The Office Pool
Posted By: Ali Anderson
Most every office has some kind of event where there is harmless gambling involved; maybe it’s taking bets on when a co-worker will have the baby. Or how long until the boss gives in and gets caught chain-smoking out behind the dumpster. And there’s nothing quite like the NCAA March Madness brackets to reveal a colleague’s true colors. In my case, I’m fairly certain the good people over at Fastline Media take bets on how long it will take Ali Anderson to make decisions about her website.
It’s not that I’m a commitment-phobe. It’s just that creating a brand for yourself out of thin air with a looming deadline is a little bit like shopping at Target during rush hour. Sure, you have your list in hand. You know what it is you need: super-mega-ultra rolls of paper towels, industrial-sized packages of toilet paper and enough trail mix and shower curtains to last through a nuclear winter.
You’re on track to get out of Target on time and under $100, but then you take a detour on the way to the cash register because there might be some shoes on sale. And just as you’re reveling in the karmic goodness of snagging the last pair in your size, you realize you might be out of dog food. But as you’re hefting the dog food into the cart, you remember you told your son’s teacher you would bring cupcakes to the bake sale tomorrow. At this point, you might as well toss a few extra bottles of wine into the cart with that cupcake mix because your day just got a lot longer and your brain a little bit more crowded, especially when you get home and realize you have enough dog food for the pooch to make it through a nuclear winter too.
My point is that you can be clearly defined with what you need for your business’s online presence. You might even be lucky enough to know clearly what you want. When you’re working within a deadline though (especially as a mother), sometimes the needs and wants of your business get trapped under the wheels of the family bus. And that, my friends, is exactly how you end up standing in the longest checkout line with a shopping cart full of jumbled needs and wants when you’re already running behind and stretched to the limit.
I’ve made some big gains in recent weeks with my website decisions, but to do it I had to realize that I can’t wander around my day like I used to before kids; taking my sweet time because it was practically disposable. Today, I’m a mother with a business. That means I have to be more efficient with the smaller amounts of time I do have; Thirty-minutes to research and choose fonts I like for my website while dinner cooks and the kids are engaged in something that doesn’t involve me. Ten minutes to sketch out my thoughts on website content while I’m waiting in the carpool line at school. Twenty-five minutes to write a SOAR! blog post while I wait for gymnastics class to finish. And occasionally, I have to be kind enough to myself to ask for help getting over the rocky parts: “Dear Sweet Spouse of Mine, can you please take the kids today so I can have uninterrupted time to get stuff done?”
That’s how I move important things forward these days – in fits and starts.
I really truly can’t wait for you to see what I’m working on with the team at Fastline. And if anyone finds out how much Fastline’s betting pool on my responsiveness is up to, be sure to leave it in the comments.