“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
– Winston Churchill
It’s nice when something clicks. It’s rarely huge on the ‘success scale’ but enough to make you think (as you must) that it’s not the goal that’s important but the journey.
This past week, I’ve spent time refining my site’s content. Even though it’s what I do for others, I still get a kick from seeing a (new) message emerge.
When I left law in 2010, I saw myself reverse engineering my nascent experience of social media and land a slew of professional service clients. I opined that if I got ‘it’ as a former practitioner so must they – let’s face it what else were they going to do to elevate their marketing from the moribund to the anything-but-ordinary?
But, like all these things, I misjudged the market: the pressing issue wasn’t engaging with their (putative) clients but staying afloat. I know. I should have seen it writ large but, having sat in on countless meetings where every partner up and down the land lamented the ability to differentiate their professional service proposition, there was me thinking: “This is so bloody obvious that they’re bound to get it.”
Needless to say, I had to wind my neck in and regroup around a less extreme offering. As a consequence, I reverted to the softer edges of business development – “Oh please, please will you just speak to your clients.” And to an extent that’s what I’m still doing. Oh sure, there’s more acceptance now of the need to use the slew of social media platforms – they’re free after all – but not a great deal has changed on the engagement front. I’m sure that, in time, everyone will get it but my life is too short to wait around, particularly when there are so many other things that I want to focus on, namely:
The thing is, I don’t want to give the impression that I’m about to give up on all paid work to be at my creative best but, neither, having made the leap, do I intend to flog a message that isn’t completely me or people don’t inherently care about.
Having had a varied career, I’m even more convinced than ever that as we spend so much of our life toiling away at the coalface, we’d better make damn sure that what we do brings out the best in us. Or to be precise, we become what we truly are (see Man’s Search for himself by Rollo May).
As I’ve witnessed time and time again, people end up in dead end jobs that kill them from the inside but they suppress it for fear that the alternative – making the leap to the one thing they were called to do – is too risky. Of course, for the chosen few, they never go back and can’t understand why everyone is content to live a shadow existence.
In my case, although I’m doing paid work that keeps me in the legal sector, it’s my intention to continue to develop my creative self. Also, running alongside of my creative work, but an inherent component, is the need to untangle the previous conditioning. This means understanding more about my egoic identity, searching for the truth of who I am and being at peace with everything. You might call it a spiritual quest or self-enquiry, but whatever it is, it’s something that I’m drawn to.
So, in summary, my site will reflect more of me. My work will proceed in a creative direction. And I intend to go deeper in understanding Who am I?.
Below is a video and voice over by Alan Watts. It’s worth watching if, for no other reason, it invites the question, “If money was no object, what would you do?” And below that are a few of my audio recordings which you may find helpful in understanding my message.
Have a wonderful day.