Life of Letter 10

marketing, design, travel, and my thoughts

Archive for March, 2009

Too Many Hats to Count…good or bad?

I am not sure what made me think of this right now but it might have something to do with the work I get to start doing tomorrow. When I graduated from Northeastern State University with a degree in Mass Communications I was expecting to work as a public relations specialist somewhere writing press releases and dealing with crisis management or promotion maybe.

Almost 8 years ago I took a job I found in the newspaper as the communications manager for a national professional association. I was confident I could do anything that was asked of me not matter what the task and up to this point I have come very close to succeeding. Sure there have been certain things come up that I have had no idea how to do and for that I have found another source but I have learned to wear so many hats that as I stop to think about it…it really is crazy.

Before starting this job I had built one very simple and amateur website, I had designed one magazine, I had some several promotional designs, I had organized a lot of special events and worked on the planning of several large conferences. I had written for a newspaper, done some public speaking, and just gotten a degree which I affectionately refer to as a “BA in BS” so I a wide spread knowledge base.

Little did I know that in 8 years I would design and publish 30+ magazines, design & maintain very large websites, plan remote conferences around the country, do audio/visual set ups, write marketing plans, develop marketing strategies, learn association management skills, sell advertising and corporate sponsorships, work on IT problems, set up small networks, develop advertising campaigns, design promotions for grammy winners, develop logos for start up corporations, and teach educational sessions on technology and marketing, set up and execute photoshoots as both the director and photographer, do press kits for aging actors, do concert posters for young start up musicians, and develop websites for companies in New Jersey that I am not even sure how they found me (I am sure some other things got lost in the mix there).

While I like not getting bogged down in doing one thing for my whole life I am starting to get so spread out I am not sure what I am doing from one day to the next. I am sure it is just the weather this week and the fact that it is supposed to snow this weekend that made me feel this way or it could have been the sales push I did this morning before I had to do website edits, then talk with a printer about our magazine just before my meeting to learn how to interact our current website with a new server-side integration, and then the sending out of a promotional push through our social networking sites.

Having to change focus that many times in 8 hours can definitely start to confuse you a little!

J

Seriously?

Okay…maybe I am missing the boat on something but shouldn’t there be a part of every American that wants the president to do a good job? I understand not liking the policies or not liking the politics of one party or the other but for people to come out with wishes of failure seem about as counter productive as you can get!

Think about what that means for us all…if we have a political system that we are wishing to fail. How in the world will that benefit anyone? Seriously…I want to know. I can see where you might not want parts of a bill to pass or you might not agree with certain aspects because I am right there with you. I don’t want socialized medicine either! I understand that it will cause a decrease in the quality of care for those of us that actually have insurance and pay our bills…I get it. I don’t want taxes to increase either…hell, I pay more than my share! I understand that you don’t want to bail out businesses, I don’t either!

But all that aside I truly hope that this president, the next president, and all future presidents are successful in running the country! I will never jump on a boat that is destined to sink and I wouldn’t think anyone would want to be a part of a country that starts wishing failure on its leaders before they even have a chance to get going! Come on people!

I didn’t vote for the guy either but I want him to be successful…BECAUSE THAT MEANS AMERICA IS SUCCESSFUL!

J

March Madness

Okay so the last couple of days are probably the least productive work days of the year! Yesterday I joined some friends at a local pub for lunch. Of course with basketball going on this turned into a long lunch! For them it turned into an all afternoon lunch. While I am working from home today so I have been able to do a lot of my website edits while watching the games I can still imagine that most sports bars and restaurants are packed at lunch time so everyone can catch some of the big games. Those friends mentioned above were already planning on just taking the second half of today off. At least they planned it this time!

So any sports fan has to love this time of year…these are some of the most compelling and interesting games anyone will ever watch and they happen every March. The teams change, the players change and the coaches change but it never fails to give us great games, cinderella stories, and amazing performances.

Cheers to March Madness! We love the NCAA Tournament no matter who plays and for the most part no matter who wins, because for 2 days each year at least lunch has some excitement beyond what we are going to eat!

J

A Really Tough Post

Yesterday afternoon Chandler, Oklahoma, lost a great man. Mark Howard passed away yesterday and I lost a coach, a mentor, and a friend. Coach Howard was one of those figures in a person’s life that indirectly influences decisions you make and the way you make them. He came to Chandler in 1987 as an energetic young coach and science teacher and fit in immediately with a very close knit town. He brought a sense of discipline with his energy and was one of the best examples of hard work a young person could ever have. Mark spent countless hours working to turn a windy pasture into one of the best high school baseball facilities in the state. He taught kids of all ages to take pride in what they have and to work hard to keep it top notch. I watched my brother play baseball for Coach Howard and I understood at a young age what was going on. I understood the routine that went into practices and I could see how that was developing kids that just liked baseball into young men that loved and respected the game as well as themselves and their school. Mark instilled a sense of pride in his players that is still with many of us today.

I was fortunate to play for Coach Howard for 5 years as I joined his summer league team as a skinny 8th grader just trying to show him that I was capable of holding up my part of the team. I remember the initiation well, as I often had to carry equipment bags to games (I am pretty sure many of them weighed more than me!) and often times us “pups” would have to carry things for the seniors and do what they wanted us to do to prove that we were apart of the bigger picture. It seems odd to those that have never been a part of this, but believe me it is essential to building trust and learning how to do your part, even if it is small, to help the team. As I grew both physically and mentally through working with Coach Howard during the summers keeping the field looking perfect I was able to get to know him off the field. I learned that he was genuine in every way and absolutely loved what he was doing. I never once heard him complain about doing what needed to be done…he just did it. There is no way I can express what having that type of role model means to a high school kid. To see someone genuinely happy doing exactly what he wanted to do…even if it meant working until his hands bleed.

As time went on and our team started to get better we began to see the benefits of all the hard work we had done years before and understand even more what all the work Mark had put in really meant. We saw how the strict rules and tiring punishment for our mistakes had helped build a championship program. We learned how working in the rain in March can lead to championships in May. This is something that unfortunately many kids don’t get to see or be a part of, because Mark Howard was in my life I was.

I don’t think I can keep going much longer…I will try to post more later, to get it off my chest and to share more about Mark’s impact on my life but right now I just can’t do it.

I want to thank Melody for sharing her husband with all of us, and thank Randee and Karlee for sharing their dad with so many kids. He truly impacted us all in ways we can’t express.

We love you guys and I know that if there is ever anything I can do to help you all please just let me know.

J

Enough of the Bad News!

So yesterday was an important day…there was a small sign that spring time is now upon us and that the weather would be getting warmer (or stormier for us Oklahomans). Many of you might not know what this subtle hint of spring is…it requires a trip, a short trip for most. A trip to the liquor store! Sam Adams spring seasonal brew was out in force at the local liquor store in my home town and that my friends is a great sign that spring is now upon us!

If you have not had Sam’s White Ale grab some, you will not be disappointed!

I was tired of all the political BS so I decided to aim a little lower on this post.

J

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