That’s Entertainment: Tap Dancing Around the Issues of Everyday Life

Miss Barbara, my neighbor, leans over the fence to watch me chase chickens every chance she gets. I’ve got a variety of routines. Her favorite is the one in which I wield a big black umbrella, flap it back and forth, and make hawk noises to scare “The Girls,” six beautiful fluffy white-and-tinted hens, hand raised by yours truly, back into their cozy condo.

She missed the show yesterday when a real hawk showed up and swooped down into the chicken corral. The feathers flew, but he went away with talons empty. My routine varied to include a floppy yellow dust mop and percussive “shoo” noises. My girls performed beautifully, running for cover just as they’d been trained.

My fear? Someone’s going to install a hidden camera and my 6-year-old will see me on America’s Funniest Home Videos. Heaven forbid. Of course, my pied piper clucking and my grandmama’s fail safe “chick-chick-chick-chick-UN” calls are worthy of a You Tube video or Grand Ol’ Opry appearance.

I’m known for my studious nature, but the time I spent in dance, theater and entertainment industries means I value showmanship and a good laugh in a variety of circumstances. That’s why this week when the plumbing dissolved into a swimming pool in the basement, I chose to laugh about it. That’s why this week every time the roofing job gets post-poned, I look for the sunny side up instead of dwelling on the Humpty Dumpty side of things.

Entertaining women are anything but boring. We can tap dance their way around any subject, or spotlight a personal passion. We consciously create memories weaving the fabric of the meaning in our lives. The most entertaining women, who we may know as lifelong learners, dancers, potters, weavers, painters, dreamers, and do-ers, have perfected the arts of reckless abandon, personal expression and manifestation.

Whether sharing a pot of perfectly brewed tea as we cultivate our friendships, or hanging over the garden fence with the woman next door, entertaining the important women in our lives may be as simple as recognizing the significance in our everyday dramas, then finding what makes the serious parts laughable.

But a subject we shouldn’t tap dance around is the need to respect and protect our uniqueness in our businesses. A hard-won lesson I’ve learned first-hand as an entertaining woman, whether performing, speaking, or writing with a client or collaborator, is the need to “get it in writing.” No matter how simplistic, contractually defining the responsibilities and ownership of any work for hire agreement or collaborative venture is important. The terms need to be spelled out by individuals who enter into creative partnerships of any kind.

I learned this lesson the hard way. In the early ‘90s, I pioneered a publication series which gathered and aggregated data for sale to business owners within a specific industry as a service. My co-collaborator offered to do the computer work if I’d create the information stream and do the marketing. As soon as the first month’s edition was ready to go, she copyrighted my work under her name, grabbed my marketing strategy (I’d trained her), and earned a living off the fruits of my intellectual property.

I didn’t see it coming.

Yesterday, a writer friend of mine told me the same thing happened to her. She recently collaborated on a movie script with a colleague, and the colleague took the entire work – including my writer friend’s significant contributions – cut her out of the mix, and claimed the work as her own. Now her colleague is collecting the royalties, and my friend’s significant writing contribution? Immaterial.

She didn’t see it coming, either.

So here’s the moral of this slightly scrambled and anything but over easy tale. When we know what the expectations are, it’s easier to mix business and pleasure, to share laughs and build businesses, to create networks of support and community around our work. When those expectations are in writing, and both parties have agreed, we eliminate the same-old-song-and-dance routine and raise the curtain on a new evolutionary leadership that entertaining women consciously craft.

Believe me, any actor worth her salt since Katherine Hepburn became the first woman in Hollywood to manage her own career and contracts knows that necessity is the mother of re-invention: “I have not lived as a woman, I have lived as a man. I’ve done what I damn well please, made enough money to support myself, and I ain’t afraid of being alone.”

Katie would be appalled if she knew ours is a 21st century United States in which women are not guaranteed equal rights under the law. That after burning her bridges and setting new, high standards for feminine leadership, we continue to be historic and social minorities, without equal pay for work product, or adequate legislative recourse for creative copyright violations.

She’d likely have something pithy to say about the whole mess. On camera.

Until women require contracts which favor their rights under the law, we’ll continue to give up our power to the benefit of others – a decision which makes about as much sense as running around with an umbrella trying to convince chickens you’re a scary hawk while the neighbors watch you instead of television.

Yeah, right.

Sherri L. McLendon, M.A., owns and operates Professional Moneta International, http://www.professionalmoneta.com, specializing in mindfulness approaches to marketing public relations and feminine leadership. This article originally appeared in WNC Woman Magazine in November 2012. All rights reserved. Reprint with permission.

Aquarius New Moon Perfect for Social Media

By Carolyn K
Special to Professional Moneta
 

Carolyn K

When you’re juggling the many facets of your business, you may feel like there’s no good time to employ a new marketing strategy, like building a social media presence. However, the time is now!

The new moon in Aquarius on the 22nd makes us think about our social pursuits, giving us the opportunity appreciate our current relationships and start creating new ones. The implications of the new moon fit perfectly with the sentiment of the new year in the Gregorian calendar. Now, we have the whole year ahead of us, and we’re ready to start fresh.

With these things in mind, it may be time to either revamp your social media strategy or implement social media into your business plan, if you haven’t already. Here are some tips to live by when analyzing and formulating your social media strategy:

Make Goals

The first step to any social media campaign is to make goals, laying out a plan that can guide you to success. Do you want to drive people to your website? Increase sales? Or simply get your name out there? Your specific goals will greatly influence your execution and strategy, overall.

 Track Your Progress

The only way to see if you are, indeed, making progress is to measure your results! Track visitors using tools like Google Analytics, Hootsuite, Twitter’s new analytics tool, or a combination of all three.

 Prioritize Content

Content is key. That’s why you should elect particularly astute individuals to create your content and keep a watching eye over what’s posted on your social media sites. If you can, interview people in the industry and create a great, informational article. This kind of rich, informative material will bring fans flocking to your sites.

Mind Your P’s and Q’s

Lastly, and most importantly, be polite, cordial, and classy, as any money goddess would. Try to respond to questions or comments on your social media sites and express gratitude to your followers. The last thing you want is to make a bad reputation for yourself and your company. Followers, fans, and friends will greatly appreciate your modesty and politeness.

About the Author: Carolyn is a guest post writer who loves to write about eco-friendly and holistic business planning and inventory management.

 

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