I'm trying to keep my business, my triplets, and my waistline under control. I excel at one of those, fail at another one of those, and one is a work in progress. Which is which is day dependant.

Friday, September 30, 2011

So You Want To Be Famous?

The business is growing, and along with that business is coming an interesting array of dilemmas I never thought I'd need to worry about. One of these is the prickly-sticky-landmine world of public relations. In specific, if the business as a whole - and me as an individual - should engage the (very expensive) services of a (very capable superstar) PR company.

On the one hand, having worked so damn hard for so damn long, it seems like some sort of crime to not be shouting from the rooftops that the company exists. It's not like our name is not gaining recognition, it's not like our reputation is not a great one, it's not like we are not acquiring plenty of 'friends' (of the real and facebook variety.) A lot of the growth is happening, but if we were to go the PR route, it would happen a LOT faster and in a lot BIGGER way.

Every PR company I've spoken to believes that it's *me* who needs to be the selling point of this company. On the surface of it, I agree with that. I know I'm a good story, shit, I know I'm a GREAT story - and that the triplet angle helps, the story about the whole school/work thing helps, and I've got heaps of sound byte material just in my mad crazy everyday life. I get that part of it, and I have no objection to it, either. Actually, I'm kinda embracing that idea - more than I ever thought I would, actually.

I recently had a (very) brief chat with Biz Guy about this very topic because on occasion, Biz Guy seems to know me better than I know myself (which is a story for another day) and I knew he'd have an opinion. He's been on the receiving end of texts which say things like, "I would rather shove jalapeno-tipped red hot pokers in my eyes than go to this networking event," and "If I need to spend another minute making small talk and drinking watered down Diet Coke I shall start to internally combust and it won't be pretty," and "Please? Please don't make me to go this event! I'll shine your shoes for like, an eternity, or something. PLEASE?!" and "Me? Give a speech to other entrepreneurs? HAVE YOU LOST YOUR FUCKING MIND?"  So suffice it to say he harbours a few ... concerns... about this whole PR thing, more specifically how she-who-hates-networking would cope with all the attention it has the potential to bring.

He has a point there, he really does (and this is why we pay him the not-so-big money)...but in this case, I disagree with him. I *love* this idea of getting out there and talking about the business - because it forces me to go out there and do *exactly* the very thing I want to do - which is to inspire people. I want other women to know that you can have a career you love, a family which is loving, and a life which is your own. I want people to know that EVERYTHING is possible, even those things which seem so far away and so out of reach. I want people to dream big and think big and just ACT big until they ARE big.

I need my life to be about more than just making cake. Yes, in a way, it's already about more than that, because every day of my (working) life I make people happy - and that in itself is a blessing beyond all measure.

But, you know, it's really not enough.

There is much, much more for me to do here. My life, my story, needs to be the proverbial stone thrown into the pond.

Maybe that's selfish of me, to want more out of this life than just a life. I want to influence. Encourage. Help. Mentor. Inspire. Cheer up. I want to colour other people's lives. I want others to do amazing things because they just needed someone to tell them they could. I want others to do amazing things just because they saw that *I* did it, and "if she can, I can."

And yes, I know PR is about generating sales and making a million dollars and having people hate you as much as they love you. But if having to accept the not-so-happy side of PR means I can potentially spread the "you can do it!" message far and wide...well, I'm willing to accept all of that. Ultimately, I'm a businesswoman who needs to make a living so her family can eat. And that comes first, of course it does. But if along the way I can somehow convince others of their own strength...well, you know, that's just about the biggest silver lining EVER.

The only itty bitty teeny tiny fly in the ointment here is that along with PR comes things like media training, and make-up and whatever not...and that freaks me out just the tiniest, tiniest bit. Let's face it, the frizzy haired, curse-word-loving, jeans-and-t-shirt wearing, rough-around-the-edges tomboy hasn't done too badly for herself. If along the way I had to lose her in order to get the bigger message across...and I suddenly had smooth hair and perfect speech and clothes which require actual ironing and I looked - gasp! - polished...well, I'm not sure the message would be the same.

I'm not entirely sure 'polished' is a word I'd like associated with me. Perhaps 'iced' works better? 

This all requires more thinking.

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