Men open the door for women, walk on curbside when escorting a woman down the street, sit down at the table and eat only when the host and every other person has been seated, and mostly, without a pocket full of cash, they are the first to invite someone over for dinner or to try their fresh tomatoes that they planted early on in the season. It's these good country manners and hospitality that reminds us that it isn't too hard to be kind and put our best foot forward.
There really is a lot to be learnt from country folk.
When I look out at some of my friends, no matter how successful they are, they still have things in their lives that they want to improve or put more effort into. Relationships usually being the staple amongst those who realize that no amount of business success will ever supercede what you can achieve personally.
I have had an amazing month in so many ways and personally, I have grown more than I could ever imagine.
I won't deny that I want it all, but I have become more realistic in realizing that that is not possible. You can't have it all - at the same time. It's impossible and those who say that you can, are either living a short-lived fantasy or are hiding what is really going on behind closed doors.
Business has always been a challenge for me. I am not a natural people person and stress overtakes me more times than I care to admit. I worry about and analyze things that don't deserve the effort that I put into it.
I procrastinate, often leave great ideas unfulfilled and sometimes need to have a better poker face.
Marketing Eye Atlanta has gone from startup to multi-million dollar company in over a year of operations. The company provides SMB's with an ability to have a qualified outsourced marketing department for an investment that any business that has opened their doors can afford.
The goal post has changed from the original business plan of 1,000 clients over 5 years. Our sales targets have been moved by 2 years and now the entire team is in a spin working out how they will achieve this goal in 3 years.
It's an ambitious task, but one that is doable and if something is too easy, then it won't be as rewarding. Stretching ourselves and pushing limits, dreaming big and opening doors, is something that will keep everyone in the game.
I had a problem.
It's no secret that our Atlanta team is the highest performing marketing team I have ever worked with. As a team, they are game-changers. They see things that other's don't and communicate creatively and insightfully our clients brands in a way that resonates with their target market.
Winning is part of the culture. Each member doesn't know how to lose. They push each other to perform at a level that blows my mind and are forward thinkers. I never have to ask if something has been done - because it was finished yesterday.
Another weekend has just passed, and we went over the same old topic that keeps popping up; what do we want out of life and why do we do the things we do.
We read theories about entrepreneurs and what makes them tick; money, competition and passion. It's like a broken record that keeps on repeating itself. I for one wish that someone would come out with something a little different. Some piece of inspiration that is going to make me stop in my tracks and go "yeah!".
I am not an over-the-top passionate person - or at least that is my self-reflection. While I get up early each morning and race to the office, with a coffee and croissant from my local cafe on the way, its more a sign of routine than anything more "entrepreneurial". Meld that in with organized and fluent chaos, and big ideas followed by what seems like an endless stream of tactical plans - then you have me in one.
What I do have though is dreams - lots of them! In every aspect of life, I dream and its these dreams that push me to keep going day after day. But that still isn't getting to the route of things and the more I realize it - the more I see things from a different perspective.
The first point being that no two entrepreneurs are the same. We are all dealing with our own set of influencers and motivators that make us who we are. Just like no two people are the same and let's face it; what makes us different makes us beautiful.
February is a great month to take stock of where your company is heading. Closing in on the "pointy' end of the financial year in Australia, companies are taking stock of whether or not they will make their sales targets.
Marketing Eye is safely on-track, but instead of sitting back and watching the new clients come in, we are firmly placing our feet on the accelerator and going full steam ahead. Our Melbourne and Sydney offices are looking for 50 new clients before the end of the financial year.
So, like any good manager, I have put aside a marketing budget of $150,000 to be spent on sales and marketing activities. Our internship program ensured that we had a heap of new ideas, and alongside our exposure to the US-market and the way they use technology to power marketing campaigns, I have to say, I am fairly confident that this goal is achievable.
Common sense is not so common and the older I get the more I realise this to be the case.
Of late, I am getting more and more frustrated about the lack of common sense amongst the young, and today I realised that perhaps I am being a tad unfair. Gen-Y are not apt at using common sense particularly when it comes to business. I find myself constantly pulling my hair out when I hear and see things that they do, because I just don't get it. I don't understand how something so basic can be forgotten, not thought about or completely ignored.
But am I being unfair. Often its things that they have been trained on, and they just constantly forget a process or sometimes its just when a client or supplier asks a question that has an obvious answer (at least to me) and they just don't get it.
Ignoring my #24yrold and #24yroldblackguy (the latter is his own hash tag - not mine!), I find myself constantly getting irritated at the lack of common sense in the typical Gen-Y. They are the exception and I have never found myself to be having "the conversation" with them.
#24yrold says "you are born with it".
With lots of thought given to this problem as it seems to be the only issue I face in the office these days, I realise that perhaps its actually mine. In general, I have had 10 years to hone my skills to ensure that I think before I act, and based on experience, minimize errors. I cross all my "T's" and dot all of my "i's" - if you know what I mean.
The question is, what is common sense? To me it is not another kind of knowledge, nor is it a simple cognitive process or ability. My common sense tells me that is as complex as the factors inherent in a situation to which it may be applied.
On Saturday, I received a call from my friend Samantha, that her former colleague had just committed suicide. She was in shock and needed to take stock - and rightfully so.
Charlotte Dawson's name only became known to me through the media about "trolls" bullying her on Twitter. At the time, the media was reasonably supportive of her plight, but columnists and bloggers including myself were on the fence. If you took time to read the dialogue well before it became public you may have an opinion that some of the things that she had openly said about other people were not so nice either, and as an adult, some of the insults that flew back to the "cyber bullies" were something that you would be horrified about in a school yard.
Now, that doesn't mean that cyber bullying is acceptable - as it is not. I too have been prone to have a few trolls pass both of my Twitter accounts which combine amount to 41,000 followers, on some topics that I have chosen to write about on this blog, namely the one on how women can help their man be more successful. Apparently, I am stuck in the 50's but the trolls took it a little bit further and threw a few distasteful words my way. I politely replied to some (not all) with "Thank you so much for sharing your opinion. I respect everyone's point of view and perspectives." It stopped within 24 hours, only after my website had more than 100,000 visitors.
It's been a roller-coaster of a year already and its only 7 weeks in. Everything imaginable has happened to me this year, and I am already exhausted, but somehow exhilarated at the same time.
There have been so many changes; life, business and game. I feel like I have lived through so much, yet there is still so much more to achieve.
Yesterday, I had the privilege of spending half an hour with a young entrepreneur by the name of Kylie Marie, who is inspiring, ambitious, energetic and ready to take on the world. I now know why older people liked spending time with me when I was new to business, because that energy is contagious. I couldn't help but smile and be totally inspired by what Kylie is doing and her fearlessness in business. Her brow bars, Browco Brow Bar, will be everywhere in the next year or so, along with her eyebrow products that are to die for.