What’s Your Goal?

This week, I attended a seminar at the yW empowerment center, at the YWCA Greenville facility.  The guest speaker was Carolyn Sawyer, former broadcast journalist and CEO of Tom Sawyer Productions in Columbia, S.C. and Washington, D.C.  Sawyer’s company has seen revenue in excess of $1 million, and her discussion was entitled, “Forget the Glass Slipper, Build Your Own Castle.”

The content was great – Sawyer brought lots of real world examples and lessons learned from the field that I found helpful as a relatively new business owner.  It’s apparent Sawyer has worked hard to build her growing empire, and kudos to her for that.  The business is Sawyer’s “baby.”  And why shouldn’t it be?  She had a goal to grow her business and she’s done it, through hard work and perseverence.

But does everyone want “the castle?”

Sure, sometimes I have illusions of grandeur where I think I, too, want to run a multi-million dollar PR enterprise, complete with high rise office space and loads of assistants.  It would be nice to not have to worry about money. 

But would I still have time to take my baby to his speech therapy appointments?  To his doctor appointments? To sit down to dinner with my husband?  Would my family be sacrificed on my climb up the business ladder?  I don’t know.  Maybe the castle isn’t for everyone.

Don’t get me wrong – I want my business to be successful, to make enough revenue to make it profitable for me and my family, and for it to continue to be something I love.  I like to be able to make my own schedule and spend time with my family.  Everyone has to evaluate what’s right for them.

But who knows? Maybe Kim and I will decide to make our businesses huge conglomerate empires rivaling Google in size.  A girl can always dream…..



  1. Great post, Liza, that’s something I also think about a lot. I think it’s got to do with society’s definitions of success & happiness and your own definitions. It seems to me that in this culture, wanting a balanced life is looked down upon (unless your “balance” means being a super-hero at everything you do). It’s hard to escape societal & cultural pressures & expectations, but ultimately, it’s up to each one of us to define what our success & happiness should look like.

  2. Liza, I couldn’t agree more! We often have that discussion when planning professional development programs for the Independent Practitioners Alliance (http://ipa.prsa.org). Growth means different things to different people. For some people, growth may indeed mean a 20-30 person firm with offices in multiple cities. For others, it may mean increased billings, a certain number of clients, or a certain type of client. It might mean a certain financial goal or it might mean having the flexibility to be more present in the lives of your family and friends. Each of us as independent business owners has to decide for ourselves what growth means to us and what we are willing to sacrifice to achieve it.

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