Who is Evy Lyons? She has been many things throughout her life, but today she is a builder of brands, teams, and muscles. She loves marketing, whether it’s appreciating a clever ad or working with companies to define the personality behind the logo.
“It’s about building a brand that people want to associate with and that you want to welcome into your life,” she says. “I love good marketing. I love when I look forward to somebody’s newsletter. I think marketing is brand and that’s what I love to live.”
Her favorite business book, “The Score Takes Care of Itself” by Bill Walsh, has given her a great way to view and approach marketing for herself and others.
“Yeah, I want to win the Super Bowl. Yeah, I want Traackr to make a bazillion dollars and I want all the best customers, but I can’t control that,” she says. “But can I improve the way we pass the ball and catch the ball — those equivalents in marketing — yeah, I can do that. And I feel that focusing on brand, as unpopular as that might be in software marketing, is really what drives demand. And so if you think about it that way, I felt that building brands was something that I love doing and something that I would love for a very long time.”
As much as she loves building brands, Evy has only recently been able to express her personal brand.
“I actually feel like I have a weak personal brand. It’s something that I’m trying to refine and figure out,” she says. “I feel like only recently have I been able to put into words what I care about and what I stand for.”
The “building teams” part of her tagline, for example, has become more important as she had to rebuild and expand her team over the last couple of years.
“Learning how I want to lead, learning how I want to empower a team, has been a really fun journey and I feel it's one area of my life that I do very very well,” she says. “That’s become something that I think is really important to me and that I want to at least do, or help others do, for as long as I can.”
Writing and publishing a personal blog has been a major milestone for this journey. Only recently has she felt ready and confident enough to put herself out there and start creating in public.
“I was standing on the edge of a cliff and facing a fear that felt so real yet I knew was so fake,” she says. “I literally sat down and just cried because I was like, ‘I can’t do this. I have nothing important to say. No one will listen to me. Or people will make fun of me.’ I don’t know, I don’t even know what I was thinking but it was just dread and fear.”
Rather than sit in that fear, she chose to explore and name it. The more she examined her discomfort, the weaker it became.
“It’s so interesting how scared we get and I try to unpack that, like, ‘Why am I scared? Am I scared because I’m not prepared? Am I scared of what other people will think? Who are these other people and what am I afraid they’ll think?’” She says. “As soon as you put names on things, as soon as you describe the fear in a little more depth, it’s just not so scary anymore.”
As she started strength training over the past year, Evy was struck by the correlations between building physical strength and building personal/professional strength. Neither should bring you pain, but leaning into the discomfort they create can produce gains you didn’t know you were capable of.
“If you’re uncomfortable, then that’s the right amount of stress. You don’t get stronger by living in your comfort zone, you get stronger by introducing just enough stress to elicit a reaction, an adaptation, and you come back stronger from that,” she says. “And if you put too much stress on, you might completely fall apart. If you don’t put enough on, you won’t grow enough. And that’s more or less the science of building a strong muscle, as well as building a strong person.”
Get the full story here to learn about the importance of autonomy in work, how marketing helped Evy quit smoking, and how you can use her new venture, The Pleasant Box, to become stronger.
Connect with Evy on Twitter at @evylyons, follow @thepleasantbox on Instagram for her garage gym workouts, and sign up for her upcoming newsletter at thepleasantbox.com.