Sunday, February 19

Dangerous Frame of Mind...

Or, how much to tell young people?

When I was small and got cavities, even though I took care of my teeth, the dentists would quiz me and made me feel as if I wasn't doing enough.  So I kinda... Gave up.  If I could do all the work, only to have them be bad... Then why try?

I think that... If I'd been told as a kid, 'Just keep at it.  Sometimes, they happen.  But you just have to keep at it and as an adult, you'll have great teeth.' I'd have better teeth.  But part of how I'm wired holds this... 'If I can't ever be good enough, why am I bothering?' and so, I give up.

Now at almost 30, I struggle to see things from start to finish.  The fact that I'm nearly finished with school is a MAJOR accomplishment for me.  I haven't given up after 4 months... Same with my jewelry business.  I've finally reached a point where I'm actually finishing what I start... 75% of the time.

I still struggle with 'why bother?' times... And with times of feeling worthless or useless, which also come from the same mind set.

It might not be an obvious jump, but think of it a little differently...

Told your not doing a good enough job, its not enough, your imperfect.  Seldom told that you did a good job, always 'it could be better.'  Really leads to a feeling of inadequacy and a doubt that your ever are going to be good enough...

Sadly, it took the time after my mother died, to realize this in myself.  And, I do wish I could have had time to talk and strength to her about it.  To share where I felt lost and hurt.

I'm nearly 30, watching my life both crumble around me and actually start... I feel like I should have done this when I was 18-22, not now.

So, I'll start moving forward, slowly... Haltingly, as things alter around me and shape my for the future... A future that as of now, is blank after April... I'll build what I have until then.

Ok... Mindless ramble is finished.

Wednesday, February 8


Over the last few months, I've struggled to post anything at this blog.  I love the idea of having two blogs, of being able to post something more personal here and using the other one for my business.  The drawback is, I don't know what to post over here... So... Yeah, this is where we're at.

This one will be updated, I want to keep at it, but I can't promise how or what or when.

I do however have a question for any readers I do have out there.

How do you Brand Yourself?

I think its an interesting question to consider.  As a writer and small business person, I know that half of what I sell, is myself.  I am my business.  Separation hasn't really happened, so the business and I are pretty much one in the same.

Yes, I could create a new FB just for the business, perhaps even use a Pen Name [which I've concidered for the more adult stories I'd like to epublish], or work to create something for YOU and something for THE BUSINESS.

But I wonder, when the goal of branding is to be Great, to Know Itself, Invent or Reinvent an Entire Category, Taps into Emotions, Tells a Never Ending Story and is Relevant... Is that something you can so easily tear out of yourself and give its own life?  Is it really possible, when the truth of the matter is, you are your brand?  For that matter, is it something we should all strive for?

Ok, I'll admit it... There aren't answers to those questions.  At least, general ones.  Each person will need to choose how to go about branding themselves.  The only question that should be a no brainier, is Are you branding yourself?

Everytime I make a post to FaceBook, G+ and Twitter, I am making a post that people in both my personal and professional world see.  When I walk out the door for a day of shopping, meetings or just to grab a quick bite, I am representing my brand.

I don't want you to think I'm implying that you have to dress to the nines [where does that come from.. Always wondered], lay on the hair and make up styling and wear your formal dress... But, what if you bump into someone while your out there, and your dressed in your pajama's?  This is the first impression you get to make.  Yes, writers have a sort of... Myth about them, stay up late, are slobs, drink tons of coffee, that kind of thing.  But is that a myth about new writers climbing up in the world or established writers?  Which are you?  Do you think they always look and act that way?  And a Jewelry Designer... What are they?  Egotisitcal?  Dressed in the best labels?  Often gay?  Or are they old, often seen grumpy and wearing their jewelers eye and smock.  Once again, perhaps, but at some point they weren't.

And don't think I'm telling you that, you've lost all ability to have a down day or get sick or just, hang out with your friends.  I'm not.  You can't cease to live.  But, you do have to remember when you are the brand, every 'Hello' could be a contact.  Every waitress or waiter is a potential client.  You are always ON.

You have to decide how best to handle everything.  Create a secondary Facebook account, something you use only for business.   Set up a circle or group, and when you need to share something more personal, post only to them.  Use a pen name, create an account under that name and keep yourself private.

However you choose to do it, the important thing is that you remember it early on.  I'm not sure how I managed it, and I'm far from famous by any standard... I'm far from KNOWN to most of the world.  But when I started preparing myself to sell Jewelry last year, I walked out knowing I was going to make sure it was branded.  When I make posts and comments to FB, in the back of my head I keep reminding myself that its now filled with Old Friends, New Friends, Business Partners, Connections and Clients.  When I like something or wish to say something I'm not sure I should, I actually have a place to do all that and keep it out of the 'public' eye.  I work hard to put people on lists, so that if I wanted to, I could actually only speak to some of them.

Take a moment and stop to think about how you've branded yourself, then think of how you might want to be seen by the public at large.  For the most part, it shouldn't be a huge change.  You are you.  And you is who your trying to sell.