What’s Past is Prologue—Part Two
We had a great meeting with Fred (www.trimtabsolution.com). We have redefined who we are and how we do what we do. It’s not a huge change. It is a better focus. Let me explain.
Last semester I took my first college class in 30 years. It was on social media and I loved the class. Unfortunately, halfway through the semester, I had to have an invasive surgery that took me out of the class for the rest of the semester. Coming back from surgery eight weeks later, starting the spring semester of classes and finishing up the social media class, I found that my business was suffering (partly because of the economic climate as well). Difficult decisions had to be made and I was faced with the heaviness of laying-off employees, taking on more day-to-day tasks and completing my courses. I was overwhelmed and I questioned my sensibility in taking this field of study at this time in my life. However, as I contemplated all that was happening, and as I prayed my way through the mess, I had a confirmation. I love what I do…communications. Through the discussions and readings and meetings with clients, I came to realize that God is not done with me yet! I do have something to offer: wisdom and experience. Not only do I still have much to contribute in my marketplace, I also have experience that is valuable.
So at 52, I am still learning and I believe, as I talked about in last week’s post, I am learning from the past. The famous saying from William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, “the past is prologue” is appropriate. The understanding of this phrase has come to mean that “history influences, and sets the context for, the present.” (Wikipedia) While all these huge changes (both personal and within our world and marketplace) may seem unsettling and my life as I know it may change, perhaps these changes will be good and move me forward in some new way, ways that I cannot see, but move toward a brighter future.
What I have also learned from history is that the businesses that adapted and accepted the new technologies survived…and many were owned by “old” people like me. So in our two day session with Fred, we determined that we are a public relations firm that does publicity. We are moving into a new era focusing most of our efforts with non-profits and organizations to help them develop their communications and public relations platforms. This does include publicity, both traditional, social and whatever else new is developed. But, publicity is the outcome of work that has to be done before any interviews can start. Will we still work with authors and books? Yes. But we will be even more strategic and combine that work with public relations development.
Proverbs 31 is a portrait of the virtuous wife. In my early twenties as I read this passage, this woman excited me. I was filled with inspiration because she is industrious and accomplished in many tasks. She worked outside of the home and at the same time ran her household with skill and deftness. She did everything with grace. Throughout the years, she has been a model for me of not only a virtuous wife and mother, but also as a business woman of integrity. In fact, I believe that this woman did not separate her wife/mother role from her businesswoman role. She is whole because all the roles are integrated. As I turned 50, I think I had lost this perspective. Reading it again I was reminded that not only do I have worth as a mother and wife but also as a businesswoman, even in the field of communications and marketing. Today, I am embracing verses 25 and 26(Holy Bible, ESV):
Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
Learning in my classes the reality of past events, I find myself renewed with a fresh vigor and resolve. I may be an “out dated model”, but I have experience and I can adapt to the new changes. If I can’t adapt, I can bring people to my business that can. It may be time to let the grey hairs come through, truly be authentic and real, and share my experiences so that the new generation of communicators can accomplish great things in a new culture. And I may keep wearing the jeans and put the corporate suits to the side for special meetings. Maybe.