was gaining momentum when my eldest boy turned 13 and swiped his finger across his neck indicating NO MORE public displays of his actions, my first pivot. I transitioned from writing about parenting in one of Aspen’s top ski resort towns to writing about the Aspen lifestyle and soon developed a niche as a family travel writer with a destination site. 

In 2018, I added events to my repertoire to better connect my community in a steadfastly changing valley, producing panel discussions in some of Aspen’s most popular resorts and nightclubs. 

In 2021 when the pandemic hit, I pivoted back to being online-only but kept the connection going with weekly Zoom coffee chats and happy hours, creating connectivity in our new isolated world. Recognizing the need for my group to market their work, I created a COVID-19 membership and included marketing on my platforms for a 1/4 of my normal advertising rates. Since September that network has grown into an incredible group of business professionals known for excellence in customer service, products, and services, and together we support each other and drive traffic to our businesses. 

Currently, I have hired writers and am looking to bring in a social media manager so that I can get out of the trenches and work at a more executive level to grow my platforms and network, and I am thinking of expanding into other mountain towns. 

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has been an absolute hustle and a roller coaster of highs and lows, beginning with working without capital or a team to assist me. From content creation to sales and marketing, to graphic design to the production and execution of events, I have been a one-woman show raising money through sponsorships and advertising. It took me probably much longer than other entrepreneurs to get there, but in 2020 I was almost there with established writers to help with content, three annual sponsors, and an entire program of events, which included but was not limited to; penthouse suite discussions, a young adult art show and a discussion with architects about the power of storytelling and design. I was able to fit in four successful events before I got entirely shut down by the pandemic. 

It was intensely devastating to go from full production mode to being in lockdown, but my silver lining was in the slowing down to recognize that I had been steadfastly moving toward total burnout, giving too much of myself and not getting back what I required. My work level had not been equal with my financial gain. I was writing daily blog posts, interviewing people on a podcast and reporting weekly events on a radio show, all without compensation. My goal is to return to all of that, only now with sponsors. In the meanwhile, I have cut my workload in half and am recognizing a greater profit …. and happiness. My events are not as elaborate, and I am bringing in a team to run my content and social media and I cannot tell you how incredibly rewarding is to be helping others while also helping myself. 

It has taken me quite some time to regain the energy to improve upon what I had built and get back on my feet, and as I create a winter/spring program I have greater clarity on my vision. Only recently have I recognized that I have been making executive decisions and pioneering my business on my own from the beginning and that as a labeled “super-manifester” I have the power to create whatever I put my mind to. I am far more focused, intentionally creating community with like-minded people who understand the value of working together and helping others. I have taken that leap as an entrepreneur and have learned how I was blocking my own paths by neither leading with clarity nor confidence. 

The new struggle is that as anxieties and depression increase with pressing global issues, people are feeling stressed out and busy and barely able to keep up with emails and phone messages, therefore becoming more and more disengaged. I believe there is a time and place for everything and I am finally in the exact position to help others by using my platforms that have an engaged international audience of over 30K and driving traffic to their business. It has taken me too many years and countless hours of hard work to get here, and although I can’t say that I have completely arrived, I am far clearer on my course of action. 

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
As an influencer and connector, I am finally being rewarded for my desire to bring people together and also introduce the incredible treasures I find wherever I go. 

Having started a blog based on storytelling 12 years ago, I was way ahead of my time and the storytelling movement. I was rewarded by being invited by luxury resorts throughout Colorado to write about staying there with my family, but the compensation became more important as the expenses grew with our freestyling and big mountain skiing boys. To earn a steady income, I had to stop my work for three years to work for a digital marketing firm and although the education in marketing was priceless, I missed having a platform to market others and three years later returned to blogging. 

Tired of working on my own, I am partnering with other organizations also focused on growing community and together we are planning events with intention. With an influx of people moving to our valley so as not to face lockdown again in a city apartment, those individuals are also wanting a connection with their community. Together we are making waves by enhancing the vitality of our community and becoming stronger with greater reach. I believe my time is now, and all I have to do is to visualize where I am heading to make it happen with the knowledge that it takes an iron will and intensely hard work to get there. 

Are there any books, apps, podcasts, or blogs that help you do your best?
I often read books on business as well as I love ALL of the podcasts by Tim Ferriss, Guy Raz, and Sam Harris. 

Get ready for this book list, it is a good one: 

Tony Robbins, Unshakeable 

Guy Raz, How I Built This 

Jane Mayer, Dark Money 

David Goggins, Can’t Hurt Me 

James Clear, Atomic Habits 

Many Byron Katie books 

Steven Pressfield, The War of Art 

Morgan Housel, The Psychology of Money 

Phil Knight, Shoe Dog 

Brené Brown, The Gift of Imperfection 

Michael Singer, The Untethered Soul 

Charles F. Haanel The Master Key System 

Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People 

Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People 

Dan Millman, The Laws of Spirit 

and many others. 

Pricing:

  • ADVERTORIAL: $750 Our writer will work with you to create an advertorial that tells your story in a creative and engaging light. The Advertorial will be published to all of our platforms. Advertorials provide quality content that is authentic and compelling and remains in the style of our content on the site. We know how to engage our audience.
  • BRAND or EVENT MARKETING: $500 Tag us weekly with your Instagram stories and Facebook posts. We will share your content. Your event will also be published to our curated calendar on the blog and in our monthly newsletter 4000 + subscribers. High open rate. If you have a monthly newsletter it will be uploaded to our blog and shown under your respective category.
  • CO-HOST AN EVENT: $1000 Co-host a 90-minute gathering at your venue. We will market it on our platforms. You create the atmosphere and provide the apps, cocktails, and samples of products and services. We invite our members and market the event on all of our platforms to help create awareness and increase attendance.
  • IGTV INTERVIEW (if outside the RFV interview will be by Zoom): $750 AspenRealLife founder, Jillian Livingston, will visit your place of business and capture 20 mins of you speaking about your venue, products, and services. Interview will be published to Aspen Real Life IGTV.

Contact Info:


Image Credits:

Michele Cardamone
Jillian Livingston
Michele Cardamone Photography

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