Every year on this day exactly (told you my lucky number is 13), reflection is in the air. About what you say? Let me share:
- Being In Business. My years as a solopreneur, agency owner, freelancer, dog walker and kid/house sitter have been the most rewarding for healthy spirit. I was working for myself. It was and is up to me how much money I can make and how hard I can work. Being accountable to yourself and whom you hire in business is heady stuff. It requires constant attention, thinking and action. Along the way, there are peeps to meet and relationships to build; there are even folks to care for. That’s what drives me, this being in business stuff. It doesn’t matter how one defines me; if I’m the one determining how money rolls in the door and buying my own health insurance and dropping pennies into a retirement plan, then I’m in business; bona fide.
- Being A Single Mom By Choice (In Business). The path I took to motherhood is unlike most other women. It is rewarding and stressful and puts perspective on money-making like you wouldn’t believe. I’m no longer able to squeak by on a dog-walker wage; I have to earn the beau coup bucks for the kidlet. She lends a wonderful purpose to why I get up every day and work to the bone to rinse and repeat. There’s no other way to select the single-mother-by-choice (not without nice $$ luggage, mind you) than to be in business for self. Yet, I have never defined myself as “mother of kidlet;” my identity remains “Jayme Soulati and this is my daughter.”
- Social Media. In 2008, I was a single mom in business in a dreary basement not in Chicago with zero friends and negative zero ability to go find them. I was seriously depressed with my place and then along came Twitter where I began to meet some astonishing new friends who Mark W. Schaefer summarized nicely about in his 1000 post yesterday. He and Jon Buscall and Jenn Whinnem were the earliest of my social media friends, soon followed by Erica Allison, Gini Dietrich, Danny Brown, and a boatload of others from the early Twitter banter days. Yes, Twitter was a nightly festival; it rocked with banter and #RockHot snark. I did 140 with peeps around the world, and I was whole again. Last year on this day I sat for hours in the morning thanking well wishers on Facebook; this year (just 365 later), I’m having to do that on Google+, text messages, Twitter, LinkedIn AND Facebook. It’s heady, celebratory and so amazing how Twitter (and social) changed my life.
- Values. Twice in business in the last five months I made the choice to walk away from a client and leave money on the table. Prior, that was unheard of; I would take it on the chin, buck up and carry forth to earn the almighty dollar. Today, not so much. If it feels bad; if I find a lack of respect (the value that has risen to the top of late to my surprise), then I need to move along and overturn the stone elsewhere for the buried treasure. I thank you Peg Fitzpatrick for your gift Monday. The smiles that created on this face were day-long.
- Opportunity. I kid you not when I tell you I feel like a kid…in a candy store! From a lowly PR peep in Chicago who got a chance at Manning, Selvage & Lee because I had researched the name of the managing director, James O. Ahtes, and the hiring VP, Dutton Morehouse, had never met a corn detassler, to a marketer, social media upstart (I can’t be an expert), professional blogger, and now digital marketer and self-published author to be…OMGosh…may I tell you the sky is the limit, please? And, will you believe me? It takes gumption, passion, and a zest for learning to keep on. Some made fun of me when I wrote this post on 50 Shades of Wiser as I had used that darn book title everyone loves to hate. Had anyone stopped to really read it, the theme there was about aging gracefully in this social media sector where maturity is a benefit and seasoned doesn’t mean salt.
- Celebration. Today, I celebrate you. Each of you in this community and beyond who take time to comment and let me know you’re not lurking every day push me to excel and strive for the next innovation. You can see it happening, I know, and your patience as I churned through the steps to get here today is appreciated. Never one to jump in first, it takes me time to look at all the angles and find a way to carpe diem (the one thing I took away from advertising class at the University of Wisconsin) and DIY (which I’m trying not to do as much!). For all of you here who have contributed to where I’m at today, thank you. My wish is for many more with you, right here.
Reflect AND Celebrate!