Recently I was pondering why I post so infrequently to this blog, as compared to Momover.net, which gets major love.
And then it dawned on me:
Duh, dude. It's because this blog is about your current projects, and a lot of those need to be kept on the QT.
Thus, when I'm blogging here, I often have to write in vague generalities. Which is hard (and weird) for me, because I'm alllll about specifics. And details. And micro-nuggets of intel. I'm a fairly dogged reporter and I love sniffing-out concrete info and sharing it with the world at large.
But if you're working for yourself - especially in corporate copywriting and branding, which I'm pushing further and further into every day - you really shouldn't be sharing much of anything.
In fact, you should be doing the polar opposite of sharing. You should act as a veritable fortress protecting your clients' ideas, their actions, their hopes + dreams, their raisons d'être.
While the bulk of my career has been in magazine publishing - mostly on-staff at Conde Nast, but I've also logged a lot of time at Time, Inc. - I did duck-out of editorial for a pretty good chunk of time to work in strategic development in the Luxe division of L'Oreal.
At L'Oreal - mostly because my two bosses were French, but also because the entire company is French, I really honed my already-decent Scorpio secret-keeping skills. The French don't over-share. And when the biggest beauty company in the world is also France-based, we're talking serious cloak and daggers.
So what's my point with all this? Is there a point in today's filmy, gauzy, circular, elliptical blog post?
There actually is. And the point is this: I'm feeling professionally blessed right now, for a few reasons.
1) I have borderline too much work. This is excellent news for an Independent Contractor whose self-marketing skills are not exactly stellar.
2) I'm learning, through the mentoring of a very close friend - an entrepreneur and fellow IC - how to have very direct chats with my clients. About fees. About project scope. About expectations. About when it might be time to part ways.
3) I've discovered that when it is time to part ways, 99.9 percent of the time it's due to a regime change at the top, a shuffling of the management deck. This happens all. the. time. in Corporate-ville. (And, increasingly, in magazine publishing, too.)
My advice? Just acknowledge it - get it out there - by having one of those direct chats I was just telling you about. That saves everyone so much time and angst. Parting ways isn't personal, and it isn't a reflection of your work. Trust me on this.
4) I believe - really believe - that when one door shuts, another one opens. And 9 times out of 1o, it's a better door.
I'm sorry I can't be more specific about any of this.
But I just can't.