It seems that life has a way to stuff a person into a box. This box is one that “everybody” is supposed to fit into. If you are like me you went to a school of the masses, was taught with the masses and expected to learn the masses. Only I didn’t. Being in college prep because you are good in English doesn’t mean that you are great at all of it. Math, Science, etc. In fact most of us aren’t great at all of it. In my opinion and there is science that backs up that there are right brainers and left brainers, but there are tons of articles and research. This post or this blog itself wont be discussing that stuff.
When You Think Differently, It’s Okay
Steve Jobs made the Apple Company because he thought differently. He got fired a few times and people thought he was difficult to get along with most of the time. Why do you suppose that was? In my opinion it was because others were expecting him to excel with his creative mind in their rigid environment and it didn’t work. It didn’t work until they let him do it “his way.” Also in my opinion, he lacked interpersonal skills, persuasion, etc. It was easy for the “nay-sayers” to not think kindly of him when he refused to do things “their way,” especially when he knew they were wrong. As we all know know he was right and he made the whole world see things with “fresh eyes.
If you are a creative thinker bear with those that aren’t. I realize that it is hard, but try. Realize that the whole system was designed by non-creatives because the “creative types” were creating rather than analyzing and building, making 1+1 = 2. Find your own fire and fan it, color your own world, sing your own song. As creatives you have had to develop the skills to “work around” things to get people to see things your way, to show them something they have never thought of before.
So GO, be YOU because there is only one YOU to share, they are waiting (they may not even know it yet) but you will help make a better world.
I do not know how to fix my car. I do not know how to cut my own hair (or anyone else’s for that matter). There are lots of things I do not know how to do and still more things that I KNOW how to do but don’t make the time to do it or someone that does “it” more than I do may be better and more efficient doing it for me!
It’s All In Your Head
I have been changing up the way I am networking lately. The endless travel challenges that winter brings makes keeping appointments challenging to say the least. I am using Social Media, email mining and other things to reconnect with old contacts and friends too. Lots of these conversations have nothing to do with “HEY BUY MY STUFF!” That isn’t my style and I resent it when people do that to me !
There is nothing more fulfilling for me than talking to an old friend that helps me put things into perspective. In this case it was an old friend that I have not actually talked to for several years. Not for any particular reason, but we just went in different directions. He is now in Virginia and I am in Maine. He and I will always be able to pick up from where we left off just like it was yesterday. In our conversation we talked about simpler times in our lives. He also reminded me of some things I happen to be good at that I take for granted. I guess I have not changed much since then and the list he gave me hasn’t changed from 1981!
Yes, I am a “Go-To” person. Because I like people and find everyone interesting,, I attract a lot of people. He was making fun of some of the “Tom Foolery” I may have on my Facebook wall. I describe my wall as “The Wild Wild West” unless it is hurtful or cruel, what is posted stays there. It may not be my opinion but it was put there by someone I know and I don’t mind that people see it. People contact me in all different ways for all different things, many things I know nothing about. But it is possible that I know someone that knows about it and I can get people together that can help one another.
I use Social Media every day. Many days BEFORE I EVEN GET OUT OF BED IN THE MORNING! (TMI, right) ? Some mornings depending on the project, I may be looking at notifications on my phone before my feet hit the floor. It is what I do! It really is my way of life. It isn’t everybody’s. When people ask me about “computer things” I want to say, “I know nothing about that stuff.” But when it is a “social media computer thing, I may know A LOT about that and be able to help.
So what can you bring to the party?
If you are a business owner, fine tuning is always helpful. It is easy to get stuck into the grind of it all. I know that I often get so immersed in the day to day of operating, making sure my software is updated, returning calls, networking, etc. I oftentimes get so wrapped up, I fail to think about my company as an outsider. Where I want it to go and what my part is in moving it in that direction.
When I am in “tactical mode,” helping customers with their business processes, I have difficulties thinking big picture on ideas for my company. And being in innovation and looking for “that special” thing for someone else, there is never a shortage of new technology to try out or learn about. That part of my brain is always RED HOT, it is easy because I am in it all the time. I am no neuroscientist but I would venture to guess that my PLANNING part of my brain is different than my tactical part (and I am not even going to bother googling it.)
As a Marketer at heart, (been at it in one way or another for 30 odd years – yikes!). I love planning. Planning allows for contemplation of what has happened (or what we did), what we think is going to happen and what we plan to make the best of it. It also is the place in the company that gets everyone together to decide “What” and “Who” we are as a company and “What we WANT to be?” Those things don’t happen in Accounting, Sales or HR they happen in Marketing.
I am fortunate that I teach Social Media as well as Marketing at Husson University at the New England School of Communications. I say that I am fortunate because for about 30 weeks a year I get to teach courses on things that Marketing people need to be doing at their companies. Sure I may have to pick up the mail and make a bank deposit, follow up on Sales calls or client requests, but I am constantly reminded of what needs to happen in Marketing. That I need to stay connected to that world, to the media in person, on air or through social media. There are a host of other things that I am reminded to do, because I teach these courses and the feedback from the students is priceless and very helpful to me.
It is possible there may be a way that you may be able to do some work that puts “Planning” on your calendar. Maybe Junior Achievement, Adult Ed, Brownies or Cub Scouts- anything that makes you prepare a presentation of some type that gets you from thinking about your day to day and more into your “Day After Tomorrow.”
*thank you Creative Commons and Apple for the use of their image.