Sheryl Sandberg sparked an interesting conversation when she released her book, Lean In. For some, the book was inspirational. For others, it hit a nerve. Women across the country started Lean In Circles to support one another while others wrote articles about why they hated her. As I witnessed this admiration and condemnation, I happened to be participating as a facilitator for Women Leading Broward and had the opportunity to hear Maria Bailey, founder and CEO of BSM Media – a marketing/media firm specializing in moms with clients like Disney, Fischer Price, Ragu, – speak about personal branding. In listening to her, I realized that you can Lean In or Lean Out – just find what’s best for you.
There is no such thing as balance. Prioritize.
It’s hard to cut the pie evenly every single day. And yet, so many women strive for this daily and feel defeated at the end of each day. The first step is acknowledging that balance is elusive. Once you’ve accepted it, look at your life and decide how you want to spend your time. It’s difficult to be the best employee, the best spouse, the best parent, the best friend, the best family member, the best fit person, etc… (I’m exhausted just reading it). Instead choose 2-3 things you want to be good at and carve out everything else.
Be unapologetic about how you choose to live your life
Maria shared that she wanted to have a successful business. So she works long hours and weekends. To keep up her physique, she wakes up every morning at 5 a.m. to train for marathons. Yes, she no longer does wine night with the girls, but she realized she couldn’t do it all and is unapologetic about how she chooses to live her life. So if you want to be a super-mom. Be it. Want to take up a hobby? Then stop saying yes to all of those nightly meetings. As a people pleaser since birth, this was my greatest take-away.
As the queen of marketing, Maria has branded herself as a “mom expert” and found a unique niche. But that’s what works for her. Your passion could be leadership, cooking, philanthropy, mommy-hood, your career, or a combination of many other things. Decide how you want to be perceived and use various outlets like meetings, outings, social media, and blogs to brand yourself. I follow enough people on social media that when I need expert advice on a topic, I know who to go to.
To find what’s best for you, Maria spoke about having a personal mission statement that helps drive your decisions in life. Mine is to be the best version of myself. And in knowing this I can determine what’s best for me. I hope you do the same.
To read the article on the Leadership Broward Blog, click here.