Don’t Look back…..or to the side

all_i_can_do_by_cellofanflower

The past six months have been somewhat of a thrill ride for me – the “shut your eyes and jump” moment that is going it alone and the daily struggle of a different kind – to balance the where you are with the where you want to be.

One thing though has become clear – and maybe an important lesson for anyone, not just those who stand alone as planners.

Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing – and in a different way and as a famous man once said “Be yourself, everyone else is taken”

I know, it may be obvious to say but I hadn’t given it the right amount of thought until I really found it playing just a little too much on my mind.

No two people are the same – no two planners are the same. By that I mean that whilst we are all working in a creative environment, just how we work – how we deal with our clients and the relationships we build will all differ in any number of different ways. The fact is though, that for every second you give thought to what the other guy is doing, it is one less moment you are concentrating on what “you” could be doing.

I do my best to always give time to people that feel I am someone they want to talk to – you simply never know where it might lead now, or in the future. Twitter, Facebook – so dangerous for fooling you in to thinking that you are one step behind everyone else…..and yet – once you are at the top there is only one way to go and there is something for always having a goal in sight and striving to be the best you can be – rather than simply the best.

Impatient as I am, the last six months have brought me multiple opportunities, all of which I have done my best to seize with both hands. Concentrating on the here and now is good – but time has to be given to the what next – and it isn’t always easy to do that. Stick to the plan, don’t forget those that were there for you in the beginning, and always make time for people who are where you were.

Priorities, have you got yours?

What a week, and with a weekend full of work ahead, as well as the same for the next, I am barely into a 13 day stretch. As I sit here, my brain is frazzled and all I can really do is smile. Sometimes you just have weeks like this – where your teams pre booked holiday always seems to pop up at the wrong time, one leaving to seek out new opportunities and one going on six months paternity as you do…..all in all, spread just a little thin – to say the least.

And so, with the phone ringing off the hook, questions left, right and centre from clients and colleagues, and any number of events on my doorstep, all of which want time I can’t give them, how are you meant to prioritise to a level that doesn’t then leave you in need of medication as you work 15 hour days as though it’s the norm?

Does something always have to give?

At times like this, there is the need to be direct – with others in order to buy the breathing space you need, and with yourself, enough to decide which of the “all important” things on your lists have to get done first. The option of running yourself in to the ground is not really an option at all, and yet, I am sure you as I, have sat with head in hands and wondered just when the merry-go-round will stop.

Key too, is the support and guidance you receive, or can call upon from others. Some may be lucky enough to have a mentor who is fully aware of just what is going on around them, or someone who – when taking all things in to consideration, is able to suspend their own “priority” list in favour of those who need their support. None of this is easy. Everyone is relied on by someone else, deadlines are not exclusive, and at some point, we all run the risk of missing something that proves key – and can then affect the success of our events.

My pearls therefore are this;

Speak up. People are not mind readers, and if you don’t speak then how is anyone meant to know you need help

Breathe. Do your best to keep your head whilst those around you are losing theirs. It tends to be at times like this that real skill shines through

Balance. Your own, and the time you still set aside for those that need you. Don’t expect more from others, than you yourself are willing to give

And if all else fails, fake it till you make it using your best “no problem” smile

I would love to hear just how you manage your priority list – is there one thing you never compromise on come what may?

“My Word Is My Bond” – When Bright Ideas Are Best Left Unspoken

Where are the weeks going?

By next week it will be less than two months until the marathon, update to follow, but lets say that training regime is no further ahead than it was a few weeks ago – but oddly, I am living with the positive thoughts that my legs will remember what to do come April, and coupled with that “never say die” attitude, I am confident of reporting back positive results come April 23rd.

Funny, I am calling on my positive outlook a lot of late, although I have to report here too, that I am continually confident that treading a little water now will soon become swimming like a dolphin, and within no time, I will look back and smile at what once was. It is something that is different every time, beginning again and moving onwards and upwards within the world of both perception and expectation. It can never be underestimated as to why some people decide to remain in one role for all time, my big boss would say “that it is good to move on to different things, and it is good to stay doing the same thing” – the idea that it is not so much about drive and ambition, but more taking on something which you enjoy – having that feeling of passion and pride in what you do and whom you represent – and deciding that whatever you are doing meets those criteria.

I get annoyed when I think I am falling short of expectation, my own and that of others – and whist it can take time to turn the invisible corner, I believe that by taking a half step back and breathing, it is more than possible.

Anywho, as I digress….

This week saw one of my great ideas nearly return to bite me in the rear….who knows, it still may. The “what” at this moment is less important, more so the general rule of thumb that is a hazard in the world of creative thinking. What I thought was a good idea, and actually to be fair, is – was somewhat blurted out off the cuff, all be it with a number of caveats, rather than having been looked in to just a little bit more than it was. No harm done, bases were covered….well, to a certain point – and when said idea was picked up by the client as “genius” (their words not mine) I then found myself in moderately hot water with the client when said caveats were expanded upon.

Emails were then exchanged back and forth, homework done and handed in, and to this point, both client and venue are happy with where we stand. Whilst I know this all may seem a little vague, it is simply making reference to the fact that within our industry, where there is a certain expectation to always have the “Eureka, out of the box” moment of genius, this is sometimes best left as a warm and fuzzy feeling inside, to be “saved for later” and until it can be backed with concrete follow up.

With such competition within the market at the moment, we have to be careful to avoid promising just a little more than we can deliver, and guarantee that we are listening to the needs of our clients when assessing how best we can then exceed their expectation.

I would love as always, to hear your thoughts on the above, so drop me a line……how do you best balance your creativity whilst keeping your feet firmly grounded?