Honestly, the last five or six days at work have been exhausting. I'm not complaining-- I have it good, and I love my clients, but man, have you ever just had one of those weeks where you're perpetually humbled by everything? I'll tell you about it if you want to keep reading.
I'm working on being really direct. I want to be incredibly transparent with my clients and my friends alike. There's a line in my favorite book about how Atticus Finch was the same in the courtroom as he was at home with his kids. I think about that concept a lot, and I try to be consistent like that.
1. I learned a lot about being direct this week. I frequently have to interact with someone who berates me, bullies me, and has no concept of what it takes to write functioning code (It's really hard. That's why I had to go to college for it). This person was especially difficult this week, and I actually dreaded answering my phone every time it rang. At one point during the week, I went to the gym and threw a medicine ball at a mini-trampoline for like an hour-and-a-half and decided to take something positive away from the frustrating interactions I'd experienced all week. I learned that small words work, and that sometimes simply saying, "I don't do business like that" can go a long way. I wear trucker hats and skate shoes, but I know what I am talking about and deserve respect. I also learned that I can count on my web developer. Thank you, Pete, for listening to me and taking the reigns on this project before I lost my mind or threw rotten tomatoes off the office roof.
2. Meanwhile, another client, one of my favorites, asked the most hilarious, ridiculous requests for art all week. I found myself turning to the photographer in our office and asking, "Is this cartoon animal dapper enough? They literally asked me for a dapper beaver. Don't ask... But, seriously, does this beaver look dapper?"
No.... I received feedback from the client that the beaver looked too dapper, almost angry. Like a jerk. Back to the drawing board for the third time and a fourth after that. I learned to laugh it out with that one. After one of the longest rounds of revisions I've experienced in years, we produced a comical string of emails and a winning design, and I learned to take a step back and laugh when perspective provided comedy.
3. I learned how to pump higher through corners at the skatepark. I'm getting better at cruising around in the big bowl. It took some slams and some limping on my bad ankle, but I'm trying and learning and progressing. That's good.
4. I learned that I dislike discount, outsourced design websites more than ever. These sites are disappointing to professional designers working in the industry, and when a potential client tells you that you lost a bid to a five dollar design website in India, you kind of die a little inside. I'll live. But just saying.
5. I learned to pull, not push. My friend, Elise, and I took second place at the women's log-sawing competition at Oktoberfest on Thursday. Our saw got caught up every time either of us pushed, but cut through perfectly when we took turns pulling. Sometimes you want to push, but you have to pull.
Running a business is entertaining. I will say that, and I couldn't do it alone. Thank you to the amazing people I get to work with on a daily basis. Thank you Pete and Cole and Kat for being there for me in a creative capacity. I need it, and I appreciate it. Thank you to Bob Upton for being direct and honest and positive. Thank you to Ryan Unger for being extraordinarily easy to communicate with, even though you're in Denver. Thanks to Colby for sticking with me throughout the years and for refusing to let either of us censor ourselves. Your text messages about design are priceless. Thank you to Selmer for making me feel like I know what I'm doing and to Josh Middleton for being a badass videographer and walking me through all the upgrade options out there. And thank you to Dawn Rauscher for being so solid. I aspire to maintain the sense of perspective that seems to come naturally to you.
Here's to another week of working hard, laughing, and living the dream. -Lisa
Wheelie Deep Thoughts
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