Whomever said, “You can’t ride two horses with one behind,” never saw the circus act where the pretty, young girl is riding two horses while standing up. You can ride two horses, but you have to be on your feet to do it, not on your behind.
That’s where I am… I’m riding two horses, and I’m standing on my feet. When those “pretty” days are over, seasoned circus pros still find things to do around the tent that are meaningful and have substance. This is how I see my life right now. I was just reminded of it this morning, as I wrote to a client to let him know that I had put him into a story. The essence of the following is what I wrote to him, and is a reminder about my own professional ethics, especially when I had other wine pros ask me how I manage my ethics, based on the fact that I do sometimes write about clients. I first explain that my blog is a journal of my life as a wine publicist. I’ve always claimed this as being true, correct, and the purpose of my wine blog. And, I then continue with the following.
In true journaling style, I thought I’d share it here, for anyone else who wonders “How do I balance an independent blog, if I’m also connected to the industry about which I’m blogging?”
When I write blog stories that include a clients, I DON’T put them into our TIME sheets as billable hours. When adding the time to the project, I record it as a “0” time. I tell clients about the stories in reports, but they’re not TIME related to our commitment to them for duties that are performed per our agreements.
It’s important for me to tell clients about the stories, so they don’t think I’m off wasting hours in places not assigned to me. These stories are just part of me having down time, away from all of my assignments. They let me get my head screwed back on straight, so I can get back to 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., throughout the week; and, even some of this work is spilled into my weekend.
It’s a matter of ethics. If I don’t believe in a brand, I won’t work for it. (I’ve walked away from many companies, because certain standards fell apart.)
- Stores that include clients are done so, because my blog is my journal of what I do for work, so they naturally will fall into a story.
- But, my clients don’t BUY my blog, which allows for me to be free to do and say what I think and feel…
- I’m not being coerced.
- If they’re a client, I will be writing about them, because that’s what fills my day… the things that I’m learning, as a result of my working with them.