Thursday, October 14, 2010

Keeping Up with the Jones


My newest TV love is Keeping Up with the Jones, the BET reality show.

The show follows Tracey Ferguson, the editor in chief of Jones magazine, a Houston-based shopping guide for women.

I stumbled on it quite by accident, as I hardly ever watch BET. However, I was almost instantly hooked after the first episode I watched. The series follows Tracey as she seeks to build-up the Jones brand and expand the reach of the magazine. In the first episode I watched, we see her moving into her new office space after years of working our of her home. One of her staff is not terribly excited about the office space as it's on the small side. That staff had a stinky attitude and I think eventually Tracey fired her or she left.

In a later episode, Tracey explores a partnership with Source magazine, which would provide a much-needed national distribution link for Jones magazine. Her potential partners share their opinions of the magazine with Tracey including the layout, choice of cover models, size and content. And they basically wanted to change everything.

I can relate to this show on so many levels, even though I don't run a magazine. Many of the issues that Tracey has to deal with on a daily basis are the same that most business owners have to - such as figuring out the best way to bring your dream to life; staying true to your vision in the face of set-backs, criticism and 'helpful' suggestions; managing her staff; taking her organisation to that next level; and most importantly balancing her work and her family life.

Tracey doesn't know it all, but I like that she is clear on what she wants for Jones. She is willing to listen to suggestions, but will draw the line if it appears to take the magazine in the opposite direction of where it needs to go. The same goes with caring for teenage son and daughter, who both have equally clearly-defined plans for their lives.

Sometimes I can feel her brain cells whirring and asking "So what do I do in this situation?" She doesn't always have the answers by the end of each episode, but she's also confident enough to let somethings work themselves out.

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