Thankful for 5 Years, My Family and New Opportunities

You can read all the blogs and books you want. You can talk to all of your friends and family who have kids. You will learn a lot… but you won’t know what you are going to be like with a child.

walking-with-emmett

A little over a year in and I am still figuring out what I am like as a mom. As with every mom, I have made some sacrifices, slept a little less and probably added some stress to my life. What I am doing is trying to see what are the things that are stressful to me and also make a note of what things I enjoy the most. As I have said before, I have just this one life and only a small amount of time with my son and I plan on doing my best to enjoy it.

Making these notations of stressers and what I want from my life, I have made big and little changes to my day, work flow, expectations and relationships. Probably the largest change is I have made the very big decision to leave my job, at Hall Internet Marketing, that I have had for 5 1/2 years.

When I started, I was a different person and we were a different company. I have had countless opportunities, I have learned so much about business and marketing and I have had the honor of helping the company grow into the solid team it is now. I will miss my work friends, my boss and our clients but I knew it was time to make a move.

With that said, I did find my next adventure and I think you are going to like it… I am going to be joining the wonderful pack over at Planet Dog. If you have heard of them, I am sure you are squealing with delight right now. If you haven’t, let me tell you a little about this great little company that is doing BIG things.

planet-dog-logo

  • Planet Dog is a socially responsible, values-based company, bringing people and dogs together for fun and mutual support.
  • They make their own line of premium products “made for dogs, by dog lovers” – including the award winning Orbee tuff balls & bones and more. Otto likes the new Snoop combined with the Orbee ball.

otto-snoop

  • Their mission is to amuse, explore, support, innovate, create, educate, celebrate and philanthropate… all in the name of the dog.
  • They not only have a B2B business with pet products but they also have a B2C component with their online store and their innovative flagship store in Portland.
  • Planet Dog just started a major partnership with the Life is good company.
  • They donate 2% of their sales to their foundation – The Planet Dog Foundation. They just passed $1 million in giving to organizations that raise and train therapy dogs, service dogs, search & rescue dogs, bomb sniffing dogs, police dogs and more.

I cannot think of a better fit for the woman and mom I am right now than Planet Dog. I love their mission, their products, their drive, their vision and zest for a fun and full life.

So on Thanksgiving Eve, I am so, so, sooooooooo thankful.
I am thankful for the past 5+ years with a growing, rewarding job.
I am thankful for my wonderful little family and for Emmett who is really forcing me to take a long, hard look at my life and go after what I want and make big and small changes to get it.
And I am thankful for a new, exciting opportunity with a company I can’t wait to help carry to their next level.

So hey, if you want to keep an eye on what I am up to and where I am spending my time – go check out Planet Dog and the Planet Dog Foundation, Like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter and I can’t wait to help them tell you their story.

Social Social Me

social-socialMy wonderful friend, Rob Gould, is doing a really nice blog for the Portland Press Herald called Social Social. In it he is talking about social media and interviewing a few characters on their experiences with it.

I was his most recent victim: Social Social – Sketchy chat rooms, pregnancy privacy and Sesame Street.

Articles about yourself are funny. Receiving any type of attention for being yourself is funny.

I can’t believe I said half the things I did but talking to Rob was easy. I was comfortable and very honest.

The last few years have been crazy with losing Brody, having a baby, getting Otto and keeping up with work, Social Media Breakfasts and SARSSM. All I am doing is the best I can do.

I thought since I mentioned my crush on Sesame Street in Rob’s article, I would share this fun video with Will.i.am. It seems fitting for a day like today.

Lyrics:

If what I am is what’s in me
Then I’ll stay strong – that’s who I’ll be
and I will always be the best
“me” that I can be.

There’s only one me, I admit have a dream I’ll follow it
It’s up to me to try.

Oh! I’m a keep my head up high
Keep on reaching high
Never gonna quit
I’ll be getting stronger.

And nothing’s gonna bring me down (no!)
Never gonna stop, gotta go.
Because I know
I’ll keep getting stronger.

And what I am is thoughtful
what I am is musical
what I am is smart
and what I am is brave
what I am is helpful
what I am is special
There’s nothing I can’t achieve.
Because in myself I believe in oh…

Gonna keep our heads up high
Keep on reaching high
Never gonna quit
Just keep getting stronger.

And nothing’s gonna bring us down (no!)
Never give it up, gotta go.
Because I know
I’ll keep getting stronger.

What I am is super
what I am is proud
what I am is friendly
what I am is grouchy
what you are is magical
what you are is special

There’s nothing I can’t achieve.
Because in myself I believe in oh…

Gonna hold my head up high
Keep on reaching high
Never gonna stop
I’ll be getting stronger.

Nothing’s gonna bring me down (no!)
Never give it up gotta go, oh… yeah…
I’ll keep getting strong–er.

What the Heck is a Work, Life, Baby Balance?

work-life-babySheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, is a successful working mom.
Her husband is a successful working father, CEO of Survey Monkey.
How the hell did they manage that?

Sheryl has a book coming out in March called Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. I will be buying it, of course. As you can imagine, we are trying to figure out this whole work/life/baby balance ourselves and I can tell you this much… it is tough!

I read a lot of blogs, I follow along with what Marissa Mayer is up to, I Google a lot of things – oftentimes at 3am, when the baby has woken up for his midnight snack. I will buy Sheryl’s book and add to her fortune. I am interested in her perspective and who couldn’t use a little rah rah rah at 3am on a weeknight, when you have an 8am meeting the next day?!?

Just from following Sheryl in the past, I know she expresses the importance of:

  • Two engaged parents in childcare (50/50 split)
  • Fair grounds from employers for men and women
  • Flexible jobs for both parents
  • Woman pushing themselves

Before reading the book, I know a few things of my own too:

  • Don’t take too much advice from other people on what works for them, it has to work for you
  • Make your own rules and go after what is important to you and your family
  • Sheryl and Marissa have more money than I will ever have, so they have a few more options than I do

I don’t know what a work, life, baby, dog, exercise, social life balance is. I am working on it. As I work on it, I can only hope that I help make some changes for anyone else who comes behind me, I hope someone can learn from my mistakes and successes and I hope I can be honest with myself and the people around me about how it is going.

In the meantime, if you want to know more about working women and moms, you can read this Business Insider article, you can pre-order Sheryl’s book, you can read this piece by Anne-Marie Slaughter on why women can’t have it all or watch this interview from Sheryl on how she does ‘have it all’.

What Hunter S. Thompson Reminded Me About Dating and Job Interviews

I recently read this Business Insider post on Hunter S. Thompson’s brutally honest cover letter to the Vancouver Sun . He is crass and arrogant. Most of all, he is utterly himself.

My company is growing and receiving resumes, cover letters and interviewing prospective team members is a part of my job. I find that process so interesting. I like stories and each of these job applicants is telling me their story. Some stories are better than others and some stories are just told better than others.

That Hunter S. Thompson letter reminded me that in so much of our lives, we just need to be honest about who we are. Whether you are trying to land a job or dating or meeting a new friend, the best way to make sure you get the right position/mate/buddy… is to present yourself as yourself.

Most jobs these days can be trained but is the culture, the workload or are your potential coworkers the right fit for you? If not, in a few weeks, months or years you will be bored, frustrated and looking to jump ship.

Same goes for dating. If you go into a relationship pretending to be something you are not, expressing interests in things you think your mate likes but that you don’t… after the distractions have come and gone (planning a wedding, honeymoon, starting a family), what will you have left? You won’t have the common interests, likes or values you had because they were embellished in the first place.

Look at my unfortunate husband. He got the straight talk version of me and for some reason still accepted. Good days, bad days, crazy days and perfect days… this is what the poor bastard signed up for. We know we share similar interests, have the same values and we have the same horrible sense of humor. When our good looks and busy lives are gone – we will be stuck with each other and I look forward to that.

When I interviewed for my job (5 years ago) I said all the wrong things, wore the wrong thing and failed the written test… but I got the job. I was myself and apparently I was what they needed. I was what this company was looking for.

Pretending to be someone else or what you think someone else is looking for will only get you so far. Be honest with who you are. The relationships and the journey will be so much more fulfilling.

If you think you can use me, drop me a line.
If not, good luck anyway.
Sincerely, Hunter S. Thompson

Hunter-S-Thompson

Time Management and Axe Sharpening

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree
and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

– Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln

Holy smokes am I learning a thing or two about how much (or how little) you can cram into a single day. Now if only I could figure out when to run and when to blog with this new crazy schedule. Hmm…