Things Go Wrong… 5 Tips to Still Rock It Out

OMG! NOT AGAIN!

How can this be happening… AGAIN?

Are you kidding me?

WTF?

I know I am not the only one who has ever said these… repeatedly… sometimes it seems like I say them every day. Please tell me I am not the only one. You have had these moments… right? Shew! I feel so much better now. Actually, I am gonna let you in on a little secret about me… when I have THESE days I feel so much better after a long cry. (OOOHHH it’s not taboo to talk about crying now I hope).

Anyway… recently I had a fuckin meltdown because NOTHING was going right in my personal or professional life. I was feeling inadequate all the way around. NOT GOOD! I do believe that if you are trying to run a household, juggle two jobs AND two kids, something is bound to go wrong at least once a day. Well, mine hit several at a time and all within 24 hours.

End of the school year. ‘Won’t work worth a damn’ internet service. Can’t watch videos for B&A Book Club because of said crappy internet. Causing your boss more work. Starting a part time job. Not getting client work done faster. House looking like a tornado came through weeks ago and still is trashed. Ok I think you get the picture… or do you need more? No, I am done… for now ;).

If you feel me Tweet: Got #99Problems but does anyone really care?

Ok let me get to the fuckin’ point… we all have these days. Sometimes they are completely out of our control and there is NOTHING you can do about it at the time. But, what you do is what will define you. You can either go sulk in the corner and complain about it on Facebook, Twitter and to your friends for days on end or you can just roll with it (Tip #1). I tend to just let it all pile up and then have a meltdown (don’t ever knock the healing power of a good cry). I swear I feel 90% better after a good long cry (Tip #2) and then all you have left to do is just roll with what has been dealt to you at that particular time. You pick yourself back up, blow a kiss at your reflection in the mirror and go get shit done!

Business won’t get done while you bitch and whine and complain about it. Put your big girl panties on and OWN IT (Tip #3)! If you caused more work for said boss (ahem… Sorry Ronii!), just apologize and move on to the next item on your to-do-list and ROCK IT. Client work doesn’t wait for you to keep beating yourself up. And, yes, electronics suck and don’t always work when you are expecting them to so you take a break. Go sit out on the deck with a glass of wine to calm the stress that is building up and adding to your breaking point (Tip #4). Go talk to your best friend (you know she always makes you feel better because of her quirky attitude and AWESOME personality…ahem…again Ronii that’s you – five). Just walk away from the problem for a few and come back renewed and ready to take on the world!

Don’t ever let your feelings of inadequacy or technology crappin’ out be what defines you. MAKE the actions on how you deal with these little hiccups in life and business be what defines you! So are you going to continue to beat yourself up…OR… roll with the punches? Tell me your ‘shit hits the fan’ story. I bet we can relate and pull together, together (wait, that looks weird but oh well I’m rolling with it).

It’s My Birthday! 29 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Me (+ 8 more)

Well, actually tomorrow is my birthday. So in celebration of my 29th birthday I’m listing the 29 things (in particular order) you probably didn’t know about me. Plus 8 more… because I'm actually 37 this year. I’m departing from our traditional ‘let’s learn about marketing and business’ post and giving you a sneak peek into the crazy mind of a creative entrepreneur/human. I get tired of the ‘let’s learn something’ format and like to hear about humans and can only assume that you like sometimes too, hence my shameless self promotion on my birthday because let’s face it, it’s really all about me up in here.

  1. I hate the idea of a bucket list. Why can't we all just live our lives and do things we want to do.
  2. I want to learn how to surf.
  3. Speaking of learning stuff, I want to learn to sail too.
  4. I have this paralyzing fear of failure. And I'm a perfectionist, which is a deadly combination for a business owner. Hence no products yet like I promised. I’m trying to break through my upper level limit. 
  5. In the holy trinity of people in business models (the finder, minder and grinder), I'm a minder and love to strategize and think, which generally leads to over thinking. And I don't really link/want to implement or sell. 
  6. I'm a terrible "networker." It's really hard for me to meet new people.
  7. Most people probably know this, but I'm terrible with names. I recognize you and can probably tell you your birthday but I can't remember your name to save my life.
  8. I hate the concept of hustle. It bothers me that it's meaning is deceiving yet in business every guru talks about how you have to hustle as in work your ass off for 90+ hours a week. I'm tired. And I'm tired of working my ass off 90+ hours a week, hence starting my own business.
  9. My favorite restaurant is Rue de Jean. It's so indulgent.
  10. I love to go to the movies and have a huge tub of popcorn with lots of butter and a diet soda. Ironic, I know.
  11. Even though I'm a huge WVU fan, I did not go there or graduate from there. But it's the representation of the state.
  12. I'm a couch potato. And I love watching TV. It's relaxing to me.
  13. When it comes to TV though, I can’t commitment. Which is why I don’t watch shows like The Voice or American Idol. That’s just too much commitment for one week let alone a whole season.
  14. I'm extremely loyal. If I form a bond with you, you better be prepared for "till death due us part" because you will have me forever whether you like it or not. But I will always be there for you and will do anything within my power to help you.
  15. But once I'm done with you, I'm done. No confrontation, no explanation, no apology. Just done. A trait I get from my dad.
  16. I hate confrontation.
  17. I don't drink nearly as much as our readers probably think I do. One or 2 a week, maybe.
  18. My family is like the Cleavers. I'd rather hang with them than anyone else. And when friends talk about their dysfunctional/fighting family, I just can't relate because mine is awesome.
  19. I'm a thinker and analyze everything and everyone. I want to understand what drives peoples’ behaviors and decisions. I love psychology. A trait I get from my mom.
  20. My family in WV calls me Ronii Anne. But my middle name is Leeanne, which is my mom and my godmother's name together.
  21. My mom told my brother and me once that, "Brett was the smart one and Ronii was the pretty one." I’m still in therapy over that (not really).
  22. I'm the fuck up of the family. And I'm totally not (completely) a fuck up. I have a Master’s Degree for goodness sake. Just goes to show you how sane my family is.
  23. I love to eat! I love food and I love lots of it. I’m not one of those girls that picks at her food when you go out. I’m the kind of girl that licks the plate after I eat everything on it. The only thing that saves me from being 400 pounds is that I love to work out too and workout almost every day.
  24. While speaking of things I love. I LOVE to sleep. And its no secret that I’m a night owl and I think that early morning people have a conspiracy against us. I’m not one of those over zealous people that say, “I only need 4 hours a sleep a night.” Bullshit. That’s your exhaustion trying to convince you that you get enough. If I had my way I would get between 9 and 10 every night and sleep in until 10 every day.
  25. I’m a really slow reader because I read every word on the page but my comprehension is amazing.
  26. I counted and I have 5 books started and not finished yet. That’s just what I do.
  27. I love the Twilight Saga and I’m Team Edward. And one time on the way back to Charleston from Raleigh, I missed my exit and ended up in Wilmington, NC because I was so engrossed into listing to the book.
  28. I really might be the crazy cat lady. While I only have 1 cat, I’m freakin’ obsessed with her and she’s kinda mean. She probably reflects my personality perfectly.
  29. My favorite color is red.
  30. I have never broken a bone. Or at least that I went to the doctor and they told me it was broken. 
  31. I’ve never had a cavity and love to go the dentist. My dentist in SC is the son of my childhood dentist in WV (who my parents still go too).
  32. You would think that because I love to eat I would love to cook as well. Nope. Not the case. I only cook out of necessity.
  33. Confession: I really don’t know what I want to do when I grow up.
  34. I have been an extra in a couple of TV shows.
  35. I minored in French in college and really can’t speak a lick of it anymore. If you don’t use it, you lose it.
  36. I have a part time job at Curves and coach women on health, wellness and fitness. I’m a multi-passionate person.
  37. The lead singer to Tonic hit on my one time after a concert at the 9:30 Club in Washington DC. That was pretty cool.

Here's my birthday wish: vanilla cake with buttercream frosting and a drizzle of chocolate ganache with a glass ob bubbly (of course). If you could deliver that to... Kidding. My birthday wish? Leave us comment with something we don't know about you. What is that awkward thing that I'm totally going to make fun of you for? Because I probably do that same awkward thing too and probably do a lot of people. I can't wait to hear all about you too. Don't let me be the only one here sharing. That would be awkward.

BE CONFIDENT! Don’t just think you are confident.

Be Confident in your Communication and Stand Out from the Crowd.png

Are you confident? Or do you think you are confident?

Believe it or not there is a difference. And I am just figuring this shit out… in my 30’s of all ages. I guess it is better late than never, right? (I don’t sound very confident there do I? See I am still working on this confidence thing.)

In today’s world, T.V., magazines and every other social stimulus out there are telling us how we should look and feel. It really breaks down your confidence doesn’t it? It does mine. Women especially have a much harder time with this. We are constantly thinking we aren’t pretty enough or we aren’t thin enough or our hair isn’t the right color or… seriously the list goes on and on and on… Even men are starting to exude less confidence.

WAKE UP PEOPLE AND STOP LISTENING TO THE SUPERFICIAL WORLD OF SOCIETY!!!

Sorry, I get a little out of control sometimes! I hate feeling inadequate, like I don’t measure up to what society thinks I should be. And THANK GOD I don’t have little girls. I wouldn’t know how to curb this nonsense to make them feel confident, when I can’t feel confident myself. Now I will say that the older I have gotten, the more confident I have become. I was always quiet and just went through the motions of everyday life, not standing out, or wanting to be recognized… but DAMNIT I want to be noticed and recognized now.

This is where the difference comes into to play. Don’t think you are confident! ACT CONFIDENT!!

  • Walk with your head up and shoulder’s squared! Good posture and looking ahead reeeeeaks CONFIDENCE!
  • Don’t second guess your decisions people! Stand firm on what you price your products or services. Talk like you mean it when telling people your decisions; don’t make it sound like a question.
  • Make eye contact and smile! You would be amazed at the respect you earn from just this alone. You will exude the confidence you need to close that deal or get that client.

So what is my point if you haven’t figured it out by now? If you act confident, whether you truly feel it or not, you will be confident. Eventually it will rub off… even on yourself, and you will start believing in yourself and your confidence. Being confident is a must when running a business. You have to look and act like you know what you are doing in order to grab those clients. Confidence plays a big part in closing that deal. Customers, clients and peers will respect you more if you have that confidence to say “Yes, I am a marketing expert. Yes, I can help you. This is what I can do for you. Yes I am worth $125 per hour.” You catching my drift!  So go on out there with your head held high and a smile on your face and…

BE CONFIDENT! Don’t just think you are confident.

Jenn.png
 

2014 Planning: Here's to a Uber Successful New Year

How to be Uber Successful in 2014.png

Can you believe that 2014 will be here in 2 weeks? Yeah, me either. And I'm sure by now you have seen/read approximately 2,521,470 blog posts on how everyone is setting goals and planning how to be uber successful in 2014.

Well, here's another one. Joking (kinda)... not really.

Uber success in 2014

This time last year B&A was humming on all cylinders. We had made plans for 2013 to be the best year ever. Then, summer came along and things changed because people change, economies change... we change. And Jenn would hate to hear this but it is what it is. Whether it was out of my control or I totally just fucked it all up, it left me feeling defeated because I didn't make the big yearly goal happen. I didn't get that trip to the Caribbean I wanted. So this year I'm doing my planning and goal setting a little different. I'm making it more like a to-do list.

I work well with to-dos and deadlines so this approach is perfect for those that like to get things done in small more digestible tasks. I get really overwhelmed when the sheet of paper says, 'Make more money.' What? How do I just make more money? I can't do that. And when I get overwhelmed, I don't do anything. Then I completely stress out. And when I get stressed my ear hurts and my whole body gets achy. And guess what? That just isn't working for me anymore.

How to get more stuff done in 2014

  • Use my products: For 2 and half years I have been saying I want to create a product suite because that is the easiest way to scale and monetize a consulting business. I have in my mind what I want to create so I'm going to use those tools for myself this year and Voila! new B&A products. Done and done.
    • Big 2014 Goal: Create products and make more money.
  • Simple, simple, simple: I tend to over think and over complicate everything. So this year I'm really going to KISS (Keep it simple stupid) and concentrate on making things simple. My attention span is that of flea anymore. So, when I create those products above I'm going to make them 1 page (2 max).
    • Big 2014 Goal: Create more freedom, more money and more love.
  • Plan more: Evernote is totally gonna save my ass this year. I tend to be a go with the flow kinda girl. But I love a good plan. A SIMPLE ONE. And we are going to use online collaboration tools this year to get those plans out of our heads and into action.
    • Big 2014 Goal: See above about creating stuff.
  • Join a support group: Or mastermind. Whatever you want to call it. I'm a weird mix of introvert and extrovert and I thrive on interaction with people but it is very easy for me to be a hermit. So I need a group of biz peeps with a structured format to get my ideas flowing and worked out.
    • Big 2014 Goal: Again with the creating.
  • Show some love: To my family, to my friends, to my personal brand site, to B&A products, to myself. I need to be better about appreciating what I have and letting the people that matter know how much I love and appreciate them.
    • Big 2014 Goal: Be a nicer person (That's totally stupid, I know, but trust me on this one)
  • Eat better: And lose 10 lbs (isn't this on everyone's list?)

What are your goals this year? How are you planning to be uber successful in 2014? What are some of your best tips and tricks for planning and setting goals?

Decisions

"Life is the sum of all your choices." – Albert Camus

I don’t think this could have been said better. And it’s eerily true. Every decision you have ever made in your life has landed you in the exact spot you are in now. Any situation, outfit, environment, or mindset that you are currently in is because of the choices you made, either today, yesterday, or any day pretty much between when you were 16 and the present. Everything you say and do is the result of a decision. Making decisions is about realizing goals and utilizing the most beneficial path to achieve them – whether it’s the fastest path, the cheapest path, or the path filled with champagne and expletives. 

Decisions can be a fun thing, even if they are risky or tasking or dangerous. Because making a decision means you are essentially at a fork in the road. You could…continue to do things the same, or you could choose to do it a different way. Or two different ways. Or three. Regardless – the fact that you are faced with a decision, whether you brought it on yourself or you were forced to do so – means you have the opportunity to change things or do them differently. So many people are scared of making decisions. But decisions are your chance to turn a challenge into an opportunity. And they are necessary in business and in life.

A lot goes into decisions. Listing the options, weighing the outcomes, entertaining your intuition, and of course, making a choice. Despite all of this heavy work, my best advice would be to implement your decision with joy and conviction. Whatever you’ve decided to do; do it 100%. Don’t be a sissy. 

We covered a ton of stuff during our last Champagne Thursday celebration. Lots of topics, both fun and serious, resulted in us having to make decisions about the business. Decisions about business development, about what to give away to our stellar clients and followers, what our next white paper would be on, and also that extra dry champagne was, in fact, our champagne of choice. And we are thrilled to see where the decisions take us. Even small decisions can have a huge impact on your business, and we are proof of that. B&A is the result of hundreds, maybe thousands of decisions made by all of us at one point or another (admittedly, some of these were made under the influence). We are pleased with our progress and plagued with new sets of decisions every day. We talk about them. We drink over them. We weigh the potential outcomes. And then we decide what the best course of action is, for us and our clients, and do it 100%. 

Don’t be a sissy. Face your decisions head on and take your business by the horns. You won’t be disappointed. 

What if...

I have a confession. Apparently I have a lot of these. But this one I'm really nervous about. You probably already know this but I'm the new President of the Charleston American Marketing Association. Well, actually I start July 1st. But its here. And I'm FREAKED out!

What if I'm terrible at it? What if people don't like what I do? What if no one shows up for meetings? What if it all falls apart? What if... What if... What if...

I know I'm being irrational about the whole thing but welcome to the chaos that floats around in my head. I have said for year that I'm like a great Monet painting. From afar its beautiful and makes sense but when you get up close its just a chaotic mess. That's me, really. I mean, I know I'm not going to blow the whole thing up. Well, I might... With fun.

I joke. But that's not really a joke. I've decided that what I want in life is to have fun and work with people I like. I have implemented this philosophy at B&A with Champagne Thursdays (insert shameless plug here: go sign up for our Champagne Thursday Inspirations and you just might get something fun. It's over there <---. Go do it now. I'll wait. You can always come back and finish this in a sec. But I digress.) We have fun on Champagne Thursdays AND get a lot done. I'm taking this leadership style and translating it into this new leadership role at CAMA. I mean what good is doing great work if you can't have fun doing it?

I know what you are thinking, "Ronii, you're crazy and freakin' out for nothing." I really appreciate your confidence in me. And you are getting a rare glimpse into my not so put together head (that's scary, huh?). But we all have one somewhere inside us. Help me out here. What do you freak out about? Make me feel better that I'm not the only one out here that freaks out about things.

Selling Life Balance

“MOM, I’M HUNGRY!” “MOM, I’M THIRSTY!” “MOM, I WANT THE COMPUTER”. Every time I am trying to get some work done, this is what I hear. Trying to balance working from home and raising 2 boys at the same time is close to impossible. You have the whole world trying to sell life balance, but what the hell is life balance anyway? How do you achieve it? When you find out… please let me know!

Having children and working full-time (or 3 jobs like me) and running a household, can put some strain on your life. You have a husband or a wife, a boss, and kids wanting your time and energy. By 6pm you're ready to crash, but you still have dinner dishes to do, a baseball game to go to, and a blog post to write (Ronii is a slave driver about this. Love you!). Not to mention, kids have school the next day and laundry still needs to be done, but you have to prepare for a conference call with a client about brochures, a website or a document you are working on. You are basically working to find some sort of balance with work, while trying to balance life.

Where is the balance? If you own your own company you work round the clock to make it successful. Is that balance? No! It’s called burning yourself out. Having 2 active little boys that play sports and have to run here and there for school and sports and friends’ houses… well, that can burn a mother out. Now put having all those things with your children to contend with and a job, or 2, or 3, that has you sitting at the computer all day or standing on your feet behind a cash register for hours… OH, and don’t forget the house that needs cleaned and meals to be made and laundry to be done… WHERE IS THE BALANCE?

I manage what I can. Only you can find your life balance. Bosses, friends, husbands, children… they all try to sell you on life balance, but I believe that is just for their own agenda. Only you can sell yourself life balance. So go out there and sell it to yourself.

~Jenn

Write That Sh!t Down

Yeah I need to remind myself of that everyday… write it down or you will forget. And I usually do, forget that is. LOL! When you are trying to run a household with 2 very active little boys or work as a Roadie at B&A, there are things that need to get done. I tell myself, “oh I will remember that”. And BAM!... two days later, I forgot about a website copy edit I was supposed to do or a play date my youngest was to attend. ‘WRITE THAT SHIT DOWN’ I tell myself. You can’t keep forgetting to do things. 

Working in the marketing field, there is no room for mistakes or forgotten tasks. Clients are depending on you to get everything right down to the last detail. And this goes for any business not just marketing. We may think that we can remember every little detail a client tells us, but in reality you will forget some important fact or question. WRITE THAT SHIT DOWN! It is just a good business practice. People are relying on you to have their website just how they want it with the correct information on it, or a logo that depicts their business and is ON all important business transactions. Can you remember every last detail a client has asked for? I know I can’t. Keep yourself organized and on track by WRITING THAT SHIT DOWN! 

Life is crazy and can get busy, or in my case crazy busy! Tasks or dates can get lost in the shuffle of daily life. When it comes to your business and your clients, do you really want to forget? Didn’t think so. WRITE THAT SHIT DOWN! You will thank me later. I promise.

~Jenn

Be Part of the Solution

Everyday my commute to work promises me the perpetual pleasure of having to turn left into rush hour traffic that backs up at a light about a half-mile down. It’s pretty shitty. Last week I waited at the end of my road, with my blinker on, for 7 minutes. S-E-V-E-N. My being on time lies in the hands of strangers letting you into a long line of waiting traffic, that is, IF the oncoming traffic is clear (which is seldom the case). But, ultimately, someone lets you pull out into the line. And because that usually happens (when usually is not the case, the resulting scenario generally entails some kind of death-defying Fast and Furious Tokyo Drift maneuver, which I have pretty much perfected), I tend to let people into traffic ahead of me. I know, I know, how kind, you’re thinking. This is still all very new for me, being from the motherland of ignorant and impatient drivers, so don’t go thinking I’ll let you try to cut me off and NOT run you off the road. Deep down, I’m still a New Yorker. 

ANYWAY – I’ve started my own version of passing on the kindness or paying it forward or however you want to refer to it, via my commute to work. I don’t volunteer anywhere or make charitable donations (unless Goodwill counts? But we all know that’s just us getting our crap out of the house, let’s be real), but lately I’ve started to recycle and compost and have had a few opportunities to help others out with things like setting up events and needing rides and borrowing things, and something about it is making me feel really positive, despite my occasional road rage. 

So even though I’ve spent fifteen minutes waiting to get that half-mile to the light, I always make it a point to let at least one person out in front of me, because chances are they’ve been waiting as long as I have. I guess there are people that always have practiced this but it’s sort of new for me and it makes me feel good – 99% of the time the people make a big effort to wave or thank you somehow and most of the time you travel with that person for a good portion of the remainder of your commute. 

I’d like to think I started a chain reaction the other day. The person that I let out had let someone else out, and then a few roads down, the person that they let out had let someone else out. And I wondered if I had never let that guy out to begin with, would it have never happened? Did everyone pick up the positive vibes together on the way to work? Was I the last straw of that guy’s patience before he pulled a Tokyo Drift, but came to the rescue and let him out and saved his day? Perhaps I’m getting a little carried away about it, but I guess what I’m trying to say is that you can prevent Tokyo Drift type situations and not even know it. 

While my example is via my commute to work, this can happen anywhere. It doesn’t have to be a drastic change. You can make it a normal part of your everyday grind, or you can do it once a week (whatever “it” is for you). If everyone woke up and decided, “Today I’m going to be as fucking awesome as possible,” do you think we would notice a shift in the midst? Tomorrow, wake up and be as ridiculously awesome as possible. And pass it on. Try it again the next day too. And stay tuned for the follow-up blog post on why being awesome is so awesome (seriously). 

~Coco

What Makes a Great Leader?

As many of you know I'm very active with the Charleston American Marketing Association. And many of you know that for the past 2 years I have been on the CAMA Board of Directors. My term as the Programming Director comes to an end this month and I, Ronii Bartles, will transition into the Presiden-Elect seat of the CAMA. What in the world did I get myself into? How am I going to lead a group of volunteers to be as passionate about marketing as I am? I don't think I know what I'm doing here?

In April the CAMA sent me to a leadership conference all about the AMA to help me with all these concerns and the self-doubt that I'm having. It was an amazing conference that made my head spin with so many great people and so much information about AMA and leadreship skills that I can use, not only with AMA, but in my business. I'm totally pumped and exhausted at the same time. My whirlwind trip to the conference really began the weekend before when I flew to San Francisco to visit a girlfriend from high school and drank Sonoma dry, only to come home for a few days, do a speaking gig, catch up on some work, attend Coco's wedding (on my brithday) and board a plane at 6am with a massive hangover the next morning. Did I mention there was a wedding on my birthday? Hence the hangover.

I get to Chicago after 3 hours of sleep and 9 asprins and our first session is at 9am with Kevin Eikenberry, who is the keynote speaker for the weekend. Kevin gave a fun and informative presentation on championing change. He then proceeded to make me famous for the weekend by drawing my name out of hat (not really a hat but close enough) and giving me his four books. That's right... four! I was known as the book girl the rest of the weekend. I guess that was my reward for actually paying attention with a massive hangover.

As Kevin talked about the differences in managing, leading and championing change, I couldn't help but wonder if people are born natural leaders or if these are skills that one can learn. I came to the conclusion in my sleep deprived haze that it is probably a little bit of both. There is a charisma to great leaders that makes you sit up and listen but there are also some skills that leaders must learn along the way. I'd like to think that I'm like my mother, which make me a natural born leader. But the reality is that I'm probably like any other person born with a little charisma that will help rally the troops. But there are just some things that I still need to learn.

I'm still scared to death about my upcoming term in a leadership role for the CAMA. Particularly since I know that come the following year I'm going to be the head honcho. Eeek!

I need help. What are some of you leadership tips? How do you lead those in your business and organizations?

Earning a masters in organizational leadership can help most individuals succeed in their professional life by becoming great leaders.

Mommy & Business Woman Collide

I am thrilled to become a member of the Bartles & Associates team. Being a stay-at-home mom for over four years now and watching my best friend branch out and become and entrepreneur inspired me to get back out in the business world. I haven’t totally been out of the business world though. I have been in direct sales for the past six years as an Independent Jeweler for Premier Designs Jewelry. This has allowed me to use and expand my knowledge of running a business and marketing myself. Direct sales is not an easy job and requires lots of motivation and determination, and this is what I intend to bring to B&A as an Account Executive.

When Ronii approached me to come work at B&A, I jumped at the chance. I get to sharpen and expand my business marketing skills and still get to be at home with my two handsome boys. I also hope to help B&A expand into other areas of the country, being as how I live in Martinsburg, WV.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not all business. I am a people person and love to socialize and partake in an adult beverage on occasion, especially being around a 5 and a 3 year old all day, every day. I do need adult girl time. One would say my weaknesses are jewelry, shoes, and purses. However, my boys are my #1 weakness. There is nothing more rewarding than those loving moments only little boys can give their mommy. But I need to be Jenn and not just Mommy all the time.

Being a 1999 graduate of Shepherd University majoring in Business Marketing and having backgrounds in real estate, office management, and direct sales, I feel that I am going to be a perfect fit with Bartles & Associates. I can’t wait to start working with current clients and bring in some of my own clients from West By God Virginia!

~ Jenn

Hello World ... I'm NOT Perfect!

Strange thing happened this week. We got fired. Yep. It happened. I can come up with all kinds of excuses as to why it wasn't our fault - the client was unhappy with the copy and we didn't write it, the client wanted to work with someone local and we are far away, the client wanted to work with a consultant that specialized in their industry and we are a general marketing firm, the client is bat shit crazy, etc., etc,. etc. You get the point. But it doesn't matter, the fact of the matter is we were FIRED. That wasn't the really strange thing that happened though.

I don't know if you noticed or not from my post last week but I've been feeling sorry for myself here lately. Moi!?!? Yes, me (so, sue me for not always being happy and being a little selfish). And just when I think my world couldn't get any worse, I get the call. YOUR FIRED! Total Donald Trump style too (not really but that doesn't make for an interesting enough story). Are you freakin' kidding me? I don't get fired, I'm Ronii Bartles and nothing I do is ever wrong and I'm PERFECT, which negates me from ever being fired because everyone LOVES me. Apparently, that's not so. Not everyone loves me. Now, I'm devasted.

So here we are (I'm going to say we because I do have a business partner, an associate and an intern to think about) and we are all pissed off and upset. Why? Because its been a shitty week, that's why. And then the strange thing happens. A client Skypes me saying, "are you busy?" Me: "No, what' up?" The client admits to me that they are completely overwhelmed and sad because they can't get caught up and don't know what to do with their business and are just so busy but not making any money so what's the point? I sat down and I took the time to talk with them and admit that as put together as I may seem to everyone on the outside - I'm NOT perfect! I know how they feel more than they even know. I get overwhelmed, stressed, depressed, happy, excited and back to depressed again and that's all in one day. Yeah, everyone on the outside might think that I'm well put together and can handle anything with grace. Well, honestly, Allen has to put up with the crazy me coming home crying because things didn't go according to my "master plan" (picture me using my jazz hands here) and now I'm overwhelmed and stressed and he just has to deal with me upset and crying while I'm making dinner. Boy does Allen have some stories about me not being perfect, but we are going to leave him out of this right now because who are we kidding, I'm perfect!

No one really sees that side but its there because I'm human too. I was really glad I opened up to them about the fact that I'm not as put together as everyone might think and I think they respect me even more for my honesty and openness. That's the thing, this whole business and life thing is about being genuine and honest. Yeah, I'm not perfect (I like bad pop music and Bud Select 55) and, yeah, I got fired this week. But that's ok - it just opens up room in my life for something better to come along.

I want to know, are you perfect? If so, what's the secret and how much will it cost me to find out? If not though, what's your dirty little secret that the world should know. Mine? I'm not perfect. And you know what? Its ok!

~Ronii