This past week my oldest child turned 13. While I was recovering from the realization of now being a parent to a teenager I also began reflecting back on bringing him home from the hospital and the new feelings of being a first time parent; that feeling of responsibility was overwhelming. As I watch him today, I am quite proud of the young man he has become and though I have made many mistakes as a parent to him, those initial feelings of insecurity have been replaced with pride each and every time someone shares with me how respectful, well mannered, and “a great kid” he is and I know that my husband and I must be doing something right.
My parenting style is not to everyone’s taste, I am strict, direct, set high expectations, yet not unrealistic, and as a working mom I am not available for every milestone or achievement, so when I am with my children I try to be extremely nurturing and focused to make up for all the time I’m away. As I considered my parenting style it became quiet obvious to me that my professional style was parallel – and that not only was I raising 3 children, I am and have been raising dozens of client over the past 13 years as well.
As a small marketing and interactive firm, we don’t get Fortune 500 companies calling us to participate in an upcoming agency review. In fact, it is a rare occasion that we get an opportunity to work with a well seasoned company with a dedicated full-time vice-president of marketing or even a director of marketing who understands the agency’s role as a support to their goals and objectives. Most of our clients are newcomers to the advertising, marketing, and interactive arena and we spend much of the first year or two in a teaching mode. While they aren’t in an infant stage, as they aren’t completely dependent on us, they are more in a toddler stage. Our clients can do a few things for themselves, but are easily distracted and easily upset when we say “no” to some of the things they want, and like many toddlers even after being told “no” they will attempt to do it themselves and later understand the consequences. Unfortunately just like toddlers, those lessons learned don’t usually apply to new wants and wishes.
While I do miss the days before I became a parent and business owner, when I was living in Atlanta and later in Nashville, working for large agencies in production and account management and some of my clients were, Marriott Hotels, Swiss Hotel, BellSouth, The Home Depot, Turner Communications, Cox Communications, Northside Hospital, Northside Realty, Opryland Hotel, Baptist Hospital, just to name a few, I take great pride in seeing my “toddler” clients grow and am glad to see many of them, just as I am personally glad to see my son, reach ”early adulthood” where they appreciate Blue Olive’s rolling and guidance in helping them reach their goals of brand recognition and revenue growth.