Tuesday, January 1, 2013

It's Not Where We Start! It's Where We Finish!

As we look forward to 2013 with plans and resolutions...I am motivated to reflect on several moments from 2012 to not only encourage myself to never settle for what masquerades superficially as "What Is", but rather to focus on "What Is Yet To Come!" Hence...the title of this blog post: "It's Not Where We Start! It's Where We Finish!"

What I discovered and appreciated with the start of a new year was the opportunity to reevaluate and refocus my career goals. With prayer, guidance, amazing love from my Lord, family and friends, I started this “Bright Ideas! Brighter Future!” blog and renewed my Lamp Public Relations & Marketing business. Through those actions, I met "life changing" people and made strides that I never imagined possible. With that said, here's a reflection and dedication of my Top 7.5 Audacious New Year Ideas that may be life-changing for you too:

1. Reconnect with Friends/Business Acquaintances: If you escaped the holiday season without sending any Christmas cards or writing an annual family letter...use the month of January to reconnect with friends and business acquaintances and tell them what your goals are for the new year. By doing this in early 2012, I was able to help with the publicity of two local media/public relations events ~ one for the Harlem Globetrotters through MetraPark and one for Women of Faith. Also, by June...a grade school friend connected me and my business with a friend of hers who was looking for some strategic marketing and planning expertise for her new business, Prairie Preservations

One of the publicity stops with Harlem Globetrotters Ant Atkinson allows time for my kiddos to come meet this basketball hero.

2. Use Social Media to Expand Your Network: Since starting my Twitter account at  (https://twitter.com/lampprpro) in Nov. 2010 at the annual American Agri-Women convention, I've significantly expanded my circle of influence.  For example, during a February weekly online Twitter chat through AgChat Foundation,  a farmer-led foundation "empowering a connected community of agvocates", I connected with an independent, Maryland-based filmmaker, Conrad Weaver of ConjoStudios, who reached out to me about helping him market and promote a project called the Wheat Harvest Movie (now called the Great American Wheat Harvest documentary film). Knowing the scope and magnitude a project like this would entail, I was able to connect with a local independent communications consultant and in April we collaborated our businesses for this project and were named the National Executive Co-Coordinators. 

 3. Appreciate Where You've Been...So, You Know Where You Can Go:  The Great American Wheat Harvest documentary film allowed me and Team GAWH several opportunities to travel back to my hometown area of western Nebraska. Growing up near Scottsbluff and having been away from the area for more than 20 years, I never imagined a national/international project would have hometown ties. I consider it an honor and privilege to have come from such a stable and encouraging upbringing, so I am able to take that experience and enthusiasm with me wherever I go. One of our trips to Scottsbluff included working with Teresa Scanlan Miss America 2011, who hails from Scottsbluff/Gering, on a public service announcement and appearing with her and the filmmaker on KNEB Radio to promote the film.
Above: Teresa Scanlan Miss America 2011 and Jody Lamp, National Executive Co-coordinator, Great American Wheat Harvest documentary film. Below: Conrad Weaver of ConjoStudios; Teresa Scanlan, Miss America 2011; and Jody Lamp of Lamp Public Relations & Marketing, appear with Kevin Mooney of KNEB Radio on News Extra.

4. Find Your Passion to Empower Others: While working throughout the spring and summer developing and implementing the strategic marketing plan and fund development program for the film, for a few months I also wrote a weekly agricultural-based column for the Gering Citizen newspaper. With the help of national AAW president, Karen Yost, in May, my business partner and I were able to work once again in western Nebraska with local business leaders to help start a NEW AAW affiliate ~ the Western Nebraska Agri-Women.
New members, congressional and AAW representatives at the inaguration of the NEW Western Nebraska Agri-Women event in Scottsbluff/Gering, NE

5. Believe the Unbelievable...... Believe that you will meet people you have never met before...Believe you will go places, see and do things you never dreamed about before...And most of all...believe in your strengths and capabilities. One of the most spectacular things I  got to witness this past year was the Guinness World Record Breaking Harvest For Kids event when farmers from many different communities in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan area came together to bring in a record harvest of 249 combines rolling down the field in front of thousands of spectators all with the goal of bringing hope to kids around the world through Children’s Camps International. (the following photos appear courtesy of Harvest For Kids)

6. Invest Time in Yourself:  Even if your travel schedule overwhelms you or you think it's selfish to take a break from your family to concentrate on a personal project or dream...DO IT ANYWAY! You'll never regret the time you take to spend time alone. In a blog post I wrote earlier this year called, "STOP!! Smell the Roses!" I shared how my business partner and I carved out two extra days after some business travel to concentrate on our personal projects. My project is four years of researching, organizing and writing of a historical period in the development of our nation's horse/agricultural industries. I continue to be fascinated by my findings and encouraged to press on. I highly recommend never putting off doing today what may not be here tomorrow.  Life is too short and fleeting to take casually. 
7. Continue To Learn....School is Never Out for the Pro: Globally and locally, agriculture faces an ongoing plethora of challenges ~ productive landmass decline, food production practices, government regulations, consumer awareness or lack thereof....As I've traveled and worked with my fellow agricultural enthusiasts, organizations and associations throughout the United States and Canada, I'm inspired to pursue a master's degree in leadership education. While researching several options, I've already inquired and met with chairperson at my alma mater's University of Nebraska-Lincoln's department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication. What are you doing to increase and expand your knowledge base?

7.5  And lastly....Never Be Afraid to Let Your "Light" Shine: Even when we think no one is looking...someone is always watching to see how we will rise to occasion, respond to a situation or how we will step out boldly to lead the charge. If you're not satisfied with where your life/career/family goals are at this moment...remember..."It's Not Where We Start! It's Where We Finish!" that counts. I leave you with one of my favorite quotes and bid you a prosperous new year! Go MAKE great things happen in 2013:

Our Deepest Fear

by Marianne Williamson from A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
 Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. 

There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. 

We are all meant to shine, as children do. 

We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.

It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. 

As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.