September 10, 2019
currently I am on round three of antibiotics/ear drops for two ear infections, a throat infection + sinus infections. I’ve said this before, but sometimes I think God uses sickness to slow me down to a complete stop because I just struggle so bad with slowing down. OR maybe it’s just my stubbornness and refusal to yield to Him that causes the sickness? I dunno. but either way, I see you, God. *cough cough* and I am now slowed to a complete stop and am ready to work out my as-of-late-jumbled-thoughts. 😉
jumbled thoughts happen for me when I’m stubborn and now sick, but also when the world gets loud and when life gets loud and when truth as my compass isn’t at the forefront of my mind/heart/soul/strength. it’s kinda like I’m sailing a thought ship, wind at my sail, but I’ve got forty different thought maps out and I’m setting course for each of them every hour or so. which makes actually getting anywhere kind-of pointless and impossible.
so what are my as-of-late-jumbled thoughts?
there are a lot of them, but I’ll digress a bit on a few thoughts about “success” and share a conversation I had with matt at McD’s that helped me clarify them a bit.
I almost called it quits with work this past week.
that’s not meaning to be overly-dramatic and it might sound shocking to those of you who aren’t in the creative business industry. but for those of you reading this who ARE in the creative business industry, I think we all periodically come to that fork-in-the-road-point when you decide if you’re going to dig in and continue on this creative business journey or if you’re too spent and in need of switching things up. spoiler alert, obviously I didn’t quit and don’t plan on quitting juuuust yet but arriving at that fork has allowed me to take a good hard look at my ‘why’ this week. before I get to my conclusive ‘why’, I’ll try and explain a little of my frustration + why I was wanting to call it quits this week.
ultimately at the heart of my frustration was a skewed idea of what I was defining “success” as. but on the trail to that skewed idea of success were frustrations with marketing. in saying the word marketing, I kinda feel like I’m talking to two groups of people: those who completely understand what I’m talking about when it comes to marketing/business and those who simply have given no thoughts about it. so let me take a second to explain a little better. webster defines marketing as = the action or business of promoting and selling services. ugh. if you know me at all, you know that that definition rubs me wrong. massively wrong. the act of promoting myself and selling my services just seems very one-woman-circus-show-act when you say it out loud. “steeeeeeeeeeeeep right up, laaaaaaaaadies and gentlemen! come see the great OZ *cough, it’s just jen* perform her trapeze act for the low, low price of $5 today only! click here and don’t miss out!” yes, I’m laughing at that illustration, but that’s what it feels like internally for me to define what I think of traditional marketing. BUT here’s the flip-side of that marketing coin, I know that it’s a part of my job. what I do for an occupation is a service, yes an artistic service but a service none-the-less. and the idea of offering a service means you would like to make it an occupation which means aspiring to make a living at that occupation by growing your network through marketing. and up until this point, I honestly haven’t had to do the actual marketing. I’ve been blessed over the years to have clients be verbally appreciative – not just to me face-to-face, but also on social media platforms and through face-to-face interactions with their friends. I’ve had clients who understand that a tag or a PC cred or a share or a google review was like an audible thank you to the services I provided. google + social media calls that “organic reach through marketing” meaning, people are naturally + organically talking about you online – i.e. marketing for you. and if you’re rocking that organic reach as a business, you’re on the google/internets who’s who map of doing business and are in the internets eyes “successful”. but these last few years, for whatever reason…my organic reach/natural marketing has lessened for me. I’m honestly not sure why, but I know a lot of it has to do with algorithms. and I could guess that maybe it’s the age of my “ideal client” (i.e. high-schoolers) not understanding what word-of-mouth-marketing is? or it could also be that maybe I’m ignorant and there are steps I’m not taking to ensure momentum in capitalizing on organic reach? or even still maybe the whole idea of what marketing is has completely changed with influencers/and the ability to buy organic reach? I honestly don’t know. but that frustration came to a head this week when in researching how to do this aspect of my job better, when I happened upon a 21 year old social media couple who – marketing speaking – are killing the game. he for the the past five years has become “famous” (1.5million followers) vlogging the best ways to get drunk and avoid getting caught by the police as an avid under-age drinker. and in recent months to add to his infamy, he is now dating a gaming model “famous” in her own right (750K followers) being infamous for being half dressed and for vlogging the best way to game while being half dressed. their organic reach together is literally off the charts and “success” is theirs to be had. and there are hundreds of thousands who are gaining in success who are just like them. now, don’t hear me judging this couple – I’m honestly not. I’m simply using them to admit my judgement of myself realizing that their type of “success” can simply never be my business model for “success”. it can’t be based on the services I offer AND based on my desire for depth and story I strive for while interacting with my clients. and my frustration in not being “successful” was off-based and ill-defined when I used this couple as my barometer of success.
so then the only way to ease my undefined frustration is to work at clearly defining success so that I’m not aimlessly chasing others versions of success.
*enter matt* 🙂
most every friday, matt takes me on a breakfast date.
we talk about a lot of things and it’s our time to regroup and connect with each other after a long week and in anticipating typically long weekends.
this week, in sharing my frustrated thoughts with him, he said this nugget of truth that I’ve been clinging to (I actually made him repeat himself and recorded him on evernote, cause it was that pivotal for me):
if you seek satisfaction in the results, in the human results – the earthly results of what you’re doing, you’re setting yourself up for failure. but if you seek satisfaction in Christ, you will never feel like it’s a failure. you will never be dissatisfied.
me: “that’s a hard lane to live in – being satisfied in only Christ.”
absolutely, because everything in the world points to the opposite…everything in the world. social media is one of the most destructive things out there because social media teaches you to find satisfaction, joy, happiness in temporal things that were never designed to satisfy for a sustainable amount of time.
me: “and yet we still chase it.”
oh yeah, totally. one temporary thing to the next.
so the conclusion to my frustration and the definition of my success has to found in Christ which become my why.
in using the talents he’s given me – however big or small – to bring glory to His name and to bring encouragement to His people. marketing included.
not my glory. but His.
because He’s designed me. He’s given me the talent + the tools.
my why + compass will forever be:
‘I have been designed + loved much by Him, so I will spend my days aiming to love much in return by whatever means He puts in my hands to do so.’
regardless of the results.
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