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My First Time

Being a Director almost always also means being the marketing department.  I have just finished my first ever time to run promotions for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, etc.  We have had them before.  I just wasn’t in charge of them.  I am not at all sure I did it well.  But I did it and that is a thing to be proud of.

Being a Director means I have to do things I am not 100% comfortable doing.  I remember the first time I got in front of a tv camera.  I was SWEATING!  But it was free publicity for my business and they wanted to talk to someone with skin in the game.  I was very excited that they called me.  I had been courting the station to some degree for a few months: watching as many news shows as I could and sending in email comments about news items that related to my business.  My childcare center was downtown, so it wasn’t hard to find things that were relevant.  Anything that had to do with downtown, children or families was liable to get a quick note from me.  This was well over a decade ago, so they weren’t as swamped by email as they are now.  I stood out, so I got a call and people heard about my center.

How do we stand out in today’s market?  Sending an email is unlikely to do it.  We all get far too many to count now.  We need clients to know we are here and are relevant.  We can advertise.  Lord knows, I do.  Everybody does.  How much do you believe in the ad copy you read or hear every day?  10%?  You may be conveying 100% true information, but people filter it out.  Marketing is more than buying a well executed google ad.  It is getting in front of people in different settings, so your customers start to know like and trust you.

How do you position your self as a knowledgable and likable person?  Getting on the local news might still be a good way to get noticed, but how do you get the news to notice you?   I have had some success with hand written notes.  They are the rarity now that email was back in the dark ages.  Tweeting images also has some traction.  You have to engage with them, build a relationship.

Texas Director helps a lot of my centers get into the paper.  Local papers need local content to stay relevant.  Having a great event that highlights a worthy cause or brings in dignitaries, is the key strategy there.  The images you send also play a central role.  Make sure you send both portrait and landscape pictures, because you never know what space they need to fill.  Believe me pictures of cute kids sell!  Your write up of the event should be as close to newspaper copy as you can make it.  The less work the editor or beat reporter has to do, the more likely you are to get in the paper.

The other time-tested way to get in front of your audience in a marketing capacity to build rapport is public speaking.  Half of you are shaking your head right now.  That is OK.  If there isn’t anything related to what you do that you can speak passionately about for 15 minutes you are excused.  Everyone else is still in this.  If you would rather poke your own eye out than talk to people you don’t know, then don’t talk to people you don’t know.  Talk to people you do know.  Do you have a book club, mother’s group, gaggle of gals you eat cheese cake with?  Those are your public.  Talk to them about your passion for your work.  Get comfortable with it.  Eventually one of those friends will say, “Hey, my friend Suzie was just talking about her problems in that area.  I need to put you in touch with each other.”  Voila.  Your marketing just worked!  Once you have done that a few times you might be ready to move on to  networking events.  I wrote about those on earlier so check it out if you aren’t sure your up to them.

This type of marketing is much more in my comfort zone than running advertising campaigns.  That is why it was my turn to run one.  I had to stretch my wings.  It may take a while, but I will get the hang of it.  I may never like it, but it is important that I know how it is done so that I can talk intelligently with my team who focus on that area and with clients who have marketing challenges.  Let me know about something new you have tried and how it worked.  I look forward to hearing from you!

 

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Giving Thanks

I have been blessed to be able to work in early childhood education for more than 25 years.  I started off as an assistant in a lab school and have had pretty much every job available in center.  Amazing!

How many people get to earn their living in something that makes such a difference in the world?  Here at Texas Director we help men and women develop their leadership talents so that they can help hundreds of children.  Hundreds of children touched by each Director, and we have helped thousands of Directors. If you do the math, that means that hundreds of thousands of families have been affected by what I do.   SoI want to thank you for allowing me to help you.  The scope of what we do amazes me.

What you do each day is so important.  You are shaping the populace of tomorrow.  How you run your center affects how the families view their community.  The tenor of your classrooms sets the children up to be the best versions of themselves.  You help your staff be able to do their often stressful jobs with enthusiasm and skill.  You are a resource in your community.  How amazing!

It is difficult to remember to be thankful for what we get to do on a daily basis.  Sometimes, when there is a stomach flu wreaking havoc in the twos class, there doesn’t feel like there is much to be thankful for.  But remember when little Jaime brought you the picture he drew just for you?  Not many engineers have that happen on a Thursday.  What about when a teacher brought you a snack because they thought you could use it?  What a gift to work with such caring people!

Take time today to think about what you are most thankful for in your job.  Writing down one thing you are thankful for on the calendar before you leave for the day, is a great way to catch those moments.  I bet there was one today.   Share it below, to inspire other Directors.

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Creative exploits alleviate stress

Here is an affirmation that I created for when I get stuck and need help reminding myself that creativity is important.  Sometimes that means writing, but most of the time as a director my creativity is tapped in problem solving and lesson planning.  Hope it helps you.

As life throws a challenge my way, I respond positively to avoid feeling stressed.My response to tough situations is to engage my creativity.

When I take a time out to create something new, I feel like I am replacing negative energy with positivity. Inspired activities allow me to dig deep into my soul for a light that brightens the world.

Writing soothes my emotional burdens and releases my tensions.

My words both acknowledge and empower me.Being honest about my feelings is the first step to releasing their weight from my being. I follow up those open and honest words with words of empowerment and resolve. This is my creative process.

Although my singing voice leaves much to be desired, I sing anyway. Expressing myself through song lifts my spirit. The lyrics and melodies that I write are therapeutic.

My creativity pulls me out of the darkness and renews my spirit.

My artistry is a blessing. It builds me from the inside out. It fortifies my core to defend against any challenge in life.

Today, I am blessed because I know the value of my creativity. My difficult situations are more manageable today because I spend time being imaginative. Being transported to another world through inspiration gives me a chance to rebuild.

Self-Reflection Questions:

  • 1.   How else, other than through art, can I exercise my creativity?
  • 2.   In what other ways am I able to alleviate stress?
  • 3.   What value do I place on creativity?

PDF version of this affirmation available

 

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10 Ways to Deal With a Director’s High Stress

Being a Director is stressful.  We all have days that are considerably more challenging and stressful than others. Unfortunately, stress is hard on both your mind and body.

Too many high stress days can really take its toll. And what’s worse, you could even become so used to being in this “high state of alert” that you start to feel like it’s normal! Don’t let this happen to you.  Your family and center need you.  More than that you should take care of yourself, before you take care of others.

It’s important to develop some techniques that help you relieve stress and strengthen your self-soothing abilities.

When you’re struggling to stay calm, relaxed, and focused, try some of these strategies:

  1. Breathe deeply.Breathe in for 5 seconds and hold it for 5 seconds. Now exhale for 5 seconds. Do this 10 times and focus only on your breathing. These breaths should only be slightly larger in volume than a normal, relaxed breath.
  2. Take a walk.Practice the breathing technique above during your walk, focusing on your breathing, walking, and surroundings.Nothing else should enter your mind. If your mind insists on wandering to non-productive thinking, you might have to simply keep repeating, “Taking a step”to yourself over and over.
  3. Get some exercise.Any time of day is a good time to exercise. Comfortably tired is what you’re looking for. Work out your frustrations by going for a run or swim. Hit the weights and show them who is boss. Any exercise will do as long as there is some intensity involved.Shuffleboard isn’t going to cut it.
  4. Sit outside.A little time at the beach or park can work wonders. Find a relaxing spot with pleasant scenery. Pay attention to what’s going on around you and keep your mind off your challenges. Even 10 to 15 minutes can greatly reduce your stress.
  5. Take a day off.Everyone needs a break once in a while. However, on your day off, it’s important to avoid just sitting around and brooding about all of your current difficulties. Take your mind off of things and have some fun.Lose yourself in activities that you enjoy.
  6. Read.Find something engrossing to read. The ideal book would be able to take your mind off of things for a few hours. Ask your friends for some recommendations, or if you’re like most people, you probably have a couple of books on the shelf that you’ve never gotten around to. Now is the perfect time to read it.
  7. Listen to music.Again, it should be something engrossing that really captures your attention. Don’t be afraid to get up and dance; no one is watching anyway.
  8. Disconnect.No phone and no computer. Turn off everything that connects you to the outside world. Then you can really relax. Stay offline for as long as you can.
  9. Take a nap.There’s no better way to start over than to take a nap.When you wake up, it feels like another chance to start your day over. What happened before your nap is in the past! Now you can deal with it and move on.
  10. Hang out with people that are fun.Get the gang together and meet for a drink. Or have dinner with the friend that always makes you laugh. It’s easy to get caught up in our own little world. Being with others can jolt you out of that perspective.

Don’t let high stress get you down. The key is to actively do something about it.Some people develop a habit of being paralyzed when things start going sideways, but this does nothing to make you feel better or solve your stressful issues.

Actively relax so you’ll be better able to tackle your challenges. Use these tips to minimize the pressure and anxiety you’re feeling and take control of yourself and the situation. Dealing with your challenges effectively is crucial to living the peaceful life you deserve.

We will be putting out a complete Stress Management Workshop very soon.  Enter your information below to get updates about this class and periodic stress management tips.

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What do You Want from Me?

What do you want from me?As a Director, you have a hard job managing your child care center.  I know the drill.  It is hard and there is more than any one person can do well.  That is where Texas Director comes in.  We offer you a helping hand where and when you need it.

One of the ways we will be doing that in 2017 is to create new products for you and your center.  We currently offer business coaching, onsite training for your staff, business plan development assistance and substitute directing services.  This is not enough.  We need to do more.  You need more help.  But what areas are your biggest challenges?  Kate and I have theories, and you have answers.

To make sure that we are creating is what you want and need, we have created a short survey.

Please take a moment to ask for what you want.  Each survey is also an entry into a drawing for 15 different prizes.  Prizes include a free message, an MP3 player, 20 free hours of training, and many other prizes.  Enter TODAY.  Survey closes on November 19, 2016.

survey

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TCSV958