With Bee Young Communications and Marketing, I can’t wait to get out of bed every morning. Born with a growth mindset, I’m learning something new each day as I build my boutique marketing agency. I’m growing up, despite the age. But, I’m new to agency life. Most of my career has been spent in collegiate athletics and higher ed. With more than 20 something years of high-level Public Relations and Strategic Marketing experience, I admit I don’t know ‘agency speak’.
Sometimes I’m not sure how to word a statement of work. Should I bill a client by the hour or by the project? At times, I need to be pointed in the right direction. And sometimes I just need someone to say, ‘you got this!’
In 2020, I joined a PRSA Silicon Valley webinar on ageism. I added a comment in the chat, hoping to steer the conversation in a positive direction. Right away, a couple of women chimed in they agreed with me. After the call was over, we connected on LinkedIn. After some back and forth emails, we decided to host a Zoom call of our own.
The 3 Ms
Oddly enough, we are all named Michele/Michelle. Michele M. Horaney, APR is in Washington and Michelle McIntyre is in Palo Alto. We’ve nicknamed ourselves the 3Ms. So no, every couple of weeks, we jump on a Zoom call together.
In an hour, we share what book we are reading or glow as we tell a recent client success story. We share things that are working for us. It feels good. We get and give praise. We receive recognition for a job well done with a smile. As we’ve gotten to know each other better, we aren’t afraid to be vulnerable. In addition, we happily accept advice and reflect on how to do our jobs better. And thankfully, they have assured me, it’s a lot less about knowing the agency jargon and more about the ability to do the work.
I’ve learned so much from both of them already.
Someone wrote recently that 2021 would be the Year of the Conversation. I wrote a Bee Young Comms blog, calling it the Year of the Networking Conversation. As I build my boutique marketing agency, I am networking with someone almost weekly.
Ageism seems silly.
‘Oh, they aren’t in their 20s or 30s – what can they know?’ Like everything happening now was invented today. Why can’t we look at working women in their 50s and 60s as seasoned professionals? Women can impart wisdom not only on each other, but on other age groups as well. I shouldn’t be embarrassed to tell people I’m 54. I should be celebrating everything I’ve accomplished and not try to hide by deleting accomplishments off my resume. Why? Because they’ll be able to figure out I’m in my early 50s? See there I go again.
My word this year is Aspire. I picked it after reading Jon Gordon’s book One Word. Let’s all ASPIRE to grow a little bit in 2021 across all fronts. ASPIRE to open your mind and learn from each other, despite someone’s age. Because it’s truly what life should be about.