The Story Behind the Spark

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If you’ve ever spent a significant amount of time at a low point in your life, whether it’s a deep emotional valley, health problems, a financial hardship or whatever, you know how invigorating it feels to get back to normal. To feel like your old self again. Or even a new and improved self.

That is my journey leading up to starting my business. I spent almost two years in the grips of an all-encompassing emotional and physical low. I had given birth to two babies at an age where many women were sending their children off to college and experiencing new freedoms. My post-baby, over 40 body and the demands of motherhood would no longer allow me to train to be the elite athlete I once was. I had been laid off from my job. I wasn’t sure who I was anymore.

It wasn’t until the day my mom pointed out to me I had “lost my sparkle”, that I realized my depression was apparent to everyone around me. That made me mad. How dare anything take away my “sparkle”? My sparkle helped me get almost every good thing that has ever happened in my life: fun experiences, crazy adventures, great and not so great jobs, priceless friends, romantic relationships and free drinks. Friends would frequently tell me I should write a book about all my unbelievable experiences. So yeah, my life had been pretty damned cool. And mostly due to my sparkle.

I was determined to get back the thing that made me, ME. I realized one of those things was acting on what I felt; wearing my emotions on my sleeve. Verbalizing each and every opinion or thought that comes to mind has gotten me in trouble a time or two (or fifty)…but that’s who I am. Sharing my thoughts, feelings and opinions has helped me connect with people and sometimes, help them.

So how could I make money doing that? Well, I’ve spent the last 18 years here in Tulsa helping businesses grow through advertising and marketing. And getting to know a hell of a lot of people along the way. Marketing people, graphic designers, website developers, writers, photographers and business owners. Those people need help connecting. Heck, everyone needs help connecting at one point or another. Isn’t that what make the world go around? But, I digress. I love connecting with people, sharing my energy and helping others achieve their goals.

I felt confident that what I had learned over the course of my career and the people I had developed relationships with were enough to form a pretty good business model. A simple one. Help small businesses get marketing done.

I’ll go into more detail about my company in the next blog. But the point is, I found my purpose, my Why. And my sparkle started coming back.

I realized my age equaled experience. My role as a mother helped me relate and have empathy and patience. It forced me to prioritize my time and efforts. And I had a new resolve to focus on things that fulfilled me instead of things that drained my spirit.

I felt excited, I felt alive, I felt…sparkly. At this point, I probably don’t need to explain how I came up with the name Spark! for my marketing company. I hope seeing the word Spark will remind me every day not to lose it. And I think I’m on the right track. The other day I was at a networking event and someone described me as “effervescent”. Wow. It’s not “sparkly” but it’s pretty darned close.

Amanda NorwoodComment