My First Wonderful Week as an Entrepreneur

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It’s Friday, the first full work week of my new life as an entrepreneur. I started the day at 4:30am with lots of coffee; I will end it by meeting up with a friend for a beer.

It’s been a great week, although I am still adjusting to my new employer. I made some headway on some ongoing client projects but a lot of time this week was spent setting up new office equipment and managing other startup administrative tasks.

Everyone I’ve seen has asked, “How are you feeling? How is it so far?” A friend even said that I looked like “the weight of the world has been lifted from your shoulders.”

I am feeling pretty good and enjoying a new sense of control over my destiny. I like that, and the change it has made in my attitude toward life.

It has also been very energizing to hear from new people or those who have long been a part of my social network. I’m really grateful to all the wonderful people, clients, colleagues, community members and friends who have provided support and encouragement as I get started on this path. I’m also very grateful to my family, but especially my husband (who is probably trying to adjust to the fact that I’m not traveling constantly anymore!).

On my first day, I asked my friends for entrepreneurial advice — some good stuff here:

It’s also nice to know that I have so many good, successful contacts in my network who are business owners! As I continue this adventure I will ask for advice from time to time. I’ll also probably continue to share the story of how this business progresses and (hopefully) grows.

Thank you for continuing to follow me and enter into the discussion. You all are a big reason why I’m here and why I’ve chosen this road. I’ll see you along the way!

Introducing Jaggers Communications

By Jaggers Communications News, Uncategorized

Yesterday, I shared news on my personal blog that makes the focus of this blog a bit more evident. You may have even noticed some changes around this site, such as the introduction of a new page and a new business name.

I’m very pleased to announce that beginning January 3, 2011, I will launch Jaggers Communications. I will be using my experience in agency and corporate communications work to help businesses and nonprofits reach their business goals through strategic marketing, content creation, public relations and social media.

The tag line in the logo says it all – the work provided by Jaggers Communications is strategic — there will always be a correlation between our clients’ business goals and the communications efforts we produce on their behalf. We’re social — as in, we use social networks, social media and social strategy as a vehicle to drive a campaign forward. Social will always be an element of an overall strategic communications plan — not the plan itself. Smart is not only about using our brains to support your business, it’s about developing goals that are specific, measurable, actionable, realistically high and time-bound. SMART. See?

There are four industry categories we will continue to serve: health care, education, tourism and manufacturing (especially of the green variety.)

I am indebted to the reputation management firm Standing Partnership, my employer for the past five years, for giving me the experience, the confidence and the blessing to go out on my own and continue as my mentors and friends.

I am eagerly anticipating the adventure that awaits and I look forward to working for, and collaborating with many new friends and established contacts.

Reputation Management of Tiger Woods

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If you have not yet read Tiger Woods’ My Turn essay “How I’ve Redefined Victory” in this week’s Newsweek, give it a quick read. I’ll wait.

Do you feel a little sick?

My first reaction was “too little, too late.”  That reaction was the same as what many people had with Tiger’s press conference apology in August, nine months after his highly publicized car accident.

Tiger Woods had a short window of opportunity at the very beginning of his infidelity coming to light, to step up, apologize and work diligently on recovery. He waited though; hid, actually, as more and more damaging information came out.

Throughout that time I had sympathy for his public relations team because I was sure they were advising him to come forward and there’s nothing more frustrating than having a client who refuses to take good counsel.

The second issue I have with Tiger’s essay is the thick layer of spin. There’s hardly a word in the essay that strikes me as written by anyone other than a PR person (and that’s coming from me, a PR person). It’s the kind of effort that would have been better offered a year ago, but with more authenticity than the carefully crafted B.S. about making mac and cheese for his kids or his nights spent alone channel-surfing.

It’s clear that Tiger’s people are selling him as an everyman; we’re supposed to identify with him and have empathy.

Are you buying it?

There are numerous examples of philanderers who have recovered their reputations after getting caught in compromising positions (I asked for suggestions on Twitter once and had several replies).

It’s possible that Tiger will recover his reputation, but his team has a long road ahead.

Finding a Job: Social Networks are Key

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My sister, Marçia Heroux Pounds,  is a journalist and the author of a new book you should read; I Found a Job! Job Search Strategies for America’s Recovery.

Marcia Heroux Pounds

You should buy it, read it, and buy copies for everyone you know looking for a job (or a new, improved job).

The book is I Found a Job! and you can get it from Barnes and Noble (this is especially important for all of you boycotting Amazon right now.)

I Found a Job

A person’s social network plays a big role in how many of the individuals interviewed for this book found new careers and opportunities. As a big cheerleader for social networking, I am thrilled to promote this book as a collection of inspiring stories of people seeking and finding gratifying work.

This book or its development may be familiar to many of you; I used my own social network to help my sister connect to many of the people interviewed for this project and some of those people appear in the book. (If you’re a reader of mine, and you buy I Found a Job! you may see some familiar names!)

Buy the book from Barnes and Noble.