Here’s the obligatory New Year’s resolution post. But it won’t be a list of crazy, unattainable things I wish I could do, just to feel sorry about it in March.
Women of Google+ Goals
This one actually deserves a listing of its own. Here I have many goals and plans, but for now it’s enough for me to say that I want to bring this BIG and bring it GLOBAL. I honestly could use some funds to get that going, as the idea is moving very quickly and could be in danger of growing too big too fast without the money to keep the momentum going. I’ve planned for this to be self-funded, but the demand and interest has exceeded my wildest dreams a thousand-fold. The project is no where near in danger, no worries there. What I do fear is that I will not be able to keep up with the needs of the community and still pay for it all (in time and money) myself. I am very hesitant and skeptical of investment money, and honestly don’t know who would invest in a website and community built around tech and communication savvy women. Actually, when I write it out that way, who the hell wouldn’t be interested?! As far as I’m concerned, women rule the Internet, and if someone wanted to be seen by the cutting edge movers and shakers, Women of Google+ is where they would go. Just my humble opinion.
This one is actually very easy for me to visualize. All of last year I worked on shifting myself professionally and I see I’m on the cusp now. I feel like I’m standing on the edge of the cliff peering over at all the wonderful things I’ve been working towards and planning for what seems to be over two decades. My toes are on the edge. I’m ready to jump, arms out wide with a smile on my face. My family and experience are my wings.
I have a dear friend that cringes every time he hears someone refer to themselves (outside of sports) as a coach. I agree, it makes me cringe too. Strangely I have had to use this label on myself to describe the position I’ve evolved to with my career. If I could call myself a professional personal trainer I would, because that’s more in line with what I do. (But no gym weights are involved.) I had written someplace that I felt like there were enough social media practitioners around that I could step down from my seven year position of working with corporate clients. Of course I still have a few I’ve hung on to, but for the most part I’ve come over the last year to discover where my true talent, experience, and passion fall.
What I’m concentrating on now is working with individual professional women that want to conquer their fears of using social media to propel themselves or their business ahead. So far I have filled all but two of my ‘slots’ for clients for the first quarter 2012. My next goal is to stockpile my digital knowledge into online resources I can package and sell. Hey, it’s like cloning me!
I have been speaking in a professional capacity almost as long as I have been a professional. I remember my very first time speaking in public. I was 20 and my company’s annual convention was in Atlantic City. I wasn’t even old enough to drink at the event! Luckily I was naive and didn’t realize people were supposed to have a fear of public speaking. I loved it!
Since then I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve spoken publicly. I’ve taught at colleges, keynoted at top industry conferences, bombed spectacularly at a TEDx talk, and did my best ‘stand up’ act at Ignite, as well as hundreds of other events in between. My audiences range from 10 to 750 attendees. Most of my speaking is done outside my ‘home’ industry of social media. Somehow I have craved acceptance in this space, and the lack of my stage time at these events ate me up. No longer. Besides, those events don’t really pay. I have adjusted my expectations to seek out well-paying and mutually beneficial speaking engagements, and that doesn’t always include the ‘glamour’ of appearing on stage in a room full of your peers. Preaching to the choir doesn’t get clients.
I think I would be open to more interviews as well, as in the past I’ve shied away from them thinking I had nothing interesting to say. I have come to see that isn’t true.
I’ve been entertaining the idea of writing a book for over a year, but never really moved on the plan. Now I have offers and need to make sure that I’m writing exactly what I want to write, even if that means starting some of the process over again. Through my Women of Google+ project, I’ve had a lot of doors open for me. Part of that stings actually, since I have the same experience and knowledge as before. I used to classify myself as a D-Lister compared to other professional friends that had seemingly ‘made it’ by publishing books. It’s my time. And trust me when I say that I am already smashing through any ceiling I had set for myself. I own this.
While I do have separate ideas for things I want to perfect or establish this year, there are some general things that will help improve my entire life.
Get a schedule
What this means is roughly outlining what I need to be doing every day and every week – and sticking to it. Seems simple, right? Not for me. My personal life, family life, and work/professional life are all just LIFE to me. It blends and overflows. If my kids are in school, my work life is easier. When they are home (like they are this week due to winter break and pneumonia) my life is chaos. Learning to adjust to a day with either of the kids home is one thing, but both my 4 year old (home sick) and my 10 year old (home on break) here for 14 days is difficult. Anyone that knows what it is like to be “in the zone” working just to look up and realize you’ve missed a meal or two understands how disruptive it is to have to stop every 15 minutes and mentally switch tasks. Sometimes, like
today this week, I really have to learn not to fight what I can’t control externally and go with the flow. Schedule be dammed. Besides, that is what the hours of 9pm – 1am are for.
No, not psychological help, but that is debatable. I am actively working to the point I can hire an assistant at least part time. I toyed with the idea of a virtual assistant (VA), but to be honest, all of the hourly rates I’ve come across rival what I charge my own clients an hour (when it’s hourly work). I have been a professional admirer of Laura Roeder for some time and got to meet her briefly this past year at BlogWorld Expo and chat over lunch. Although I missed her talk at the show, one takeaway I got from her was hire an ‘in person’ assistant at a fraction of the cost (but still a very fair salary). While some VA’s are charging $80 an hour, I can hire a brilliant assistant and put her in my office for a fraction of that to keep my calendar, respond to email, and do some social media work/PR work. Right now I just don’t have the funds to pay for it, so this is something that will most likely come to fruition at the end of 2012. Besides, it takes ME over two hours a day just to read and respond to my emails, not including any proposals that I need to write up for speaking or whatnot. Paying someone $800 a week just for email is crazy.
In the meantime, I’m making notes of the types of things I can delegate and the process that goes with it for the day I can hand some of these things off. In order to do that I’ve had to time box out my effort so it’s easier to track along the way. When I hit my email for example, I do it once in the morning and twice in the afternoon. This makes it easier to track how much time I spend as well as keep my distractions to a minimum.
While this goal kicks off with a super-duper humongous purge of home and office, it’s not a one-and-done deal. I need to work on this every day. I’ve come to realize that it’s the little slip-ups every day that lead to disorganization and losing focus. My kids are the perfect example. Leave one glass in the living room and before you know it every plate and cup in my cabinet is stacked on top of the XBOX controller. Developing some sort of ritual to keep my areas organized will be crucial.
My pie in the sky hope is that I want to gut my basement and purge a dumpster worth of unnecessary clutter. I want to get my crafting area back. I would love to get our basement finished, but that carries a price tag we just can’t swallow. What I really need for that is one of those home makeover television shows to show up and do it for me. My organization needs are pretty quirky. I want a fairly large office space in the basement where I can have my computer, audio and video recording studio, AND a crafting space with several stations. Not an easy task, and not an organizational effort I’m qualified to do on my own. Professional help will most likely need to be summoned (that’s why I hope for television producers to call me), but I can at least purge now.
I started going to the gym on a regular basis March 2010. A few months later I got a trainer to put me in the right direction. That will continue this year and into the foreseeable future. I’m 40, and I owe myself my health at least.
More husband time
Well now, doesn’t that sound delish? After 12 years of marriage, two kids, and several businesses together, the assumption would be that I’m sick of seeing my husband. Nothing could be further from the truth. Only problem is, when we do see each other it’s in the context of family or work. I would love to spend time – maybe an entire weekend – with him out of the house. I’d like to eat a nice dinner out where I can take my time and not worry about getting the kids eating vegetables (to be fair, my son will eat them no issues).
More girlfriend time
A girls weekend sounds crazy, but it’s just what I need. Wine, food, desserts. Gossip and giggling. Makeup and fancy clothes. That kind of girl time.
More kid time
Yes, more time with my kids! We took a trip early December to Florida and went to Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, and Universal Islands of Adventure (more specifically, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter). It was amazing to spend that much uninterrupted (read: no technology) time with them. I’d like to do more weekend trips with them and my husband because I know that the time we spend together and the memories we make will be what they remember as adults.
More me time
I don’t exactly know what this means. But I know I need it. I rarely go shopping, with the exception of grocery shopping. Sometimes it would be nice to just meander through a store and not worry about chasing kids or getting back in time for a client call. My entire life seems to be run by an egg timer. The idea of just pissing away an afternoon on myself is outrageous. Day spa trips seem even further from my grasp, but since it’s something I’ve half wished for for years and never done, I’m not so willing to put it on my list. Being a woman of a certain age, I would love to get monthly facials and massages, but that is a luxury in money and time I just can’t swing.
This also includes getting back to my hobby of paper crafting. Besides I have a CO2 laser cutter (basically has a laser beam that is controlled via a CAD program on a computer to cut shapes out of paper or thin wood or acrylic) just begging to be set up and played with again. This actually works out to be more girlfriend time too!