Wednesday, October 17, 2012

FOCUS! By Reneé Lowe

Nothing gets done when you don't do what the picture says huh?

Every now and then we all need to slow down and focus on one aspect of what we want to accomplish.  In the PR and media world, it's easy to get burned out over a short period of time and then nothing gets done at all! 

I am notorious for working on campaign projects, driving straight forward until they are complete.  I have several jobs to juggle and all of them require tons of attention, or they fall to the wayside. I see a PR opportunity in EVERYTHING! I laugh to myself, because it's pretty sickening actually.  I am a born business hustler and I cut straight to the chase, sometimes to the chagrin of some of my business partners. In the end, they know I am trustworthy and use a values-driven approach, so I guess you can say I get a pass. 

As women in communications, we don’t always have to be sweet as pie, but we must be professional.  Efficiency is the key, when a job needs to be done and a quota met.  We can listen to what others have to say, but we may not always agree with the other party. We must weed through the nuances of this business and make those tough calls.  We must be tough, but tactful.  A leader, but loving.  No-nonsense, but nurturing.  As a PR professional, tears cannot scare you or make you soft in the cockles of your heart...LOL!

Some may say that's cold, but I guess my approach is: Let's celebrate when the work is done  and the fruits of the labor are in front of us.  Here is an example: Have you ever attended a  wine harvest at the end of the growing season?  It is AMAZING! The growers literally celebrate the wine that was pressed from the grapes, as a result of a positive harvest.   There is nothing  wrong with acknowledging trials crossed along the way, but I have learned that you have to  stay FOCUSED on what you want ahead of you, simultaneously.  Think of it this way:  You are  running a race with hurdles that you need to jump over, would you stop to celebrate every time  you jumped over one of those hurdles? NO!  You would run and jump like your life depended  on it, making sure no one else could catch up to you.  Once you completed the race, you would  check your results and hopefully, you would be the winner!

As leading ladies in business, we need to keep in the loop of the latest technologies and what our competition is doing, but it must not be a distraction. FOCUS on your tasks and goals at hand.  When you keep changing your FOCUS with every new twist to keep up with the competition, nothing gets completed and projects begin to crumble.  We must prioritize what is most important in our companies and work towards those goals, because guess what? Those projects will still be there and they need us at 100%, not in burnout mode!  It's why race horses have blinders on, to stay FOCUSED at the race in front of them.  Being a leader in the communications world does not mean you take on every project that comes to you. It means you do the projects that you are strong in and delegate the others where you are weaker.  It's just smart business!

Will you have days that you can't take it anymore and shut down? YES! Will you agonize over the media campaigns piling up? YES! Will you give up on some projects and feel guilty?  YES!  It's all in how you get back up and deal with the tasks at hand.  Never act as if all is well, when it is not, you may be blocking an opportunity for help, before it is even presented.  You have to start somewhere; you can't go knocking on the big business doors and expect magic to happen when you have not proven yourself.  You must build a visible track record of success, and that takes time.  As BOSS Ladies, it is often easy to get caught up in being a Jill-of-all-trades, but I find that when I maintain my FOCUS, I become a true master of my business!

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