Turning 30

I have been thinking about the future lately. I suppose it has to do with the new year that arrived and the fact that I’m turning 30(!) this year. The big 3-0 is something that I’m welcoming with open arms. My twenties were crazy. From college graduation to Alaska to getting married and moving (again and again)…Oh, yeah, and having this adorable kiddo!WNC Nature Center 011

I welcome the thoughts of settling down and making some tough choices. Choices about money, where we live, work, play… the list goes on. The choices I make now, are not only for me, but for my family.

Things I think about as I turn 30:

  • My choices are my own, only I can make them, and they impact people around me.
  • My choices are exactly that. Choices. I may make the wrong one, but I’ll learn.
  • It’s  alright to try new things… and it’s alright not to like them, no matter how ‘cool’ they are.

When I was in my early 20s, I would read countless articles from women that said that they were more comfortable in their own skin in their 30s than they were in their 20s. I never understood that. In my 20s, I could do anything, be anything, and move anywhere. And, for the most part, I did.

What is more comfortable than all that freedom? Man I was naive.

Today, I’m still shocked that seasoned professionals grabbed me and kept me focused. From awesome managers to tremendous mentors that still check on me from time to time.

Now I am more confident and sure of my choices than I have been in my entire life. Yes, all 29 years. I enjoy the work I do and the people I work with. I make choices on who I work with and for. That is liberating. 

Another thing I never new would bring so much freedom is security.

Yes, I said it, security.

20s are not as glamorous as everyone makes them out to be. Seriously, my idea of a fun weekend was taking the bus to Borders (yes, it’s now closed), getting a magazine, and going home to cook dinner. Glamorous? Glam cost dinero. I had none.

Knowing I have a job, a family to come home to, a car that works, or money to try some new recipes is the best I’ve felt since… ever. They are simple things. But I love simple.

Sure, the days I didn’t have a car and rode the bus all over the Twin Cities was… humbling. But now? I’d rather have a car to run errands with a toddler.

Today, I know what I need, what I like, and what I can do to keep me and my family happy and healthy. I know and trust God to guide us, and if I truly desire to be successful in my life’s relationships, work, and health, I need the help of others. I need community. People better than I am. Friends and family that love me. In my 30s, I want to nurture that.

Bring on my 30s!

20s- I know you’ll always be there because Facebook will always remind me.

Skip Facebook?

I used to tell small business owners that Facebook was a cost effective way to connect with their customers. I have to say, that it has never been free. Your time is precious and costs money.

Now, after so many businesses logged on, bought in, took the time to integrate Facebook into their businesses and marketing plans, what does Facebook do? Hold their fans hostage.

How is this one social network doing this? Well when you insert a status update on a brand (business) page, you have to pay to reach your whole audience. It has been this way for a while, I know. So what is a small business to do?

Ask yourself these 5 questions:

  1. Who are my customers and how do they interact/purchase with my business?
  2. Where are my customers? Are they online only? Or are they coming into your brick-and-mortar location(s)?
  3. What messages resonate with your customers and are those messages best delivered on Facebook, or would another medium be better?
  4. How are you able to measure you marketing initiatives now?
  5. Are your marketing goals aligned with business goals?

#5 is probably a better place to start if you really want to see if it is worth the investment to put money toward Facebook posts. In my mind, funding for marketing is always worth the investment if… IF you are measuring the return and if your initiatives are based on business goals.

I have read blog posts about companies leaving Facebook. If you have built an audience by putting in the time and money already, that can be a painful business decision. There are also people that might be married to Facebook, which makes the decision a much harder one.

What are your thoughts? Are you leaving Facebook?