Sunday, November 21, 2010

What Are You Thankful For?


Two years ago I began a project.  It was just after the Presidential election and there was a feeling of hope encompassing the country.  I spent one day going around Atlanta asking random strangers what they were thankful for.  I finally compiled those interviews.  From professionals to the homeless...we all have something to be thankful for.  I feel that right now we need to remember more than ever.

Please pause this week to remember what you are thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving.

~ Beth

Monday, November 08, 2010

Just Do It with some Entrepreneurial Spirit

That now famous line from the Nike ads, Just Do It, applies to life and business.

People always ask me how I do all that I do.  Granted being a single mom with a small business isn't an easy task but for me  it's simple - I just do it. I get up in the morning work on my business, find another client, send out a press release, update social media, take care of my child and myself....I go go go.   Giving up isn't an option.  But for my friends who live a more traditional life - it's like running the New York Marathon. They could do it but the fear of dying in running shorts keeps them on the sidewalk.

Granddaddy Hawks
drove around the SE before
the interstate system and
sold padlocks
This contrast makes me think about what so many call the "Entrepreneurial Spirit."  Most everyone in my family for generations have had their own business - manufacturing, grocery stores, boat captains, farming.  Those who didn't have their own business were in positions where they controlled their destiny.  We've had quite a few sales persons on my family tree.  Imagine how many pad locks my grandfather had to sell to support his family after the Great Depression.  Now that's an entrepreneurial spirit. 

I think this same drive or spirit is what has help chose my career path.  In PR you can't give up when an editor tells you that your story is just plain stupid. You have to go go go go until you find the one who is interested in the story. I learned this with my first media pitch where the assignment editor told me that a big murder case that had just been solved and that was more important than vacationing in Georgia.  Agreed.

Most of my clients have the entrepreneurial spirit and their own business. I'm often play the role of therapist as they talk about their spouse's concerns over spending their retirement money on a big dream.  It's that dream that keeps the spirit alive and gets people like us out of bed and continuously moving forward.

Having an entrepreneurial spirit doesn't always mean that you have your own business.  For some it means that you do something out of the norm like my grandmother Lottie who left home in 1921 at 16 years old to move into Memphis and learn to be a secretary - a career that served her well her entire life. The entrepreneurial spirit can manifest itself as a person who never gives up on life or has a positive outlook. 

It's my entrepreneurial spirit to fulfill my dream that helps me look into the face of defeat and see opportunity.  It's what makes me know that I can accomplish the nearly impossible.  It's why I commonly hear words from those who don't know me like "I've never seen" or "I can't believe" or "You are so dedicated".  My clients here these same phrases.  We let them roll off our backs because we have a dream to accomplish.

Where did I and so many others get this spirit?  I don't know.  But I can tell you that it is part of our DNA.  It's in us forever. 

What can people who weren't born with the entrepreneurial spirit do to get it?  Maybe they should wake up an hour early, put on some running shorts and Just Do It.  It really isn't that hard.