Saturday, August 14, 2010

Goodbye, Baby Steps...and hello, Le Cirque.

We are undergoing a rebranding process at my company. Though we're just starting to meet with potential agency partners, it is incredibly exciting, and I desperately wish I had a crystal ball so I could look six months into the future and see the end result of our efforts.

Moving through the process of rebranding in the office has helped me remember that brands aren't meant to be static: they are constantly changing and evolving. As I pondered that on a personal level, I realized that my original name for this blog, Baby Steps, was really not fitting my life any longer: C is running, and I am running after her, all while trying to keep a lot of balls in the air. To be honest, most days I feel more like a circus ringmaster than anything else. And so, I'm excited to relaunch this blog as "Le Cirque de Sara." Le Cirque will cover the same topics as Baby Steps (marketing and motherhood), but I'm thinking that I'll be able to expand a little further on some additional topics, too. After all, you never know quite what to expect when you enter the big top.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Learning to say no.

With a toddler in the house, you'd think that saying "No" would come fairly easily to me, since I hear it approximately 75 times a day. In reality, however, the over-achieving side of my personality finds it incredibly difficult. Just a few short years ago, I said a resounding YES to just about every professional opportunity that came my way. Serve on the board of directors? You bet. Help start a new networking group? I'm your gal.

Now, for better or worse, I find that I'm having to say no more often. Within the last few weeks, I've had to turn down two amazing opportunities. One example: I was recently asked to write a guest blog post on social media marketing technology. I agreed enthusiastically right off the bat, but said that it would have to be delayed a few weeks since I was going to be attending a conference, and would that timing still be okay? Somehow, we never nailed down a deadline. Fast forward a few weeks, and suddenly, I have zero (and I mean ZERO) time to devote to writing a guest post: I am absolutely inundated at the office, and simply cannot carve out the time when I get home. (I was shocked to discover that it's been nearly a month since I've had a chance to even post here. Shame, shame. Where did the last four weeks go?) In any case, when we finally resumed our conversation, I was forced to take a raincheck.

Another example: I was just invited to serve on the marketing committee of a well-known industry organization. This particular organization is one that I admire a great deal, but my company is involved elsewhere. And so, I decided that it made more sense to focus my attention on getting involved with an organization with which my firm has a stronger relationship.

I shudder to think I'm burning bridges every time I have to decline these types of opportunities, but the honest truth is this: I would love nothing more than to get involved, but just can't devote the time. I always used to think that was such a cliche; now I know better. Being a working mom has forced me to prioritize like never before, and often that means the "extracurricular" activities that I've thrived on for years get pushed to the side.

Have you ever declined an opportunity and lived to regret it? Or has cultivating an ability to say "No" paid off in spades? I'm really struggling with this one. Here's hoping that it gets easier.