October 2013. It went by so fast, filled with so much everything, I barely remember it. I barely survived it. While I’m not really sure who would be interested in seeing what I’ve written here, it makes a great retrospective mental-dump for me. I’m physically in need of a spa weekend. Right now March 2014 is about the soonest I think I could swing it. In a nutshell, this is what my brain felt like this month…
This was my view of the PA Conference for Women from the speakers lounge. 7,000 people. One day. Overload. That’s how my entire month felt.
- Wound up with a crazy ear infection that knocked me out for four days. Slept through the pain with a steady dose of painkillers. End result is that I’ve lost more of my hearing. A follow up in December will let me know if I need ultra-cool (read: yikes, old lady!) hearing aids or just have to muddle through with a heading impediment.
- Celebrated my youngest child’s birthday on Halloween & threw him a party the weekend before (all while being in the very middle of a TON of work deadlines). Also had to make a homemade Minecraft creeper costume since I had no time to shop for anything. Somehow I felt guilt over making a costume rather than purchasing one. It took me three hours from 10pm to 1am to make the ‘box head’ and I fully expect my son to pass that sucker down to his own children. A few thing I’ve learned about little boy’s birthday parties: plan about 600 more activities than you think you will need; doing the Freeze Dance to the Time Warp is still fun when you are 42; while pre-gaming is not advised, having a brand new box of wine at home for post-game is highly recommended.
- Chaperoned a kindergarten apple picking field trip. It was also the first day I was upright after my four day ear infection outage. See above note about pre- and post- gaming.
- Finished up physical therapy with our oldest kid. She broke her leg over the summer and learning to walk again after the cast came off was more difficult than I thought. She’s still limping a bit and out of school gym until the beginning of the year. Between private voice lessons, chorus, choir, school newspaper, and being in the school play, I’m over the moon she’s (finally) found a group at school to fit in with. Elementary school was brutal for her. Middle school is looking up.
- Onboarded a new client this month. Totally love them. I get to work with a great team and focus on Google+. I love web video work, I love working with companies that are ‘women-forward’, I love companies that understand the value of developing a strong emotional and visual bond with customers. I get to pull from the decades of experience that I have in the digital space and craft creative solutions to help them rise above their competitors. THIS is the work I love.
- Finished up a client project. This was one of the more challenging projects I’ve ever dealt with even though it was one of the smaller projects. Because I didn’t have the ability to create a design and functional spec when the project kicked off, the launch side of the project became really stressful. Plus we blew WAY past time and budget – we charge by project, not hours. Lost money. Lesson learned.
- Focusing on a new SAAS product my husband and I are bringing to market – ClaimWizard. I’m running marketing and education for the product. We’ve been overwhelmed by the amount of interest we have gotten from the industry. Even though our product has been around for eight years we are working to constantly improve and evolve our service and offerings and now (finally) offer it to the general public instead of only private clients. That takes an extraordinary amount of time, research, and work. This month was spent clearing out projects and clients that don’t fit my ‘master plan’ for a lifestyle business so I/we can focus on ClaimWizard. I’m happy to say as of November 1st, I’m right on track!
- This month speaking gigs picked up considerably after my self-imposed downtime over the summer. Because the kid’s are home for a portion of the summer, I usually elect to turn down all but the best (read: well paying) speaking engagements during this time. I also have this funny habit of picking up speaking gigs in ultra-hot locations in the summer and ultra-cold locations in the winter. Someday I will book a week long event in Saint Thomas VI in March. Actually, I’m thinking of making my OWN business / professional retreat there.
- CMRecharge & PA Conference for Women were the two ‘public facing’ events I spoke at this month – and both in the same week. (Everything else were private events for clients.) Community Manager Recharge was so exciting because everyone there are the people ‘in the trenches’ in social media. They are the frontlines for brands and companies when working with clients. They are the ones taking the brunt of trolls, crash-and-burn campaigns forced from top tiers of their company, and up at 6am and asleep by 2am checking messages. It’s EXHAUSTING and very under-rated and I loved being able to help. The PA Conference was highlighted for me by seeing both Madeleine Albright and Hillary Clinton speak. #BucketList. I gave three ‘speed roundtable’ sessions on online marketing for small businesses. (Note: I’m also developing a workshop at my office for the same topic.) I lost my voice completely after two hours. The fact that I was in the same speaking program as Albright and Clinton just blows my mind.
- Although it’s technically in November, I have a speaking gig next weekend in Dallas for Bloggy Bootcamp. I genuinely love the women who attend and the organizers of the event. The women that attend really do seek out ways to improve their business and stay current and relevant in their industry. I love driven women!
- iBlog Magazine is turning out to be a great resource for professional women bloggers and I’m over the moon I’m not only serving on the advisory board, but actively contributing video interviews and education to the project. Since my October has been off the charts insane, I am looking forward to developing more content for iBlog. The opportunity to genuinely help other women professionally is something that simply fills my soul.
- New workshops held at my office. Since moving into our new offices in Riverside NJ, I have been toying with the idea of hosting day long workshops. It’s the right time to do them. One will be focused on Google+ and small businesses (duh, I literally wrote the book on that!) and the other is Digital Marketing for Small Business Owners. Keep in touch with my company on Twitter for more info.
- Fierce and 40 (no live link yet… it’s all under development now). This is an idea that I’ve had since I was 38.5 years old but could never quite find the time to concentrate on how I wanted the idea developed or implemented. During my four days of ear infection painkiller stupor, I literally had moments of clarity that lead me to write pages and pages of ideas, strategy, goals, and purpose to the idea. Rocker Mom not Soccer Mom. Let’s just leave it at that, but keep tuned to find out about this media property. November is when I have the time carved out in my personal and professional life to kick this project off properly.
November WILL be less stressful. It has to.