As you’ve heard here before, I am very pleased to serve on the committee for WISE San Diego. It is a pleasure to work with such a dynamic group of women to establish WISE’s newest chapter – San Diego! WISE (Women in Sports and Events) is the leading voice and resource for professional women in the business of sports and events. Through ongoing meetings, special events and mentoring programs, WISE offers its members the opportunity to gain valuable insights and connections that can provide them a competitive advantage in their current position and as they advance in their careers.
We have worked hard to plan a year of events and activities that will WOW our members and guests. I am delighted to share with you our kick-off event, the Executive Power Panel. You’re invited! Click the pic to learn more and reserve your seat! You may also follow this link: http://sdpowerpanel.eventbrite.com. Look forward to seeing you there!
Calling all coaches, parents and student athletes! The Role of Social Media in College Athletic Recruitment returns to the San Diego Hall of Champions on Tuesday, February 12th at 6:30pm. Don’t miss this terrific opportunity to hear from experts in branding, social media, and athletic recruitment. We want to provide you the knowledge you need to use these tools for your success! You can easily register through our Eventbrite site by clicking here: http://socialmediaathletics.eventbrite.com
Participation is just $10 per person for full program and goodies galore! Here’s more info:
My spring and summer days were often spent on the softball field. I was a pretty good second baseman and often led off the batting list because I was quick to get to base and could lay down a decent bunt. The league I played in was full of great players, but only two other girls played with me on my high school team. The league primarily fed two other high schools in the district. During league play, the teams I was lucky to play with usually were first, or at least always in the top three at the end of the season. My high school varsity team was second to last. What a lesson in adaptation, patience and perseverance!
After my sophomore year, I moved on to other sports and activities. The one and only coach we had, a great coach for women’s varsity volleyball, knew little about softball. The mundane practices were exactly the same routine every afternoon. My skills on the field and at bat didn’t improve and truthfully, I could hardly stomach the standings at the end of the season. Frankly, it sucked to loose to every other team except one.
I happened to catch the NCAA Softball Women’s College World Series over the weekend and found myself cheering for Cal – a sister UC school. Softball is a great example of how women’s sports are different then men’s. The girls have their long hair in braids and ponytails, adorned with bows and sparkling headbands. Many had necklaces or visible jewelry. The chatter and cheers still pour from the dugout as it did in my days of play. And the girls have many on-field rituals and special handshakes that are done after each out. It was a fun reminder of my days on the field.
The #1 seeded, Cal, was emerging from the loser bracket and faced #2 and undefeated Alabama. Alabama had also had a day of rest. Cal had a tough game against Oregon, but came out on top to move to the semifinals. Both teams came into the game ready to win, that’s for sure. The first inning was a display of skill, eagerness and energy. But it was also clear that Alabama, with that one day of rest, came with a bit of extra strength. They seamed bigger, tougher and dare I say, a little bit meaner.
Alabama scored first with one point in the second inning and then another in the third. Cal’s third baseman, Henderson (younger sister of the pitcher) tied the game with a two-run homer in the 4th, but Alabama answered right back with another point in the bottom of the 4th to keep the lead. When Alabama scored their fourth point in the 5th inning, you could see the air go out of Cal’s tire. The energy dropped, the faces drooped and they simply could not regain momentum to take the game back. Alabama scored again in the bottom of the sixth, which pretty much sealed the deal.
It was heartbreaking to see the lady Bears loose the game, but even more so, their enthusiasm. They simply couldn’t get out of the negative space. I found myself thinking about business and being a business owner. Goodness knows the situations can be similar. There are certainly days when you are tired, when you don’t want to have to face the game, but somehow, you have to pick up the bat, get in the box and smack that ball! You’ve got to find the energy deep from within to get through the inning and finish the game. You have to give it all you’ve got. Some days, the competition may be playing better than you, they might be stronger, well rested and geared up, but that’s precisely when you have to knock it outta da park! You cannot let the other team get the best of you. It’s a hard lesson to learn, even at the championship level.
And yes…some days, the level of play is a bit over our heads, and even our best doesn’t get the W for the day. Perhaps you loose an account to your competitor, or your presentation doesn’t go quite as planned, but hopefully, all of that serves to fuel your desire to dust yourself off, pick up your glove and run back out on the field. That’s when you dig deep and keep cheering your team on, hold tight to your spirit for the game.
What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for your business? Have you developed any rituals for yourself or with your team? Have you ever had to dig deep to stay in the game? Please share your experience!
If you haven’t yet read the book REWORK by 37Signals founders Jason Fried and David Heinemeir Hansson, I recommend you pick up a copy. As a first time business owner, I found their advice and viewpoint refreshing and motivating.
One lesson has been ringing very true in the past couple of weeks. Under “Takedowns” in the first section of their book, they discuss that planning is more a form of fortune telling. They proclaim is that long-term business plans are a lot like guessing. One sentence I underlined on the page was, “Plans let the past drive the future.”
This would most certainly be the case from my last post as Group Director, Sales & Marketing for Apple Tree Hospitality in SE Asia. My arrival in December of 2008 could not have been at a worse time in the status of the global economy. Between August and December that year, the travel industry flipped upside down and sideways. It was NOT a pretty sight. The past could not have dictated that overseas travel agents and tour operators would not be able to fill large groups as they had in 2007 and therefore cancel numerous dates booked on the calendar. The past could not have predicted that agents would want to stop booking one year out, but 90 days prior and therefore change the terms of contracts for groups. Trade show attendance turned more into lessons about what was happening in overseas markets and changing travel trends than it was gaining new clients. The global events were not predicted or labeled anywhere in the 2009 business plans.
The changes in the travel industry pushed us to drive business online and build entirely new websites for our boutique group of properties. We had to be more open to last minute bookings locally, push this even, and “go with the flow,” bending to the changes in traveller habits and new business methods of tour operators.
So when I returned to the US and launched my website and business in May, I did not write a specific business plan. I initially planned to offer services in naming, branding, copywriting and marketing consultation. I wanted to play to my strengths and my joys.
What’s happened over the last few months is that I have had numerous conversations about my business, about what’s happening in San Diego industries, trends in the US, and certainly what’s happening online, and I’m finding that my focus is being shifted. My contacts are leading me down a path which was unimaginable to me at the beginning of this year, but now is so wonderfully possible. I’m seeing my business, my clients, and my future in a whole new light. It is extremely exciting.
I spoke in my last post about being accepting of change. And while this piece hints at that, I’d like to suggest “not planning” is more an encouragement to be more open. Be open and be flexible. Listen to what your friends, contacts, clients, …what the world is telling you. Take a moment to realize when new opportunities are staring you in the face. Be willing to change directions. Fly by the seat of your pants on occasion. I’m enormously amazed at how wonderfully things are falling into place and what big cheers I am hearing from all the right people. I’m glad I am ready to shift into a new gear.
Working in the industries I have in the past, I have always subscribed to having a “solid” business and marketing plan. While it is hard to let go of that completely, I am finding, with the advice of REWORK and the nature of all these fabulous circumstances, that a rough outline and a red notebook filled with scribbles of ideas are working just as well. I do have goals, a vision of what I want my business to become and what clients I want to serve, but I’m also OK with writing them down in pencil.
Q: Would you feel comfortable without a business plan, or do you find that structure helps you succeed? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts and comments.