When I started in the printing business over 20 years ago, I was the same age as several of my clients. We were friends and would go to happy hours, Clampitt Paper parties and Ad Agency Industry Events. It was fun and I enjoyed being with my clients in a care free environment where we were all equal. It helped my sales and blurred the client/vendor relationship in a nice way. Then I got married, became a mother and didn’t have much time to hang out with my clients. If I wasn’t working, I made it a priority to be with my kids and seemed to become friends with other people in the same situation. I started The Graphic Edge and years passed, I worked to work and spent the majority of time with my family.
I miss the social interaction with my clients and the benefits of those relationships but the hours are few and I am busy with two kids in middle school and trying to make money in this economy. Recently, in an effort to merge those two important aspects of my life – work and family, I have started looking for opportunities to combine the two. One great way, I have found, is to volunteer for the organizations that are important to my clients. Last Fall, I volunteered with my family and some of our friends for the Red Balloon Run and Relay. My client, Passion For Children hired us to provide the race signs for the event, including scaffolding signs and mesh banners at the start and finish line. We also, did signs for all the booths and directional signs.
Volunteering for Passion for Children, showed my client I am proud of the work they do and honored to be printing for them. It also provided my kids with community service hours and taught them the benefits of giving back to others. It was very fun, we were at Station One, handing out water to the runners and stayed late to help clean up. It was definitely a win win for me, my client, my family and friends. Rewarding on all fronts.
What other ways have you combined your personal life and your work life? I would love to hear.