Quality of Quarantine
Updated: Dec 16, 2020
The last blog post was in June. And instead of posting on social media three times a week like clockwork, it has has morphed into a sporadic posting schedule with more personal captions.
But such is 2020. Things have changed and morphed and crashed and burned and risen from the ashes. Wash, rinse, repeat.
Something that's been an ongoing struggle is going from "we" to "I" and that's still so weird to type and say, both out loud and in Smoke Signal's social media captions. Those of you that have been following the growth of Smoke Signal Media know that Tracy returned to teaching this year, with my heartfelt support and blessing. That transition felt organic, but also scary and a bit chaotic at times. Similar to when Tracy and I dreamed up Smoke Signal, I retreated to the mountains and nature, over and over, to think and reflect on these changes. Each trip peeled back a layer of my struggle while simultaneously relieving the stress of carrying it around. That pattern of retreat, think, and purge brought me to this point of claiming the personality and face of this ever-growing business.
While dealing with a contact tracing quarantine this week, I decided to revisit the idea of rebranding Smoke Signal Media. I finally updated the website to reflect this transition after ignoring it for MONTHS, and it feels like a reinvention of self. How do I want to the world to see these changes and how do I want to make this business mine? I have never been someone to connect my personal life to my work life so closely, but in the sense of practicing what I preach, this seemed to be the best route.
First and foremost, I miss Tracy. I miss having a sounding board and someone to balance my creative bursts and hyper-focussed attention to detail. She caught my typos and inspired my mind when it felt stagnant. Hence the 6 month gap in writing...
My focus is turning inward now, to reflect on what I want to give my clients, and part of that means focussing on my strengths: photography, brand design, and storytelling. I can't pretend to be a fraction of the SEO wizard and website developer Tracy is. She taught me to value that skillset, and in turn I have reached out to and found some amazing female entrepreneurs around me that can bring that to the table if I need them. My networking skills got a little rusty this year, so it feels good to flex those muscles a bit more. Surrounding myself with women that want to SUPPORT each other versus competing for work has been amazing, and we are all focussed on authenticity.
Secondly, my mental and physical health needed a reality check tackling this venture solo. Quarantine brought that into sharp focus pretty quickly. I was exhausted, missing emails, headaches, cranky...I was trying to be two people at once and I hunkered down in my home office hellbent on succeeding. When I started feeling the effects I knew I needed a change. I decided to start with small changes.
Never a morning person, I'm slowly training myself to hit snooze only once and to schedule my meetings earlier, versus staying up past midnight and working into the wee morning hours. I've become dedicated to my planner and writing things down. I set an alarm to get off my computer and go outside and stretch, preferably barefoot to ground myself to the earth. I'm reclaiming my weekends, and checking my email only when I need to after hours (which is SO hard for me) and setting up away messages when I'm on the road. Massages and meditation have gone from being treated as luxuries to necessities. Making real meals instead or ordering delivery, both for my waistline and my mental health. Going to the barn to see my horse in the middle of the day might be my lunch break, and actual lunch might be a milkshake from Cruze Farm. I'm resetting the quality of quarantine...
As soon as I made room for myself, I found room for new work. Photoshoots are being booked out in advance, contacts are being made with those outside my business circle, and opportunities are springing up around me. The more I take care of myself, the more I can take care of my clients. Thanks 2020for making that a priority.
Reflecting back to my work, I want to focus on the quality versus the quantity. Is that ideology inhibitive of growth? It depends on how you see growth. I may not have dozens of clients, but the ones I work with I have built relationships with. I see Smoke Signal Media growing as a family, and nurturing those relationships while making room for a few more at the table is going to be my focus moving into 2021.
Do you see your business fitting into the Smoke Signal Media family? If you're looking for a focussed and dedicated social media marketing plan with a company that values your brand personality, telling your individual story, and putting your business in the best possible light, let's chat. Even if that means a Zoom meeting with coffee and your kids/spouse/dogs running around in the background. I'll probably struggle with my mic and I won't be able to tell if you're wearing real pants, because chances are, I'm not (yoga pants rock).
Send me a message, drop a DM on Instagram, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to start a conversation.
Health and Happiness to you all,