Searching For My Dream Job

And Now For Something Completly Different….

For the last decade+, I’ve been working for myself full-time whether consulting, freelancing, or blogging. The flexibility that was required to be an involved parent of four children wasn’t something most careers were offering at that time. So I created my own path with exactly what I was looking for. I’m very proud of the work I’d done to build my brand and community but late last year I could feel something stirring. It was time for a pivot. It was time to forge another new path.

What Was I Searching For…

I began to identify key traits I was looking for in a job. Much the same way my teenage girlfriends and I would make lists of attributes we wanted to find in a guy we would date or a partner to marry one day, I started doing that for the job I would be looking for. It may seem silly but it was an essential step. When you are dedicating so much of your life somewhere you need to make sure it’s a good culture fit, the work is fulfilling and that IT IS EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT. We did not come this far to settle.

Finding the Right Fit….

Once I figured out what I was looking for, I began profiling companies that had those attributes and keeping an eye on their position openings through LinkedIn and other job sites. I asked questions of current employees who worked there and considered the longevity of leadership. If there was a continual turnover or if people didn’t seem challenged, empowered or passionate about their careers it was a red flag.

On top of profiling and researching, I also dedicated a good amount of prayer to where I was supposed to be next. This would be a big pivot for me and I wanted to make sure I was getting it right.

One of the things I kept feeling after I’d prayed was that the job that was meant for me didn’t exist yet. What I mean by that is that over the last several years my skills in social media, content creation, influencer marketing, and community building had became niched in a very unique way. I knew there was a place for me but many companies weren’t there just yet or they had positioned those roles as part of other positions entirely. I was either going to have to be patient or make modifications to what I decided to accept.

My People Are the Best People.

I didn’t limit my search to my local area. In fact, after talking with Randall we decide this was important enough that we would expand the search nationwide and figure out the logistics if the right opportunity came up no matter where it was. We talked to the children about how they would feel if a move presented itself and after giving some thought to what moving during jr high and high school might mean, they were supportive as well. It was truly amazing to have so much family support to pursue my dreams even if it required sacrifices of them. My people are the best people.

“Almost Good Enough” is Such a Kick to the Ego….

I’d be doing this story a disservice to pretend I got the first or second job I applied for. I didn’t apply for many positions because I already knew what I was looking for was very specific. The ones I did submit and interview for went on for weeks and all got to the final candidate stage. Even when I wasn’t selected, I made excellent connections through the rounds of interviews and it was always an amazing time of self-discovery to talk aloud about myself, especially after working solo or with temporary remote teams. It was confidence boosting to look over my resume and realize I had accomplished a tremendous amount and amassed an impressive portfolio of work. It was also a little disheartening to hear that you weren’t “the one”. My inner critic couldn’t help but whisper “You were almost good enough.” I would never say that to someone else. Why are we so mean to ourselves sometimes??

I limbo-ed back and forth from searching for the perfect job and reminding myself what a totally kick-ass career I had built for myself. I mean, it really, truly was going to take an exceptional opportunity to not make me feel like I had signed over my life. Not to be underestimated, the upside was not paying my own healthcare or as much in small business taxes each year. Working for yourself is not as glamorous as it looks on Instagram, kids.

Sometimes Your Dreams Chase You in the Strangest Ways….

Then it happened. For the sake of making a long story a little shorter… I’ll just jump to the exciting part. I was traveling on my way to meet Dolly Parton (as one does, obvs) and got a notification for a flag on my credit card. I had just been traveling internationally and wanted to take care of it immediately. I stopped in at a coffee shop to use the internet and verify the charges on my laptop. While I was doing that a LinkedIn notification from PR person I’d previously worked with popped up saying her company was hiring for a few new positions. Curious to see who her recent employer was, I clicked the link. Sure enough, one of the positions sounded exactly like what I had been looking for. While I was on hold with the credit card company, I whipped up a cover letter to submit with my resume. I sent it off, closed my laptop, reconciled things with the credit card company and went to meet with Dolly.

It wasn’t long before I was contacted for a bit more information. Then the interview process began. Several weeks, and a few rounds of interviews, later I received the perfect job offer.

YES, I’m still blogging…..

For those of you that are wondering, I’ll still continue to tell our stories here just like I always have. I actually foresee the content getting better and better. Most of that is because I get to have all the fun right along with you. This won’t be the main source of my income and I won’t be so stressed over constantly pitching and hustling. I’ll probably still work ridiculous hours because truthfully I think I enjoy lots of work – blame it on my Midwestern upbringing. If you know, you know.

Tomorrow I’ll share all about where I am and what exactly the new gig is but for now just know I’m really, really happy. If you have a dream or want to pivot, YOU CAN! You can be all the things you want to be. You have an entire lifetime to make your dreams come true- just enjoy living them one by one.

What To Do After You Win An Award

Iris awards 2018

After you win an award or receive recognition for work in your industry you need to have a plan of action. This advice comes from trial and error experience, not instinctual knowledge. The first time I won an industry award my instincts (and a major case of impostor syndrome) told me to stay busy deciding where to hide my award because I was certain someone was going to take it back as soon as they discovered their mistake. No one gave me a list of what to do next.

Maybe you’re like me and are just so shocked to have won you didn’t think about what comes next. Maybe you are lucky enough to have an on-staff PR team to shout your praises and have already lined up your media interviews…. lucky you. For the rest of us, here is an action plan of things to make the most out of your win.

YOU WON! Now what?

Issue a Press Release: Make the most of your win by writing and distributing a press release to national, local and online media outlets. Don’t know how to write a press release? Someone in your circle does. Just ask. Pay someone to do it for you. It is worth it. This will help you share your story and gain traction radio/podcast, online, print, and news outlets. Share it with everyone everywhere.

Pitch Your Story: Now that you have your release ready it’s time to pitch. Use this win as an opportunity to tell your story of growth, success and future goals. Think local television, radio/podcasts, online media, and print.

Update Your Websites and Bios: Adding this win to your bios, both professional and personal, allows others to see immediately that your work has been recognized as the best in its category. Do not let imposter syndrome keep you from doing this. YOU ARE A WINNER.

Change Your Email Signature: Never forget you are a winner. This is the last piece of information someone will read in your communication. Remind them they are communicating with a winner.

Thank Your Supporters: No one becomes a success on their own. Make sure to spend time sharing your press release and a personal note/email of thanks to friends, family, team members, donors, colleagues, and customers who supported you along the way to this win.

Share Across All Social Channels: If you haven’t already, get out in those social media streets and tell everyone about your win. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Snapchat; wherever your community lives, post about it there. If you’ve already told them, tell them again how you are still so excited about winning. Make sure to continue to use the association hashtag to stay part of the conversation.

Leverage This Win For Future Business: Show me the money! Recognition is wonderful and it is an honor to be nominated but it’s time to put this award to work. Add this win to your press/media kits. Don’t forget to add this to LinkedIn as part of your professional portfolio as well.

Hopefully, these action items help you keep the momentum going forward as your heart and head are still swirling in a cloud of “What just happened?” You did it, friend. You did it!! Now keep doing it. You ARE good at it.

Blogger Bash Made Me a Rockstar !! #BBNYC #SweetSuite15

Blogger Bash Logo 2015

Who remembers reading about my excitement after attending Blogger Bash last year? It was an amazing experience and the beginning of some fantastic relationships with so many bloggers and brands that continue today. In just a couple of weeks, I am headed back to NYC- This time as a Blogger Bash RockStar!!!

Blogger Bash BatMan Collage

BBAmbassadorBadgeNow before you get to thinking that I have an ego the size of the Empire State Building, Blogger Bash RockStars are ambassadors for the event. The selected ambassadors have an incredible amount of enthusiasm and genuine love for Blogger Bash. I’ve had the privilege to work with some of the other RockStars over the last few months and it’s way more than just a hype team. The RockStars that attended last year and can speak to any questions you may have. Feel free to reach out they are incredible! More than that these are professionals dedicated to the industry of blogging with experience and wisdom to share too.

blogger bash Collage 1
I absolutely loved attending Blogger Bash last year and have been waiting all year for it be here again!!! ( really though, you HAVE to read why I first fell in love with this event!)  Tickets are limited but there is still a window of opportunity for you to go – Get your ticket here.

Here’s a sneak peek into just a few of the awesome additions I am excited about this year!

Blue Man Group Blogger bash NYC

Blue Man Group Special Performance just for Blogger Bash!!!

Disney Infiniity Blogger Bash NYC

A breakfast hosted by Disney Infinity 3.0!! Star Wars  is joining the Disney Infinity toys-to-life universe. We will be among the first to play the new game and  learn how our kids can channel the force at home.

Peanuts Movie Blogger Bash NYC

The Peanuts Movie!! We will also get a sneak peek at the highly anticipated Peanuts movie, featuring Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and all the classic characters.

(For a full list of sponsors click here)

 

Sweet Suite Blogger Bash NYC

And of course, Sweet Suite! 

This will be the sixth annual Sweet Suite event, also known as the Biggest Night of Play. It’s hosted by the Toy Insider, a website dedicated to reviewing toys year round, providing kids, parents, grandparents, and other gift-givers with all of the information they need to choose the right toys. My kids are always excited to hear about this part of my trip the most!! I love getting to play with everything before my kids do!

More than all of the events, I’m excited that I will be surrounded by MY PEOPLE, some of most amazing bloggers in the industry. I do hope I will get to see you there!!! If you are attending look for me & all the Blogger Bash RockStars, the amazing Blogger Bash team and be sure to smile & say hi- I promise we will all be smiling back because that’s just the kind of event this is.

IMG_6362

 

What you need to know about the newest Twitter Profile Design Update

Twitter

Twitter began releasing its new design in waves earlier this month and as of yesterday, the design is now available to all users.

The new Twitter profiles look very similar to Facebook layout but like everything here in Texas, it’s BIG. Bigger pictures, bigger text, and the more popular a tweet has been the bigger it will be on your screen. This is unless you are a new user where all tweets will have approximately the same amount of popularity.

So, what do I need to know to redesign my Twitter profile ?

The biggest design changes you will need to make will be to your profile header image (the space behind your profile picture – just like on Facebook and Google+) and your profile image. Previously , you probably built your existing profile pic and backgrounds to work together. You’ll have to redo them for the new profiles because the positioning is different. No worries- It’s super simple!

To add a profile header image , you just click on the space and upload a photo (1252px x 626px OR 1500px × 500px). Twitter will then let you scale and position it to your liking. For your profile picture,  the new size suggested by Twitter is 400px x 400px.

One of the most exciting new Twitter features is the ability to pin a tweet. Now you can click  and select “Pin to your profile page”. Now everyone will see that tweet first. This is big when trying to promote an important topic or promotion. Just remember to change it frequently.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. What do you think of the newest Twitter redesign?

Blogging is Business at Bloggy Boot Camp

I am a blogger. I am assume if you are reading this you probably already knew that. What you may not know is that blogging is business. Real business. College business graduates, corporation recognized, marketing, spreadsheet analytics, type of real business. You may have heard the term “mommy blogger” thrown around from time to time and while that term may or may not be endearing for some it can also come across offensive to others. Let me explain. Big brands are desiring to partner with today’s blog force more than ever as a highly recognized and influential source for marketing campaigns.  In contrast to traditional marketing or celebrity endorsements of the past, today’s consumer is more likely to search the web for a review from a trusted blogger. Someone they know, someone who they can relate to. They will connect with her story and are influenced by her experience.

By partnering with bloggers for campaigns, brands are able to increase brand awareness and generate significant sales revenue.  Brands find themselves magnified by bloggers on  twitter, instagram, Facebook, pinterest, and Google+ in staggering numbers to directly their target audience.  The ROI of brand influencers is remarkable.

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend Bloggy Boot Camp Dallas- Brand Edition. Bloggy Boot Camp Dallas was a 2 day event that presented us with some of the top social media consultants, social media strategists, entrepreneurs, authors, attorneys, & educators. The directors of this conference,  TiffanyRomero & Francesca Banducci, provided valuable networking opportunities with others in the blogging industry and additionally partnered with phenomenal companies who recognize and are utilizing the powerful influence of serious bloggers. Opportunities were also opened to make connections with these companies ourselves.

Tiffany Romero at Bloggy Boot camp Dallas

Tiffany Romero and I at Bloggy Boot Camp Dallas 2013. She is such an inspiration!

On day 1, we were provided the opportunity to listen to a panel Q&A discussion on how top performing companies, like LG,  are influencing their markets by utilizing bloggers in their marketing campaigns.   We were also able to listen to PR pro, Allison Talamantez, tell us the ins and outs of how blogger campaigns are developed. It was great insight on how the brand and the blogger partner effectively.

One of the sessions that I couldn’t get enough of was done by Lynette Young, on the power of Google+. Lynette’s information on Google+ inspired me to make Google+ a high priority goal over the coming months. It is THE platform to be on.

We wrapped up day one with a great cocktail party sponsored by Collective Bias and dinner sponsored by LG, after all Life’s Good.

Having fun with LG Life's good

We did make time for some fun too! Here are Tiffany (http://mylitter.com/), Stephanie( http://hugskissesandsnot.com) and I having fun with an amazing washer and dryer from             LG, Life’s good.

 

Day 2 began early with an 8am breakfast sponsored by Invisalign, to get us powered up for a full day of sessions. We began with social media strategist training from Ashley Abele. The amazing Lisa Leonard shared on the power of instagram for telling your story and engaging with your audience. Casey Peterson brought his A+ game with information on SEO success to maximize earning potential.  Attorney Kerry O’Shea Gorgone laid down the law for us on the legalities regarding social media law, copyright, and more.  

After lunch we heard from Fawn Weaver of Happy Wives Club, who explained the in and outs of book deals and literary success in the current market and how vital building your own social media presence is to your success. Courtney Slazinik presented the importance of great photo techniques to impress clients and generate the maximum impression on your audience. Tiffany Romero and Danielle Smith closed out our day with action items and personal stories of the importance of “powering down”. Social media platforms are always on and its easy to believe you have to be as well. They stressed the importance of being really present for your family too. You can burn out yourself and your family in this business easily without adequate boundaries.

Fawn Weaver and I at BBC Dallas

Me with Fawn Weaver, founder and author of Happy Wives Club, at Bloggy Boot camp Dallas 2013

Other sponsors for the day included Kroger & a wine tasting party by Mirassou, attended by David Mirassou himself.

Thanks again to Tiffany Romero & Francesca Banducci, and all the wonderful presenters for creating a truly life changing blog business conference. Your desire to see women empowered and businesses grow is inspiring!

To my readers:  I love sharing our life story with you and give you my word to ALWAYS be authentic. When you do see sponsored content or review material presented here please know it is because it was a product or company that meshed with who we are in some way. If you know us personally then you know business is part of our story. We are entrepreneurs at heart. We have degrees in business and work closely with businesses in our own communities. We’ve been successful business owners and have a love for the small start-up and ever-expanding corporation equally. Thanks for allowing us to share just one more chapter of our story in this way.