WAGS Work: Linsey Marchant
Tell us who you are, how you got into the baseball world, and a little bit about you and your fiance.
Hi Ladies!! My name is Linsey, I am from Kansas City, Missouri, which is where my boyfriend went to college, and where we eventually met (on Tinder!) in 2015. My boyfriend is Josh Tols, a 29 year old left-handed relief pitcher in the Philadelphia Phillies Organization. Josh is from Australia, and has been playing in independent professional baseball since he graduated from Rockhurst University in 2014. He played in the Australian Baseball League each winter ball season since 2014, independent ball in Japan, and the American Association. We received news from the Phillies in February 2018, just before Spring Training!
Tell us all about your job, what do you do, and how long you’ve been werkin’ it.
My business is LJ Media House, LLC. I do Squarespace Web Design and Branding for small, female-owned businesses. I have been in business since May 2017.
What inspired you/how did you get started?
My inspiration came from a few different places - happiness, love, and travel. Before I met Josh, I fell in love with traveling. I actually met Josh the day I got home from 4 months as an au pair in Switzerland. I knew at a young age that I wanted to see the world, my mom moved to the Virgin Islands when I was 15, so I spent a lot of time on airplanes!
When I met Josh, I was working on my masters degree, so I was working odd-jobs and enjoying my mid-twenties. He helped me secure an internship for my Masters in Australia working for the Australian Baseball League. When I finished there (& had thoroughly fallen in love with Australia and with him) I went back to Kansas City and landed "my dream job" with the Kansas City Royals.
From Feb 2016-Oct 2016, I made $9/hour full-time, while working at a bar at the same time in order to pay my bills. From October 2016 - May 2017, Josh and I were long distance, from Missouri to Australia. After getting another job in the sports industry, then unexpectedly getting fired in January 2017, I was fed up. I was fed up with making pennies, fed up with sitting in a cubicle, and fed up with not being with the man I love. I sold everything I owned, set-up a half-hazard plan, and moved to Japan in May 2017 for the baseball season there with Josh.
Was your success immediate or did it take time?
It definitely took time. I had a small savings, I got rid of all my major expenses (car, apartment, etc.), and set-up a timeline and a budget. I didn't really hit a stride until about 6 months in, and I am still learning and experiencing growth now, a year and a half since I started. I still have not reached some amazing salary threshold, but it is enough for us, and our current lifestyle and needs.
What obstacles have you faced and how did you persevere in the hard times?
My biggest struggle was with my family and their understanding/support. Not only is the baseball life hard to comprehend, but self-employment is hard to accept/believe in too. We are 28/29 years old, so there are certain societal expectations for us to meet - marriage, buying a home, starting a family, etc. I should have a career, with a 401k and health insurance benefits. We were constantly getting asked "well what is after baseball?" - It was hard.
We aren't normal. We want to travel, we want to play baseball until we can't anymore, we want freedom. We don't want the norm. It took almost a year for my family to officially show understanding and support for me and my business, and this was only after I proved to them that it was 'legit' - it wasn't easy.
How do you balance running a business and living the baseball life?
"Adaptability" - this has been my big word for 2018. We were already living the baseball life, but there was a small sense of stability in it. Affiliated baseball is worlds different. You can find out that in 12 hours you'll be flying across the country with three days to find an apartment to live in - BUT WAIT - it might not be permanent so 'good luck'!
Since I started my business, I have worked from Japan, Missouri, Australia, Florida, and Pennsylvania. On couches, at kitchen tables, from bed, and coffee shops galore. I chose to structure my business in a way that allows for flexibility. I am transparent with my clients from day one about my lifestyle and my workstyle. If a client doesn't respect this lifestyle then they aren't my ideal client.
How did starting your own business impact your life personally, and for the two of you?
I'm happy. We are happy. We don't have heaps of money, but we are able to be together. I am creating something I am proud of, while he is pursuing his big dream, and we both get to cheer each other on and support each others wins, every day.
Starting my own business gave us choices and freedom to make those choices with confidence. Regardless of his baseball career, I have this business to fall back on. I don't have the stress of a boss telling me when I can be with my partner. I get to be insanely proud of him every day, and I get to be insanely proud of myself every day.
What’s a typical workday like for you in the season? In the off-season?
What is off season? Haha! Ever since Josh started playing professionally when he graduated from college, he has played year-round. My work day isn't all that structured which works best for me. I have ADHD, which is a huge thing I struggled with in the 9-5 lifestyle. I have to-do lists and planners and calendars, but scheduling out my day with a routine doesn't work.
If I am feeling distracted in the morning, I may take a slow morning with coffee and social media scrolling. If I have a rush of energy and inspiration at 11 pm on a Saturday, I will dive into a project. If Josh has a random off-day on a random Tuesday that we didn't expect, we will go out for a date day and I don't have to tell anyone where I'm going.
I work whenever it works for us, whatever day and time it works. I do whatever client work I need to do, and a bit of my own business admin work, throughout the day, with plenty of breaks for coffee.
What’s been the HARDEST part so far? What’s been the BEST?
Uncertainty. I am a planner, and you can't really be a planner in the baseball world, and you can't be much of a planner in the self-employment world. I can save money, I can schedule out clients in advance, but I can't guarantee I will get a new client booked in 2 months, and I can't guarantee I will have a desk to work at next month.
Freedom. I can move to Philadelphia halfway through the summer. I can spend Spring Training in Florida. I can take a random vacation for my business in Palm Springs in October. I get to be a partner to my boyfriend, in every stage of his journey.
What advice do you have for other WAGs who hope to start a service-based business?
Remember, your boyfriend/fiance/husband is in a TINY percentage of baseball players who has 'made it'.... why can't you make it too? If you're in this life, you're already a strong, brave, and resilient woman - you CAN start your own business and it CAN be successful. There are so many tools online, courses, and free advice that you have access to in order to get started. There are supportive communities (including this one!) that you can join to get advice at every stage. I strongly recommend checking out the Bucketlist Bombshells if you're interested in starting a service based business.
What are you currently working on and what’s next for your business?
I am currently working on a series of Squarespace website templates, so that I can offer beautiful design to entrepreneurs with a budget that may be lower than my custom website prices. I plan to launch my template shop in January of 2019!
What’s one thing you wish EVERYONE knew about being a WAG/baseball life?
It's hard, it's far from glamorous, and most of us aren't rich. We have our own ambitions, and we aren't cleat chasers. The uncertainty is hard, but the ride is amazingly worth it.
Where can we find you online / how can we keep up with you?
I share about my business, my work, and my baseball life on my business instagram - @ljmediahouse
I share just about life and baseball and share way too many "look I'm at another baseball stadium" pics on my personal Instagram - @lj_marchant
My website is www.ljmediahouse.com