Do you know who you are?
Of course you do. But do you know who you are when it comes to work. And what you stand for?
It's a question that makes you think. It certainly made me think and that's why I've spent the last week or so (months actually as I started writing this in October!) seriously thinking about what I stand for. I felt I needed to nail this. Or at least narrow it down in order to keep going. Figuring out my passions, strengths, the stuff I want to work on versus the stuff I should be doing. Not forgetting the stuff I definitely don't want to do. Not anymore. Not for all the tea in China.
So, that's why I needed to know who I am. And you should too. Not personally about me. But about yourself. It's important to have focus and not be bogged down being a busy fool. It's far too draining.
I learned a lesson 12 months ago that made me take a good look at the things I was doing that were taking up a lot of my time, for not a lot of money, and it was definitely stuff that I didn't want to be doing. So I slowly but surely got rid of each and every one of them and started to go back to my roots.
I may have eliminated a few humans along the way but my Joy Before Annoy mantra has worked bloody wonders for me I can tell you.
So, back to the point. Who am I? What do I want to do with my (work) life and how do I move forward? Please note this isn't in any way a self help/take control post, there's enough of those motivational posts out there to make you run for your life. And it's all bollocks, but that's another post.
The point is I was questioning myself and my role in this creative industry and I Skyped with a friend, who happens to live in an amazing Grand Designs place in New Zealand, and it was his questions that forced me to think long and hard, and figure out who I am and what I want to be doing. More importantly, what I need to be doing.
The 30 sec website
It's not as easy as you think, although he seems to have nailed it time and again for himself and his clients. He has created something called the '30 second website' for his new company Voiceboxed. Basically it's a way of stating simply and quickly who you are, what you do, who you do it for and why you do it. In 30 seconds. (If you're interested in working with him then he travels all over the world so living in NZ and working in Oz and beyond is not an issue.)
I started to scribble. It certainly didn't take 30 seconds to narrow it down. I thought it might be easier to treat myself like a client. That way I could be more precise, direct and honest without being emotional and putting myself first. God it was hard. You can't help but be emotional. And think about the what ifs, and buts. And then there's the procrastination. Yes, I believe I'm not the only one to suffer from that affliction.
I also had to figure out what I stood for. That's not easy either but I came across Ian Sanders via a tweet and it was like a sign from above. Someone finally got me. He had figured out this very issue himself and was now kindly sharing it with the world. (I'll post his video and more about him in the next post as it needs to be shared with everyone in my opinion).
But I did it. After locking myself away and turning off phone/mac/social media alerts I finally started to see light at the end of the tunnel. Focus, focus and focus some more. Procrastination 0 - Me 1. Result.
So who am I?
I like to be creative. I don't want to get bogged down in the technical side of things too much. I want to go back to my roots of ideas and art direction. I want to meet and work with more inspiring people. I realised that even though I don't necessarily like to be around people a lot, I definitely feed off them and in order to be better at what I do, I need to share more experiences with them.
And I need to explore ways of fuelling my creative fire. So I signed up for a script writing course that is pretty bloody good. Roll on the second part starting this week.
Talking it further and using the 30 second summary of who I am and what I stand for i came up with this. In a nutshell:
I'm an ideas-based art director who likes to create and shape motivating stories - so clients can benefit from insightful thinking, clear cut execution, and deeper emotional bonds with their customers.
Just like that. What do you think? It may well be tweaked after I've lived with it for a little bit, but it's a start.
Why is it important?
Because we don't want to take on anyone else's ideas of how we should live our lives. Or how we should be producing stuff entirely for money and not for love. We don't want to forget our passions. We should remember what fires us up. And we need to remember why we started doing what we do. We need to make sense and reconnect with your life and where you ultimately want to be. We need ask ourselves if this is really what we want to be doing and remembering what makes us tick.
Have you figured out what you stand for? Tell me and share your agony with me :)