I began doing some occasional work for a woman who started her own Marketing Consulting company. I’m putting a marketing plan together for one of her clients – a Pilates studio owner. I like Marketing – kind of. There’s way more to it than that. What I like is understanding what people are trying to solve for and what makes them tick. Why did this business woman decide to buy a Pilates Studio (and not give up her day job)? What’s she most excited about? How would she define success a year from now, 3 years from now? What kind of environment does she want to create for her employees and her clients? Why should her clients choose her Studio over another? Share your vision with me and from there I can help create a “marketing” plan – if that’s what you want to call it – to help you get there.
Same goes for my Marketing Consulting company owner… why does she have this company? What does she love? How is she setting herself up to focus on the parts of running this business that she loves while delegating or minimizing the stuff she doesn’t love, doesn’t know or doesn’t care to learn? We started to talk about some of these things… but now I’ve slipped into helping her with something specific – the marketing plan for the Pilates chick – rather than helping her be strategic with the company as a whole. Hmmm. Not sure how I feel about that.
There’s a boy working at the company who’s got graphic design and online technical skills. We worked together more today than in past weeks. I asked him when he graduated high school. 2012. Hmmm. Same age as Drey. Yes, he plays soccer, too. I caught myself staring at him – the back of his head and neck. I know – I sound like some weird stalker lady. He didn’t look like Drey from the front. Their faces are different. But he did from the back. My mind would drift off while he was talking to me. What would Drey be doing if he were alive? Would Drey be as confident as this young man in a work environment like this? No one there knows I have a son. Had a son? Have a son in heaven. They don’t know anything about my personal life. Learning how my grief coexists with the rest of my life is an interesting journey. Listening to people, what’s important to them, what frustrates them. My lens is completely changed. I’m more curious. I’m more humble. I’m much more in tune with discovering what’s at the root than I ever have been. As I get out and do more I’m slowly finding what fits the “new me” and what doesn’t. God is definitely teaching me patience through this.
Next Tuesday I have another speaking engagement… the topic is suicide. And on Wednesday I’m meeting with State Representative Anielski for breakfast… again the topic is suicide. I’ve met so many people in the suicide community. I’ve learned the environment is just as dysfunctional as any other… meaning there are a handful of non-profit organizations and it isn’t always clear where one organization ends and the other begins. I would like to work with every one of the organizations and help them learn to work together to divide and conquer. The synergy that could come by combining the resources excites the shit out of me. Everyone in the same room, learning to work together. Then ongoing communication – sharing of learns. We should all come together with this goal in mind: Ohio will provide the best in class suicide prevention, awareness, education and postvention services. How will we measure this? ZERO suicides in 2014. How’s that for a goal? AND AND AND what we do has to be scalable… and easily replicated.
Direct my paths, Lord. I’ll continue to put one foot in front of the other but please, direct my paths.