Business Cards with Shelf Life

After a networking event, do your business cards that you have relentlessly handed out go into a dusty rolodex, bottom of a purse with the used Kleenex, or the trash? Do your business cards have shelf life and are they unique to your brand? Shelf life refers to the length of time that perishable items are given before they are considered unsuitable for use or consumption. Also, in a populated city of highly social professionals, young professional women should make their first impression memorable.
Create business cards that are: uniquely you, show off your personal brand and have shelf life. Handmade or useful items usually last the longest, which is why specialty advertising products are so popular, i.e. pens, magnets, reusable bags, etc.
Check out etsy.com for ideas on how to create the trendiest items that are cheap, easy and creative. Don’t completely eliminate use of your old business cards; however choose the time, place and audience to hand out your specialty pieces.
Tips:
1. Choose items that are light, small and useful.
2. Ask others for their opinion on your idea before getting started.
3. Search the web for “small handmade giveaway ideas.”
4. Use coupons and shop online or your local craft store for bulk bargain supplies.
5. Get a group of friends together for an assembly line (offer to supply the wine and snacks).
Email contact@jensprague.com with your ideas, I would love to showcase them.

Is 30 the new 50? A Midlife Crisis at 30… Part II

I was once told by a leadership guru that there is no such thing as a work/life balance, only a rhythm. As 30-something women continue on the quest of “having it all,” I have come to the conclusion that “having it all” is not a universal American dream, but totally subjective. In my opinion, “all,” means having happy, healthy children, a fulfilling and challenging career, slender figure, stylish wardrobe, beautiful and clean house, large savings account and zero debt, relentless energy and romance with my husband, and on and on and one…

May not come as a surprise to you but I am a perfectionist. I was raised by parents who always expected so much out of me, and I of myself, sometimes too much. I continue to live with those expectations; a desire to want bigger, better and more… every day. But I am tired. When will I feel significant? When will enough be enough? When will I feel like I have it all?

I came across a phenomenal article in Forbes Magazine, “Why Millennial Women Are Burning Out At Work By 30.” Author Larrisa Faw quoted Melanie Shreffler of the youth marketing blog Ypulse. Melanie stated, “they [ Millennial women] expected things to be better now that they’ve arrived and made it. But instead they are starting over on the bottom rung and still striving. You can’t see the end of the tunnel because they are so many twists and turns. It’s impossible to see what life will be like in 20 years these days. It’s hard to look just 3-4 years in the future. They don’t know what they are striving for, which makes it really hard to move forward.”

This quote hit the mark. After a lot of reflection with my husband, I realized that it was time to make a change career-wise, so now I find myself in unfamiliar territory. I’ve always been athat woman who knew her path and what to do to get to the final destination. But I find myself in the midst of twist and turns. Since resigning, my life’s rhythm has allowed me to focus on personal fitness, my master’s program classes and motherhood. Most importantly, it’s allowed me to reflect on what my true passion is at the workplace- strategic management and innovation.

Check out the Forbes article at http://www.forbes.com/sites/larissafaw/2011/11/11/why-millennial-women-are-burning-out-at-work-by-30/
 

Why “Strategy Maven?”

The world, specifically technology and consumer needs, are constantly changing. Doing more with less has become the norm. Scarce resources, instant communication, and marketplace competition have made innovation and organizational change management a significant and highly desired skillset.
Strategy is at the core of effective innovation and organizational change management. Jeffrey Phillips, Blogger and Author of Relentless Innovation, astutely informs us that most organizations operate in an unplanned and reactive way and are “allowing the market, new entrants and consumers to shift demands, rather than creating demands with interesting new products.” He also writes, “What’s needed for innovation to succeed in these environments is a clear, definitive strategy.” Having keen strategy and ideation methods allow organizations to innovatively create and meet the demands of consumers.

Strategy is the artistic combination of innovation, ideation and action planning to achieve goals. As a Strategy Maven, I assist organizations with establishing a vision, and step by step process through the innovation, ideation and action planning process. Equally important is monitoring progress throughout the entire process which ensures action plans are aligned with corporate values and philosophy and aligned to measurably succeed.

Check out Phillips Blog at: http://innovateonpurpose.blogspot.com/2010/02/why-clear-strategy-is-so-important-to.html

Is 30 the new 50? A Midlife Crisis at 30 and “Aha” Moments to Get Through It.

After nine years of marriage, I awoke to my husband on a snowy January morning in my former life in Colorado Springs. I took a shower, readied myself for work and brushed my daughters’ hair (while they complained and are somehow surprised that after 2,920 days of life their hair must be brushed for the day). I followed the most monotonous morning routine; so monotonous that after my first morning cup of coffee in my office, I would wonder how I even got to work.  In my sometimes overly analytical mind, I  would ponder the thought, “Is this it? … This must be it.”

Don’t get me wrong, I love my career but there are those moments when I feel destined for something more.

Do I leave it up to destiny or do I handle it like I do everything else in my life and jerk the reins?  As I sat in my office chair with career dreams bigger than the four office walls I had been assigned to, I decided to log on to the one place with all the answers it seems, Amazon.com. I was uncertain as to what to search for:  a sign from God, a new pair of boots or a book? Surprisingly, I learned that I’m not crazy and a midlife crisis at 30 is more common than I thought.

I ordered and read Midlife Crisis at 30: How the Stakes Have Changed for a New Generation—And What to Do about It by Lia Macko, as if it had the cure for cancer encoded in the plot.  I took away several “aha” moments and ultimately decided to make the career move of a lifetime. I accepted a high profile position as Chief of Communications for Dallas Independent School District. We packed up, sold our home and left the great Rocky Mountains for Dallas, Texas.

Today, I continue to wake up next to my husband of now 11 years, this time in Dallas, and honestly the only thing that has changed now is my outlook. Perhaps that’s all this journey is, one’s outlook.  My mornings are the same, my career dreams are the same, but now the game has changed…

I love aha moments! Share any you have had on this topic, I would love to hear about yours and respond.

Next post to this series: “How did my midlife crisis begin and the aha moments I’ve discovered”…

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A sincere thank you to KXAS/NBC 5 and Kristi Nelson for interviewing me and my family. I am going to miss the amazing DISD staff but look forward to continually supporting them. My family and I are excited about the next chapter of our lives here in Dallas!

A sincere thank you to KXAS/NBC 5 and Kristi Nelson for interviewing me and my family. I am going to miss the amazing DISD staff but look forward to continually supporting them. My family and I are excited about the next chapter of our lives here in Dallas!

Having It All?

Now that human beings have an average life span of 70 years, I am sure there will be many more 20 and 30-somethings experiencing symptoms that appear to be part of a mid-life crisis. We hear people often say that 40 is the new 30 but I sometimes wonder is 30 the new 50?

I have decided to begin a short blog series targeting 30-something women with the family and career decisions that lie ahead in order to engage and share my own experiences.

Writing as your standard  “A-Type” overachiever, I decided I’ll do it all at once - husband, kids, career, and self. Maybe, just maybe, a few other women out there can relate to what I am saying and possibly have the answer to having it “all.”


 

As we begin a new year full of opportunities and adventures, I know that I and many other women will be forced to make tough decisions but it is actually these challenges that make us all stronger and truly make life worth living.


I look forward to learning more about all of you as well as sharing my thoughts and experiences that have brought me to the place I am today.

Sincerely,

Jennifer