If you’ve had a bad client like this then you know the feeling of “post-client-stress-disorder”–the fear, the distrust, the wariness. When these monster clients get their way, I become skittish. I tense my body at the thought of them, as if a bully were about to punch me in the hallway.
Sometimes we can get discouraged with our business ideas because people could just do it themselves. And if people can do it themselves, then why would they pay us to? But that’s the catch. People won’t do it themselves. Everyone wants a giant balloon sculpture to take a picture in front of, but no one is going to take the time to do it.
Researchers spend months or years trying to earn tenure at their universities by doing all the legwork. Then, Daniel Pink rolls up, reads a few scholarly articles at a cafe, cranks out a 170-page knowledge bomb from a Chromebook, and sells a million copies.
I think I’ve realized that blogging every day in this format is not something I want to continue doing in December. However, committing to another daily discipline next month is something I do want to continue. The learning curve I’ve climbed over the past 30 days has been amazingly insightful. I want to do 30-day challenges like this more often. What’s next? Running? Creating videos? Writing songs? Networking? Drawing?
LeBron James is awful at a lot of things. He’s not much good to share a spongecake with. He won’t join you for an all nighter playing Halo. He’s tough to have a quiet walk in the park with. But do you know what he’s incredible at? Basketball.
This got me thinking. Why am I so comfortable considering a $1300 trip to Bali (for the 4th time), but so discouraged thinking about buying a Rhodes for $1500? Which one is a new experience? Which one will last me longer? Which one is an asset I own and could make money with?
Companies rebrand every decade to keep their look fresh. Social Media platforms add features to make their apps better. I buy new shoes every six months so I don’t look like a slob. It’s time text message platforms followed suit and got themselves an update already.
I saw my friends’ band a few weeks ago at a small venue inside a record store in Long Beach. They played a great set. The band that played after them had a talented drummer. He played with a lot of technical skill, he created some interesting rhythms, and he was right on time with his bandmate. Only one problem. It was deafening.
Obviously a campaign like this requires more work and research than a one-and-done slogan and design. But the impact outworks the effort in this case, making the campaign a huge winner in my book. The Grinch is one of cinema’s best-loved villains, and the agency could have gotten away with writing something that read, “Get mean with us this Christmas” and no one would have batted an eye. But instead, they sought to turn heads, and it worked.
When I have a great idea, I get excited. I’ll whip out my notebook, scramble for a pen, push the mess off my desk and start writing furiously. It’s thrilling! I enjoy the process of coming up with ideas, and the feeling that I might be coming up with the next big one makes me feel alive.
When I get stressed about little things and big things, I find a lot of comfort in asking myself how I’ll view this experience in one day, one month, and one year. I often find that stress melts away, as I remember all the other negative experiences that weren’t so bad in hindsight, or that turned out for the best!
$5 coffee? No. Coffee and pastries are just the medium to deliver hospitality, and the regulars’ “good taste” is just an acceptable excuse before they admit they pay kindness. Blue Bottle customers pay $6 for midwestern hospitality, where people know your name and ask how you’re doing. Oh, and you also get an almond latte on the side.
It starts with Friendsgiving. You’re the kind of person who creates non-traditional experiences for the benefit of others. American culture coaxes us to use that initiative to build a successful career. But the single-minded pursuit of success loses its own game. Economies change, money is spent, people die, and work is forgotten. We go back to the drawing board and we discover the influence we desire lies in how we work, not in what we do.
It seems like I’m chasing success as a way to become significant, but even success can’t guarantee that. There are thousands of people who have made more money than I ever will who no one remembers at all.
Right now I’m on a walk around the neighborhood block, stuffed with turkey, mashed potatoes and rolls. I finished eating a few minutes before my friends at our Friendsgiving, and just realized I hadn’t written yet today. So I’m writing on my phone as I walk, rounding the first corner, hoping to be done by the time I finish one lap.
What if you could dedicate two weeks each year to doing whatever you wanted to do? Could you use those two weeks to learn a new skill? Or enjoy music? Or read up on a new field you’re interested in? What if you could use them to start a business? Or network with people you want to get to know?
I’m often tempted to unload a dump truck of advice on people whenever we start talking about marketing, morning routines, productivity, and social media. It’s my first instinct! I’ve been working on stopping that reaction, and I’ve been trying to trade it for listening more often. Here are a couple tips I have on being a better listener:
Kim does bookkeeping for small businesses to help them stay on top things when tax season comes around. She also teaches students and older folks how to keep their finances straight. Kim doesn’t have a website, she doesn’t have a professional email, and she doesn’t run any ads. But her business is doing fine.
When I’m late for something, even if it’s a casual lunch with a group of friends (the most low-risk event of all), I feel important, like I’m going to be missed, or like my friends can’t start without me. I feel like if I’m late, my friends are going to be mad at me. I feel nervous, I feel like the stakes around the event are raised, even when they’re really not.
I knew a day like today would come when I set out to blog every day in November. Nine days in a row has felt pretty good so far. So good that I was just telling someone last night that it hasn’t been as hard as I thought it would be. Today’s the first hard day.
When motivation runs dry, how do you keep going? When the goal you’re working toward reveals itself to be much further away than you thought, how do you keep stacking bricks anyway? How do you embody consistency in the times when consistency gets so hard?
I placed a lot of self-worth in whether or not I was “making it”. The number of people in the crowd, streams on Spotify, and emails back from network connections were everything to me. Since I was doing it to be famous, my motivation was external instead of internal. Since graduating college, I’ve started chasing a career in creative marketing. Recently, this has pushed me to create content in order to connect with people in my tribe and expand my network. So now, the purpose of this content is to bring value to other people. And it has changed everything