I’m not sure, actually. I haven’t been on a real one for so long. Even when I was the VP of another firm I just couldn’t break away. I think it’s my fault for a number of reasons—the most important one being that I am addicted to my work on some deep level (and that’s probably not good). Also, there is a lingering sense of guilt when I go away, that somehow I am leaving people in the lurch (I’m not, my top management has things in hand and my absence only gives them an opportunity to stretch).
So, how can I get rid of this sinking feeling when I haven’t checked my blackberry for an hour, or see that I have a missed call from the office? Is this just an inflated sense of self worth? Not sure. But I do know this is something I’m going to need to work out, especially as we grow. Just like anyone else who is expanding a career, we business owners need to recognize when our role is shifting. It’s a bit of a struggle since we’re so used to being “in the mix,” but re-engineering our focus is critical for any kind of growth. So, vacations. Hmmm… Maybe I’ll actually have one, one day.
My agency recently did a presentation for a potential client and it was a new experience for me. Generally, we are in the business of selling. If we aren’t selling ideas to clients we are selling stories to journalists or bloggers. That’s just the deal and if you don’t like it, then you’re definitely in the wrong business. Now understanding how best to sell is an art unto itself. I recently had someone tell me I needed to study up on this, and “they knew what they were talking about because they had been trained by Martha Stewart.” She has been selling her concepts quite successfully for years so they probably do know a thing or two about selling. Guess I’d better brush up.
But that’s what was so interesting about this meeting we recently had. Three of my top VPs were leading the presentation and I have to say, there wasn’t a lot of selling going on. I’d never experienced this before because I tend to be verbose and a bit loud (I’m Italian, though you wouldn’t know it, everyone thinks I’m Swedish). Yet here they were, quietly making a point, a good one, and everyone was really connecting with the presentation. I’m sure this sounds like a “duh” moment. Yes, Val, you don’t have to be loud to make a point. But it was an eye opener. So, I’m going to try it. Speak softly but carry a big stick. Where there’s a “calm” will there’s a way. Ok, enough. But you get the point. Keep it real and keep it relaxed…