SBDC’s, Duct Tape, Planning, Chicago, and Kids

4 Sep

Yes — that’s a lot to try and talk about in one post, but yesterday, today and tomorrow that is my reality. I am here in Chicago for the annual ASBDC conference. Palo Alto Software is the longest running exhibitor and has been working with the America’s Small Business Develpment Center organization for over 12 years. Tim, our president and founder, spoke on his new planning methodology, Plan As You Go. I did a Business Plan Pro training this morning for SBDC counselors, and John Jantsch our new partner with Marketing Plan Pro, and the creator of the Duct Tape Marketing system, is doing two sessions on marketing planning. Kristen Langham who manages our SBDC channel is here doing her very excellent work, and Noah Parsons (yes, he is also my hubby) is putting in booth time and attending some sessions with our partners.

Meanwhile, Noah and I are also juggling our two boys, ages 2 and 4. They are here with us because on Saturday we will fly from Chicago to Maine to visit Noah’s family. It made sense coming from Eugene, to use Chicago as a hop towards getting the family all the way to Maine. So Noah and I rush around, dressing in work clothes, running to the conference, running back, throwing on casual clothes to take the kids to the zoo or the science museum, and then switching again. The kids are having a good time — but we are exhausted!!!

Last night, Tim (who is also my dad), who is staying with us in the condo we rented in Chicago, stayed with the kids (after they were asleep) so that Noah and I could meet up with an old friend. It was great to go out to a real restaurant, without anyone throwing noodles, crawling under the table, and just generally acting like they are either 2 or 4 years old. It was amazing! We thoroughly enjoyed the night out, but got back at midnight (we couldn’t leave until 9:30pm as getting kids to sleep in a different time zone in a strange bed can be a little more challenging than one would like). I had to be up bright and early at 6am in order to be at our booth by 7am, and doing my training by 8am. And so the days go.

Tomorrow we will juggle more booth time, a meal with business partners, and taking the kids to the Shedd Aquarium. I am bleary eyed just thinking about it — but at the same time I LOVE that I can bring the kids with us, and make it all work. It is worth the exhaustion to not have to leave them at home for four nights. Every night I can crawl into the king-sized bed in the condo where the two kids are already asleep (they sleep best on trips if we just let them sleep with us in a king bed) and cuddle up with my two beautiful boys. I can smell their wonderful little boy hair, kiss their foreheads, and snuggle in-between the two of them – exhausted but happy.

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