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George-Dinosaur Train - sparrow soirees

If you’re around tykes at all you know a Curious George and Dinosaur Train mash-up would be the be-all-and-end-all of kiddie television. George’s antics with Buddy’s brains would be an unstoppable force to be dealt with on PBS.

This is also the perfect analogy for what happened in February to me. Last month, realizing I was mashing two very different services at Sparrow Soirées, I had to step back and really think about what I wanted for the future of my business and this blog. I felt like a lot of people were asking if I was going to pick one avenue – event planning or social media consulting – and move forward with it. Admittedly I struggled writing this post because the process has been so personal.

Sparrow Soirées sparked from an idea of helping individuals with their marriage proposals (yep; that was the original idea). While drawing up the plan a year ago (it was a year ago!?), I realized it would be best to offer an array of event planning services for social milestones, non-profits, higher-ed and businesses. The latter three are what I spent the last 16 or so years doing, ranging from working at a corporate event contracting firm to the UW’s Alumni Association to Lifelong AIDS Alliance. The social milestones portion was – and is – so exciting to me. I find the unique connection with clients while helping them celebrate a milestone, a special moment, makes event planning amazingly fun and rewarding. Bottom line: I know events inside and out. I couldn’t imagine giving up this part of me.

By a unique twist of fate though last summer, a long-time friend had asked me to help her new business’ social media branding. So I started blogging and working on the business’ social media apps like Facebook and Pinterest. A few weeks after we rolled a few ideas out, I was in a local boutique talking with the owner and she asked me about my work. After a more couple weeks had passed, with her mulling over the idea of working together, I found myself with a new social media consulting contract. And within the last few months, I’ve picked up a few more contracts. Social media consulting calls for a completely different part of my brain and creativity than planning an event. It’s completely fascinating to me because it’s always evolving.

In the end, my final decision has been to move forward with both sides of the house. It’s like having two kids. I’ve learned to respect and honor their individual traits and not try to make one an exact copy of the other.

The biggest struggle though has been this blog and its direction. At times it just hasn’t felt like “me.” Writing a post for someone else comes natural to me. I take the direction, or content, given to me and mold it into a post. In attempting to write my own, I sometimes feel like I’m in a tunnel with the lights off. And that’s really scary to admit. I read other blogs – a lot of other blogs – trying to figure out the secret sauce in keeping their blogs professional while appearing so personal. I mentioned this to my friend Emily while we were at a social media conference last month; how I really struggle about not wanting to cross the “overshare” line – the line with professional life on one side and personal life on the other – out of sheer fear of what someone will think of me or Sparrow Soirées. Acting as a complete voice of reason she encouraged me, well, to be me and ignore the doubts building in my head. So with that said, I’m evolving my own blog into sharing topics that tickle my fancy while being very aware of you, the readers. I might stumble a little bit here and there, but I hope you’ll hang in there with me.

So in the end Curious George and Dinosaur Train are beautifully mashed-up. I’m an event planner and social media consultant with a blog to share the adventures. And I thank you for being a part of it all.

By the way, I’m really excited to announce my official website will be unveiled later this spring!