Time | Team | Tools & Reality

Best Laid Plans

Exodus-Moses-Parts-The-Red-SeaWhen it comes to any project planning, recognizing your limitations is key to accomplishing realistic expectations. We all have pie in the sky ideas for what our incredibly amazing, life/world changing project is going to be and all the phenomenal success we will have as a result. None of this will come to pass unless you give some real thought to the actual time it will take to accomplish the project goals, the team you will need to make it all happen in a seamless way with all the tools right at your fingertips. In an ideal world, everything flows and blends together. The Red Sea parts and the world is your oyster.

 

This. Is. Not. That.

 

The Reality

Yellow Sea Horse in Aquarium

Our pie in the sky vision is exactly that without hardcore tough love decision making. I’ve been a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants gal my whole life. And for the most part, it has worked out pretty well so far. There were big opportunities I missed out on because long-term planning wasn’t “my thing”. Sure, it’s easy to dream. It’s easy to set your sites on a goal. How to get there? You can probably eyeball that, too. How to get there exactly as your ideal vision has pictured? Well, that’s a horse of an entirely different color….or type.

The Cold Hard Truth

When it comes to actually seeing your vision become reality you’re going to have to face some cold, hard truths. Your ideal plan is not going to happen with a team of one. You will need a team in order to fill in the gaps in your knowledge and expertise. Or even to just do the tasking that is required, but perhaps does not require your specific time and talents to accomplish. Hire outside of yourself. On a shoestring budget? Consider a trade of in-kind services. We all have special skills that are valuable to someone else and vice versa. Still not able to find someone? Then consider hiring small. In a perfect world, you would have the financial ability to hire your ideal person full time. What about for just a few hours per week or month? Get that ideal person at the front gate. Let them get to know you and your business. By the time you are ready to bring them to full-time they will already know the ins and outs of your business. They’ll be ready to dive into the deeper aspects of your projects.

Plain wooden block truck child's toyNot ready to bring anyone else on board? Is a team of one your motto and words you live by? Then it’s time to get out the red pen to your project. What can you do realistically each and every day? Be tough and honest with yourself. Pare down your project down to its very basics. We’re talking the framework of a car without all the bells and whistles. A plain, standard model to get you from point a to point b. Does it have an engine and wheels that work? Then that is all you need to get started.

 

Chin up

It’s easy to get discouraged at this stage. You know the ideal way you want this idea to come to fruition. Taking the Ferrari in your mind down to the Ford Truck is hard. Here’s what I want you to remember, getting started is more important than holding on to the ideal version of your project and not getting started at all. Keep those little pared down darlings close by. As your project continues to develop there may be opportunities for them to be brought back into the plan. Some of them will make a comeback and others will not. Timing and the growth of your project will indicate when if their time has come. Some never will. Others will turn into Phase 2, 3, or 4 additions.

 

The Lessons Learned…….The Hard Way

I share these tips with you because of my own epic pie-in-the-sky planning failure(s). Most recently, I planned a repeat of something I did a few years back: Three different daily podcasts for National Podcast Post Month in November aka NaPodPoMo (30 podcasts in 30 days).

I was able to accomplish this originally in 2015. I recorded three shows a day for a total of 90 shows in the month of November. When I tried to reattempt this in 2017 as part of the 10 year anniversary of National Podcast Post Month, I failed miserably. Why? I set unrealistic expectations on the time I had available, the team who would help me accomplish this goal (me) and the tools I would use to make it all happen (1 live show and 2 shows prerecorded with post-production edits).

So, why was it I was able to accomplish this so easily in 2015 and yet stumble through the entire month in 2017? It all comes down to Time, Team & Tools.

Back in 2015, I was just coming back into the world after a health scare with my youngest son. NaPodPoMo was what I needed to get out of the medical brain fog that had been the previous months of my life. Plus, in 2015 all three shows were done live. Recording time was all I needed which made keeping the three times daily podcast sessions easy to keep up with. Due to months of being out of the loop, my workload was almost non-existent. I was just in the process of on-boarding a repeat client. Which meant my attention wasn’t split in too many directions. I had a simple calendar and it was easy to keep track of everything.

You can talk sense to a fool and he will call you foolish - Euripides quote

Fast-forward to 2017 and I had several client projects, am teaching courses each month to students while also taking a few courses myself. Out of the three podcasts, I scheduled for NaPodPoMo, only one was live. That single podcast is the only one which accomplished the goal of 30 podcasts in 30 days. When push comes to shove things fell into the cracks. I was so in love with the idea of doing three shows for the 10 year anniversary, I refused to see that the reality was there was never going to be an opportunity at success given that I did not plan for any deviation to my vision. I also did not bring in support to help with the prerecorded shows. This was the fatal flaw to my perfectly laid out plan. I should have known that I would become the bottleneck to success. Yet, I persisted with the idea that I could do it all.

The Rub

You would think I would have gotten wiser by this experience……I have and I haven’t. I had a 2018 planning session with my business coach to lay out the course of my business. I narrowed my focus down to three main pieces, which is quite a feat considering how much Shiny Object Syndrome plays out in my life. I had pushed back one of “my darlings” to later in the year instead of creating a big bang launch in January. This made complete sense in the overall planning. Yet, I realize I still need to thin the herd a bit. In order to be successful at some, I will sacrifice others. These are sound decisions. They make black and white sense. Here’s the rub, the things I am sacrificing are my own personal growth and pet business projects. Zen stones being knocked over by black ocean waves

As a mother, this is nothing new. You always sacrifice what you might need or want for the greater good of your family. It’s just what you do. We can always wait until later when it’s a better time…..or……

The logical part of myself says, “Grow up, there will always be time to get these things done later. Take care of these other things because it will help you in the long run.” <-This grown up is not wrong. Yet, I can look back and see the many times I was on the precipice of something truly amazing and the reality of life forced me to reconsider the bigger picture. Some things absolutely needed me to stop, drop, and roll for something or someone who had needs greater than my own. But not all. There were several I have a very strong feeling would have changed the whole direction of my life. There is a definite feeling of “Rinse and Repeat” present. A deja vu of opportunities slipping away…..again.

Silver Linings

This is not a tale of doom and gloom. Not by a long shot. My life is my own. I work with clients I like on projects I enjoy and on a mission I believe in. My motto which can be found on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn et al.. is “Living the Dream” and I am no matter what you’ve read above. Just because I am living a life of my choice doesn’t mean I’m still not challenged. I’m still growing and learning and yes, also still compromising along the way.

yellow and white paper origami ship on waterThe silver lining is that I am in charge of this speedboat. Sometimes my plans will have to be docked or perhaps I trade in that speedboat for a leisurely ride on a pleasure cruiser or ocean liner. Slow to maneuver, but they will eventually get to their destination.

At the end of the day when I look at 2018 or any year for that matter, I see an ocean of possibilities which are ripe with opportunity. It’s up to me to chart my course in whatever mode of transport fits the situation to see success in all its forms as they manifest themselves on the journey.

Speaker Interviews: Educating for Success Home Business Conference Day 1

As you all know, I am in Huntsville, AL at Rhea Perry’s Educating for Success Home Business Conference. While I am one of the speakers, I wanted to do more to show the attendees how easy and fun audio and video can be at events. So, I am hosting a Social Media Lounge and interviewing the speakers during the lunch and dinner breaks.

Joel Salatin
Joel Salatin

 

Speaker Interviews: Friday

The goal of my speaker interviews is to find out more about the vision behind their talks as well as a bit more about them personally. Joel Salatin who shares the concept of Entrepreneurial Farming as a profitable business model where ownership is not in the land or the equipment but in knowledge. He shares with me the concept of thinking of the animals and plants as partners in your successful farming enterprise.

Drew Perry
Drew Perry

 

My next interview was with Drew Perry who I have known since he was 18 when I attended my first Rhea Perry conference 10 years ago. We talk about his philosophy behind entrepreneurship and life. He encourages all of us to explore the world, follow your interests and find things that interest you to create business opportunities.

Drew is always fun loving and it is fantastic see that his curiosity of the world and love of entrepreneurship has grown with his young family.

 

 

Additional Interviews

I never know what I am going to learn when I interview folks. It’s always something different and interesting. I sat down with Dan Celia who shared his vision behind what the real deficit is in America. It isn’t what you think. The discussion is one that is considered a hot button issue for many, but the heart of it is the lack of true understanding behind the economics that govern our day to day lives.

Teresa Bell sat with me in the evening to talk about her online greeting card business which she has been successfully running for the last 2 1/2 years. She talked about the ease of use for both personal and business outreach. It was easy to see that Teresa enjoys what she does for a living and is excited to share the message with others.

The web can be a daunting space for business to navigate.  Frank Deardurff will be helping to demystify the web with simple and easy strategies anyone can use to build, manage and maintain a business site. When I asked him why he wanted to share this message with attendees of the Educating for Success Home Business Conference, he told me about the horror stories he had heard form clients about their web experiences in the past. Frank will actually walk everyone through a basic setup of a site while offering tips and lessons learned along the way.

Day 1 Recap

As you can see, the Social Media Lounge has been quite busy on the first official day of interviews. Look for more updates on Saturday with a whole new set of speakers who will be put in the hot seat. Thanks for all you comments on Twitter and Facebook. As always, let me hear what you think.

UPDATE: To follow what is happening at the Educating for Success Home Business Conference use #efshbc. To keep updated on all of my Social Media Powered Business Trip travels follow #smpbt

 

 

 

Social Media Powered Business Trip Part Deux

One of the things I really like to do with social media is to highlight fun and creative ways it can be used for business. I think it helps to drive home how easy it really is to use the social platforms and their mobile tools to share your messaging regardless of where you are or what you are doing. In other words, there is no excuse not to make social media a seamless part of your business.

A couple of years ago I did this through something I called the “Social Media Powered Business Trip.” The idea behind this was to use only my iPhone to post audio, video, tweets, Facebook updates and photos to document the journey from San Antonio, TX to Destin, FL where I was scheduled to speak at Rhea Perry’s Educating For Success Entrepreneur Conference.

What made the experience even better was that I stopped in several cities to interview folks who were using social media successfully for their business, projects or clients. I knew none of the people I interviewed. I was connected to them through recommendations of my fellow social media peeps. It truly was a social media powered trip. You can read all about it and listen or watch the interviews from that trip here.

Social Media Powered Business Trip Part Deux MapYou might wonder why I am telling you the story of that event. Or perhaps you have already guessed based on the title of my post that I am embarking on another Social Media Powered Business Trip. I will once again be speaking at Rhea Perry’s Entrepreneur Conference.  This time I am making the journey to Huntsville, AL.  Based on the options provided to me by the all powerful Google, I have divided my trip into two separate routes. On the way there I will travel to New Orleans for an overnight stop. Then continue my journey to Huntsville, AL. The route back will be entirely different with a stop in Memphis to visit Graceland before overnighting in Little Rock, Arkansas. Then I will head back to my beloved San Antonio with a quick stop in Dallas.

Who will I be stopping to interview along the way? Well, now that all depends on you. Got someone along the way you would like me to stop and visit? Send me their contact information and they too can become part of the Social Media Powered Business Trip.

Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

The fun kicks off on Tuesday, August 6th and I expect to be back in San Antonio on Tuesday, August 13th. I am looking forward to having you join me on this latest social media adventure.

NaPodPoMo Day 3: Why Do A Camp?

On day three, I share what I consider to be the three reasons you should consider doing a camp.

BTW, the feedback on this series has been great. Love that this topic has turned into a dialogue. Yesterday’s podcast, What Is A Camp received a couple of thought provoking response from @LynetteRadio & @TheGrannyGamer

Here is the link to their insightful comments.

I have a question for you. In what way would you all prefer me to respond to feedback? Within the daily podcasts, in a separate Cinch recording or via blog post? I’m open to your suggestions.

Cheers!

Texas Social Media Awards 2010

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

On Sunday, March 14th the Austin-American Statesman held the 2nd annual Texas Social Media Awards during SXSW. Celebrating folks who in one way or another have made an impact in their communities or industries with Social Media. I am honored to have been recognized. In the judges words,

“Jennifer is driving the social media space in San Antonio. It’s rare that you find an event in the city that hasn’t been organized or touched by her in some way.”

My thanks to everyone for being part of this incredible journey. Who knew back in 2005 when the community building around the new media space began that it would evolve to this level? Not me. Folk ask me how I got involved in community building and I always go back to my start in podcasting in 2005. My need to talk face-to-face with other folks who were just as excited and passionate about podcasting as I was led me to create the San Antonio Podcasting Meetup. I have my wonderful husband, John aka @designminded to thank for the idea to start that first group. From there it led to the first Podcamp in the State of Texas and so on. There have been many people who motivated and inspired me to “do a camp”: Michael De Leon spurred on PodCamp San Antonio. Erica O’Grady inspired me to have a Startup Weekend . Whurley, Giovanni and Cody Marks Bailey encourage me to have a Barcamp. It was the persistent Connie Reece who guided me through the process of launching a local Social Media Club Chapter and Bryan Person who thought it might be a good idea if San Antonio had a Social Media Breakfast chapter. These folks inspired, encouraged and mentored me through the process of community building. I hope to have done so to others in turn.

They say no man or woman is an island and that has never been more true than when it comes to social media and community building. I am extremely proud of the robust, thriving and giving community we have in San Antonio. It is certainly indicative of what I have found in other parts of the state and country. The commandments of camp is: “Learn, Share, Grow” and the motto of Social Media Club is “If you get it, share it”. The key word in this is  SHARE. I truly believe that as long as we as a community keep this in mind in all of our endeavors we will continue to see success that is beneficial for all.

At heart of it all. I am thankful. So, I will end this post as I started it. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Photo by Rodolfo Gonzalez/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

NaPodPoMo Day 1, 2009

Intro to National Podcast Post Month.

History of Year 1 and Year 2. Where we started and where we are now. Being bold and adventurous at every turn.

My 2009 focus will be to interview the podcasting folks who are brave enough to take on the NaPodPoMo Challenge.

Mobile post sent by jennifer using Utterli. reply-count Replies.  mp3