This past weekend I attended a Public Relations Student Society of America conference at UNO. PRSSA is a pre-professional group for, you guessed it, public relations students. The conference, titled “Big Biz in the Big O,” was held at Mammel Hall, UNO’s home for their College of Business Administration. (This was a beautiful building, way more advanced than anything Creighton had for COBA. I am actually glad that they are renovating the Harper Center into the business school after seeing the other building.)
The favorite panel I attended was about the field of entrepreneurial PR, something I didn’t even know existed. The panel consisted of three women, Heather Tweedy (CEO of BrightSky PR), Donnna Faust (of Hayneedle, Inc.,) and Megan Hunt (co-founder of Hello Holiday among many other businesses.) You know me; I’m all about girl power. I love love loved being in the presence of these amazing women. **Note: You must follow Megan Hunt on Twitter. She was super down to earth, funny and has already started three businesses. And she isn’t even 30 yet. Also, she has a book coming out soon! @lasertron.)
These women had so much advice to offer us in the audience. I was trying to tweet it out and write it down all at once, so my notes got a little jumbled up. Some of the gems I can decipher:
- “In this industry, you end up being a janitor and a fireman. You clean up messes and put out fires.”
- “Don’t start something you wouldn’t do for 18 hours a day.”
- “Be connected to everything that happens. Everything.”
- “You don’t have to pick up your phone immediately.”
- “Choose something to get really, really good at. Make it synonymous with your name.”
- “Products are easier to sell than services.”
- “Get a good accountant!” (Yes, this was really said!)
The one piece of advice that stuck out the most to be is something I have heard before, but it never really hit me quite like it did in the moment: “You are the average of the five people you hang out with most.”
Let that sink in.
You aren’t the average of the five people you look up to the most. It’s not the five people you want to be like. It’s not the five people you see for an hour once a week. It is the five people you hang out with the most, when you are dressed up for a night on the town or wearing yoga pants at midnight. It is the five people you can text (or call, I suppose) at any time and the five people who see you without your makeup on or your hair done.
In thinking about my life, I find this to be true. Who am I around the most? Do I like those people? Do I see admirable qualities in them, or do I see despicable qualities in them? Do they have both? Why am I the way I am/who have I changed into?
Couldn’t help but think about the link between this and my sorority, and the wonderful bonds I have made with amazing women who have my best interests at heart. However, I feel like these were friendships that just blossomed, not ones I actively attempted to make. Now that I am armed with this knowledge about the average we all boil down to, I can see a dilemma: Should I modify my relationships based on this? Do I just trust that good people will find me and care for me? Or do I modify my behavior?
I see this in my own life. Friends who are overly-critical of their appearance and bodies make me feel like I too have to be more critical of my appearance and my body. Funny friends make me want to be more funny. Competitive people bring out my competitive side. etc. However these seem trivial in light of recent events.
When I think about the sad, sad events of late (the Boston marathon bomb explosions,) It makes me think about the as-of-yet unknown people who did this. Who did they hang out with to make that their average? Do that many people really not value life and safety?
This kind of turned into a long rant with me rambling. Alas, such things happen when I begin thinking deep thoughts.
- Big Biz in the Big ‘O’ April 12-14 (mediastorytelling.wordpress.com)