Why I’m Stepping Down

A few weeks ago I let the team know of my decision to resign from Outspoken Media, the company I helped found and build over the past three years. Now it’s time to let everyone else know, as well.

One thing is for sure – I couldn’t have asked for a better learning environment. Outspoken Media was started because of our desire to do better, to be better, and to create something we didn’t think existed in the market. And three years later, I truly believe that we have. We’ve created something that serves clients, serves our industry, and that provides an extraordinary amount of value. I’m incredibly proud of it and the team that we’ve assembled here, people who believe in the same high standards we do and who strive to not just meet them, but surpass them, every day.

Outside of just growing a great company, the past three years have treated me to an amazing degree of personal growth. I’ve never loved or fought for anything as hard as I’ve loved and fought for Outspoken Media. And I wouldn’t change any of it. But it’s time for me to make a move. A friend tweeted not long ago that time and how we spend it is our most precious commodity. Each choice is an investment in our future. I’ve never believed that as strongly as I do today. That your priorities are the things you do, not the things you say you do. And how you spend your time matters. It defines you.

While the lessons I’ve learned on this road of entrepreneurism will stay with me forever, it’s a path and a lifestyle no longer in sync with where my heart is. And I can’t ignore that. I’m not entirely sure what that will mean for me or what my next adventure will be, but I know that right now is when I need to find out. It’s the right time for me and for Outspoken Media to make a change.

Saying goodbye is never easy, but Outspoken Media will continue to be a success. I thank the team for everything that we’ve built together and I thank Rhea for her partnership, for being my sister through it all and her commitment to the Outspoken Media vision. We wouldn’t have gotten here or built what we have without each other. I couldn’t leave without her full support.

Rhea will post tomorrow to let you know what you can expect from Outspoken Media in the future and all the magic that they have in store. If I were you, I’d stay tuned for that because an even more badass chapter of Outspoken is on its way. I know I’ll be watching and cheering them on with all I have.

Thank you to everyone who has supported me over the past three years and your continued support of Outspoken Media. Your support has, and continues, to mean everything.

About the Author
Lisa Barone
Lisa Barone co-founded Outspoken Media in 2009 and served as Chief Branding Officer until April 2012.

Your Comments

  • http://outspokenmedia.com/about/rhea-drysdale/ Rhea Drysdale

    Thank you Lisa for your commitment to this business, your support and the amazing partnership we had. We’ve been through a lot and I will never forget that. Good luck, we’re excited and will be cheering for you in the next chapter!

    • http://outspokenmedia.com/about/lisa-barone/ Lisa Barone


  • http://outspokenmedia.com Emily Cote

    Hey Lisa! I can’t wait to see all the wonderful things you are going to accomplish. It’s been so awesome working with you.

  • http://www.yankeerudy.com yankeerudy

    Wow. Just… wow.

    Making such a move is a big deal, and I’m sure you thought long and hard about it. Good luck in whatever you end up doing, and know that your fans will continue to support you. (Or, at the very least, chuckle at your scribblings.)

  • http://obsidianedge.com Sarah

    Good luck to you both, can’t wait to see what you both get up to in the coming months!

  • http://www.davidmcohen.com David Cohen

    Best wishes on your next adventure, Lisa! Although we’ve never met, I’ve met several from your team and have so much respect for what you’ve all done and accomplished, and for the integrity you bring to the industry. All the best.

  • http://waldowsocial.com DJ Waldow


  • http://www.searchmarketingexpo.com Akvile Harlow

    Lisa, it has been wonderful reading your posts on Outspoken Media and watching you live blog at SMX and other conferences. You’ve got an incredible talent when it comes to writing, that’s for sure! Best of luck on your new adventures. Excited to see where you go next! :)

  • Danika Atkins

    Good luck, Lisa! Thank you for all the hard work you’ve put in to building the business. I’m excited to see where your next adventure takes you, and I wish you all the best.

  • Joe Schaefer

    Lisa! Here’s to your continued success and I wish you the best. I truly enjoyed working with you and thanks for all of your help (that includes laughing at my corny jokes).

  • http://outspokenmedia.com/about/michelle-lowery/ Michelle Lowery

    Thank you for all the liveblogging pointers, Lisa! :-) I appreciate what you put into this blog and the company. Can’t wait to see where this change takes you. Best of luck to you!

  • http://www.adamsherk.com/ Adam Sherk

    Holy Moly!

    You’ve done a great job with this blog Lisa – and I’m sure lots of other things for Outspoken, but I’m just a loyal reader, I wouldn’t know about that :) Best of luck with whatever you do next.

  • http://www.ryanmjones.com Ryan

    Good luck! I know Rhea and outspoken will continue to rock it, and I know you’ll bring piles of awesome to wherever you end up. Change is exciting, embrace and enjoy it .

    I’m really going to miss your liveblog coverage. Hopefully you end up somewhere where we can all still get to see you at conferences.


  • http://www.jackleblond.com Jack Leblond

    My first thought was to wish you “good luck”, but I’ve known you long enough to know you you neither need nor depend on luck – you make things happen.

    Can’t wait to find out what you do next, it’ll be big.

  • http://dawnwentzell.com Dawn Wentzell

    Wow, big news Lisa! As an OSM alumni, I know first hand that the company – and those involved with it over the years – would absolutely not be where it is today without your dedication, your writing, and your wit :)

    Congrats on the change and best of luck at wherever life takes you.

    Rhea and the gang – I’m excited to see where OSM goes in this next phase.

  • http://www.jackleblond.com Jack Leblond

    My first thought was to wish you “good luck”, but I’ve known you long enough to know you neither need nor depend on luck – you make things happen.

    Can’t wait to find out what you do next, it’ll be big.

  • http://sully@inboundstrategy.com Sully

    Wow – that’s big news.

    Lisa – you & OSM were one of the first resources I discovered when I first moved into the digital branding, social media, and SEO space. You set the bar incredibly high and remain one of my “go-to” resources.

    I feel extra lucky for having the opportunity to have met in you in person (you & Rhea are still the first people that I met IRL after connecting on Twitter). You are exactly the same funny, smart, & awesome person that you project online.

    I wish you the best, and I hope this means you have greater availability to grab beers when I visit Troy.


  • http://www.unmemorabletitle.co.uk Andy Nattan

    Well, thanks for the great content you’ve provided during your time at Outspoken, and I’m certain we’ll all see more of the same from both you and Outspoken Media in the future!

  • http://www.timbiden.com Tim Biden

    Wow! Lisa, this must not have been an easy decision for you to come to. So is there anyplace we can go to find out where your heart is now? Do you have a separate blog that we can read to find out what you do next?

  • http://www.rosshudgens.com Ross Hudgens

    Good luck, Lisa and Rhea. It feels like the internet as I know it has shifted greatly because of this change. I look forward to the next progression of Outspoken Media and Lisa Barone.

  • http://www.thepropheticlife.com Daniel Dessinger

    Wow. I can say, Lisa, that I have watched OSM with fascination since the beginning. Enough of the process was made public that we could root alongside you all as you charted a new path and conquered new challenges.

    I look forward with anticipation to hear of your next move. I have no doubt it will be a fascinating step in your story.

  • http://www.bareknucklestrategy.com Allison

    Wishing you the best of luck in your next adventure Lisa! I remember taking a big leap a little over a year ago when I officially quit my “day job” and started running my business full time. Jumping off that cliff was the scariest and most exciting thing I ever did… and also the best decision I ever made for my career.

    We’ll certainly miss your posts here on the Outspoken Media blog, though. Your witty and informative posts have always been a bright spot in my day.

  • http://www.e-marketingpartner.com Bob Weber

    Lisa, hoping for the best on your new adventure! Looking forward to see more awesome stuff from you in the future!

  • http://thenextcorner.net/ Dennis G

    Congratulations on the decision to take the next step in your journey.
    You’ve done an amazing job at Outspoken.

    Thank you for all your insightful blog posts, and the live coverage of all the conferences I was not able to go to.

    Good luck!


  • http://siteimprove.com Bo Vejgaard

    Good luck Lisa, I hope we’ll bump into each other in the future. I will keep following you and Outspoken Media.

  • http://twitter.com/MichelleRobbins Michelle Robbins

    Congrats on making the change Lisa – I’m sure it was a difficult point to come to, but I know whatever you next set your mind to will be as fulfilling as your time at OSM. I sure will miss your writing, so hope I’ll be seeing it in other venues still!!

    Rhea, Danika and the OSM gang – really looking forward to what the future holds for the firm, my money is on it continuing to be great :)

  • http://www.searchinfluence.com/blog/ Will Scott

    Lisa, oh my gosh!

    I’m blown away – because I think of Lisa and Rhea as Outspoken Media.

    I’m terribly excited to see what’s next for you, Lisa, and the Outspoken team.

  • http://reddit.com/r/adgeek Stuart

    Wishing you all the best – awesome to see what you guys have accomplished in just three years.

  • http://www.nickeubanks.com Nick Eubanks

    I really appreciate this post, perhaps more than anything else because sharing my story is something I should have done, but didn’t.

    My partners and I didn’t make public that I was leaving the firm I helped start and build (atomni) or why – and we should have, because my reasons were very close to yours. It was a great run (just about 3 years coincidentally) but my heart was no longer where it needed to be and where atomni deserved it to be.

    9 months later I’m having a blast running a new start-up in a different space (and a very different market), and am happier for the decision and the move.

    Best of luck Lisa, I have no doubt your energy and commitment will continue to lead you to success. Cheers.

  • Meg

    I decided to close a door and open a new one last August and it has been amazing~ it’s a challenge and an adventure rolled into one! Kudos for listening to yourself and following your inner voice and best of luck!

  • http://twitter.com/jholyhead James

    Lisa, I hope you find what you are looking for. Thank you so much for all of the advice and wisdom you’ve offered up through these pages over the last three years.

    I can’t wait to see what you achieve in the future. I know it will be amazing.

  • Dylan

    wow. I wish u the best!

  • Kate V

    Although it’s been a while since I’ve been in the industry, you (and Rhea) were almost like role-models to me. You both still are, but in an entirely different way.

    I’m so glad that I reached out to you and we became friends, and I’m more than excited to see where the next chapter of your life leads you. One thing is for sure, we know it will be interesting!

  • http://www.kansascityrealestate411.com Ken Jansen


    Thank you for all of your hard work and sharing. You are wonderful. I hope you find what is most important to you and I know you will kick butt doing it.

  • http://monica@monicawright.com Monica Wright

    Lisa I’ve gotten to know you over the past few years, and I’ve always been impressed by your articulate writing and ability to make even mundane topics entertaining (you know what I mean.) I hope that this change involves even more of that, because you are a true talent, and, well, to be selfish, that would make me happy. You are courageous and an inspiration to many, and definitely an example of how hard work and tenacity pays off. Here’s to even more success!

  • Alan Bleiweiss


    You’re going to totally be awesome wherever you go. Especially if you resurrect kneesockz.com/ and http://twitpic.com/photos/kneesockz ! You could make a fortune!

  • http://topshelfcopy.com Doc Sheldon

    I’ll add my “Wow!” to the others, Lisa. While I’m definitely going to miss your posts, I have no doubt that whatever your next endeavor turns out to be, you’ll rock it as much or more as you did at OSM. Congrats on what must have been a difficult decision, and all the best wishes for your next adventure. I hope it’s something we can all share in again… you gave us a lot of value here, as I’m sure you’ll do at your next home.

  • http://www.bruceclay.com/blog Virginia Nussey

    Lisa! A new exciting chapter ahead for you! I fully expect to watch you continue to conquer the world in amazing ways. Congrats :)

  • http://www.blueglass.com/ Chris Winfield

    >> “time and how we spend it is our most precious commodity”

    It’s such a simple concept but unfortunately most people can’t grasp it (which is true for most simple things that we make complicated) and thus spend their time hating their life/other people/job/insert whatever here..

    I wish you the best of luck and I hope you find something that truly makes you happy. We only get one life :)

  • Matt McGee

    Couldn’t agree more with you about making the most out of every minute. Go for it, Lisa. Squeeze everything you can out of every moment. I’m sure you will, and I’m sure it’ll be great.

    Likewise, I’m sure OSM will continue to grow and do great things for its clients and the industry.

  • http://www.rustybrick.com/barry Barry Schwartz

    Who am I going to sit next to at 7am in the session rooms. :(

    Good luck Lisa!

  • Rick Glaser

    Wow, this is a shock. I wish you the best of luck in the future.

  • http://www.dimmockwebmarketing.co.uk Tony Dimmock

    Good luck, Lisa, in your new journey through life. Your blog posts, sound advice and overall “kick-ass” attitude to all things SEO has gotten me through many a daze. The industry will miss you. I wish you all the very best for whatever or wherever your heart leads you.

  • http://www.ragan.com roula

    Good luck, Lisa! Your blog is one of the highlights of my day. I hope you’ll continue writing and sharing great finds/links with us.

  • http://littleIndiana.com Jessica Nunemaker from little Indiana

    Wow! Best of luck–I’ve enjoyed reading your posts. When I should be writing. Or going through photos. Or answering emails. ;)

    I can’t wait to see what happens next!

  • http://www.bigdaylight.com Nick Nerbonne

    Congrats on your success with Outspoken Media, Lisa, and thanks for the great thoughts you shared every day. I’ll look forward to reading more as your next chapter begins.

  • http://www.crossingmarketingandit.com Elmer Boutin

    I offer my best wishes to you, Lisa. I have enjoyed your writing since I first discovered OSM. Thank you for your contributions to our collective knowledge.

  • http://www.nikkigroom.com Nikki

    Wishing you every success, Lisa.

  • http://www.usereffect.com Dr. Pete

    Wow, that’s a big step. Best of luck and keep us all posted on your next steps.

  • http://www.melaniephung.com Melanie Phung

    Congratulations and best of luck with whatever is next, Lisa. You’ve been an inspiration to those of us in this field and I trust you’ll continue to be (in this field or any other). I think it’s the hallmark of a great leader that the things they launched can continue to succeed after they move on, and all the comments here are a testament to the fact that you’ve helped to build, together with your partners, not just a company, but a community. I hope you’ll keep us updated on what’s next for you.

    Best wishes!

  • http://www.kristinlongacre.com Kristin

    Good Luck Lisa! I will miss your blogs on Outspoken Media but look forward to see what is next!

  • http://troutmanphoto.com Clare Troutman

    I will hunt you down – just so’s you knows. Thank you for your inspiration – can’t wait to see what you do next.

  • http://www.dustinwoodard.com Dustin Woodard

    Best of luck on your new adventure! I’m confident you’ll be successful whatever you decide to do.

    My thoughts also go out to Rhea & gang – I’m sending positive thoughts for this new chapter.

  • http://www.women-unlimited.co.uk Julie Hall

    Just wanted to wish you loads of good wishes for whatever you choose to do. I’ve loved reading your posts and your no bullshit writing style. I really hope to be able to continue reading more in the future. Best of luck Lisa, and no doubt you will kick ass!

  • http://nateorshan.com Winooski

    You’ve been an inspiration from start to finish and written some of the funniest SEO content ever. Thanks so much, and here’s wishing you best of luck in your new adventures.

  • http://www.cookingthreetimes.com BradenRussom

    *jaw hits floor*

    *soils self*

    *”wind beneath my wings” plays through head*

    Best of luck, dude. I’ve learned a ton from you and your team.

  • https://plus.google.com/105720802884434674393 Ken

    I’m always enjoying your live blogging from Japan. I’ll miss you.
    Wish you good luck with your new journey. Thanks.

  • http://www.jlh-marketing.com Jenny Halasz

    Just promise you’ll continue to blog in an “outspoken” way. You’re my blog-crush, and I’ll follow you! @Rhea and the team at OSM, you’re still on my RSS feed; ya’ll write awesome stuff. Good luck to all of you.


  • http://michaeldorausch.com/ Michael Dorausch

    Congrats for taking bold steps Lisa! Follow your heart and enjoy the journey!

  • http://www.commencia.com Mike Hale

    Little short on the “why” part in your post, but good luck to you!

  • http://www.premierpixels.com/ Jerry McCarthy

    Flabbergasted is the only word that comes to mind! You’re a voice among voices in this brave world of not only internet marketing, but a true definition of the entrepreneurial spirit and what it means to be successful.
    I so admire your courage to follow your heart. It’s something I can relate to. The money or success means nothing if your heart is somewhere else. I can only imagine how hard of a decision it was to make, but you’re following your instincts. Even if you’re undecided as to whats next, that in itself will guide you. Best of luck and you’re going to be superstar no matter where you are. So go and shine!!

  • http://www.canuckseo.com Jim Rudnick

    wow…as I said over on G+ – us canucks will miss you, Lisa….

    pls tho, just let us all know where you go and what you do….something tells me that you’ll be a-blogging about that soon tho…



  • http://www.dreamsystemsmedia.com Matt Siltala

    Make it happen Lisa! Also looking forward to seeing what OSM has in store!

  • http://www.netsprinter.com Lyena Solomon

    Not being afraid of change is what made you a great enterpreneur. Most people get comfortable, content – not you. I am sure the decision did not come easy. But it is clear that you have your priorities straight. It is inspirational. You don’t need good luck. So, have fun at your new adventure. I am sure you will make a difference no matter what you do.

  • http://www.woodstreet.com Jon-Mikel Bailey

    I am not going to assume I know you personally because we have never met. But, from all the kick ass content that you’ve produced over the years, I have no doubt in my mind that our world just got a little bit better because of this move. Outspoken Media is and will continue to be a great company.

    Still, I always get excited when entrepreneurs move on to new things. It means new and exciting ideas and innovations are on the way for the rest of us. And even if you are planning on taking some sort of sabbatical, I don’t doubt that you’ll be back to kick some more ass.

    Of course, you could be joining the circus for all I know. If so, enjoy!

  • http://optimizebook.com Lee Odden

    Bravo Lisa for knowing and acting on what you need to do. Good luck to both you and Rhea – not that you’ll need any luck. :)

  • http://www.danaditomaso.ca Dana DiTomaso

    Lisa, I don’t know you personally (yet) but I know that you’re going to rock whatever’s next.

  • http://www.larakulpa.com Lara Kulpa

    So proud of you, Lisa, and proud of what I’ve seen you all do with this company. You know I always wish you the best, but I never fear you’ll get it! ;) You go, girl! <3

  • http://newbizshop.com Derek

    Lisa, I don’t know you other then reading your blog post and other blog posts from your team. I have learned a lot from this blog and learned a lot from reading your blog posts. Your presence will be missed on Outspoken but i wish you much success in your next adventure in life.

    I will also be looking forward to whatever happens next on Outspoken. I’m ready for more knowledge and i have plenty of coffee on hand. :)

  • Susan Esparza

    Good luck, L. I know that you’re going to be amazing no matter where you go or what you do. I’ve never known anyone with your drive, strength and ability to achieve.

  • http://www.1918.com/ Phil Buckley

    I’m excited to see what your next step is, whatever it is I’ll be cheering you on to ever greater success. I have no doubt that the best is yet to come.

  • Mom Esparza

    Congratulations and blessings.

  • http://smbSEO.com Mike Stewart


    Cheers to your success. You are truly an inspiration and wealth of knowledge to SEO practitioners all over. OSM will thrive on the foundation that you ladies have successfully constructed.

    Mike Stewart

  • Sage

    You know how to keep things exciting Lisa. I hope wherever you go I still get to read your stuff. I’d read you talking about asparagus recipes. Seriously, don’t get an asparagus recipe blog. They’re only good cooked 1 way.

  • http://www.dan-menard.com Dan M

    My Saturday mornings will never be the same.

  • http://recruiterbox.com Raj Sheth

    Hi Lisa – Sad to hear this! Was just about to ask you for your help. Will you continue guest blogging for SBT or anywhere else? Good luck! – Raj

  • http://www.poweredbysearch.com Dev Basu

    I’m sure everyone at Outspoken will miss you! I’m excited to see what’s next for you Lisa, and I’ll be rooting for you no matter what you choose to do.

  • http://kristybolsinger.com Kristy Bolsinger

    I admire your courage Lisa. And not just because of this step, but perhaps especially because of it. It takes balls and bravery to truly take your life by the horns and put yourself at the fore front of your prioritized list. Love it. Absolutely cannot wait to see where life takes you. I could only hope it would bring you to Seattle more often :)

  • http://www.cre8pc.com Kim Krause Berg

    Well this was unexpected. You blew us away when you first appeared years ago with Bruce Clay and shared yourself openly and painfully all these years since. I hope you write a book someday. In the meantime, I bet this next chapter will be just as exciting. I respect you, your journey and wish you every possible success and joy.

  • http://v3im.com Shelly Kramer

    Best of luck to you, Lisa. I’ve never had the chance to meet you IRL but love what you’ve done and have learned from what you’ve shared. I’m sure you’ll do well in this next adventure!!

    Shelly Kramer

  • http://argentmedia.com Chris Silver Smith

    I’m late waking up to this announcement, but congrats, Lisa, and I’ll be interested in hearing about what you’ll be doing next! I’m certain it will be something good!

  • http://www.g4tv.com/e3-2012/ JadedTLC

    Congrats Lisa! I know Outspoken Media will miss you; and we your readers will miss you here, but we know we will find you elsewhere. :)

    May you enjoy your new endeavors, in life and career.

  • http://www.mattbeswick.co.uk/ Matt Beswick

    I’ve only been reading the Outspoken Media Blog for a short time, but have had the pleasure of reading back through many months of your posts and have been hugely impressed. As someone who’s still on the entrepreneurship road I can completely understand while you feel it’s time to go in another direction… good luck! :)

  • http://www.trainsem.com/ Ash Nallawalla

    All the best, Lisa. We have been in the same conversations at Pubcon but never “met”. Enjoyed your writings over the years and we will certainly read more about your next adventures.

  • http://mttoolsonline.com Kathy Nicholls

    Lisa, I first applaud you for making a decision that follows your heart. That said, I am going to miss your Weekend Coffee Links post tremendously! They have been a weekly staple with my coffee every weekend and I have enjoyed them so much. You will bring value wherever you go. Good luck to you in your new future!

  • http://www.kristibug.com Kristi

    I have to chime in here and say GOOD LUCK and you are AWESOME and I can’t wait to hear what you do next. Hopefully it’s still writing because you have amazing talent.

  • Bobby Kircher

    Best of luck to you, Lisa!

  • http://www.measurableseo.com Chuck Price

    Hi Lisa: You probably can’t imagine the number of people reading this post that wish they had the *Ahem* “nerve” to do this. When the time is right, you know it. My favorite business author, @tom_peters, is a staunch proponent of “repotting” oneself every few years to stay fresh. There is no doubt in my mind that your best days will always be ahead of you. Be well:)

  • http://blog.timesunion.com/aprofessorswife Stephanie Snyder

    Best of luck to you, Lisa! This blog has been a world of help for me as I continue to carve out an effective online marketing strategy for my workplace. You will be missed!

  • http://www.blogworldexpo.com Rick Calvert

    I have been a huge fan of yours for years Lisa. You helped build something great here at Outspoken. I am sure your next project is going to be successful as well. Please let me know whatever I can do to help you achieve that success.

  • http://thedealerblog.com Scott Golembiewski

    Goes to show you how my blog reading has been slipping lately… I come here and first thing I notice are some unfamiliar names so I’m scrolling to find Lisa, hit page 2 and I’m thinking WTF and then I see this post and wow!

    Wish you the best, hope to read more from you as your a GREAT writer!



  • http://www.want2befriends.net George

    Good luck with your next project, if you have one, you did a great job at Outspokenmedia and i am sure you will do the same in the future.

  • Gustavo

    Lisa, will you marry me? I am also a person who stutters and would be able to understand you and love you like no other man. You changed my life and now I want to change yours too.

  • http://topshelfcopy.com Doc Sheldon

    I don’t stutter, but for a lady like Lisa, the right fella ought to be willing to learn. :)

    if I was about 30 years younger…

    and didn’t have a face that scares dogs and small children…

    and then there’s the problem of my wife’s probable reaction (which would likely involve copious amounts of blood – mine)

    Oh, well…. I suppose I’ll just have to console myself by reading her awesomeness from time to time. ;)