Thursday, December 15, 2011

Lost As An Employee; Found As An Entrepreneur


If you would have shown me a magic crystal ball precisely one year ago and told me that 2011 would be one of the happiest, most successful years of my life, I’d have laughed in your face and seriously questioned your sanity. (Especially if you looked like the lady in this picture).


You see, precisely one year ago, I was clutching Kleenex, nursing a broken heart, weeping like a baby not to mention completely lost career wise. I had not even launched my website or consulting business, Jaclyn Mullen Media. I had no plan, I had no path--all I had was a merciless inner critic, buckets of tears and somewhere beneath that, a strong faith that I’d figure out why it all was happening. 

How about you? Have you taken time to examine your past year? How did it start out? How is it ending? What have been the greatest lessons you've learned along the way

As I flash forward to nearly one year later of being self employed, working on a ton of great projects with clients I care about as well as scoring serious professional accomplishments (including moments of giving back to society) matched with new friends and even a whole new relationship with myself, I know my life isn't perfect or all that I’d envision it to be.....yet. But it is progressing and that’s what counts. 

Organized chaos. Lost as an employee yet found as an entrepreneur. Learning to find contentment in imperfection. Do you measure perfection or progression in your life? Why does this even matter? 

I was lost for most of my twenties but I was especially lost last December. Who am I kidding, everyday I am lost but rather than running away from the unknown, rather than running away from the lack of answers, I now embrace uncertainty and use it to challenge myself as an individual and entrepreneur. It wasn’t until my "success and spiritual open heart surgery” as I like to call it (the bad breakup and walking away from my stable salary), that I finally realized my mortality and  allowed myself to truly operate one day at a time. These days, I ask myself “What would Steve Jobs do? Would he be afraid, would he stay stuck? Would he not take a chance?”

I share this with you because it’s important to remember that we really have no clue what the future holds for us. As Steve Jobs even said himself “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something—your gut, your destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down and it has made all the difference in my life.”

Uncertainty. The next time you face it, embrace it. Step into the unknown, dive in with a little faith and trust that the answers will be revealed to you along the way. There was uncertainty for me surrounding why I chose this topic to blog about today. It’s been too long since I last posted and that will change in 2012. Perhaps, like everyone else, I just needed a friendly reminder to step into uncertainty and embrace the many unknown adventures that 2012 will surely bring.

And if that is the case, cheers to entrepreneurship, cheers to one year anniversaries of uncertainty and most importantly, cheers to what "finds" you too!

Do you have a lost and found story to share? Post it in the comments section below.


Friday, October 28, 2011

Listen Up Ladies (Best Advice For Female Entrepreneurs)

Last week WomenCentric.net posed a question via Twitter---"Women in business, what is your best advice?" 

Initially I wanted to reply right away with an answer like "work-life balance" or "setting a consistent weekly schedule to ensure structure and organization." And while those answers are credible, the more I thought about it, the more my tip for women business owners became crystal clear. Support, support, support one another and celebrate every success, no matter how big or small.

Support, BOTH ourselves and fellow shero entrepreneurs.



Out of all the available advice, why chose this as my answer? The justification is simple. There is no need to compete with one another nor crucify ourselves when the fruits of our business labor may take longer to grow than we had hoped. When we see those around us experiencing grand success, we need to stop running on the hamster wheel and take a moment to recognize their accomplishments and our own success as well.

It's a great time for women in business! Many of us are launching companies alongside our friends or mentors. Some women experience magnetic client or media attraction and profitability right out of the gate while others really earn their sweat equity and ROP (return on patience). Not everyone has the same resources or target market, klout or connections. So the next time you read about a rockstar female entrepreneur, don't start the "I'm never going to get there, maybe I should just give up" or "Good for Jane but I see how long that's going to last. There's going to be a bottleneck in her ability to scale." Instead, send some support, good vibes and thoughts of appreciation with regard to all that you can learn from a trailblazer. Then, pat yourself on the back for your hard work and increase your deposits of patience.

Personally, I received the best reinforcement of this ideology this past summer while I participated in a tele-seminar led by Tory Johnson. As Tory recapped some words of "womenpreneur wisdom", she shared that one woman had approached her recently and stated "My overnight success took me ten years." I nearly cried after hearing about this particular woman's willingness to commit to success while patiently waiting ten years for it to pay off.

So I leave you with this. As women in business, we don't know how long or where our journeys may lead yet one thing is certain. There will be a lot of naysayers or people who just don't get our commitments to self employment success along the way. So the best thing you can do is really, truly, meaningfully support one another. Publicly praise those paving the way for your shining moment, practice patience with yourself and your results. Most importantly, enjoy the evolution of your character along the way.

That's my best business advice. What's yours?

(We're going to give you a great excuse to celebrate your success and deposits on patience! If you are in Southern California, be sure to buy your tickets to Pamper Me Fabulous. Get inspired by Intent.com's Mallika Chopra, enjoy the gorgeous ocean views of Terranea Resort and Spa, shop the bazaar, experience beauty treatments, get a full itinerary here. Most importantly, save 15% on tickets with code OMG.)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Flirting With A New Perspective at 30

 “Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.” quote from Captain Corelli's Mandolin



I don’t suppose I ever thought, let alone believed, in “fortunate accidents.” But, looking back, who was I kidding? 

The man that rear-ended me and totaled my vehicle in March of 2010? He allowed my insurance company to provide me with a hefty check and brand new car. The jobs I took (and learned a lot from) that appeared like major, professional detours? Turns out, the knowledge from each allowed me the freedom and confidence to finally launch my own website, my own business. And while it’s still a daily work in progress, it’s mine. 

Fortunate accidents. The majority of my twenties were spent pursuing fortunate accidents.  And in one week, I’ll be thirty. Does that mean the fortunate accidents will be any less? I hope not. Fortunate accidents confirm what Steve Jobs wisely states in his Stanford commencement speech, “you don’t connect the dots looking forward, you connect the dots looking back.” 

I have always lived my life with an appreciation for looking back in the rear view mirror. I’ve pursued a Bachelors of Music Degree, incurred $50,000 worth of student loans from a school I loved (all about “The U”), sang my heart out and evaluated the music industry. All that so I could follow the path of entrepreneurship while giving my father heart burn about my ability to pay my $400 worth of student loans back each month. None of these things make sense as  I pursue them in the moment but I follow my heart and for that, I am fortunate.  (Besides, I really did want to be a pop singer. Hail to Brittney!) 
 
The majority of us don’t live our lives with a blue print anyhow, we live our lives in faith. And my faith is not just some “wish upon a star faith” but the kind of faith that requires you to believe in a purpose beyond yourself. I see faith playing an even larger role in my life in this new decade. I’m flirting with a different perspective on getting older (hey, at least I’m flirting with something).

I should probably remind you that I will “ring in” my thirtieth birthday on 09/11/2011. This year happens to mark the 10th anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks. And while the world at large has been affected by 09/11, I had a childhood friend of mine lose her uncle in the World Trade Center while another close friend (who served in the Marine Corps) lost her brother and fiancĂ© in Iraq. 

Do these reasons discourage me from celebrating my birthday, each and every year? Absolutely not. I see 09/11 as a reason to honor my ability to make an impact on this earth. But there is, and perhaps always will be, controversy around celebrating anything on this date. I suppose I hadn’t thought I’d feel such a contradiction of emotions at 29, I certainly didn’t know what to feel on my 20th birthday as I watched the events unfold on TV. One thing is certain, I feel empowered to share love with as many people as possible. So, I am ringing in my 30th birthday by raising money and participating in a Birthday Build for Habitat for Humanity Los Angeles. 

The economy continues to take its toll on everyone. People are losing their homes due to foreclosure, acts of mother-nature, or even losing love ones from the war that was triggered as a result of 09/11. There is nothing fortunate about that. 

However, no matter where you are, I hope you’ll celebrate something. Remember--we are lucky…lucky to wake up, lucky to make choices, lucky to dare to have fun or dare to do good. I’m flirting with 30 and it feels a lot more youthful than I had thought. Maybe, just maybe, I’m one step closer to finally making a commitment. So put that extra candle on the cake, I’m ready for more fortunate accidents….as a matter of fact, I’m sure the best has yet to come.

I hope you’ll help me give happiness and love this 09/11. Feel free to donate to my Birthday Build for Habitat for Humanity here. A special heartfelt thanks goes out to those who have already donated. 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

All Directions Point West; How To Find Your North, South, East or West on the Journey of Life

I've sat here for the past 4 weeks contemplating which direction to take this blog. North would mean I take the high road aka "professional content" ONLY. None of the spirituality meets business success stuff.


East would mean I take it to the ocean and lay the blog to rest in peace at sea. South would mean I spice it up, and add some personal insight into my love life while starting up a business AND evolving as a person. (This approach was inspired by an awesome, new friend. Self-help love author, Andrea Syrtash). And taking it west would entail a hybrid approach, perhaps the most "me" combining business and life advice with lessons of inspiration, motivation and spirituality. A westward bound I go.

The clock was ticking down between these various directions, and I had to pick one--for my blog and for my life. The process hasn't been easy but I know it's time. The compass and the clock say it's time to pack up the red, over sized suit case (the one that takes up half of my closest in Manhattan) and move back to LA again. It's time to bid the Big Apple a long kiss goodnight. Time to take a mental picture of all the places I've seen, the people that have embraced me as their lifelong friends upon first meeting me, it's time to evolve into another chapter of my life and leave the 29 year old version of Jaclyn Mullen, who is inspired to accomplish her dreams while helping others, here in New York City. As the famous lyrics go, "If I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere, it's up to you, New York, New York."

I finally walked the Brooklyn Bridge. Photo credit: Jaclyn Mullen

Everyone wants to make it in the game of life. To do so, doesn't require that you be a bi-coastal nomad like me. If you are looking for a way to "make it" in your city or in your own heart, I'm here to tell you, you can! The map to self driven success includes spirituality, mental stimulation and facing personal challenges, all managed while possessing a daily attitude of gratitude and moving in the right direction for you. How do these all come together? Allow me to explain.

What are your road signs?
Blogging, business and breaking through plateaus--these have been the recurring themes I've dealt with day to day. I've often looked back at the past 9 months of twists and turns life has presented to me, each which have been amazing but challenging as well. I mean so amazing that I had NO idea that these things were options on my horizon when I think back to last year. Instead, I've allowed each opportunity to be it's own blank canvas--one where I don't know the outcome, but I paint the experiences, new places and faces plus the way my soul feels (some days found, other days lost) upon my blank canvas to create a new masterpiece rich with emotions of gratitude, humbleness and happiness.

"That's great Jaclyn," you must be thinking and "what the heck does that mean?"

Often times, friends or business associates will ask me how I "do it." It being challenge myself, have a laser focused drive while truly living the life I want to lead. First, you have to look at the signs. Not the stop signs or names of street signs, the signs of the universe such as not getting the job you had hoped for, feeling unpleasant in the pit of your stomach about getting up everyday or dealing with a co-worker. Ignoring what seem to be coincidences as far as people, places or things. When I look back on the past 8 months of this journey, hindsight is of course 20-20. I can see the signs CLEAR as day from Googling the term "co-working in NYC" to coming across the Wix Lounge in Chelsea to, 6 months later, having a close friend from LA move a block away from the Wix Lounge in Chelsea (proving I had come full circle). Big co-relation? All directions point West, for me. There have constantly been recurring signs of LA in NYC.

What are your signs? Look back then look forward. Write down any signs or experiences that brought you to where you are today. And start paying attention for the future!

Business and Blogs--The meaning of life
Once you start paying attention to the compass of your life, and begin to follow it's direction, your real test of faith begins. I can assure you, it is not always easy to walk in faith. To trust that, by taking chances or stepping away from what you consciously know is best for you, requires a lot of faith in something. In nature, in Starbucks or in my case, god. We don't always have the answers for our lives (or our blogs for that matter), plain and simple. I cite my blog to say that I have been stuck in a paralysis of analysis as I contemplate whether people reading this want more social media, entrepreneurial advice or a blend of life advice, inspiration and business acumen. I have opted for the last direction and I'm doing so with a daily dose of faith by my side.

Mental Stimulation
I often joke that the Internet allows us to obtain our own MBA but it's quite true. There is an abundance of information online, it's never been easier to access books, so what are you waiting for? I make it a point to read 1-2 books per quarter and you should too. Information allows your thinking to evolve, information often stimulates inspiration. If you want to move forward, you must expand your comprehension and understanding. Pick up (or download) a book. Reading can often take you places you've never been before without requiring you to leave your town.


The Way To Work A Compass--Facing Personal Challenges
So, you've picked the direction you want your life to go. You're looking for a new job, getting out of an unhealthy relationship, perhaps you want to start planning a family or even launch your own business. Whatever your goals are, whichever direction you choose, just remember. If you get to a certain destination and it's not working for you, change directions. Grab that compass, close your eyes, take a deep breath in and see which direction it points to next.

Personally, I started off heading east, half way through the year, I went west. Then south, back north and now I'm heading west again--for business and my blog. Follow the signs, have faith, then buckle up for the ride.

That's what I set out to do in writing this blog post this morning. I hope I've taken you on another journey, safely.

Now, if you wish to help me on my journey, please let me know what you would like for me to continue blogging about. Oh, and one last thing, I'm doing a fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity LA for my 30th birthday. Feel free to donate here.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

30 Things To Do Before Turning Thirty (The first ten)

On September 11th, 2011, I will turn thirty.

I don't know what is more shocking: the date of my birth paired with the fact that Osama Bin Laden was killed this year OR the fact that as of 09/11/201, my twenties will officially be history.

So, to embrace this new stage of life, I'm compiling a list and I intend to fulfill it. I have approximately seven weeks to make magic happen before I surpass the age of twenty nine. And if you thought I was going to attempt these 30 things on my own, you were mistaken. Join me on this journey, it will certainly make it more fun for all parties involved.

Let's get started, here are my first ten things.
  1. 30 Stories of Turning 30 blog. I'm sure I'll come up with a more compelling title than that but for now, I will start taking submissions and stories from people regarding how you spent your 30th birthday. Did you go on a trip, cross something off your bucket list, help someone in need? How are your thirties treating you? What was the most meaningful thing you learned from your twenties? Email stories to: info@jaclynmullenmedia.com DEADLINE August 26th, 2011.
  2. Birthday build. I will be celebrating my 30th birthday by raising funds for Habitat for Humanity Greater LA. I plan to raise $5,000 and gather a group of friends to work on an actual Habitat Site. If you'd care to join in, save the date of Saturday September 10th, 2011. More details to come these following few weeks. 
  3. Publish an E-book. Yes. I need to practice what I often wisely preach to my clients and publish an ebook. I am contemplating the idea of inspirational content and stories vs. practical business advice. Any thoughts? Topics? Subjects you'd like to read about? Let me know. 
  4. Walk the Brooklyn Bridge. It's a New York City landmark. And it's easily accessible to me when I am in Manhattan. The word around the city that never sleeps is you are to walk the Brooklyn Bridge and eat a slice of Grimraldi's pizza in Brooklyn then turn around, and walk back to Manhattan. I'll keep you posted on my progress. 
  5. Write and record another song. I went to school for Music. I danced my whole life and yet, somehow I have let the artistic side of me sit on the sidelines for way too long. Considering my Mac proficiency, it should be no problem for me to write and record another song. Your ears may thank me later.
  6. Enroll in an Improv Comedy Class. I've graduated from stand up comedy school, now it's time to conquer another form of comedy. I've got plenty of accents and imitations just itching to break out. Tweeeeeder.
  7. Volunteer my business savvy for a good cause. A recent contact I met for drinks told me about Sparked.com, a website that allows you to volunteer ONLINE. There are a variety of great topics and ways to contribute including Blogging, Marketing, Social Media. If you haven't heard of it before, check it out.
  8. Reach out and contact three of my idols in business. You never know what doors may open if you at least knock. Maybe I'll Tweet them or send them a hand written note, heck I may even give them a call. More to come on this.
  9. Plan a performance. I've been saying it over and over again, I want to put on a show. So, I am either going to get a license to perform at Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica this September or I am going to perform at an open mic in NYC this August. TBA.
  10. You decide. Thinking of thirty things to do before turning thirty is a lot of work so please, suggest something for me. I'm pretty open minded, although I am law abiding so nothing crazy folks. Share some ideas you think may help diversify the next 49 days of life at 29. 
All in all, I'm quite nervous about this new chapter. But since I am still 29, I'm not going to stress anything too much, (at least not until September 1st when the countdown will begin). For now, I'm going to focus on my list and experiencing new opportunities. I'm going to listen to the wise words of Dan Benson who once said, "It's not a successful climb unless you enjoy the journey."

In that case, bon voyage twenties! Bon voyage.

Signing off, 

The Jaclyn of All Trades

Are we connected? Join me on Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook.

Twitter: @jaclynmullen

http://www.linkedin.com/in/jaclynofalltrades  

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jaclynmullenmedia

Monday, July 4, 2011

Barbecues, Beaches and Blogs-God Bless America Blog Post


Fourth of July. Independence Day. This year, the birthday of the United States has special meaning to me. 

 Image from WashingtonPost.com

Sure, I’ve always admired the fireworks and festivities. After all, I grew up right outside of our nation’s capital. But this July 4th marks seven months that I have been self employed so today’s Independence Day is really….independent from the previous years.

Today, I want to honor all the workers in our country whether they are entrepreneurs or employed in a 9 to 5 job, whether they work at McDonald's or drive a bus. Each day, they wake up and exercise their right to earn money in this free country, a country where people have given their lives for the mere idea of opportunity.

I want to honor the many people like my grandparents who immigrated to this country in pursuit of the American Dream. As I think of all the stories I've heard over the years, tales of dedication and determination, these words come to mind:

This land is your land, this land is my land
From the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and me.

Today, as we wake up to the red, white and blue, there’s no denying that it’s summertime (and about darn time that I get back to my blog.) As seasons change, so has our country. Many of my friends are now seeking self employment instead of working corporate jobs, technology is allowing everyday citizens to weigh in on the media, we are in an age of innovation. As my business coach Mitchel Groter would say, "If you can conceive it and believe it, then you can achieve it." 

When I launched this blog back in November of last year, I initially viewed it as a passion project to help me get my writing fix while working as a Project Manager. Within a few weeks, it became so much more to me as I started to receive feedback indicating that people were inspired by the content. The positive reinforcement encouraged me to grow my blog as if it were a fragile, gentle plant. I dedicated time to write weekly since this outlet was a way to connect with new people and build my Jaclyn Mullen Media brand.

Then I experienced a few fireworks of my own—I began to pick up additional clients and wanted to be sure to dedicate my time and energy to them. Thus began the tango with my blogger account—everyday that I intended to post, I didn’t. My blog seemed to slip further and further away from me, ideas dried up and for the first time in my life, I felt like I had nothing to say and equally, that no one cared about what I had to say which was even more devastating. Somehow, I let self-doubt and disbelief step into the place of me and they quickly hijacked my confidence. At the strong suggestion of my PPP (professional power partner), I took the most well deserved vacation in my life and slowly started to make some space to write again.

 The look of FREEDOM...let freedom ring!

For someone who has spent their whole life improvising, writing, and performing, you’d think writers block would never be an issue for me but it took many sunrises, sunsets and moments of stillness to go from writer’s block to sunblock.

Now, beachbound and recharged, I write this entry to continue and thank those of you that have offered a kind word about my blog. I thank those of you that have shared it with your friends or those of you that have found some inspiration from it.

This evening, as we watch the fireworks take over the nights sky, as we enjoy good times and great food, please remember what the foundation of our country was all about—independent thoughts, ideas and freedom. Barbecues, beaches and blogs.

As I finally post this entry and prepare to spend quality time with my family, I celebrate this Independence Day for I am living proof of the American Dream.

For those of you that have helped me get here today, God bless you! And for those of you who believe in yourself, God Bless America. Always remember:

This land is your land, this land is my land
From the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and me.



Friday, June 17, 2011

Facebook Fan Friday's

Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg, elementary school flash backs, pictures you wish would never resurface. These are the common thoughts we often think of with regard to Facebook and social networking. But for business owners, Facebook may take on a different context.

Creating a Facebook business page means that you can keep people up to date with regard to the "brand new" client you just signed. Facebook allows you to get audience feedback for your logo or the latest promotional contest you are running, and it can even help you connect with fans. As a savvy, socialpreneur, I launched the Jaclyn Mullen Media Facebook business page earlier this year and have built up growing support from friends, family, business associates and alliances. Each individual in support of my goals has their own story to tell too. And so, I present to you a monthly unveiling of these mysterious supporters entitled "Facebook Fan Friday's." 


This month, we're featuring Stacey Acevero from Vocus/PRWeb. 

Meet Stacey and learn of her super, social life.

Stacey says, "Working in social media is almost a dream to me. I love being paid to do something I am so passionate about, and yet it's such a new and revolutionary job field! My favorite social media platform is Twitter, because the wealth of information and ways to share it (tweets, pictures, videos, storify) amazes me everyday. The collaboration and engagement potential is overwhelming, and meeting like-minded people on social media is the best part."

What has been your funniest social media story ever?

I have a professional life doing social media and PR, and I also have a personal life doing social media and promotions for myself, because I'm a nationally published model. A professional connection once mentioned that they saw a girl on a forum that looked just like me--turns out it was me, modeling for a sportbike forum. It was embarrassing but funny to admit to him that I live sort of a double-life in social media.

What is the craziest social media connection you've ever made? 

I'm a huge NASCAR fan, and often tweet while I'm watching the races. Turns out a popular NASCAR correspondent has the same hometown as me, tweeted me and now he checks in with me every once in awhile. I couldn't believe my eyes at first!

How has social media changed public relations?
Social media has changed the PR landscape in more ways than one. Namely, the media now looks to blogs and social media for sources, making them more accessible than ever. Establishing a relationship with the media is important before you pitch, and social media makes it just a little bit easier.

You work for PRWeb, what are the benefits to using your company's service?
The main benefits of PRWeb for press release distribution is online visibility of your brand because our releases hold tremendous SEO with the inclusion of customized URLs and the ability to add keywords, anchor text, links and multimedia. We have amazing partnerships with sites like the San Francisco Chronicle which pick up your news and gives it additional visibility beyond Google, Yahoo! and Bing. The possibilities are endless with PRWeb releases.

Your offices are in Maryland, for those of us that may visit--where are your favorite spots?
My fav DC metro area food spot is Davino--an Argentinian steak and seafood place in Bethesda--they have fantastic food and wine. For drinks, I love to try all different types of places so it's hard to choose a favorite. Luckily, Vocus/PRWeb has their own state of the art gym, so working out at the office is my favorite spot :) 

Jaclyn Mullen Media can't thank Stacey enough for her continued support and terrific Twitter skills. We first connected with her through the PR Web Twitter and have evolved our networking to Facebook and Linkedin.

To keep up to date on the latest PR Web webinars, promotions and PR tips, be sure to follow http://twitter.com/prweb  And if you like what you are reading here and want to be a Jaclyn Mullen Media Facebook fan feature, then follow these two steps--Like the Jaclyn Mullen Media business page and drop us a line with a brief bio.

Jaclyn Mullen has spent the past ten years immersed in consumer behavior, online media, and business development for several companies. As a graduate of the University of Miami, Jaclyn first developed her online expertise while studying the emergence of digital downloads on the music industry. She is dedicated to developing branding strategies and social media plans that ensure her clients and work stand out within their respective marketplace and generate consumer loyalty.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Shifting Gears To Get Back On Track After Dealing With Writers Block

This will be a short post (I hope). 

I started this blog back in November of last year. I started my own business in January 2011. And for a while, I was able to manage my business and the blog as well as my hopes and aspirations of inspiring people, generating income and creating compelling content when all of the sudden it happened. Fear crashed into me like a tidal wave and I began to shift my focus from creative writing to the panic ridden action of treading water. 

 
I abandoned my blog due to frustration and writers block and began generating proposals without a clear vision with regard to my ideal client. I began abandoning my own strategy and advice for visibility and let my brand become less of a priority to me. I took all the meetings I could even if my gut said, "This is not a part of your vision." My focus became fear and I wore fear every single day as if it were a perfume.

What were my fears? Fear of failure. Fear of losing money. Fear of remaining stagnant and not growing.  So I did what anyone else in my situation may have done, I grabbed onto the steering wheel, revved up the engine and shifted gears.

Shifting gears is not necessarily a bad thing. We need to be able to move forward at different speeds. The only challenge is when we are in fifth gear going full speed ahead with no destination in sight. As a result of feeding my "fear fuel", there have been some good things that have happened (the glass is always half full in my book). I've been able to diversify the types of projects I am working on and my client roster has grown to now include:



As well as a new beauty site which unites women in conversation and beauty products called  Is That Odd

I've also learned that my creative channels are extremely important to me. Never again will I go without blogging, dancing or acting. A lot of times, when I explain to people what it is that I do, they're often as confused as me, how's that for some brutal honesty. I never sought out to be a singing, dancing, comedic business development person who can tell you about your Alexa rank and keywords while doing the moonwalk--it just happened, it's just who I am and there is a title for it: Entrepreneur. 

An entrepreneur is a person who has possession of a new enterprise, venture or idea and is accountable for the inherent risks and the outcome. 

And I am learning that a part managing risks and outcomes is being able to downshift gears and find peace, while doing the moonwalk and talking blog strategy. When we only have one speed, there's no room for silence, stillness and the other presence of mind that allows for us to be creative. As business people, artists, teachers, financial analysts, Jaclyn of All Trades, it's important to be creative so that we can uncover solutions. Creativity refers to the phenomenon whereby a person creates something new (a product, a solution, a work of art etc.) that has some kind of value.

So, the moral of my blog post here is you just have to do it. Do something. Move from a place of inaction and step forward, or take a step back. I am slowing down the Jaclyn Mullen Media ship so that I can keep my eyes on the land ahead, be it the skyscrapers of Manhattan or the palm trees of Los Angeles. 

But enough about me, how about you? How has this past six months been going? Are you moving in the direction that you would like or is there some sort of obstacle on your path holding you back from your true desires? Are you making enough time to eat right, exercise and inspire yourself? 

In my case, taking a step back allowed me to banish my writers block and publish this blog post today. While I have been proud of many previous posts, I have to say this one takes the cake. Not because it's "so compelling" nor because it's my best writing yet. This post means I took a step forward to get back on track while facing my fears and pursuing what matters to me. It isn't perfect, but it is progress and that's what counts.


"Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make you a far happier and more productive person." Dr. David M. Burns

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Social Media For Social Good

What if you could change the world?

Wouldn't it feel good to recognize that you possess the power to change the daily injustices that occur amongst everyone, no matter where people are geographically? To know that you, a normal citizen of this earth, could share the fact that we are all human and each undergo personal struggles while admitting to our youth that some of us just happen to hide our problems better than others?


24 hours. Everyday. Dedicated to world change.
Through the use of our computers, it is now possible to invest your time and in return, diminish racial stereotypes, encourage and contribute to economic recovery all while reducing the high school dropout rate. This concept is called "social networking for social good."

Believe it or not, your Facebook profile, Twitter account, Youtube subscription and StumbleUpon provide an opportunity to raise awareness, support participants of the social media for social good movement all while spreading messages of progress and solutions instead of spreading statistics of despair. And the students of Environmental Charter High School (ECHS) in Lawndale, CA are living proof that social media for social good can be successful.

According to the 2000 census, "about 14.3% of families and 17.3% of the population in Lawndale were below the poverty line."

However, eleven years later at ECHS opportunity is an option. The mission of Environmental Charter High School is, "to inspire students to discover their own sense of purpose, to equip all students with the knowledge and skills to graduate from college, and to empower them to become quality stewards of their community and world." And the students are getting a little outside help in developing these skills through a program called InTrueFashion.org


What Does Social Good  Really Mean?
The definition of social good is: a good or service that benefits the largest number of people in the largest possible way. So, how is InTrueFashion.org making this happen for ECHS? Through the In True Fashion apprenticeship program, students explore their creativity by:
  • Participating in workshops with expert mentors.
  • Observing the fashion manufacturing process.
  • Developing and executing a business plan. 
  • Learning how to market their business plan and handbag lines through social media. 
As great as this may be, the students need still the help of influencers (people in the public eye) to educate a larger group of people with regard to their program. And these influencers are people like you and me as well as idols such as American Idol Judge, recording artist and actress Jennifer Lopez.




A community in need that panted a seed
The ECHS students are inspired by Jennifer Lopez and her willingness to succeed from the Bronx, NY all the way to Hollywood. Now, as the students count down the clock to one of the most influential moments of their lives--graduation day--they would like to leave senior year as social good superstars. Much of their legacy is not about them but about the incoming students who will begin high school and contemplate apprenticeship. 

As a graduation gift to the In True Fashion students, you can help. Please, post this blog link on your Facebook. Tweet about the InTrueFashion program. Comment on the Youtube video these students have made for J.Lo

World change is encouraging high school students to follow their dreams, to pursue entrepreneurship. And these initiatives can be promoted with your help. All it takes is 5 minutes of your time.

That's one post, one link, one tweet that can potentially make a world of difference.

What if you could change the world? You certainly can using social media for social good.

Do you volunteer in your community? Have a "social media, social good" story to share? Would you like to keep up with the ECHS students in InTrueFashion.org? Feel free to email info@jaclynmullenmedia.com 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Getting Back Up On The Horse

Balance.



We all strive to obtain it. But what balance means for some may very well differ for another. Think about it. Have you ever observed "those" people who seem to be in the midst of chaos but despite all the swarming activity around them, they're utterly content because they exercise, eat right and still make time for the movies? How could that be possible; how can one "go, go, go" and still maintain serenity?

The truth is that balance comes from within. As my father would say, it is up to YOU; it's your primary responsibility to ensure you take care of yourself with regard to exercise, diet and proper rest.
 
So, how do you know when you are spending your life in direct proportions or spending life in excess? Do you experience a sense of peace and relief when all is in order or undergo a sense of chaos and stress when things aren't? Could you possibly be unaware of the imbalances in your life?

Perhaps......if you ignore the little voice inside your heart. 


I don't think there is a right or a wrong answer and yet I do think as human beings, we can all relate to feelings of imbalance and the resulting havoc they can wreck on our day to day activities. Whether you are a new business owner, in a new relationship or possibly exploring a new career, feeling grounded (which results from being balanced) is quite essential.

Balance for me requires (1) blogging (2) running and (3) resting. That's a lot of ----ings, right? One of the questions I often hear from friends, clients and business associates alike is, "how do I make time for it all? How do I have a social life, market my business, maintain my clients and manage to sleep?"

I wish I had the magic answer. All I can say is it happens to the best of us. I am finally getting back up on the blogging horse after a nearly three weak hiatus due to an imbalance of life. My first steps forward into a more balanced state involved forgiveness.

It is very common for us to get frustrated with ourselves when our life feels disproportionate. Personally, I needed to forgive myself for stepping away from my computer and for shifting my focus. I needed to immerse myself back into a "live" learning environment to get the dendrites in my brain actively flowing again. I needed to walk (50 New York City blocks) to move stagnant energy and tension out of my body. All of these things required an energy shift from sitting behind a computer to getting out and experiencing more spontaneity in life and less routine.

So let's get some dialog going. What do you do when you start to feel frazzled?
How have you managed transitions in career, relationships or geography? What are your top three tips for getting back up on the horse and riding off into the sunset of harmonious life bliss?

I want to know and I'm sure others do as well so please be sure to comment.

I will be back to blogging this month. You can also keep current with my social media and brand consulting work through the new Jaclyn Mullen Media Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/jaclynmullenmedia

In closing, I want to thank you for your patience while I have not been blogging. I want to thank you for your continued support and encouragement of this blog. And if there is a topic you would like for me to address, I'd be more than happy to write about it! Simply email me at info@jaclynmullenmedia.com

Signing off this successful Sunday,

The Jaclyn of All Trades

Jaclyn Mullen has spent the past ten years immersed in consumer behavior, online media, and business development for several companies. As a graduate of the University of Miami, Jaclyn first developed her online expertise while studying the emergence of digital downloads on the music industry. She is dedicated to developing branding strategies and social media plans that ensure her clients and work stand out within their respective marketplace and generate consumer loyalty. She was recently recognized as a finalist of American Airlines 30th Anniversary campaign. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Prescription for a "Make it Count" Monday: Coffee and Aspirin with Dee Anna David

It's Monday. The week has just started out and you are almost done with your first day back at work. 

The pressure is on to make this week "the week"....the one where you actually finish that project you've been delaying, the one where you ask your boss for the raise you feel you are long overdue, the one where you finally book the trip you've been working hard towards (you know, the one you are saving for by sacrificing your Starbucks).

OR on the other hand, it could be just another Monday where time flies by and before you know it, Friday rolls around and you feel as though you have nothing to show for the past 7,200 minutes of your life. The choice is yours.

MAKE MONDAY COUNT! 

To help make this Monday different from the last, we have a little prescription courtesy of Dee Anna David. What's her remedy for making Mondays count?


Coffee and Aspirin. Learn more about Dee Anna and the role Coffee and Aspirin play in her daily life.

BLOG: http://coffeeandaspirin.tumblr.com/

Who: I'm Dee Anna, a ten-year lifestyle media professional and writer paying rent in Los Angeles. Over the past decade I've traveled all over the country, made a lot of friends, and have had a lot of fun. I could tell stories from behind the proverbial velvet rope all day but now I'm on a mission to change the world, one socialite at a time, and teach people what I had to learn the hard way: The most important thing in life is not to count your blessings, but to share them.

I've finally been convinced to open up and share this behind-the-scenes look at life as I know it: travel, media, events, fashion, nightlife, my "deetours," and the projects and charities my friends and I are taking on in 2011 to fight poverty, AIDS, support disaster relief and most importantly initiate change by engaging the lifestyle and nightlife industry to join in our mission.
 
What: cof·fee \and\ as·pi·rin
Noun - A perfectly adequate substitute for sleep when a more than full-time profession in lifestyle media, wild travel schedule, ten-item new year resolution list and unbreakable love of nightlife doesn't allow much time for naps.

How it all got started: I am a very, very lucky girl.
Over the years, I have held an amazing career in lifestyle media, that has shuffled me all over the country, lead me to experiences many people will never have, see things many will never see, and make so many amazing friends all over the place. Everyone thinks their friends are amazing, but mine really are.

When my beyond perfect life suddenly fell apart at the end of 2008, I was at no shortage of support to turn to and help me put the pieces back together, a process that more than two years later is still in progress, but I’m getting there. And, when in the end of 2010 with my 30th birthday approaching, I decided to do a $5k fund-raising campaign for charity: water to fund a dedicated clean water well in the Central African Republic, the rush of support surprised even me.

My inner circle, my family, my mentor and my “best friend” in each of the four states I’ve at one point had my mail forwarded to, came through right away. But thanks to the overwhelming love and support from business associates, co-workers, every ex-boyfriend/old flame that ever meant anything to me except one (don’t judge him, we’re in a weird place), long lost friends and even a few surprise social media followers, I was able to shelve marketing tactics I had originally planned to use,  the goal was met ahead of schedule and turned out to be the first of many more charity projects to come … which leads me to, the list.





The Resolutions aka "The List": New year’s resolutions are important to me, partly because, I was born on New Year’s day. I’ve always had a doubly perspective that each year is a new chance to achieve anything and everything a person wants out of life. This year, I told myself that I would set goals that didn’t just have to do with my career path. I’ve already exceeded all of those. This year, my extensive list of goals would focus on happiness and fulfillment outside of just my career.
 

1. I will commit at least 5% of my take home earnings next year to charity and aim for 10%.

2. I will do at least 3 more charity projects this year. At least one will involve giving time, not just money. Projects I am contracted and paid for will not count.

I will not be a victim of my vices

3. I will get back on mint.com and use it daily to manage my spending and saving.

4. I am holding myself to a strict policy of how much clothes I am allowed to have at any time. When I am over my limit, I must donate some. I will not sell or consign any clothing or accessories this year unless it is for charity.

5. I will spend no more than half of what I spent in 2010 on clothing and accessories (baby steps).

6. I will cut down my caffeine intake. I am a huge coffee and Red Bull addict with a daily routine of one Starbucks and three Red Bulls each day. That will cut to half by summer and no more than an average of 1.5 per day by year’s end.

7. I will cut back on my drinking. I don’t drink as often as it looks like I do anyway. In my industry, I’ve had to learn to go out to all hours and stay sober. But when I do, I can overdo it. I have a small frame and a Mexican tolerance. Dangerous combination. I haven’t figured out how to make that quantitative yet.

I have spent the last several years in flight mode. When I go to sleep on New Year’s Eve 2011, I will know that I am where I belong.

8. I will get over my fear of driving and learn how to drive again (this ties to the beginning of what happened to me in 2008).

9. I will get over the past, my fears of hurt and let myself be open. Stop seeking out men with inherent flaws and stop pushing away the others. (Already this year I have failed at this one disastrously.)

10. The biggie. I will determine and settle in the city I see myself in long term. That place may or may not be Los Angeles. It most likely will not be Phoenix. Las Vegas, Miami/Ft. Lauderdale and New York are all possibilities.

Bonus ongoing resolution: To every year, no matter what, always find a way to go to at least one, new locale to which I’ve never been and have one experience I’ve never experienced.

The Jaclyn of All Trades asked Dee Anna for some words of encouragement/wisdom with regard to shifting perspectives. Here's what she recommends.

"The most important thing in life is not to count your blessings, but to share them. I believe in karma and if you don't pay it forward, you will pay it back, but even more important than that, we are all here to share. 

In today's world, financial security is an immense blessing but if it isn't that then maybe it is time, or wisdom or love. We all have something to share to help improve the lives of others. Sharing your gift with others, not only makes them feel good, but it will always immediately benefit you as well. Sharing your gift is a good way to grow upon it. 

For me, it was a ten year experience in marketing as part of a team that helped me achieve my goal for charity: water, realize that I was capable of managing and succeeding in such a marketing campaign on my own, and this even lead me to a couple new friends I never would've met otherwise."

As you can see, Dee Anna is living proof of her wise words. She plans on launching another campaign for charity: water, a few weekends ago she ran as part of an ASU alumni team in support of the Pat Tillman foundation (www.patsrun.com) and her next stop will be a project in support of an organization called European Disasters Volunteers (http://www.edvolunteers.org)

See? Told you I have the perfect "make it count" Monday remedy. Now, how are you going to make life count this week, next week and the many more weeks to come?

Share your comments, your tips, share your stories here. 

And for daily inspiration, reflections on life and some pretty phenomenal photos, be sure to check out Dee Anna's blog http://coffeeandaspirin.tumblr.com/

Until we meet again,

The Jaclyn of All Trades

P.S---We made this Monday count by distributing an amazing startup story! Please check out the press release for GivetoGetJobs.com, a job board, featuring careers in the corporate social responsibility and social enterprise sectors, that is launching next week, Monday May 2nd.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Entrepreneurial, Empire State of Mind Thanks To The Wix Lounge

Starting a new business is tough. And traveling to a distant city to expand a new business is downright terrifying especially when your main goal is to make new contacts.

As I discovered, trying to find a place to power up your laptop (aka "the true lifeline and soul source of potential revenue") for a start up business while in the Big Apple is nearly impossible.

Ask any entrepreneur, freelancer or business traveler what their opinion is with regard to working from coffee shops, big and small, in Manhattan and they will back me up on this--you either need to be grandfathered into your little nook or be willing to sit on the floor and swap your laptop batteries out every few hours.  One major coffee chain (that a lot of entrepreneurs have supported these past few years) is now covering their power outlets so that they can't be used by anyone. As if starting your business and paying $4.00 for coffee wasn't already stressful, right?

Affordable, self employment workspace in New York City is almost unheard of.....that was until the Wix Lounge came along and provided it...FOR FREE.

In addition to this FREE office space is FREE wireless Internet FREE hot coffee and FREE networking. And because of the Wix Lounge, I have connected with other dream chasers trying to take over the Empire State, one start up at a time.

Thanks to Wix--the online, flash website building platform which sponsors the space, the process of starting a business in this challenged economy has become less intimidating and even more inspiring in the Big Apple.



Working at the Wix Lounge where the Empire State Building is within plain sight
My maternal grandparents immigrated to New York City in the early '60s while I often joke that I immigrated to New York City in 2011. Manhattan is an entirely different animal compared to the hills of Hollywood by which I came. But the American dream evolved in this city; the city that never sleeps. And I want to be where my dreams can come true. Apparently, I am not alone.

Eager and anxious to slay the concrete jungle with my success, I took to the Internet to find a place where I could work and keep myself any one of these three things: motivated, grounded, focused. With the help of Google, I came across the Wix Lounge located at 10 West 18th Street centrally located near the Flatiron, Union Square and Chelsea. The website site said they provided free workspace. Unsure of what that really meant, let alone, what I should expect, I jumped on the crowded six train from uptown and headed towards the Empire State Building--the true symbol of success, power and style representative of New York's "make it anywhere" motto.

 Photo by: Jaclyn Mullen

What I found turned out to be more than I could have ever imagined, even for a girl coming to NYC from the land of motion pictures.

Entrepreneurs engage and encourage each other while working at the Wix
Working at the Wix Lounge has proven to be a breeze. There are a variety of start up companies within the walls, each mapping out their 5 year plans for success. People with their laptops type in unison while sitting at desks or on comfortable couches.


And talk about the people; tons of people frequent the lounge and work really hard. Week one, I met Victoria Monsul, the manager of Wix Lounge, and Rodney Williams Itier, Photographer for Getty Images. Week two, I met Julius D.C. Bryant, of Damien Christopher Model Agency. Week three, I met Zachary Held from Open Action, Mike from Holstee and Joshua Manley, founder of Idea Pinata.

Since my first visit nearly 10 weeks ago, I have flown back to LA to recharge and upon return to NYC, I continue to work from "the Wix."

At the Wix Lounge, I am never alone. Sure, as a solopreneur, I may be the only one putting the blood, sweat and tears into my company but while I do so, my working Wix friends are by my side simultaneously putting blood, sweat and tears into their companies too.

As a matter of fact, my "working at the Wix" crew now entails Charlie from ServedFreshMedia.net, Andre Wagner (a photographer/fashion designer from Omaha, NE) and Raeven Western, founder of the blog PushyDreamers.com

New York, the Big Apple, the Empire State. It may be known for breeding tough business people but the Wix Lounge proves that when the start up industry gets tough in Manhattan, the tough go to Wix and get to work. I hope to see you there soon.

This post is merely the beginning of more "Working at the Wix" start up stories. If you would like to gain personal exposure for your startup and blog, email victoria@wix.com

She will be hand selecting a new "Working at the Wix" story to feature each week in the newsletter.

In closing, be sure to leave a comment in this post with your name, website and Twitter handle so we can all continue to connect amongst the concrete jungle.

Signing off ,
Founder of JaclynMullenMedia.com

Do you have a start up story to tell? The Jaclyn of All Trades is compiling a series and we want your tips! In need of some social media help? Email info@jaclynmullenmedia.com or follow me on Twitter @jaclynmullen 

You can also follow @WixLounge on Twitter too

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Lessons from A Legend: Sweating Sucess with Richard Simmons

Last Saturday, I experienced something beyond my wildest dreams. 

I worked out with Richard Simmons, (yes "Sweating to the Oldies" Richard Simmons), at his studio in Beverly Hills, CA.

Eight days later, I am still in shock that I was able to experience a Richard Simmons workout live, no VHS tapes or DVD's present.

And in one hour and fifteen minutes, not only had I worked up a sweat and burned approximately 400-500 calories but I stood in the company of greatness. Throughout the entire workout, comprised of leg lifts, cha cha's and jumping jacks, I watched an entrepreneurial living legend of success and individuality smile at myself and nearly 65 strangers as we worked our cookie consuming butts off. And it was through this living legend that I was reminded about the importance of positive energy, helping people and having fun while on the path to achieving one's dreams. This, ladies and gentleman, is a lesson I'd like to share with you.

Richard Simmons and I have a lot in common
Ever since I was a child, it has always been my desire to be a true Hollywood celebrity inclusive of a star on the walk of fame, famous friends and owning a profitable, celebrity brand business. Wow, you might say to yourself. Why all the glitz and glamour?

For me, it was never about fame or wealth--it was about the possibility of performing and bringing happiness to people. I had always wanted to pursue a career that would remind me I was alive everyday by allowing me to sing, dance and have fun for a living.


Richard's not the only one who likes to dress up
The Jaclyn of All Trades, sometime in the 90's


At twenty-nine, things aren't quite as I had envisioned them. They are still a work in progress. A big, huge, daily work in progress--something I had not considered when I was a child. With maturity on my side, I look back and realize that many a time throughout my twenties, I have taken detours to my dream.

As a matter of fact, yesterday, I read some of the journal entries I've been carting around for ten years and am surprised at the consistency of patterns towards achieving my goals.

"This year, I want to take more dance classes."
"This year, I will write and record more songs."
"This year, I will sign up for acting class."
"This year, I will build a blog."
"This year, by golly, I will be a successful entrepreneur."

And if it wasn't for the encouragement of Richard Simmons last week, I'd probably continue to be frustrated with myself and dissatisfied at the amount of time it is taking me to make my dreams come true. When wise people say, "patience is a virtue" they should follow that up with "which will hopefully pay off over the investment of it in another 15 years."

Words of Wisdom from Richard Simmons
Almost everyone over the age of eighteen knows who Richard Simmons is and why is that? Because he has done such a great job of establishing his identity and individuality! As soon as you hear that name, you think of this energetic, daisy duke wearing dude who is famous for helping people lose weight.

And talk about being a successful entrepreneur. Richard has been touted as one of the Top Ten Pitchmen due to the success of his aerobic videos, books, apparel and appearances.

Despite his rise to fame occurring in the 80's and 90's, these positive associations with Richard Simmons still ring true in 2011. He has not allowed critics or people poking fun at him change who he is and his fans love him for that. The hair, short shorts and signature energy have not changed one bit at all no matter the decade.

For that reason, it came as no surprise to me last Saturday to arrive at the "Slimmons Studio" and find 63 people waiting before me. The place was packed and as soon as the magic doors to the exercise room opened, everyone ran like race horses to get in.

My roommate and I secured a spot towards the back of the studio, right under the shiny, swirling disco ball. Richard, dressed up as a pink poodle, greeted the whole class with amazing energy and presence (not to mention body rocking, bass pumping music).


For a second, I totally forgot I was in a workout class and felt more like I was in a music video. This thought seemed to be the group consensus--people of all ages, sizes and genders were smiling from ear to ear despite the river of sweat running down everyone's bodies. And that's when I got it, the secret to Richards success. He has and will always be true to himself and his way of being which is why people gravitate towards him. There are only so many ways we can workout--the Richard Simmons way includes his sense of humor, rhythm inducing pop music and connecting with other people throughout the process. Out of all the workouts I have ever done, Richard's was the one I will remember most and long to do over and over again. Following the killer cardio combo came weight lifting, push ups and words of wisdom.

"Don't let anybody kill your dream," he said to the class as we sat down to stretch. "It was my dream to help people, open this studio, to write books and I wasn't initially accepted in Hollywood. But I had hope and didn't give up. Neither should you."

I never thought a workout with Richard Simmons would occur in my lifetime but it sure was a fitting experience given my childhood dream. As I sat there staring at him in awe of what he had done for my body and my soul that day, I realized that we never stop living our dreams. Here was Richard Simmons, quite possibly sixty years old and extremely successful, still pursuing what he loves; still living his DREAM.

And maybe, just like me, you feel that your dream hasn't happened....yet.

Or maybe you gave up on it a long time ago. Maybe you wonder why I always blog about dreams and goals and inspiration? And the answer is that this blog acts as my compass and map. One day when I make it, I'll have the proof that hard work pays off. I'll have hoped by then that you've simultaneously achieved your dream too.

Richard Simmons, with his signature style and music and dance moves, has managed to remain relevant and influential after all this time. And maybe, just maybe, it's because he continues to believe in himself and refuses to give up.

Thank you Richard for getting me back in touch with the little girl who wasn't afraid to put on a pink tutu and dream big. I'm going to keep at it, whether I am 29, 39, or 59. Thank you for wearing that pink poodle outfit last Saturday which reminded me of her.

And for the people that read this blog, I hope this post recharges you. Go out there today and give life your very best. Pump up that bass filled music, add a little sparkle to your outfit and push yourself to make the routine of life just a little bit more fun.

Signing off this "sweat success" Sunday,

The Jaclyn of All Trades














In an effort to provide you with more content, I will be featuring guest posts from other entrepreneurs and bloggers in the upcoming few weeks. Everyone has a story, I am happy to share them with you! If you are interested in guest blogging, email: info@jaclynmullenmedia.com or follow me on Twitter @jaclynmullen

Monday, April 11, 2011

Life Is Not A One Way Tweet--How #Blogchat Inspired a Guest Posting Invitation

We've all heard the expression: Life is not a one way street. No matter our political preferences, tastes in music, or ethnic origins, people in general like when there is a give and take to any relationship.

Social Media is very similar. Chances are you've come across that one person on Facebook that updates every their single meal, wrong turn on the highway and article of clothing they have worn on any given day. Don't you just sometimes wish they'd stop and say "How's everyone else doing today" or maybe even mention some great way you can get involved in an activity to make the world a better place? Life is not a one way tweet, blog post and status updates are the same for that matter.

That's just my preference for social media use but I really believe in this digital age where it's becoming easier to communicate, it is also easier to develop one sided communications.

Life Is Not A One Way Tweet--Practice Makes Perfect
Realizing how often I send a text message or email lacking some sort of engaging question which would illicit a response from the recipient, I have recently tried to make a habit of creating conversations...everywhere. At the grocery store, I now say hi to everyone and ask how their day is going. Online, I leave comments on various people's blog posts and recently I have gone as far as meeting up with my online contacts in person to discuss our life's purpose and how we can support eachother.

Well guess what? This whole, "Life is not a one way tweet" approach is working! Instead of just empty, one sided communications, I am making contact and want to encourage you to do the same. The rewards can be quite fulfilling.

Take this scenario
As a result of reaching out to a fellow blogger I met through #Blogchat on Twitter, I connected with a new friend from Chicago, IL.

Justice Wordlaw published a post back in March about the five things he'd learned last month which compelled me to comment on his blog about what I learned too. That led to Justice checking out the Jaclyn of All Trades blog which further resulted in an invitation for me to contribute as a guest blogger to his site.

And just like that, I wrote an article entitled "The Starting Path To Becoming An Established Entrepreneur" which has successfully been shared through Twitter and Facebook.



The moral of the story here is that both Justice and myself were willing to engage in a "two way tweet" conversation. To add, this point isn't just about Facebook, or Twitter, or blogging. It's about life, human connection, interaction. Who was the last person you tried to communicate with? What did you ask them? What recent two way street have you created in your life recently? Please share!

As a result of this experience, I am now going to reach out to the individuals that shared the article via Twitter. That's right. Aside from thanking Justice (Twitter @justicewordlaw) I also want to thank:

Onye Akpala 
John Cridland
Jane Rushton
ITextQpons http://www.itextqpons.mobi
John M. Anderson 
Jeff  http://www.twitter.com/L_9Revolution 
A Cass
Glennsnews

All this social media stuff isn't just for us to sit around and waste time behind a screen. You gotta admit, it feels good to get back in touch with childhood friends, to share a funny experience that happened to you in the hopes it will bring humor to others or, in my case, to pursue a passion for writing which has led to meeting many great new people along the way.

Here's to another day connecting with the world.

Sincerely,

The Jaclyn of All Trades


Do you want to use social media to contribute to the disaster relief in Japan?

Check out the Scene PR "Auction for Hope" taking place now through April 28th. Proceeds benefit the Japan Society Earthquake Relief Fun.