By: Lisa Slagle
A few weeks ago, I was drinking coffee with a friend, laughing and bullshitting on the rooftop patio of my office, when she said, "Hold on--You run a business, teach at the community college, and play outside all the time. Now you joined a gym? Seriously, do you ever sleep? How do you find time for all this?"
I chuckled and shrugged, recalling the chaos of the late nights at the office, bike crashes, and deadlines of the past few days. Then a realization hit me, and I answered, "I show up."
That's all there is to it.
I show up.
This looks different all the time. I'm wrong about a lot, but this is what works for me.
Showing up for clients.
I show up to our meetings on time, with a smile, and a blank piece of paper in my notebook. I'm ready to make our hour together count. I meet our deadlines, even if it means exhausting my creative resources and working late, because they deserve it. They deserve sincerity and honesty and intention. They deserve someone who shows up.
Showing up for family and friends.
I try to be a good friend. With schedules and snowfall and states between us, it can be difficult, but I try to show up physically and emotionally for the people in my life. I constantly send my buddies back home funny pictures or handwritten notes. I attend my friends' events locally as often as I can. Sometimes it's hard to rally, and sometimes I can be a little overly independent, but when it comes down to it, if someone really needs me, I will be there, even if it means getting on a plane, or driving all night.
Showing up at the ski resort or the trailhead.
Even if I have cramps, didn't eat lunch, or create a bunch of dumb excuses, I put my snowboard (or mountain bike) in the truck and go shred. Fast, recklessly, and with headphones. Playing with gravity might be silly in principle, but this is what I care deeply about, the thing that sets me on fire, and I need it.
Showing up online.
I work on my website or my Facebook business page or my email, and I respond to comments and interact with people's posts. It's a funny world-- I have connections with people whom I respect, yet have never met. I have internet friends, people in design communities, that I can ask or answer. I use the internet to find new clients, keep in touch with old ones, and constantly better my design skills. You have to be proactive in the design world. I try to learn something new every day. Showing up on the internet is not silly-- it's my livelihood.
Showing up to the gym.
Sometimes I feel tired and lazy, but I put on some shorts and my gross, smelly running shoes, and I go to the gym because it will help my snowboarding, biking, and evidently, my posture. I begrudgingly start pushing buttons on the treadmill, and the next thing I know, I've watched back-to-back episodes of Boy Meets World and run for an hour. Mostly because I walked in the door even when I didn't feel like it.
Showing up to the office.
Work is going really well, and it's busy. I'm in this beautiful spot where I'm fortunate enough to decide how I want to grow my business. This is so badass. I know how rare this is, and I am not taking it for granted. I've put my heart and soul and ass into this business, and it's finally starting to pay off. To be totally honest, every now and then, I feel so overwhelmed with work that I want to pull the covers up over my head and hide from the day. Who doesn't? But I wake up, leave my house, and go to the Wheelie Creative office. As soon as I get there, my brain and mouse finger know what to do. I make mistakes and learn from them every day, but I stumble upon victories, too. I'm accountable to my clients, my intern, and myself. All it takes is physically showing up.
And best of all, showing up on accident.
Know that whole "right time right place" thing? It works. I land a lot of projects on accident. Serendipity is the best. I love it when it happens-- randomly meeting people who happen to be in need of a designer, connecting, clicking, and creating a new designer-client relationship.
Just for showing up to life.
Want to work with Wheelie Creative? Start a project together? Tell me I'm full of it?
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