on being EXTRAORDINARY

There seems to be immense pressure, in social norm, to be extraordinary.  With social media being an ever looming presence, there is no escaping the expectation to be extraordinary.

Almost as if  being “good” or “REALLY good” at something is no longer enough. We need to go “viral” we need to create buzz, we need to “prove” something… not to someone… rather everyone. People we don’t even know need to know of our extraordinary-ness.

How are we defining extraordinary? working in the online social space, i see it all. I know the work it takes to get one ‘viral’ shot, one dog and child behaving in harmony picture, one spoof video with your entire family in perfectly matching tees… i get it. It’s hard work and for anyone who thinks some of this stuff just happens… no it doesn’t. There is a ton of work that goes behind a ‘viral’ video or image. seo, slugs, tags, reddit, stumble, instagram, brown nosing… it’s a whole business. But that my readers is how you, me, we, judge extraordinary. Isn’t it? or is it? *there are exceptions who find an organic way to go viral but these are few*

It’s taken me years to get over the fact that my dance career at the ‘extraordinary‘ level is over. I don’t have any desire to get back to it anymore simply because too much time has passed and I’m not motivated to rebuild that sort of career. But just when I accept that, I find myself in this world of blogging where the business of being a mom has to be extraordinary!  It’s not enough to post a cute picture of your child… you have to now spend endless time making that go viral. A cute kid + dog + your ultra trendy outfit + on a beach in Bali + with yummy food that you cooked up while balancing 2 kids on your hip + lo-fi filter… i could go on.

I have to admit that I do get lulled into this extraordinary rat race. how could I not! I work in a competitive online space and being extraordinary is how this world measures success. Thankfully this family of mine snaps me out of my madness from time to time.

I would really just love to move to a beachy town and open up an art studio or a theatre, make dances, screen print shirts and letterpress all day. Wouldn’t that be just be the dream. I would make a difference in arts education while also making art!

But in today’s social media obsessed lifestyle, this would not be enough. I would have to have an art studio or theatre which is creating footage that goes viral because some 6 year old wonder kid living in the beach town community would be able to belt our a first soprano aria while still drinking from a sippy cup and cranking out 32 fuetes on point while her cat runs circles around her, or my screen tees  would build an obsessive following via instagram because some fashion mom indie blogger who lives on the upper west side would photograph their kid wearing my design or my letterpress stationary would make it to the oval office on some ‘small business’ support” initiative.

and then people would say – that’s extraordinary.

Truth is I am pretty satisfied being where I am, who I am and chugging along doing ordinary things with my extraordinary family. These babies of mine think I am pretty extraordinary when i do  things like

  • Let Lily stay up an extra hour
  • have ice cream for breakfast
  • go the beach
  • dance in the rain
  • have a movie night
  • read extra books at night
  • fall asleep with them
  • let them crawl in our bed in the morning
  • have dance parties
  • just give them snuggles
  • …and these everyday life moments

all extraordinary things… to my most important audience. and that’s all that matters in the end.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you feel this pressure in your  life…not just to be good but to be extraordinary!

 

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10 BlogHer tips for Brands and Bloggers

So in case you have been living under a rock … the mother of all momblogging conferences is going on right now.. this weekend. BlogHer!

This, my friends, is where the Who’s Who of the blogger community gather.  They host events, speak on panels, and party! Brands large and small flock to this conference to engage with bloggers.

While I am not attending this year, my dear friend Candice – of Mom Most Traveled – and I have decided to impart some honest to goodness bona-fide wisdom for those of you attending. You’ve heard a ton of advice so we’ve broken ours down to 5 essential tips…5 for bloggers, and 5 for brands. Maybe you won’t get these tips on other carefully written lists, but we want to give you the real truth about attending blogging conferences.

FOR BLOGGERS:

  1. Be gracious. Be conscious about NOT making other bloggers feel “less than”. The blogging world is full of introverts (we do, after all, do our best work when we are alone in our pajamas), and lots of people are out of their comfort zone. You can be a light, or you can be a sledge-hammer.
  2. This is business, not a sorority party, so slow down on the drinkies. It’s tacky, it’s embarrassing and you are perpetuating the ‘drunk blogger’ stereotype.
  3. DO branch out from “your tribe”. After all, that is kind of the point of BlogHer. Mix and mingle and play nicely in the sandbox.
  4. We realize that this might be the first time in months that you have been invited to a party for adults…but make sure you dress on the “professional” side of fancy. Brand parties are an excellent place to network, so now might not be the best time to bust out those plexiglass stilettos, or show off your fab cocktail dress at 10 in the morning. Ain’t nobody got time for stilettos.
  5. be YOU. be the nicest most bestest beautiful version of YOU because you are the best YOU. No one else is YOU and only YOU have that special something that the world is waiting for. YOU! brands want YOU… authentic, genuine YOU. so be original, be yourself and don’t hide your true beautiful self under a bushel.

FOR BRANDS:

  1. You are attending Blogher for a reason… to connect with bloggers. So do that.  Look up from your texting and your business emails. Set it to OOO auto responder and be present! 
  2. First I’d like you to note – Not every blogger is looking for swag, We are looking for contacts and a business relationship. That said —> Think about the quality of ‘swag’ you are handing out. You are at Blogher… the mecca of swag. Some brands go all out with swag so your brand key chain is not going to cut it. I once received a simple $5 gift card to Starbucks with the brand logo on it. that was the best swag!  Be creative and make a real personal connection. That is the most effective type of swag.
  3. Follow up via email the Tuesday after BlogHer! If you have a promising stack of business cards, don’t let them go to waste! Snooze? Lose.
  4. Be ready to do some bona-fide Speed Dating with bloggers! Connect with Bloggers on a personal level. Ask them about their kids, ask them about their blog, their interests…find out everything you can, so you can court them later with great campaigns!
  5. The MOST IMPORTANT thing brands can do to track their action during blogher is #ashtag!! Seize the moment brands! Have a hashtag, create a silly photo booth which will give bloggers a chance to relax + have fun = trending hashtag, you can also give away a ridic prize based on hashtag photo booth submissions.

And a bonus for the brands … free massages and John Stamos cover a multitude of sins. #justsayin

 

Have fun at BlogHer everyone!

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