April 21, 2015. That is sadly the last date I posted on The Creative Stable blog. Which is ironic considering I’ve written nearly 40 for clients in that time period, in addition to dozens of projects, websites, scripts, and other content, so you can safely assume that if I were a cobbler my children would indeed be barefoot. But my customers’ feet are well clad.
But maybe that’s not such a bad thing. To step back. Decompress. Realign your thinking. In the time since my last post, I’ve worked hard, traveled to the Northwest, celebrated a birthday, threw a Take 5, played dozens of gigs, donated time and treasure to local charities, enjoyed my family and friends, and spent time being in the action rather than standing back and taking pictures of it.
Here’s what I’ve learned in that time.
1. My project timeline isn’t necessarily that of my client.
I have several wonderful projects I’m chomping at the bit to complete, but slow and steady wins the race. I’ve learned to work more at my client’s pace than my own. They know what’s comfortable for them, so I take their lead.
2. The world keeps on spinning without my frequently distributed nuggets of shared wisdom.
Sometimes I get links to blog posts or email blasts that are not only not original, it is evident they were written while desperately trudging toward a deadline. In that case, we should all save our energy and our keystrokes.
3. As a patient observer, I’m seeing a true shift in the way people communicate.
We must all be prepared at a moment’s notice to anticipate one of our tweets, posts or Instagrams could make us an overnight sensation (hopefully for all the right reasons). People must also take into account the facelessness of social media and how easy it is for people to say things and express emotions they never would face-to-face. That “wild wild West” factor can destroy a brand in a heart beat. In the same token, when genuine and smart, it can ignite tremendous success.
4. You are your own secret sauce.
It seems the more I’ve removed myself from routine, the more opportunities opened up. Perhaps they have been here all along, I just had my head down, purposefully passing them by to do what I’d always done. I have happily learned that there are so many factors we can leverage to make our lives and careers better, and often they’re right in front of us. We just don’t look up long enough to see them. One of my biggest clients discovered me behind a microphone. Another called me after rejecting one of my proposals eight years ago. But he remembered me. My secret sauce stuck with him like KC Masterpiece and a white tee.
So while I am a journalist with an inquisitive eye on the world, it’s nice to know that I can still step back from the analytical to just BE. Don’t beat yourself up for not being at every networking event, or getting stuck in a rut. Change it. Mix things up. Hire a coach. Get a new hairstyle. Sure, your kids might go barefoot, but your happiness will be well-heeled.