After high school graduation Missy Germain tried nearly every job that appealed to her in the universe. Not feeling obligated to take the higher education path, she opted to get her education via the school of hard knocks. And this choice worked perfectly for her as it led her to some of her true passions, including a pop culture website that's a must on any girl's bookmark list.
Bitten and Bound is quickly becoming the "go-to" source for all things celebrity. The name comes from the site's founder, Andrea, who says she was "bitten" by the acting bug at an early age and Hollywood "bound."
Shortly after Andrea founded Bitten and Bound, which has been described as "The View" of the Internet, she met Missy and asked if she would be interested in becoming her partner. At the time, Missy was spending hours upon hours reading gossip magazines and thought it would be the perfect fit.
When Missy isn't seeking out the scoop on celebrities you love to hate (or hate to love), she's spending time with the most important people in her life, her family. She also enjoys entertaining and golf, but says those activities are best when enjoyed with her husband of 13 years and 11-year-old daughter.
I am of the mindset that once you decide what it is that you want to do, you formulate a plan and then execute it until it becomes a reality.
How did you discover your current job?
I met my business partner, Andrea, online through a social website used to post links for “celebrity” happenings. After we started chatting she asked me if I would be interested in writing for a new blog she started. She informed me she couldn’t pay me but what she could do was teach me how to start my own blog. I have always been a risk taker and thought I have nothing to lose. At the time I was a full-time booker, so I began posting stories early in the morning and after work.
Within two days of writing, Andrea asked me if I would like to be her business partner. I thought, "Oh, boy, here it comes." I assumed she wanted money, but as it turned out she just wanted someone to share the journey with, having only invested in a url and a modest hosting fee.
And so the adventure began. We set up an LLC, got a lawyer and an accountant. After five months of working our butts off we were both able to quit our full-time jobs and totally focus all of our efforts on making Bitten and Bound a successful website.
What is your typical day like? What types of things do you do in your job?
Currently we have four writers, so my workday is more flexible than it used to be. I work best on a schedule, so I set my alarm for 5:30 a.m. each day and begin the daily task of posting two or three stories, breaking away by 9 a.m.
I like to get in a gym workout, eat lunch and then refocus on work. This can be anything from writing and promoting to doing guest appearances on radio shows. I also frequent social media sites, including Facebook and Twitter.
What is the most rewarding part of your job? The most challenging?
The most rewarding would be getting to be my own boss, working out of my home and the flexibility to be at my daughter’s beck and call as needed. The satisfaction of working hard, on my own terms, keeps a genuine smile on my face.
The most challenging part of operating a successful website is keeping our regular readers coming back while generating new traffic, too. This is where social media comes in. We work hard to provide interesting and accurate content on the site, along with current photos to enhance the stories. We try to spin the hottest pop culture topics from a unique angle whenever possible.
What is the biggest personal sacrifice you have to make because of your job?
The first couple of years I felt like I sacrificed time with my daughter and husband. Although I was working at home, I was doing just that, hyper-focused on making the site the best that it could be from morning until night.
In the last year I have been able to find a healthier balance that incorporates all of the key areas of family, work, friends, play, exercise and personal growth.
What is one lesson you've learned in your job that sticks with you?
Perseverance pays off. There have been many times when throwing in the towel seemed like the easiest option. I am not a quitter and vow to continue on until Bitten and Bound is the No. 1 site on the Internet for pop culture news.
What do you feel is the biggest challenge for women today, particularly females in your industry?
Too many women believe it’s a man’s world and struggle to find their niche. They are of the mistaken opinion that lofty goals are too risky to even attempt. I am of the mindset that once you decide what it is that you want to do, you formulate a plan and then execute it until it becomes a reality. Sometimes that means accepting the setbacks and retooling the plan.
Who are your role models?
My mother has always been a hard working, no nonsense kind of woman. I would definitely say I have learned a lot from her. She and my husband, Lee, are my No. 1 supporters and they challenge me to be my best each and every day.
Another role model is Karin Housley, a busy wife and mother who also is a top realtor, radio show host, author and much more. She never ceases to amaze me with her energy and driving ambition. She is a human dynamo who accomplishes so much and always with a smile on her face.
What are some of the rules you live by?
I say this often; I do the best I can each and every day. That has allowed me to go to bed each night and not stress about anything. There are always obstacles that come my way, but living a calm and centered life with a bare minimum of drama works best for me.
What advice do you have for girls who want to be in your industry?
I am a mentor for several women and men. I tell them, "If you dream it, you can do it." It won’t happen overnight, or be easy to achieve, but if you truly want something badly enough you can make it happen.
People who want to operate a successful blog that generates a healthy revenue should understand that hard work and dedication are essential every single day, even on those days when you’d rather be doing something else. While there are definitely fun aspects and perks that come along because of the website, I continue to be dedicated to it because my family and our employees count on the success of Bitten and Bound.
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
Since I was young I always believed that I would do something big with my life. While Bitten and Bound has certainly opened many doors, I truly believe that it is merely a stepping stone for greater fulfillment. I have so much more to offer the world.
I can see myself doing a radio show, and I’m already heavily involved in a movie project that will be produced in the Twin Cities. I have been invited to be a contestant on "Dancing with the Twin Cities Celebrities" in February.
My pro partner and I will be competing as part of an annual fundraising gala for the Minnesota chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
I am an active participant and will continue to be involved in the Special Olympics Polar Plunge and Solar Plunge events to support the organization's wonderful programs. I also recorded a PSA for Drinkingand Driving.org and would like to continue to lend support.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
On January 28, 2006, I entered Hazelden treatment center to deal with an addiction to alcohol. I enrolled in a 28-day inpatient program. I knew when I walked out that door I would never return. This was a one-time shot for me. Two weeks after I came home, my husband was hospitalized with a blood clot in his jugular vein. After two years of doctoring he was informed that he would never work again.
For the past five years I have dedicated myself to my sobriety and taking care of my family. It is obvious to me that without the sobriety, I would not have achieved the business success and personal contentment that I currently enjoy. Life is good …