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An Open Letter To My Friends, Fans, Followers: A Mini-Break To Unplug

women_handshake I wanted to give you a glimpse behind the curtains of my business. First, I have to say I feel extremely blessed to be so supported in my community. I’m deeply grateful for all the amazing connections I’ve made over the past two years through Facebook and Twitter.

My business is absolutely exploding through the roof these days. I have a competent team of assistants and project managers. I’m in two powerful masterminds. I have mentors, advisors and role models. Plus, I recently hired a systems expert to help streamline all my processes this year.

And, some time ago, I had the idea to start an international association for social media specialists and to offer certification training programs for both coaches / consultants / marketers and for virtual assistants. I kept waiting for my ducks to be in a row, for everything to be perfect. But that day never comes. As a recovering perfectionist, I figured it was time to take imperfect action.

So, I recently quietly opened up MentorWithMari.com – my new protege program to certify social marketing specialists. The response has been astounding. Truly astounding.

I’m also about to embark on an intense two month speaking tour in the US and UK. I am so honored to speak on the stages of such accomplished leaders as Fabienne Fredrickson, Adam Urbanski, James Malinchak, Bernadette Doyle (in Belfast, Ireland!), Terry Wygal, Mike Lathigee, and more in the fall – Arielle Ford, Bill Glazer, Dan Kennedy and more. [See my public calendar of events here.]

cruise(I should also mention part of my two months on the road includes a wonderful five-day cruise to Mexico with my Mastermind partners!)

[Update from Mari: due to my calendar of events and speaking schedule being uber squeezed, I made the bittersweet decision not to go on the mastermind cruise. I need this one week to laser focus on all the moving parts of my business, my team, and my new systems. I may take my whole team on a cruise in the fall, then!!]

Meantime, for many months, I had this week blocked off for a special retreat for myself, my team and my systems specialist to laser focus on tightening up all my company processes.

So, in order to truly focus, I’m also going to “go dark” on Twitter and Facebook. This will be a first for me in about two years.

unplug[Update from Mari: Ha! Now I see where the misunderstanding came from – many people have been saying to me, “Mari, I thought you were retiring for two years?!” Um, what I mean was I’ve never once unplugged from Twitter or Facebook in the past two years!! And it was only ONE week that I was unplugging. I lasted a whole 72 hours, you know!]

I have to say, I have a sense of discomfort about unplugging! It’ll be an interesting experiment. But a very worthy and important one.

email_overwhelm2See, it really troubles me when an important email goes unanswered or direct messages are missed because I simply don’t have enough hours in the day to personally respond to all (even though one of my assistants spends four hours a day reading, managing and replying to much of my email for me).

It bothers me when I’m unable to reply to all @ messages that so many of my wonderful followers on Twitter send to me, or when I’m unable to reply to each friend who emails me on Facebook or writes on my wall… because there are just not enough hours in the day.

Such is the nature of social media. Suddenly, we open ourselves up to a multitude of touch points. There is a new expectation of availability. I love to engage and connect and I know you do too. Yet, where do you draw the line between being available and making sure you have enough focus time and personal time?

In any case, just know that if you’ve ever tried to contact me for any reason through any medium – whether Twitter, Facebook, regular email, Skype or phone – and I have not gotten back to you in a timely manner, it’s not personal. There’s a good chance I’ve read your message but it’s been very late at night or I’m rushing to a commitment so haven’t been able to reply.

peace_quietOver the coming weeks and months, my systems will be so much more robust that I’ll be able to provide even better service to both my clients and community at large.

I’m happy to share with you what new systems I put in place over the coming weeks as a result of my retreat.

How about you? What do you find most overwhelming about managing a growing business? Are your follow-up systems solid? Where do you most need support? Though social media may have increased your business, have you still been able to maintain plenty time for your personal life? I’d love to know! Please share below:

Mari Smith

Often referred to as “the Queen of Facebook,” Mari Smith is widely known as the Premier Facebook Marketing Expert and a top Social Media Thought Leader. Forbes describes Mari as, “… the preeminent Facebook expert. Even Facebook asks for her help.” IBM named Mari as one of seven women that are shaping digital marketing. Mari is an in-demand keynote speaker, corporate social media strategist, dynamic live webcast host, and popular brand ambassador. She is coauthor of Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day, and author of The New Relationship Marketing.

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