I am not a documenter. I am an experiencer. You can tell this by the lack of photographs of my family. I was too busy doing to capture the moment. Which I don’t regret, but now that telling our own story is so much more accessible I want to do that for myself and for you. I believe that I have a little secret sauce that other people might really want.
My Secret Sauce
- I’m 46 and when I was in my 30’s I moved my family, sight unseen, to the Ozark Mountains to live a life of simplicity and joy. We did it. We left corporate life to go live life on our terms. Is it perfect, no, but it is awesome.
- I am the part time director of a Main Street program dedicated to protecting place – a special place. I love that my passion for small business, marketing and preserving a sense of place has been rolled into one lovely direction. I love the work I do and the people I get to play/work with.
- I’m a speaker who has been fortunate to speak to groups nationwide on leadership, marketing, customer service, brand development, and goals. How lucky am I to craft messages that, hopefully, resonate with audiences.
- I’m a brand and marketing consultant that has worked on some amazing projects over the year. I work with driven people and businesses who are ready to go get what they have been working on and dreaming about. I never really talk about that work and I want to share it with you because it is so fun and, hopefully, will get your creative juices flowing.
- My days are my own. I am able to live exactly how I want to and expend energy when I need to. That is a luxury in this age and I know it.
- I write for HuffingtonPost.com, have been featured in Real Simple, and am writing a book on Relentless Authenticity – living your personal brand (scary to admit that I’m writing a book.)
- I’ve been meditating for 20+ years and received Dharma transmission this year (fancy talk for being more committed to the practice), I write poetry and love every minute of that even though I’m not published (yet), I cook all or our meals at home (from scratch), I keep a gratitude journal that has rocked my socks off to elevate my mood, and I have journaled for over 30 years. These practices sustain me.
- We live a life that is simple and authentic and that is magical to me.
- We are empty nesters, with one daughter who lives a hipsterly life an hour a way from us and that we are still extremely attached. We adopted a crazy Walker Coon Hound this year and he has kept us in the moment – in laughter and tears. My husband and I have been together for 27 years and aren’t married, but we call each other husband and wife because it just makes it easier for everyone to understand.
- I experiment with things, projects, planning, ideas and passions at whim and will.
It isn’t perfect. We are slowly getting our financial house in order (I inherited my parents debts), our relationship is perfect but after 27 years we are still working at it, and I’m learning about leadership and responsibility in the public eye – an interesting experiment that I hope I can grow into.
Do I work the fabled 4-Hour Work Week? No. That is crazy talk. Do I have millions? No, but we get by with a bit of careful planning and frugality. Are we living the dream? Let’s just say that when we lived in San Francisco I knew that I wanted to escape the corporate climb and live in the country and we do that – so, yes, we live the dream even though it isn’t perfect.
My goal here is to start documenting the real and the work. I want you to see behind the curtain and explore my world a little more. I want to inspire you to live your dream, whatever that is. Cheers to trying new things and capturing the magic of our lives!
This post was inspired and sponsored by Domain.ME, the provider of the personal URLs that end in .ME. As a company, they aim to promote thought leadership to the tech world. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I’ve never really identified with the Empty Nest syndrome. Mostly because we have always been involved in our daughters life. She isn’t particularly needy, but we are close – being only three of us. I know that we would probably be identified as Helicopter Parents, but that is only because our own parents didn’t hover at all – in fact, they never knew where my husband and I probably were after the age of 13, but that is for another story.
Now that our daughter is 25, graduated with her Masters in Education we are helping her though the process of the job hunt. I can tell you that it hasn’t been easy. Every potential high is brought by a potential low and our goal, as parents, is to help coach and be a constant place of feedback and support on the job seeking roller coaster. One area that we stressed, really starting in high school, was personal branding – which seems like overkill to a 16 year old, but as a 25 year old she totally gets it.
You are who you put out there. Coming from pre-internet times as GenXers we didn’t have that same pressure to make sure our outsides matched our insides 100% of the time. We were still giving out paper resumes. No one does that anymore. Instead you have the opportunity to register a .ME domain and create a unique identity online to direct folks to you and your personal info. The idea that you need to cultivate your personal brand is crucial. If I had to give advice to college students it would be that – showcase who you are online in a way that matches who you want to be. So, if you are posting drunk pictures of yourself at a tailgate, stop that. Thank goodness, our daughter got this fast – she’s a smart cookie.
What HR Experts Say About Personal Branding
Here’s the deal from US Survey: HR Professionals’ Recruiting Habits & Trends’ (you can read more in this great ebook):
57% (I’m old enough that it was Personnel – remember that) shared that the amount of information about candidates online has made it easier for me to find qualified candidates – the can search relevant job skills, industry experience, jobs or internships or more.
50% think a personal website humanizes a candidate and 60% said they made the candidate seem more professional – So do it. Sign up and help your college age and graduated student set up a simple website showcasing their skills.
55% think that a personal website increases their interest in the candidate – What should you put on your personal website? Traditional resume, Awards/Honors, Portfolio samples, Interactive resume with links to work, samples and case studies, Work related published articles/blogs, Volunteering/non-profit activities, Biographical information, a Blog and Personal interests/hobbies
The Job Hunt Continues
We are still in the hunt for the perfect job. And I mean we because we talk about it, go over ideas to make connections and weather the disappointments as they come. In the meantime:
- She has her own website.
- She is volunteering with #NWARKCares
- She is working part time at the library and for a few social media clients.
- She is also looking at positions in the area that are a good fit for her.
For all of my friends that have little ones I know that you think parenting probably ends when they are 18, but I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t and we wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m happy to continue to coach her through life – I don’t always get it right, but I try. Now, let’s get this girl a job!
Today I had the great opportunity speaking about leadership to a group. When was the last time that you talked about leadership with your organizations or nonprofits that you are involved with?
That is what I thought. Most organizations complain that they can’t find leaders, but they don’t talk about leadership. So if the conversation is always negative do you think folks are going to want to jump in and volunteer to be a leader? I have seen in corporations talk about leadership opportunities, but even there it can be rare.
This is all too bad because we want to help people find the potential to grow and flex their leadership muscle. We need new and more diverse leaders working in our organizations. We need to be helping younger people feel ready to take leadership roles.
Five Tips to Growing Leaders in Your Organization
- Have Multiple Levels of Leadership in Nominated Positions – allow people to be either co-chairs or President Elect Elect. Northwest Arkansas Junior League does the BEST job I have ever seen at cultivating their leaders. They have multiple levels of leadership that they allow to be part of the process, learn by example and then when their time comes they are ready to step into the position. They cultivate their leaders through training and opportunity.
- Have Seasoned Members Mentor Newer Members – new members to an organization or even a board might not know how to get started. They might also not feel like they fit in. By assigning a mentor to each new member you allow them to have a one on one connection and contact to answer their questions and introduce them to your organization.
- Have a Year “Leadership Project” with New Member Classes – Your Leaders Will Rise to the Top – Again, Northwest Arkansas Junior League does a great job with this, but I have also seen this with Habitat for Humanity where they get new volunteers to work on a specific project together so they feel like they accomplish something worthwhile and big all together. This allows the organization to spot the leadership potential within the new members and for new members to bond with one another and the organization. A win-win for everyone!
- Allow Members to Do It Their Way – this might be the hardest thing for a lot of current leaders. Your way isn’t the right way; it is just the way you want it done. Other people have ideas, strengths, and abilities to get any one job done. I have a pretty hands off leadership style. I believe that the volunteers and staff I work with were assigned their task because they have interest, skill or abilities to perform the work. Doing it my way isn’t going to help them do it right and no one else knows how it was “supposed to be done”. If the job gets done; I’m a happy camper.
- Offer Training and Opportunities to New Members “Leadership Academy” – Train. If you have ANY kind of training available to potential or current members include as many people as you can afford. Developing the potential of your people is one of your greatest assets. Need help? I offer that training in person throughout the US and online for free. Ask me about it!
People are filled with potential. Yesterday we had lunch at The Olde Pink House in downtown Savannah and our guest speaker, Marquell Jones, was a 22 year old host who was born and raised in Georgia. He was one of 8 children and grew up in Section 8 housing. His employer took him under her wing and trained him to see beyond where he grew up and instead to focus on where he was going. Inspirational! Let’s do this for people – let’s cultivate their leadership.
xo- Jacqueline, who believes that you are more than where you started; you are where you are going!