Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Another "Jac" Of All Trades Joins Jaclyn Mullen Media: Meet Jackie Carbajal

Well folks, it's been awhile. As a matter of fact, it's been too long since we last blogged. But there have been a lot of developments in the summer air (and there will be plenty more developments as we breeze into fall).

Our client roster is growing, our skill set is expanding, heck--we're even moving into an office November 1st! None of these changes would be possible without our clients.....or you.....or the people who help the moving parts "move along" on a daily basis.

Enter Jackie Carbajal, the new (and very first) Creative Designer at Jaclyn Mullen Media. Jackie brings her wit, design skills and humor to the team. We're happier, healthier (being less stressed is a good thing) and we want you to get to know a little bit more about the other "Jacqueline of all trades"!

Name: Jacqueline Carbajal
Age: 23
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Astrological Sign: Aquarius
Favorite Color: "Black is such a happy color!"- Morticia Addams

On a daily basis, you can't live without which three brands:

1. Apple aka my iPhone, which has grown into my arm.
2. My Michael Kors Purse and the contents which it holds. I give Mary Kate Olsen and other bag ladies a run for their money.
3. Pete's Coffee/Starbucks/Coffee Bean. Anywhere that I can get coffee. I can't live without coffee

Which social networking platform are you addicted to? Why?

Twitter, Twitter and more Twitter. I like having a forum that I can express my internal dialogue without the commentary from Facebook.

What excites you about working for Jaclyn Mullen Media?

The idea that it is such a current job, meaning that this line of work didn't exist 15 years ago. I am excited about using social media in order to spread "word of mouth" about companies and helping them flourish. It's exciting to work for someone who is living her dream because she inspires me to pursue mine.

Where do you want to be in 5 years?

I would like to be living in New York City as a freelance designer and gallery owner with my dog Teddy.

Which do you prefer: photo posts or text posts? Why?

I enjoy photos from artists and designers: they allow me to see their current work. However, I love a good laugh so twitter posts from comedians really make my day.

Favorite place on earth:
Difficult question, I have 3.
1. Yosemite, the most beautiful place on Earth.
2. Disneyland, the happiest place on Earth.
3. MOMA, I could days looking at art and new exhibits.

Goal you are most excited to fulfill in this new role:
To create an identity for myself and learn the aspects of running a successful business.

Plug for your Twitter and Tumblr.




Alright folks, look for more J and J collaborations including our Startups and Stilettos™ LOGO! 

Let us know what you think! You can always comment or connect with us at Facebook.com/jaclynmullenmedia

Monday, May 21, 2012

Meet Our Team: Michelle Lock, A Miami Hurricane, Joins Jaclyn Mullen Media From China

There's an old saying, "Ask and you shall receive."  Apparently, it's really true because we'd been saying we wanted some extra support and well, we got it when we least expected it! With that said, Jaclyn Mullen Media is international thanks to our team member, Michelle Lock. 

Michelle just finished her freshman year at The University of Miami. In her spare time, she has contributed to the school paper and even helped with Facebook strategy for the University of Miami Memes. 

And in the 2012-2013 school year, Michelle will serve as treasurer for the Public Relations Student Society of America. Here's some additional info on Michelle. She's been with us for one week so far and we appreciate her work and insight into the international use of the Internet.

1) Name: Michelle Lock
    Age: 18
    Hometown: Shanghai, China
    Astrological Sign: Scorpio
    Favorite Color: Sky Blue

2) On a daily basis, you can't live without which three brands: I cannot live without caribbean passions from Jamba Juice, my Apple Macbook Air, and Frosted Strawberry Poptarts!

3) What do you love about social networking? I love how I can connect with friends from everywhere all around the world! Without social media like Facebook, I probably wouldn't be keeping in touch with old friends and talking to as many people as I do now.

4) Why did you want an internship with Jaclyn Mullen Media? I wanted an internship with Jaclyn Mullen Media because there are an infinite amount of possibilities. And who better to have my first internship with then with a fellow 'Cane! :)

5) Where do you want to be in 5 years? New York City!

6) How is social media different in China than in US culture? It is so different! The biggest difference is that Facebook and Twitter are blocked, so I have to use proxies to get around the censorship. There is a Chinese social media platform like Facebook though, that people here use. Social media isn't as portable as it is in the US. Everywhere, people are on Facebook or tweeting about things on their phones all the time. However, here in China, it has mostly stayed on computers.

7) Favorite musician/group. Why? I love Lady Gaga! Because she isn't afraid to be different.

8) Goal you are most excited about fulfilling through your internship this summer. I am most excited about building my own personal brand and establishing my online presence!

To keep up with Michelle, and help her build her online presence, please follow her on Twitter @michelleytlock

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Employment Vs. Entrepreneurship

Sleeping in late, working when you feel like it, less stress. These are not characteristics of entrepreneurship however, they can be common misconceptions about the self-employed lifestyle. 

And while entrepreneurship does have perks like being your own boss, it also requires a certain personality type. 

You have to be organized, self motivated, focused, disciplined and determined to make it! You also have to be able to sacrifice luxuries and any notion of disposable income in the formative years of your business.

As a matter of fact, on a recent trip, I had a very candid conversation with a friend of mine; a former entrepreneur who has recently found happiness in the corporate world. And we couldn’t help but chuckle at the motivations for our distinctive paths--she (professional woman) vs me (entrepreneur).

Professional Woman
-Entrepreneurship provided a lot of creativity but it consumed a lot of creative energy too. How so? There was the creativity of bootstrapping a business budget, exploring various advertising revenues in addition to religiously growing a consumer base.
-A steady salary, 401k and health benefits are nice! They sure beat waiting on money to come in then crossing your fingers that you cover costs. Oh and they sure beat hoping that you have a little left over to pay yourself.
-Working for a corporation allows you the budget to be creative. If there is a necessary expenditure to help meet the end goal, it’s covered in a synch.
-It’s nice to have a life and not work, work, work and work some more.

On the flip side, here is what I had to say regarding the benefits of entrepreneurship.

The benefits of Entrepreneurship/Self Employment
-Mobility! Hands down this is the number one reason I work for myself. I need to be able to pick up and go and bring my business with me. Most entrepreneurs would agree.
-Distaste for micromanagement, self-motivated. Nothing is more frustrating than having to wait on something or being told that vision may not work. You don’t know unless you are willing to try, trust and learn in the process. 
-Breakaway from cubicle confinement. Whether I work out of my home office, also referred to as my productivity palace, or the local coffee shop, a change in scenery leads to enhanced creativity. And that means I can think for my clients beyond the basic business boundaries. The 99% had a great blog post about this entitled, "Are You An Arm Chair Creative?"
-All the risk, all the reward. Yes, entrepreneurs forgo the initial perks of a steady salary, health benefits and 401k but if the risk you’ve made pays off, you reap all the reward! I’d rather bet 100% and yield 200% the get a 10% standard of living increase annually. How about you?

Bottom line.  Which do you prefer--employment of entrepreneurship?

What works best......You may try entrepreneurship and discover that it's not for you. (And that's ok). But if the ideas of building something from scratch and watching it grow, having geographic flexibility and having something to call your own melt your heart, then you may be fit for entrepreneurship. Of course you won't know for certain unless you try. And if all else fails, you're 401k will be waiting for you.

Got something to say? Feel free to post a comment below. Want more entrepreneurial advice and motivation? Visit http://www.facebook.com/jaclynmullenmedia

Saturday, April 7, 2012

D is for Decision Making (And Determination)

This is a catch-up post for a month long blog series called "The A to Z Challenge." D was Thursday's letter and on the Jaclyn Of All Trades blog, D stands for Decision Making (and determination to get caught up on this challenge).

I fell asleep early tonight. Long gone are the Saturday evenings where I stay out until 2:00 am and wake up sleep deprived on Sunday. These days and nights, I'm making decisions based upon what will serve my long term goals, not short-term satisfaction. 

Decisions: stay in, get at least 8 hours of sleep, drink plenty of water, workout 4-5 times per week, improve my business daily, blog, have a little fun a long the way while learning to lighten up a little. (I also decided to use my time wisely tonight since I woke up two hours after falling asleep and post this overdue blog!)

What about you? What are some of the decisions you are making for yourself? 

Personally, the thing I love about decision making is that it's an ongoing process, one we all face. So many decisions, so many outcomes. 

I "decided" to launch a business almost four years ago. I called it Momentum Marketing and Consulting because I wanted to convey a sense of urgency and speed around the work I was performing for my clients.

The only trouble was, I had no plan. I had no competitive market analysis. I had no help and I certainly had no idea how to make money. I can admit, I decided that as long as I covered my costs, I was in good shape which, in hindsight, was total business brain fail and that’s a tough pill to swallow!

But what I did learn from that particular decision was so valuable, which is why I am bringing up this topic here. I am frequently approached for advice on decision making especially as it pertains to business.

How do I build my online presence?
How do I make the most of a minimal budget?
How do I make money?
How do I determine who my customers are?

And my answer is that decision making in any facet of your life requires research in a couple of different capacities.

First, for decision making regarding a business, look into the industry you want to have a business in. Who are your competitors? What are their offerings? What are their prices?

This research isn’t a matter of replicating any of the above-mentioned things. It’s a matter of evaluating them to see what choices there are for the consumers. 

Next, decide on an initial budget for yourself. How much money are you working with? What are your top three most pressing needs? As an example, do you need a website? If so, those costs may be graphic design, website hosting and a copy writer. The same process can apply if you are deciding on a new workout routine or to even take a trip. Your budget is critical so clarify it.

Perhaps you can invest in a mastermind or collective group to get input and decision making advice from a diverse array of people.

Most importantly, you want to develop a plan. 

Are you writing a pros and cons list? 

Ultimately, when will you stop paralysis of analysis and move forward with a decision? 

Hold yourself accountable and write these things down on a piece of paper. I’m not saying your plan or approach won’t evolve but the more honest and clear you can be with yourself, the better your decision making process will be in the present and the future.

Photo Credit

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Is Being Competitive A Good Characteristic Or A Bad One

C is not for confession (although I am about to share something rather personal here). Here goes: I am a reality TV junkie.

Real Housewives of every city, The Voice, Celebrity Apprentice, Shark Tank. I’m not sure if it’s the crazy theatrics of the characters or the way the producers interweave adrenaline-fueled plot lines, but something has me hooked.

And all this reality TV watching isn’t a complete time drain, I actually do pick up a lot of helpful business insight from Shark Tank. Even Celebrity Apprentice shows me the type of leader I never want to be: unorganized, unfocused, narcicisstic.

No matter how different each of the shows I mentioned above may be from one another, there is a common element that they all share: competition! Who is the best, most dominant, most talented, smartest, wealthiest, most successful individual crossing the finish line first......everytime. 

And I must say, I have turned the other away from competition the vast majority of my adult life. The only person I have ever been interested in competing with is myself and that's hard enough thanks to my inner critic. She keeps me moving on to the next, bigger, better challenge constantly. 

So I have to ask, is being competitive a good characteristic or a bad one?

One could argue that the greatest athletes of time are competitive but they are also team players. True? False? 

And if we didn’t have competition in business or blogging, what would be the motivation to provide better service, better content and to stand out from the crowd?

I asked and I hope you answer because I’m having a "competition conflict." On the one hand, I want to be as successful as my life will permit, I want to win awards and be in the best shape of my life with a profitable business, loving relationship and gorgeous residence. Could it be that a lack of competitive nature is thwarting that?

On the other hand, I want to be happy and fulfilled, and grateful for all that I have in this very moment. And if you agree, I'd love to know how you think we can utilize competition to be a benefit, and not a detriment to those objectives. 

Monday, April 2, 2012

What Were You Born To Do?

 This is the second post for a month-long, alphabet inspired blog post series entitled “The A to Z Challenge.”
B is For Born: What Were You Born To Do 
“How did you become a watchmaker,” I asked my grandfather nearly three or four years ago. I was curious how someone from his generation, without having technical school or college at his disposal, pursued a profession that would eventually allow him to immigrate to 4 different countries, own two different businesses and fulfill the American Dream.

“My father owned a convenience store in Costanza, Romania,” he told me in his thick Armenian accent. “He was able to observe some of his most successful customers.” As it had turned out, it actually wasn’t a customer that ended up influencing my great-grandfather with regard to his son’s future profession; it was a neighbor.

My grandfather continued, “We had a very wealthy, Jewish neighbor in Romania, He was a jeweler. And so, my father asked if my brother and I could apprentice under him. The next day, we did.”

My grandfather’s future had been determined by one simple plea, by one simple request that could have easily been turned down! I found myself in awe of both my great-grandfather and the neighbor. What if my great-grandfather had never asked him to mentor his sons? What if, out of fear of the unknown, my grandfather turned down the opportunity to apprentice?

And what if these very things stand true for both your future and for mine? 
What things am I talking about? 
The act of asking, the act of believing and the act of being open to learning something new.

Ultimately I can say my grandfather was fortunate enough to do what he was born to do which extended so far beyond watchmaking. As an entrepreneur, he worked side by side with my grandmother reinforcing his strong value in family first. He was born to be a businessman, born to be a loving, faithful husband. He was born to be a father and a grandfather. He was born to let me place pink curlers in his hair and to teach me how to ride a bike. As of lately, he was born to be my honorary chairman of the board.

Today, on his 89th birthday, my grandfather was born in to the next life. I watched him go, I said goodbye and in the 45 minutes that I held his hand and listened to his breathing finally stop, a new me was born. One that will no longer bury my talents and passions below the surface, one that will not sell myself short out of the need to financially support myself, one that will lighten up and enjoy the journey without stressing that I can't get there fast enough.

And so I ask you; are you doing what you think you were born to do?  And if not, what are you going to do about it?

Ask. Believe. Be willing to learn something new. 

Hope that will help you as much as it’s helping me. Go out there and make your mark because one day, you will take your last breath and we should all be so lucky to have that happen on our 89th birthday. 

Like this blog post? I share inspirational and entrepreneurial advice M-F on my Facebook page. Feel free to Like http://www.facebook.com/jaclynmullenmedia

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A is for Advice; Are You Following Your Own?

I know it may sound like a silly question but how often does is it ring true. Are you following your own advice?

Why ask? Recently I interviewed a friend in HR regarding workplace delegation and integrating additional staff. I had pages upon pages of notes with really sound tips! I had so much information that I was able to create a blog post article and share it with the Twitterverse. But a funny thing happened. The very friend I interviewed tweeted me back with a message of thanks followed by a confession of clarity: “Perhaps I should take my own advice.”

I quickly echoed the same sentiments to myself. I have managed a staff of twenty before, I have hired and also fired employees. So, why was it so hard for me to follow my own advice and past experiences regarding building a team?

Haven't you ever noticed how a friend, co-worker or family member comes to us with a challenge and we objectively point out the actions they need to handle it in a matter of minutes? Ok, some scenarios may actually take a few hours to remedy but the point is we (from the outside) see clear, we see cause and effect; we see creative resolution.

Of course, when the tables are turned and we happen to be the ones in the “advice-seeking seat”, it’s hard for us to step back and apply the same approach to our challenges. For some reason, be it subconscious or just a matter of habit, we doubt our own guidance!

Instinctively we come up with a conclusion right away but then, the inner dialog kicks in. “No," we say to ourselves, "that couldn’t be right. Let’s see what Johnny says, what Cathy says, what Oprah says.” (I will admit, Oprah’s advice is usually pretty spot on!)

This can be said for business, exercise, relationships, eating right, following our goals. Then, we go on to collect so many opinions and perspectives that we either come back to our original conclusion or apply a hodge-podge solution derived from everyone else's ideas. But everyone else isn't you, they offer their perspectives based upon their experiences which may or may not fit your scenario.

Sometimes, the very source and problem solver we need lies within.

Inspired by recent events (and the A to Z blog challenge), I write about advice today because I’m a self-help, new age, self-educated junkie! And while I love my Tony Robbins mp3’s and entrepreneurial workshops and inspirational books, I want to remind us (yes, me+you) again that sometimes the very source and problem solver we need lies within.

What areas are you currently seeking advice in? I'll share mine if you share yours, I would love to hear from you!

Photo Credit

Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Eve of A To Z (There's So Much Anticipation, I Feel Like It's New Years Eve)

Today is the last day of March, 2012--one of the most life altering months I've undergone during my thirty years on this planet.

For one, I have experienced a huge shift and growth as an entrepreneur. I passed Hubspot's Inbound Marketing exam (it's official, I am a Certified Inbound Marketer, I do work hard to maintain the Jaclyn of All Trades title), I completed a "Build Your Business Online Bootcamp" (thanks Liz Dennery-Sanders), which, similar to exercise oriented bootcamps will need to be reviewed on a frequent basis. Gotta build up that business stamina to make it to Shark Tank someday.

This past month, I even published a few articles on my blog and other sites as a guest blogger. I connected with BizChickBlogs.com through Facebook and within a few days, wrote and published "What It Means To Be A Business Chick". I also signed myself up for a blog challenge I found through Twitter called the A to Z challenge where I will have 26 posts for the month of April, each corresponding with the letters of the alphabet.

Tomorrow, April 1st, is "A day" and I am excited to work my writing muscle. I admit, I'm not sure what I may post about the letter Z (feel free to offer some suggestions) but I'm trying to take it one day and one letter at a time.

My anticipation at the unknown seems to be a common theme for 2012. In addition to all of the professional accomplishments I have outlined here, there have been some personal challenges too. The first week of March, I got a call from my aunt in Florida advising me that my 82 year old grandmother had fallen very ill and was only given a few days to live. Now I must disclose that my relationship with my grandmother was one of the most sacred connections I had in my family. We were more like mother and daughter, best friends, buddies. By Tuesday March 6th, I was on a red eye flight from LAX to PBI (with a brief layover in NY). Grandma had been given four days to live.

I boarded my flight that evening, as I had often done flying, only this time I was in a daze. I drank a glass (or two) of red wine to calm my nerves. Then, at 5:00 in the morning or so, about 40 minutes prior to landing at JFK for my layover, I became increasingly sick to my stomach. Panic took over as I hopped out of my seat and headed to the back of the plane. I managed to tell a stewardess that I felt faint all before I woke up on the floor of the plane! That was the first time I ever fainted on a flight. Talk about perfect comedic material. To recover, I sat in the back of the plane, on the floor, ice pack around my neck, chugging Sprite and eating mini chocolate chip cookies. I kissed the ground when I finally landed in West Palm Beach, FL.

A day later on March 8th, at 9:09 pm, I held my grandmother's hand and watched her take her very last breath. It was a moment that will remain with me for the rest of my life. I felt honored, I felt heartbroken, I felt a new sense of urgency around our time here on earth. Death even took on a new perspective in my mind. It seemed a lot less scary and my fear of dying, along with all the stresses of being self employed, the frustration of being single, the self doubt at my ability to be the success I aspire to be, died too.

As I write this post now, on the eve of April 1st, my grandfather is in his final stages of life. After 66 years of marriage to my grandmother, he cannot go on without her. It has pained me this past three weeks to see him heartbroken yet it has been a privilege for me to wake up with him in the middle of the night, to tuck him in to bed, to watch Dancing With The Stars with him.

And so I dedicate this A to Z challenge to my grandparents, Adriane and Katch. The very two people who taught me as immigrants, entrepreneurs, lovers, role models and grandparents that we should face our challenges daily and rise to the occasion. Right now, the last thing I want to do is push myself, to go on without them, to break out of the awkward shell I've been in this past three weeks watching my loved ones leave this life. But this blog challenge is a great metaphor! I realize that our life stages are like the alphabet. You can't jump from A to D, let alone from A to Z. It just doesn't work that way. There is beauty in the sequence, in the order, in the progression from one letter on to the next.

No two letters are alike, no two lives are alike. And I know that no two blog posts in this challenge will be alike. I may blog about business, I may blog about disappointments in love, I may blog about my personal and professional aspirations. Who knows what will come as I connect my brain -----> to my heart-----> to this keyboard to the alphabet.

So, sit back and relax this April as I take you with me from A to Z. And if you feel so inclined or inspired, take the plunge and go on a 26 day journey from A to Z on your own.

How did your March shape up? I want to know. Post a comment in the section below. If you want to challenge yourself, start your comment with the letter A.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Stepping Out With Startups and Stilettos™: Meet Stacy Reid, Founder of TINte Cosmetics

Startups. Some people see them in the technical sense, I see them in the goal setting sense. Personal profit, professional profit--I"ll leave the category up to you. Starting something new is never an easy task. It takes clarity, planning, execution and determination.

Stilettos. My devotion to the fictional series Sex and The City has led me to appreciate the feminine power and pizzaz of a great pair of heels (even if the ones on my manicured feet happen to be a size 10). 

Startups and Stilettos™: Women digging in, defining their lives, designing their outcome regardless of shoe size, geographical location, religion, race, marital status, even.....salary. 
After multiple spa, wine and traveling induced confessions from friends and female strangers alike about stagnation in life, I decided to listen to my intuition and begin what I believe will ultimately be my life's purpose: to create a community where women (single or married, employed or entrepreneur, fitness enthusiast or fitness rebellion) could be inspired to start something...whatever objective or goal their heart desired but their mind was lacking confidence in. And so, Startups and Stilettos™ was born. 

Luckily, I didn't have to search far and wide to find the initial Startups and Stilettos members. As a matter of fact, Stacy Reid, founder of TINte Cosmetics was one of the first to "jump in her pumps" at the idea of joining Startups and Stilettos.
No stranger to starting over herself, Stacy's story proves that the best things can happen when you're willing to let go and start anew. 

SO, congrats to our very first FEATURED Sole Sister, Stacy Reid. To honor Stacy (and allow you to pick up a smooch or two about entrepreneurship), we inquired about her personal startups and stilettos story. In response she created, and sealed with a kiss the storyboard below. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Roundup Of Baby and Business Advice For Female Entrepreneurs From Recent Guest Post Contributions

I have a toddler--she is 15 months old, growing leaps and bounds everyday and is definitely changing before my very eyes at an unstoppable rate. Development is a beautiful thing to watch and I can assure you, parenting takes commitment, focus, dedication, nurturing and hard work.

You see, my 15 month old baby is my business.

How many female entrepreneurs can relate to my analogy?

We start off with an idea inclusive of a product or service, we establish pricing and promotions. Then we deliver that idea and watch it take on a life of it's own. Anyone up for a business baby shower? I sure could use an iPhone!

At my 15 month milestone, I can't help but look back and say, "Wow, where did the time go" which is often (quickly) followed by "Wow, so this is what the future holds." And while I haven't had to change any diapers for this particular "child", I have had to change a lot of other variables including my evolving business model, my organizational skills and even my thinking!

As a creative, I struggle between art, thinking outside of the box and interpretation vs, STRATEGY, SEO, and more STRATEGY but I manage the best hybrid approach for me (although it's taken some mastery). Practice makes perfect when changing diapers, rocking a baby to sleep and crafting your target market, business belief statement and revenue streams, year after year.

Fortunately, there has never been a better time for women in business. And whether we have children of our own or "business babies", we can all benefit from swapping stories and exchanging advice to ensure we create the most well-rounded, happy, pleasant.....legacies, whether they are children or businesses which stand for our values and contributions to the world. 

That said, here are some wise words I've learned along the way as I shift from newborn to the infancy stage. Each have been contributed to various guest blog posts over the past year.

If home is where the heart and office are wake up, change it up and punch in just a little bit before or right at 9:00 am.  

As I mentioned in Karen Leland's Two-Work-From-Home-Danger-Zones-And-How-To-Beat-Them article on HuffingtonPost.com, "The flexibility of working from home can sometimes alter your sense of urgency to get up and going by 9 a.m., but the more organized and structured you start off, the more likely you are to complete your projects on time and without errors."

And if you are working from home, most likely it's so you can save that money, honey. Here's what I suggest you do to Sacrifice For Your Startup Without Stressing.
Pick one thing you will allow yourself to keep as an incentive. Mine happens to be Starbucks coffee. I need one cup daily and I am not willing to cut that out. But that high-priced hair cut? Adios. I go to a beauty school instead and my hair is fine. What is your money must? The one thing that doesn’t give you a pit in your stomach or make you compute just how many hours you had to work in order to buy it? Allow yourself one money must a month. ONE. No more, no less.

Practice the “P” word daily. Positivity. There will be moments when you are fearful, stressed out and downright tired. But you would likely feel those things in your corporate career, too. Each morning, write down three talents you are thankful you possess. Remind yourself about your long-term goals and how the power of positivity will help you fulfill them.

These are some of my suggestions but I'd love to hear yours, too. What business advice can you pass along that you've learned over the past few days, months, years? Is your business the same as when you first "delivered it" to the marketplace?  

Feel free to post your advice in the comments section below or join this conversation on the Jaclyn Mullen Media Facebook page--http://www.jaclynmullenmedia.com  

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Well, Hello Blog. It's Great To Meet Again. Today's Topic? Why Delegating For Your Small Business is SUPER Important.

The last time I blogged was in December, which may not be a big deal to some of you but it's a very big deal for me.

I feel like a hypocrite. 

I mean, I consult small businesses on the importance of creating and communicating content yet, I haven't created any blog posts in almost two months. (Well, I did enter a contest via a writing entry and I won. You can read "Breakfast and Business: The Power Of My Potential" here).


Because I, too, am a small business owner. Actually, a solopreneur to be precise. And I've known for months now that I've needed extra hands in the form of interns and a virtual assistant yet I have not taken those steps for my business.

(This photo is from 2 years or so...not much has changed, except now I have an iPad in my arsenal, too)

Second WHY of the day coming right up.

WHY HAVE I POSTPONED obtaining extra help? Because delegating, as well as the preparation for delegating tasks, requires a whole other level of responsibility--one I've been shying away from with Jaclyn Mullen Media out of fear and a hesitancy to change my day to day operations.

RESPONSIBILITY. Most of us truly learned of this word when we got our drivers permits or babysat for the first time. One wrong turn of the wheel and we'd drive over a curb or hit a mailbox like I did once. One look away while watching little Jimmy John and he's out the door. Whatever the lesson was, it taught us that our actions have consequences, both good and bad. If you want less of the bad consequences, the premise was you had to increase your responsibility. Makes sense.

So, why is it that so many entrepreneurs (small business owners, solopreneurs and established business owners alike) postpone delegating tasks and put off the extra responsibility of helping hands?

What is the true fear around additional responsibilities?

Well, for one delegating tasks requires that the chief in charge has to stop and step back. YOU MEAN, HAULT THE MONEY MACHINE IN MOTION? Yes. And I for one have used this excuse along with many other business owners I've connected with. We're too busy servicing clients, looking for new business and tweeting and blogging to really map out a plan. RIGHT?

WRONG. No longer. Not for me. And hopefully not for you. With that said, today, we're going to focus on "How To Prepare For Delegating Tasks And Expanding Your Team."
  1. It's likely that you are spending time on tasks that really don't generate the  most return for you as the owner.  Have you attended a networking event? Want to import all the contacts in a CRM and connect with them on Linkedin? Important, yes. But probably not the most effective use of your time as the owner/operator of your enterprise. Tasks like these are perfect for delegating to an intern or assistant. Data entry, filing, organizing, documenting.
  2. Determine what tasks you should continue performing. Julie Lacouture from Mom Corps LA had this to say about delegating tasks to other employees/team members: "What is it that NO ONE ELSE CAN DO but you? Write these things down and be honest with yourself." Sending an email is one thing but closing sales deals or interfacing with the media--whatever your strengths may be--are the kind of tasks we're talking about here. AGAIN, what is it that you and only you can.....do. Now that you have a clear idea what you and only you can do, examine the other tasks you are performing that a team member can maintain. Spreadsheets of local networking events, prospects, emails, client services, appointment setting--someone else within your organization can assume these roles. 
  3. Develop Job/Project Descriptions. What are the goals of your business? Your clients? How do your tasks fulfill those? One of the last things to do before you begin your talent/team search is creating a clear picture through job and project descriptions with regard to what each role entails. How frequently should client reports be generated, benchmarks be measured? What is the policy for time tracking? What type of authority do these individuals have, i.e must all final client and company communications be signed off on or does this team member have discretion? Compile guidelines and job descriptions to help manage expectations all across the board and ensure dynamic delegation! 
These are my tips (which I hope to implement). Of course, many more exist. If you have a delegation success story or strategy to share, please feel free to include it in the comments section below.

And if you haven't done so already, I invite you to connect with my growing community on Facebook where I try to keep you inspired, informed and interested. http://www.facebook.com/jaclynmullenmedia

It's back to work for the Jaclyn Of All Trades. Here's to being bitten by the blogging bug, once again. I'll surely never delegate that!