Monday, January 31, 2011

Art, Brick Walls and Salmon in America (As Inspired by the State of the Union)

Blank canvas. Each and everyday we wake up and the 24 hours that lie ahead are a blank canvas. You don't have to be an artist to think of your life this way.

What we create during that time determines whether or not we make art (defined for the sake of this post as "innovation") or if we're just making more "things."

What are the "things" I am talking about?

I suppose that depends on what you value, what you want for your life, for the world in which you live, on what matters most to you.

In this day and age, it is easy to get caught up with things; to fill our daily canvas with the subliminal replication of other people's ideals or methodologies.

"If so and so's business is operating this way and is successful, then my business should operate that way too. Only I'll tweak the model."

You have a brain. Why not discover a new way of doing things? Why not customize your canvas and leave YOUR legacy behind?

How about this scenario--"If this expert advises that _____ tip is the only recommended way to do something, then surely I must copy it in it's entirety."

Now, that line is not intended to jab at any experts; for they naturally have boat loads of experience and know what they are talking about. I simply make this point to state that advice and guidance can be a good basis but given the creativity we are allowed in social media, writing, video editing, whatever the medium, it is not necessary to create a case of monkey see, monkey do EXACTLY the same.

Just look how wonderful things turned out last week, when people took to Twitter during the State of the Union address. Serious subject matter came up and people had real distinct opinions. Best of all, there were no rules to follow, tweets flowed freely.

There were thoughts on the salmon comment, remarks on "don't ask, don't tell", we examined the spending freeze which proceeded to be followed by comments on visine. All in all, the Twitter version of the State of the Union was far more engaging than the newscasters version was on TV.

What started out as a blank canvas grew into something so much more. I was really proud that people utilized their right to free speech, but what inspired me most was President Obama's point that "America is a place where you can make it if you try." Cue An American Tale...there are no "cats" in America. (80's flashback..and it's a catchy song too).

Currently, a lot of Americans feel as though they have been trying--those that may be facing foreclosure on their home, those that are unemployed. Perhaps even those folks who currently own and operate their dream business during these tough and economic times feel as though they just can't try enough. 

When I watched the State of the Union, I thought of a person I love to quote often, Randy Pausch. A man who continues to inspire my "blank canvas idealism."

Randy is famous for saying: "Brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want something badly enough. They are there to keep out the other people."

I've had my share of facing brick walls. No matter how fast, how high or how often I've attempted to jump over them, I hit those bricks with full body impact, then I fall to the ground on my big old butt and try all over again until VICTORY is mine. 

And I'm not the only one. Our country was created by people who overcame brick walls, by people who created their own art. Today, innovators continue to tear down brick walls and create additional opportunities. Just think how often things fail that require modification. Look at Steve Jobs,  he faces brick walls frequently but he keeps trying, he continues creating.

So I ask you this--each day, when you wake up do you think to yourself and say, "Today my life will impact the world, for this is America and I can make it if I try." Or do you just view your existence as merely getting by?

Do you rule the brick walls or do they rule you? Is your canvas blank or is it a replica, being borrowed from someone else?

These are the questions to ask yourself in order to get some answers.

Also, if you haven't done so already, take an hour to watch Randy Pausch's video "The Last Lecture." Upon seeing it, I hope you'll be ready to bulldoze the brick walls down, to go out and create something amazing on your canvas of life--something that furthers America's reputation as the land of opportunity.

In the meantime, I'm preparing my bulldozer (for about the 100th time.) But at least I have the freedom to do so. At least my canvas is reset every 24 hours and I can try to create something new each and every day. I just hope my contributions make America proud. If not, at least I'll have some stamina from trying.

Signing off on a sentimental note,

The Jaclyn of All Trades

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

It's Time To Go Solo; Make 2011 the Year of YOU

The other day, the following song lyric came into my head: "I'm on a roll, it's time to go solo" and I thought to myself, "Why, yes it is." As a matter of fact, it has been for a long time.

That thought was followed shortly there after by, "just who the heck said that????"

Turns out Vanilla Ice get's the credit for invading my memory and making that statement. Who knew "Ice Ice Baby" would still be on my mind after all these years?

What does rolling solo mean to you?  

I can tell you what it means to me.

For starters, it means to step out as a soloprenuer, to embrace the challenge of potentially working for myself again. Apparently I am not alone.

A recent survey from stated that, "Solopreneurs are extremely optimistic about 2011, even as they struggle with cash flow, time management, marketing, and other aspects of running their businesses." I can confirm this to be true even though I wasn't surveyed.

Despite the challenges with "doing your own thing", the freedom and flexibility that come with pursuing your own passions outweigh everything. Agree/disagree?

Stepping out solo also means to finally trust my gut and follow my instincts. To take the comedy class I've been blabbing to my family about,  to move on from people that I've outgrown (hard as that may be), to let pessimistic people have their opinions about me but know that in the end, I live with myself and my decisions--end of story.

Given the survey combined with recent encounters I've had at various events in LA, I sense that a lot of people want to step out solo this year. And rightfully so! Technology has provided us with the ability to work from anywhere in the world, to make our dreams realities, to work completely alone yet still feel connected given our ability to engage online.

Sure, to get to this "solo" space isn't easy.

It's more comfortable to work for a company, to sing a duet, to have a partner in crime. When you're solo, you have to self motivate and focus each and everyday.

But if Vanilla Ice can step out solo as one of the first white rappers back in 1990, then you and I can step out solo in 2011--regardless of what that means for us respectively.

So I ask again, what does "it's time to go solo" mean to you?

I'm enjoying the solo life especially since right now I'm heading back to LA after a weekend spent exploring the California coast and Big Sur.

Wouldn't you want to ride solo after seeing this?

For more statistics or to cure your curiosity on Solopreneurs check out the SoloprenuerLife's survey results ----> here

Friday, January 21, 2011

Feel Good Fridays (Inspired by Dr. Deepak Chopra)

Today, I finally understood the statement "I'm so happy I could cry" because I almost did, 3 times to be precise.

To preface this post, earlier today I was fortunate enough to hear Dr. Deepak Chopra speak on "The Soul of Leadership" courtesy of Step Up Women's Network, and the Drucker Business Forum. As you can imagine, not many people get the opportunity to hear Dr. Deepak Chopra speak in the flesh (let alone thank him personally afterward). 

And yet, in one hour, at least 100 "Angeleno's" were profoundly impacted by what he had to say while I was moved to tears (twice).

Well, what was this emotional advice you may be asking? The following are my cliff's notes versions of Dr. Chopra's great wisdom which impacted me so deeply.
  • Take 5 to 10 minutes every day to focus on your reason for being here, try to visualize and really feel these desires straight from your heart.
  • Speaking of feelings, it is very important to feel your fear. What you resist, persists. DO WHAT YOU FEAR THE MOST.
  • Our "set point for happiness" is determined within the first three years of our lives.
  • A lot of people are spending more than they've earned to buy things they don't need to impress people they don't like. Money isn't the root to happiness.
  • If you had all the money and time in the world, how would you express yourself?
  • Of his experience in teaching at the Kellogg School of Management Dr. Chopra stated, "A lot of students slowly realize that they thought they were "just running businesses". When they review their desires, they want to change the world too." As employees, business owners, entrepreneurs--we can change the world and we should want to.
  • When you start to experience a stimulus that "pushes your buttons" and triggers a resentful response from you STOP, focus on the sensation then do nothing. Whatever the annoyance, it will slowly fade away.
The last bullet point is very true and perhaps the most difficult to execute which is why I cried a third time (in my car, on the drive home, while listening to Neil Diamond).

"I Am...I Said" one of my favorite Neil Diamond jams

You see, over a month ago, I was going through some difficult, personal challenges that really tested my emotional strength. I wanted to react, to be angry, I was upset and very unhappy. It seemed as though every week for at least 8 weeks straight, something difficult would continue to happen building upon the original reason I was upset to begin with. By week 6, I threw my hands up in the air and said, "Ok world, I get it. I need to let go. Until I let go and change my attitude, things will continue to negatively impact me."

The moment I stopped and stood still, the moment I didn't rehash my old wounds was the moment I became free and saw my circumstances in an entirely new light.

I realized the beauty in the flexibility of my new situation. 

I appreciated the opportunity to close a chapter of my life and move forward. 

And I more or less realized that had it not been for those circumstances and changes, I wouldn't have been able to listen to Dr. Deepak Chopra speak on a Friday morning in January, 2011.

So I leave you with this. To those of you going through tough times right now, hold on. Sit still as Dr. Deepak Chopra encourages. Things will get better. Once you make it through the tough times and see the light, you'll be so happy you could cry (and appreciate that statement).

I know I do and I know I am.

Signing off,

Jaclyn M Mullen

Thursday, January 20, 2011

This is FUN! Which Female Tech Influencer Are You? Answer in the comments section.

Female Tech Influencers
Via: Wpromote

To Thank Or Not To Thank (And Other Social Media Musings)

There's a big debate online, particularly on Twitter.

To thank or not to thank seems to be the question. 

I say thank. Some say "thank not."

Mind you, my mother had me call all adults "Mr. and Ms." while I was growing up. To this day, I still call my stepfather Mr. Jim, so manners whether on or offline, are apart of my make up.

Now, I may have to take this post "back to the basics." Some of you reading this may not even know what Twitter is, how Twitter is used or just what the heck I am talking about.  And you my friends are not alone. As a matter of fact, according to Twitter user statistics from Women In, "60% of Twitter users abandon their accounts within their first month of use while the Twitter retention rate is only 40%."

Just the other night, I was at a women's networking event in LA where a number of savvy business owners in the room hadn't even hopped on the Twitter bandwagon yet. It was at this event that a very good question then came up:  

"Why use Twitter if I have Facebook? Moreover, since I have Facebook, why do I need Linkedin?"

That was followed by my friend Brady Hahn, a Philanthropy Consultant, inquiring about Tumblr. "So I read on Mashable that Tumblr is going to sponsor 20 Fashion Bloggers for Fashion Week...but what is Tumblr?"

Here are my answers to these questions and a few more. (These are merely based on my experience and opinion on social media-simplified. Do as you please for your business.)
  • Facebook = Friends, family. Social. Think of this as an adult playground where we can examine our alter egos, post funny viral videos and not be ostracized for it because we have accepted the people we are connected to. Likewise, based upon mutual interest or childhood, they have accepted us. 
  • Linkedin. BUSINESS! But not a place where business is boring. More and more people misuse their Linkedin account by keeping it generic. For me, Linkedin allows me to make a virtual first impression so I want my profile to exude humor, wit and my creativity, not just my job title. (If your Linkedin needs some work, email me for a consultation or read this). Linkedin is a great tool to network with people online be it for a job, a short term project or professional development.
  • Twitter. My favorite! The best of both worlds. Personal, professional. Twitter provides the ability to keep up with news and events as they happen in real time. It allows you to network across the globe based on like interests. You simply follow who you want to. If you have interesting resources to share, in turn, people follow you. Twitter is also a great way to gain visibility for your brand. Your profile serves as a traffic source to get people interested in what it is you do then redirect them back to your website or blog.
  • Tumblr. An easy way to blog. (This is where I embrace my inner artist). I came across Tumblr after my 18 year old cousin and her best friend introduced me to it. I use it as a means to embrace my artists eye and have a creative outlet. According to their website, Tumblr lets you "effortlessly share anything" so why not check it out? 
Now that we've covered that ground, back to the original question. To thank or not to thank someone for following you on Twitter? 

Granted, it's their choice. However, I feel that thanking your Twitter followers is a great way to "shout them out" to your network and promote their brand. 

Yes, Twitter is a "conversation." A place where we share information whether that information comes in the form of articles, jokes, or what's inspiring you that day. I don't think a thank you disrupts the flow of that conversation any more than a "please pass the cream and sugar" does in real time. But, that's just me.

Your thoughts? I'm curious to know.

(By the way, are we connected?)

Follow me on Twitter @jaclynmullen

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Commitment in 2011-An Exercise for Inspiration

You see this good looking couple pictured above? They are my grandparents and this past December, I was HONORED to celebrate their 61st wedding anniversary with them.

61 years....that's a long time! How did they do it? How did they manage to stay together? 

Marriage wasn't the most difficult obstacle that my Grandparents had to face. Try fleeing communist Romania, immigrating to Greece, Lebanon and Israel all BEFORE finally making their way to the United States. Thankfully, New York City greeted my grandparents with open arms however, they did not speak English and were in total culture shock.

That did not matter to them. Their challenges were merely a part of life, something they had to deal with and overcome for my grandparents knew the meaning of commitment. 

I can't help but examine this topic. After all, we live in a world of "here one day, gone the next." We live by the principles of the instant gratification generation and have no problems moving on (again and again) whether it be from people, jobs or even our personal aspirations. As entrepreneurs, dreamers and members of society...we can't afford to lack commitment.

By definition, Commitment means: to show loyalty, duty or pledge to something or someone.

Could you commit to something for 61 years? Honestly, I'm not sure if I could but that doesn't mean I won't try. 

What are your commitments? 
When was the last time you asked yourself this question? 
How do you maintain them?

Personally in 2011, I am committed to blogging daily, exercising and reading more often. Aside from identifying these tasks as my commitments, I am also holding myself accountable. Everyday, these 3 things are the most important items on my "to-do" list to ensure I can get them done.

I'm trying to get back my youthful physique. (Jaclyn of All Trades, 3 years old.) 
That's me, smiling and sitting behind the boy hunched forward.  

It also helps that I have an example of commitment right before my eyes. Which is why I have chosen to share this with you! 61 years of marriage for my grandparents....reading, writing and working out for me.

What about YOU??? Could you use a little help in the commitment department?

Write down one thing you are committed to this year. Heck, you can even place it in the comments box on my blog then use this post as a reminder to, "show loyalty, duty or pledge to something or someone".

(Even if that someone is you!) 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Being Brave-Putting The Big Girl Panties On (And Other Lessons Of Adulthood)

Facing our fears is NOT a fun task. 

As Natasha Sunshine, owner of Byuti Salon in Santa Monica, taught me last year when I attended a SMARTY entrepreneur event she held, FEAR "should" stand for:


So, if that's the case, what are we supposed to do when the evidence isn't false? When we find out that a friend may have lied to us? When we suffer the loss of a loved one? Or perhaps, when we get diagnosed with a life threatening illness? These aren't my fears but they could be some day.

Just last week, as I faced my current fears head on in Los Angeles, I heard the following statement...TWICE.

"It's time to put your big girl panties on."
(Thanks Liz Dennery Sanders and Nada Jones)

What does that mean? Can men have "big boy panties" too?

Of course they can, since the statement, by my definition, means:

  • To deal with things like an adult. 
  • To find a solution for your roadblocks. 
  • To take care of your health. 
  • To prioritize your time. 

These tips have helped me be brave and forge ahead, big girl panties and all. (For my part, it took big girl panties to post this.) 

  1. Don't get mad, get clear. What is it that may be frustrating you about the situation? Concentrate on the facts. Do you feel as though you have not been heard? Can you see the other persons perspective? What is the solution? I am all about expressing one's feelings so I am not saying don't feel "mad." Take it from me, being Armenian and Irish, sometimes getting mad about something is only natural. But it won't do me (or you) or the other party any good to fester. Take time to collect your thoughts and figure out a way to communicate your disappointment or frustration without finger pointing.
  2. Take responsibility for yourself.  You always have a choice when it comes to your life. At some point, you have to accept that good or bad childhood, your dead end job--you control your choices. If your career isn't going in the direction you want it to, perhaps you should take a class or seminar. Expand your network. Launch your own business. The possibilities are endless. All that matters is you remain in control and accept responsibility. 
  3. Your health is your wealth.  When I woke up this morning, one of the first things I came across on my Twitter feed was an article entitled, "Pizza and Ramen Are Hurting Your Start Up." So true! We are what we eat, we are what we think. Having realized this (for the 100th time this weekend) I finally went to the grocery store and stocked up on groceries; most importantly breakfast!!!! No time, no problem. Toast an english muffin, spread some peanut butter on top and pair that with a glass of Orange Juice and you've got some of those basic food groups covered. Make sure to balance the diet with exercise, get plenty of rest. Nothing can happen, good or bad in your life, if you aren't here. 
  4. Accept criticism but don't hang around with too many skeptics. You and I are not perfect so there may be a time when you hear that feedback. Hard as it is, I read a quote that summed it up best. "Criticism is a part of life. Sometimes it's warranted. Address the valuable, ignore the juvenile and move on." Sure, there is a little truth in everything. The last part of this quote is key--move on! You don't want to be around someone that ALWAYS brings you down. Find your support group, be it friends or family. Balance is essential to helping you remain in reality. Criticism helps you change (hopefully) and praise keeps you motivated. 
And there you have it. The brave way to deal with life. Sure, it's not always going to be as simple as I have made it sound HERE. Hopefully the fears will be false. 

But if they aren't, just think of that Pampers Song "I'm A Big Kid Now."

You sure are. And when a big kid gets knocked down, they get back up AGAIN and AGAIN. 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

It's Coming Along (Or So I Think)

Bon jour. Happy Sunday! If you've been to my blog before, you know that it is undergoing a transformation. I changed the design and layout, added my Twitter feed and a section for the blogs I frequent often. Totally tubular, right?

Towards the end of last year, I had also changed my hair color. I'm a brunette now.

This Blog is still a work in progress but I REALLY enjoy it! (and I hope you do too).

The more I try to develop TheJaclynOfAllTrades, the more I am reminded that we are all a work in progress.  

With this new year, I know we are all assessing our goals, our wants and our desires for 2011. 

And just as my blog has transformed these past few months, I am undergoing the process of transformation too (aside from hair color). Some of my growth experiences have been within my control while others were not. But I've realized, this is all happening for a reason (cliche...yes, but true indeed!)

So why do I chose to share this? Why post this online? I've always enjoyed communicating and I know there may be people out there that need someone they can relate to. Most people aren't willing to share their innermost thoughts, let along blog about them and that's ok because I am. 

Personally, my transformation involves writing, taking pictures, singing and networking with some of my closest friends. I am helping people and I am helping myself. All of this would not be happening if I wasn't willing to change.

 Santa Monica Sunset photo by yours truly

Why change? Things are fine the way they are. Why stir the pot and stray from normalcy?

The old me wasn't expressing my inner artist. The old me was on a hamster wheel and couldn't get off. The old me was stagnant.

The new me has open eyes (see picture above). The new me is on an open road with tangible goals. The new me is in charge of my life again.

Sure, you can stay comfortable. You can have a wish list that you'll never get to cross off. But for what? Life is uncomfortable. Life is meant to change so buckle up and enjoy the ride.

Think of one thing you want to accomplish this year in 2011 and set into motion the plan to make it happen.

Enjoy the transformation. Here, within, anywhere.

Friday, January 14, 2011

If You Blog It, They Won't Come. But That's OK (For Now)

Well......if you read yesterday's post, I have news for you. Maybe the news is more for myself. The term Blogaholic has existed FOR AWHILE. There seem to be some pretty creative people out there online that have beat me to the punch (and that's ok).

A Snapshot of some other Blogaholics Online

Speaking of blogging (while poking a little fun at myself), just because people offline always ask for your opinion or advice does not mean that when you transfer "said advice" and information online, you will automatically have an audience for your Blog. (Are you listening Jaclyn of All Trades???)

And you know what? I am ok with that. Part of this Blogging process for me is experimentation, trial and error, uncovering my audience--which is a good metaphor for life.

This is the heartbeat of my Blog. At least it's alive

None of us should shoot in the dark but how many of us are? You wake up, you go to work, but what do you want out of life? Do you even know? Are you getting what you think you want out of life?

I am guilty as charged, guilty of shooting in the dark. Of having great ideas and aspirations but being "too busy" to really sit down, to slow down and create the action plan necessary to put those ideas into effect. It wasn't until recently that I started the self examination process and began saying to myself "I don't want to shoot in the dark anymore. What do I offer? What am I good at versus what am I passionate about? How do I WANT to spend my life?"

I owe the beginning of this process to the mentor I was paired with through Step Up Women's Network, Nikki Hamedani, who pointed out that there is a distinction between a JOB and a career. Sure, the job pays the bills, puts food in your mouth, it most likely even provides health insurance.

My Step Up mentor and I. Skybar Los Angeles circa August, 2010.

But is that what you dreamt you'd be doing when you were a child? Would you be willing to do your job for FREE if you had to?

These are the questions to ask yourself. What if you already pursue your passion but want to crank if up a notch? Then, I ask you this.
  • What do you define as success?
  • What is your expectation regarding the growth and fruition of your goals?
  • Are you shooting in the dark?
If the answer is yes, at least you are shooting. But take a step back, identify a way for you to obtain tangible facts or answers. For examples sake, I will use my blog. The answers I need to "shoot in the light" come in the form of page views, key words and traffic sources.

So take it from me-if you blog it, they won't come (at first). But maybe you will learn a thing or two about yourself and how to fine tune. With that information, you can build from there.

If you don't plan it, it won't happen. Take a small I double dare you.

Signing off,

Jaclyn M Mullen
The Jaclyn of All Trades

Have you started following me on Twitter yet???

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Confessions of A Blogaholic: There's Just So Much To Read and See On the WorldWideWeb

I have a new term. Maybe somebody else has already thought of it (it wouldn't be the first time) but I'd like to think that this one is all me.


Yep, you heard it here. Thanks to the Internet and Twitter, I've become a Blogaholic...."with benefits."


Reading blogs, promoting them to my friends-that's the kind of peer pressure I'm engaging in these days. But why? Because there are just so many great bloggers, talented writers and intellectual thinkers at our disposal that provide great content online.

We can learn how to remix our wardrobe thanks to the lovely Kendi Everyday. We can receive motivation from Peter Shankman's blog to get up earlier or even get our recommended Apple A Day from Amy Merrick. We can discover that luxury can be holistic from Dr. Susanne Bennett's blog.

Content can be entertaining but it can also be educating and more importantly, encouraging.

On a daily basis, I come across at least 3 new blogs as well as revisit my favorites. I go as far as recommending various blogs to my network. And personally as a Blogger, reading another individuals style of writing or perspective helps me develop thoughts and create the content that you read here.

That said, I hope some of you out there can relate to what I am talking about. If so, I'm here to tell you we can start a support group. Fellow Blogaholics, let me know which blogs inspire YOU.

Also, be sure to comment on blogs and let the authors know that you are there, that their content isn't falling amongst blind eyes and deaf ears.

Tweet about them or start your own blog and link the ones you love back in true Blogaholic fashion. Most of all, stand tall and stand proud. There are worse vices in life than being a Blogaholic.

Signing off,

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Lessons Learned-A Reflection On Entreprenuership and Life in General

Today is just one of those days. Yes, I am aware that it's 1/11/11 but I have a huge to-do list and I am making headway through it quickly yet it just does not feel fast enough.

I have not had coffee, I have 1,000 ideas running through my mind that I should probably write down but don't have time to right now.

But you know what?
I wouldn't have it any other way because I control my day, I control my time....I'm an aspiring entrepreneur and I am happy!

Me and some of my happy entrepreneurial/dream chasing friends. 11/10

Sure, attempting to work for oneself has it's pros and cons. Take starting this blog for example. Here I spent the last year working for an Internet company and thought I had learned enough to launch a blog that would have a great number of pageviews and blast off into successful cyberspace. Here I'd thought to myself "I really get Twitter and have a solid following there for my blog will appeal to people." Wrong! This blog is taking hard work however the effort is worth it to me.

Everyday I continue to learn something new. I have to create a new system, I have to hold myself accountable for my success or failure. I realize the value of my time, of planning, of not taking on too many things at once. More importantly, of continuing to promote myself while working on my dreams and goals so they don't fall by the wayside.

My past experiences and the manner in which I am approaching this blog reflect my growth. I have to get organized, real organized, more organized than I have ever been in my life which means "using my iCal and synching it to my phone" kind of organized so I can account for every minute.

After all this time, I now know my worth. As I explore the possibility of entrepreneurship and try to make a business plan, I know I provide value to the "right" company and the "right" client that sees it. I am not Walmart, I am not Neimans. I am me (and I never thought I'd compare myself to retail stores but a girls gotta do to what a girls gotta do to prove her point, haha).

The Jaclyn Of All Trades Design Collection. Just Kidding.
Designing these (my drawings are on the right) was a fun creative outlet.

I am also a creative person. If I don't have a creative outlet and utilize it, I am not happy (hence why I love Tumblr). Sure, I can sit behind my Mac book all day and crank out a bunch of great tasks for really talented people. But that would not help me fulfill my personal passions. So I need to write, dance, take an Improv comedy class, you get the gist of it.

This is my life. What are you doing with yours? Are you an entrepreneur or just wanting to follow your dream? Are unsure of the next step you need to take to get there?
What makes you want to get out of bed everyday and live? Do you have an attitude of gratitude or is something missing?

Ask yourself these questions then take a step, whatever it may be. Start a blog, take a class, travel somewhere new. You control your outcome, you control your day, you control your life so enjoy it and best of all, be free!!!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Jac(k) Of All Trades Syndrome

Hello and happy new year. I hope 2011 is starting off great for everyone so far. With this "beginning" often come new goals. Naturally, I am curious to learn of everyone's new year resolutions so please, do tell.

I have a few myself, one of which is overcoming the Jaclyn Of All Trades stigma. What do I mean by that? I don't want to confuse you here, I will always be the Jaclyn of All Trades. But we all know how the saying goes, "Jack of All Trades, Master of NONE."

Personally, my saying is "The Jaclyn of All Trades gets the job done!"

In this day and age, isn't it safe to say that we are all Jacks of Trades? Entrepreneurs have to wear multiple hats and perform diverse functions when starting up their businesses. Employees I know that work for major corporations are doing the job of 2-3 people. Many actors I know start off as their own managers and handle their own PR. So, how can we successfully be Jacks of All Trades that get our jobs done and break down the negative association with being a professional multitasker (especially if this is the only way we can survive in business now a days)?

The following tips have worked for me, I hope they'll work for you too.

1) Find an area of expertise that you are knowledgeable in that also has some overlapping functionality. For me, social media is the best example I can provide to articulate this point. I can communicate, I can write, I can be creative and my work has a purpose--whether that's building a brand or developing potential customers for a company. I stick to digital since that is what I know and can measure not to mention that it's FUN.

2) Leverage your passions to help you professionally. I happen to love performing, writing, speaking. I use my writing skills to create quality content for the company's I work with (as well as for my blog.) Another great example of how I have done this is as follows: my third year living in LA, I did a lot of background acting where I observed directors, producers and underwent the casting process. Flash forward to a recent project I worked on-I casted, scripted and field produced 2 commercials for a company campaign. I lived, I learned, I applied my passion and skills and my former company benefited in the end by having a tangible product they could use to promote their brand.

3) This next one is important. Finish your projects and tasks through to completion. Sure, it's great to be busy and to have a booming client roster. However, if all you can do is start projects and not follow them through to completion, you keep the "Jack of All Trades" stigma alive. Get organized, plan your projects out in phases with specific targeted goals, meet your deadlines and most of all finish what you start.

These tips have worked for me, especially while working under tight deadlines and wearing multiple hats. I don't mind being a Jaclyn Of All Trades, multitasking is my specialty. Granted, remaining adaptable while being pulled in a few different directions and managing long term goals is NOT for everyone career wise. Sometimes it can be stressful but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Thanks for reading this, feel free to share with others and also comment. I'd love to hear from you.

Signing off,

The Jaclyn of All Trades