By Alexia Hudson
You’ve seen some of the glitterati of our community appear to have it all—a great career, stylish wardrobe, and an active social life—and you want to know what their secret is. How can they achieve the ever-elusive work/life balance while being fabulously social?
It starts with being extremely selective of when, where, and how you spend your time.
Let’s face the facts. There are only 24 hours in the day and eight of them should be devoted to sleep.
Since many of us are not, ahem, independently wealthy or full-time socialites, knock off another eight to 10 hours daily for your j-o-b. Calculate the math and what remains is six to eight hours a day for our social lives.
When you think about it, this is not a great deal of time (when you factor in household duties, family responsibilities, look for or maintain a romantic relationship, shop, eat, exercise, and other life errands).
The most important thing to come to terms with is that you can’t be everywhere unless you have a full-time staff and unlimited cash. Second, you do not want to be the person whose “mug” is everywhere for no apparent reason except to be seen.
So apply a strategy to how you operate. For example, learn your hometown’s social season, and try to map out your activities as far in advance as possible. Advance planning is not only easier on the purse, but it also gives you a good “out” to decline invitations.
Only go to events that really interest you. If you hate classical music, then don’t attend performances of your town’s orchestra. You will have absolutely nothing in common with the other attendees. Conversely, if you love jazz or modern dance, attend those activities where you can chitchat with people who share a similar passion. By doing this, you will begin to cultivate and expand your social network.
Don’t overdo it by going out every night/week/weekend at first. Twice a month is good for starters. As your social network increases, you may be able to build up the contacts (and stamina) to load up your calendar with more activities.
Burst out of your comfort zone. It’s highly doubtful that you will achieve socialite status if you only mingle with (fill in the name of any organization or group here). Make a conscious decision to explore new “territory” at least once a month, but move around in new circles.
Last, look for local socialite role models and learn about their pet projects and charitable organizations of interest. It not only helps to have a tangible person so that you can model their success, but it will also give you some ideas about where you should make your appearances.
Now go forth and be social!
Alexia Hudson is the creator of The Black Socialite Blog.