Making room for the new, good stuff

Today’s post has changed shape and form numerous times in the past 24 hours – but there are three key themes that are consistent:  fire hose, repositioning and “bright shiny object syndrome”.  Huh? Let me explain.

In my last post, I wrote about shuffling down life’s buffet table to plant myself in front of the “let’s help food companies with Twitter” section.  All was good, things began to take shape, prospects appeared, personal chef clients stayed in hiding.

Then the FIRE HOSE let loose!  No kidding, in the next 24 hours I would be:

  • bombarded with introductions to more than five different food companies that are interested in help with social media (my ultimate goal!)
  • taking calls from several people about Twitter in general so they could tell me how they have it “handled” on their own (gee thanks)
  • handed two potential personal chef/catering clients (read: bright shiny objects)
  • overwhelmed with a multitude of my colleagues’ messages  and Tweets of support/congratulations (thank you)
  • given great content and direction from a proven sales coaching pro
  • soaking up great wisdom from a brilliant, strategic PR professional who gave me my next big idea (so unexpected and gracious of her!)

firehoseWhew – talk about drinking from a fire hose! My head has been spinning as I try to make sense of all the opportunity and sort through the priorities.  The problem, if there is one, that so much time is spent reacting that I don’t have time to be proactive and DO THE WORK!

Now I’m not suggesting that I “have it made” now, by any means.  I would even go as far to say this hasn’t resulted in one red cent – yet.  But the seeds are planted, possibilities are growing and the word is spreading.  Are there any more clichés I could use to express my excitement?!

This flurry of activity came after an afternoon walk on my Edmonds beach, where ideas typically “show up” and I get clarity on so many things I didn’t even know I needed answers for – all while supposedly picking up beach glass!

cruise optThe new analogy I discovered on the beach was that my new business direction was akin to a repositioning cruise – say what? That’s when the cruise lines move their ships from one port to another (say, Alaska to the Caribbean) at the change of season and have the challenge of fewer passengers due to the one-way voyage, odd itineraries and lack of port visits.  However, the advantages for the passengers are much lower prices, more time at sea and a relaxed leisurely trip.

So I figured – food companies that hire me right now (at the beginning of my voyage) for their social media advising are going to get a great deal (financially and energetically) as I “reposition” my business. While I may not have a set course (who does in this new world?) and make all the customary tours, I am going to give them a terrific, value-packed ride through exciting territory while we cruise through this changing sea of social media!  To wit, companies will embark from one port (maybe where they aren’t very visible) and we will sail to a brand new exciting port (where they have new followers, engaged customers and everyone knows their name)!  I have no doubt these companies will get far more value that they ever expected – what do you think?!

brightshinybldg_optSo, what about that bright shiny object syndrome (BSOS)?  Well I wrote about BSOS in my other blog this week, on the Seattle Women & Business Examiner site.  The gist is that as I began to pull away from personal chef work towards social media, the “bright shiny objects” came flying in to distract me, and take my eyes off the direction I wanted to.  And maybe that’s how repositioning cruises started, come to think of it…but I digress.

This week’s BSO’s came in a relatively harmless-looking package, appearing to be financially rewarding and worthy of my time.  In fact, they were even posing as “helpers”, to pay the bills while I chased after this new business venture of mine – ha!  These were opportunities to do small catering gigs, which are really not my expertise, but they were flashing dollar signs at me.  I could do the events fairly easily, make a few bucks, and be done – much easier than the kind of energy I had to put in with ongoing personal chef clients.

But I quickly recalled the lessons learned last week from my “lifeline” friends – this is not the direction I’m going!  I had to remember that if I want to make room for the new business (social media), I can’t keep hanging out in the old ‘hood (cooking every day!). And while it pained me to pass up the catering opportunity, it was a relief to be rid of the stress, planning and energy I would expend – which would ultimately take time from my emerging passion to help food companies use social media in exciting new ways.

To sum it all up, what I’ve learned these past few days is that you have to reposition yourself away from the bright shiny objects when the fire hose cuts loose – no joke!

So tell me what you think about all these signs I keep getting and the direction my repositioning cruise is headed – I’m all ears!

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5 Responses to “Making room for the new, good stuff”

  1. Sven Mogelgaard August 5, 2009 at 8:08 am #

    I, too, am running into this. Not so much finding a new direction but a different one that will help me grow my business. Any way you slice it you’re going to find yourself struggling to change direction. In my case I want to continue what I’m doing while broadening my horizons. Yet the demands of the current business keep getting in the way. And, as you say, the promise of paying the bills with BSOs is a terrific distraction. Having employees means I have to pick up as many BSOs as possible. My strategy is to inform and empower my “kids” while I focus on the new horizon. I hope to create new BSOs the the kids can pick up and run with. Perhaps there is someone you can partner with to handle the BSOs while you pursue your new direction?

  2. Karen Rosenzweig August 5, 2009 at 8:27 am #

    Great idea Sven! A partnership would be great and help another person – I’ll give that some thought!

  3. Diane Easley August 6, 2009 at 7:22 pm #

    The direction you are going seems rich with promise and energy. I encourage you to ask for what you want, be still, listen for an answer and then act! You are in a powerful place and bright shiny objects are just little gems to entice you to keep going in the direction of you heart.

  4. Clay August 7, 2009 at 10:10 pm #

    Karen, I enjoyed your first posts. You’ve got a future as a blogger. In regards to your postings, it is truly painful to give up the known for the still- unformed new direction. Keep the faith, ignore the shiny objects and prevail. BTW I enjoyed our conversationsd at the recent Taste and Tweet at El Gaucho Bellevue — fun wasn’t it?

  5. Wasabi Prime September 2, 2009 at 2:36 pm #

    Go Team Shiny Objects. I’m feeling a similar pull towards social networking and all the new, unique opportunities out there. It really is a brave new world that’s emerging, giving industrious individuals great opportunity for influence. I keep up with your Tweets and your blog since we met at the Taste and Tweet months ago, and I think you’re doing a great job, pioneering ahead! Love the UHF reference by the way — a good analogy for independent minds forging ahead!

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