Frankie Spotlight: Doing What You Love + Trying to Maintain Balance
I never thought I would work in technology. With a degree in Applied Sociology, I expected to work with people, although I am not sure in what aspect. When I graduated college, I began looking for a job where I would be using my degree. After searching for a few months, I wasn’t finding a career that I really wanted, or that I was qualified for (I needed a masters). Defeated, I began searching for jobs that interested me. My search led me to a digital marketing company that was in the process of launching their customer service division. That was the beginning of my technology career.
10 years later, I had a career focused in advertising. I was an expert in Paid Advertising, Social Media Advertising, building brand awareness - creating full digital strategies for enterprise accounts across the US. I loved it. I traveled 90% of the time, seeing amazing places and meeting amazing people. I expanded my network, specialized in multiple industries, and continued to prioritize my professional development.
But, I was tired - burnt out even. I hadn’t been home for more than 2 consecutive weeks in 5 years. I no longer believed that I was providing the best service for my clients and questioned my expertise as it related to digital, having been with only one company for my “adult career.”
In my quest to continue to grow, I decided to take several leaps - first, I started working with Tally to construct a company that could allow us to grow in ways that fulfilled our passions. Second, while building the foundation of this business, I joined a start-up (I still had bills to pay 😂). The company I joined was in the advertising realm, but a different segment. This allowed me to learn something new, working with clients whose businesses I knew and understood, while building something I was passionate about. But, this start-up wasn’t for me. I struggled with the business model, not having the consultative aspect I thrived in. I made another jump, this time I jumped to an industry more focused in technology and finance. This continued my professional & personal growth.
So, here I am a year later. I have acquired several new licenses, expanded my operational knowledge, broadened my network, and have the opportunity to work both in my business with Tally as well as with a company that continues to encourage professional growth. But, I am still tired (I wouldn’t say burnt out anymore - so win!).
Managing 2 jobs is difficult. Building a business is difficult. Continuing to prioritize my professional development is difficult. But, I keep going.
So, how do I [try] to find balance? I manage my time by prioritizing it, being aware of when I do my best work, realizing that a little bit every day gets you closer to where you want to be. With a little grace, I continue making strides. Also, I schedule and make it a point to stay organized. I schedule and I list most everything. You might even say I am overly structured. However, it is what works for me. Sure, spontaneity is fun (or so I hear). But I thrive in structure. I like being in bed early, I like getting up early, and I like my lists.
Full transparency, there are some weeks where I am better than others. Where I get everything on my list completed. Then, there are other times (like this week) where I am writing this blog the night before we post. Not every day is a success, I am not able to cross everything off my list every day (or even week), there are days I work 14 hours, mornings where I don't take my dog for our 30 minute walk because I need that time for something else. But, I keep going.
Is it true balance, no. I apologize to my friends and family - because my weeknights are usually busy (work, reading, professional development, more work). I’d like to believe they understand, and are usually forgiving (I know it gets old). My hope is they know I [try to] manage my time this way so that I can spend my weekends/downtime with them. ACTUALLY with them. I am determined to be present. No, that isn’t always easy. No, I am not always able to turn off my cell or take off my smart watch, or ignore the calls - but, I keep trying.
We’re just over a year into our business (❤️ Stone Creative Consulting) and just barely a year into my fin-tech career. I am still trying to figure out how to find balance. I am working on prioritizing self care (it is VERY different from personal/professional development, so I am learning). I am focused on continuing to grow, get better at time management, and learn how to show those I care about they are a priority. Again, some days/weeks are better than others. But, I keep going.
I will continue to build. I will continue to pivot where I need to - both personally and professionally. I am committed to taking steps forward, even when they may be small steps. There are MANY amazing quotes out there about balance, self care, professional development, personal growth, and moving forward… But in order to do that you must, “Forgive yourself for your faults and your mistakes and move on. - Les Brown”
Here is to making strides tomorrow to find a better balance than I did today.