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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

what do you do?

photo snapped by gota at book launch fete while opening goodie from his mum

this question has been a challenge for the past decade. especially when i first started teaching yoga and the whole concept was much more foreign and much less chic than it is now. i've been "a consultant" - fancy word for yoga teacher accepted by washingtonians, "a yoga teacher" - didn't cover everything else i did when not teaching yoga, "a yoga studio owner" - i don't simply own a studio, i work hard at a studio. hmmm, never quite found the right quick answer to this question. thus, i came up with "yogini, teacher, entrepreneur, do-gooder, author, eco-designer" to describe myself in a nutshell. what do you say to this sure-to-be-asked cocktail party question?

during my time in mexico last month i took a crack at writing what i did and wanted to share my list in case it would provide insights into running yoga studios (TS), a clothing line (TT), non-profit (TSF), and media company (HTV). i included additional pieces as KW.

- initiate content and ideas for promos and eblasts: TT, TSF, HTV, TS
- write muse for newsletter: HTV, TS, TSF
- pay bills: TT, TSF, HTV, TS
- create meeting agendas: TSF, TS
- design: TT
- schedule/plan photoshoots: TT, TS
- review/approve samples: TT
- cultivate experience: TT, TSF, HTV, TS
- lead retreats: HTV, TS
- initate content and interviews for podcasts/vidcasts: HTV
- ship orders: HTV, TT
- oversee schedules: TS
- team management: TS, TT, TSF
- oversee teacher training with director: TS
- media interviews: TT, HTV, TS, TSF
- host/develop team retreats: TS
- register/prep/tend booth at tradeshows: TT
- social work degree: KW
- collaborate with accountant: TS, TSF, HTV, TT
- teach at kripalu: HTV
- manage 6 bank accounts + send detailed data to accountant monthly
- social media: TT, TS, HTV, TSF
- run online ecourses: HTV
- oversee web redesigns/edits: TT, TS, HTV, TSF
- choose, order, count inventory: TT
- shopping/buying oversight with boutique manager: TS
- blog posts: TS, HTV
- writing articles + guest posts: HTV
- teaching workshops + teacher training: TS
- travel teaching of workshops: HTV
- marketing: TS, TSF, HTV, TT
- work with vendors (printing, fabric, trim, photographers, seamstress): TS, TSF, HTV, TT
- schedule + manage/assist events: TS, HTV, TT, TSF
- schedule + host seasonal teleclasses: HTV
- design + produce gemstone necklaces: TT
- choose + purchase team gifts: TS, TSF
- send happy birthdays to team: TS, TSF
- hire, oversee, post guest bloggers: HTV
- sewing for launch of etsy store: KW
- collaborate with fellow femmes on new events (wishstudio, creative entrepreneurs): HTV
- lead team meetings: TS, TSF
- handle official docs (trademarks, LLCs, agreements): TSF, TS, HTV, TT
- strategic planning: TSF, TS, HTV, TT
- engage in professional development: TT, TSF, HTV, TS

when i wrote this out, it was eye-opening. ever feel like you do, do, do and at the end of the day your to-do list is still a mile long? my plan is to start keeping a record of how my time is spent (if you work as a consultant or in the legal world you may be used to this). it's key to get clear on what you do to make sure you are able to infuse your world with as much of what you love to do as possible. this also helps prepare you for future transition in a seamless, tranquil manner.

so, tell me, what do you do?


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Melita said...

yowza that's a lot of dos :) but you do it all so well! hugs!!

Anonymous said...

run Wall Inc.- no pay but I get to hang out with a cute little girl and handsome dog all the time. (I'm getting to be a stay at home mom right now) Also I am the Financial Analyst and Chief Financial Advisor for said Inc. (I budget and pay the bills). I am a member of an organizational committee for a non-profit (this isn't part of the stay at home gig). I'm also a full-time student studying Psychology/Counseling. That's what I do. :)

Vicki said...

I am a SAHM of 3 kids right now, some of my tasks are:
*chauffeur (to the school at least 3x a day on school days)
*homework coach (my oldest is great about homework and I just have to sign off on his planner, the kindergartner needs coaching but is generally willing to do his work)
*meal planning/cooking
*cleaning/laundry/organizing duties--along with making sure kids have enough appropriate and well-fitting clothes and shoes
*my youngest is 15 months so diapering and nursing are in there still too

family/marriage stuff: working on family finances with my husband, planning vacations and larger purchases too. planning/hoping for dates with him too whenever we can :)

And I sew and quilt and blog about it; I am actively involved in improving my blog and working to add to my free skill-based and project-based tutorials. I am in the planning stages of writing quilting patterns that I will be selling as well.

Oh yeah and I'm a Cub Scout leader which involves planning den meetings and running them (I have 8 8 year old boys in there, yikes!)

Unknown said...

that question is never easy for me either. i want to just say "yoga teacher" but that leaves out the marketing, day to day communications i must keep with student and group list, the negotiating with others who rent the space, the design of classes etc, plus i am a full time social worker at one of the largest non-profits serving people living with HIV/AIDS in MA.
It is plain to see that you have a lot on your plate, i guess the trick is to know what can be delegated, what can be let go of, and also what brings you the most joy?

Lynne from NY said...

Ha ha, I love reading about what you do!

Anonymous said...

Man, I hope you have a good assistant, Kimberly!

What I like is having a "cocktail party" sentence that I can answer that question "What do you do" with. The best ones provide a glimpse into what need you fill for your people.

As someone who has taken classes with you and read your books, I will make a (weak) attempt at writing a sentence that sums up all of your awesomeness. Here goes.

"I help people who want to live a creative and meaningful life express their potential on and off the yoga mat."

Response from man at cocktail party, "How do you do that, Kimberly?"

-Run a yoga studio
-A non-profit foundation
-Writing books
-Jewelry and clothing creations
-etc, etc.

Thanks for all you do in the world!! You express it all beautifully...

Sallie Ann said...

This is a great exercise. So I'm an interior designer for a manufacturer (HDI) and I use my skills in creating my software (TDL). I write and cook and research for my blog, Bunny-Bites (BB), and the volunteer work I do with Chicago Cares (CC) and then there is my personal life (SAW).

I'll list a few things, but I'm amazed how much overlapping there is.

write SAW, BB, HDI, TDL
research TDL, HDI
travel SAW, HDI
working at food pantry CC
Managing finances SAW, HDI, TDL
project meetings HDI, TDL
yoga SAW, CC
draw/design HDI, TDL
shopping & market research SAW, TDL

Lexi said...

Kimberly, if we lived in Paris - no one would ask us the question: "What do you do?" The French rightly think this is such a limiting question . . . If I answered "I'm a librarian" I would even laugh . . . because it doesn't begin to describe what I do ;) . . . I like how you listed all of the things that you do do - and tagged them accordingly. Cool idea!

Sarah said...

Your list is a mile long! But all wonderful to-dos.

And yes, I always feel like my list doesn't end it still has many miles to go.