My abilities to do actual mathematic equations, sort of suck. My loving, sweet, adoring husband affectionately refers to this as “art school math“! I’m prone to exaggeration, just a tiny teeeeeny bit. One million is likely to actually mean 5. And as you might expect, sometimes 5 means 1,000,000! Brad (said loving husband) is better at this real world skill than I am. Maybe that’s because he lives more in the “real world” than I do! I like to live in my head a lot, and imagine pretty things, and think about things like “hey, how on earth did they get that piece of paper to look like that?” or “what color should I paint my toenails next week?”.
Why I am I telling you this? I am asking myself the same question!
Last night Brad and I were planning our trip to New York next month, for The National Stationery Show (uhmm, mecca!) where we will go see what the world of invitation designers, paper purveyors, and other paper-pushers are designing, producing and filling their shelves with. This show is as good as it gets for me – a collection of the bestest, brightest, most inspirational (and some, too, who I may scoff at, and think “wow, I can do better with my hands tied behind my back!” Just being honest!) But just being in the presence of these juicy creatives satisfies a need I have, to ‘be in the know’. To know what’s going on in my industry. To open my eyes to all that’s possible.
Working with my extraordinary business coach at the end of last year, I was asked to write my intentions down for 2011. Her belief is that if you write it down (and refer to it more than once a year!) these intentions are likely to become reality. I’m with her on this one. One of the first items on my list (after “clean my office”) was to attend The National Stationery Show this year. Being that we’re planning the trip, we’ve bought our show tickets, and are about to pull the trigger on flights, I already feel like I have succeeded. I wanted to do something that is super important to me. I’m making it happen. Done. Right?
Well, Brad (Mr. 5 minutes is actually 5 minutes!) asked me to write a list of goals that would determine how I measured the success of going to the show in New York. I was baffled. I explained to him that GOING to the show was the success. How could he not see this?! He tried to reason with me (as if that’s possible!) and explain that there had to be some some measure of success if we were going to attend the show – aside from just being there. Brad is going to the show with me, I should add, because while technically not an employee of 13 Creative, he is definitely crucial to the success of the business; both from a creative perspective and a patience perspective!
For Brad, I think the show needs to prove itself in a real, physical way, in order to feel like a worthwhile experience. Or, maybe I need to prove myself to him, after going to the show, to make it seem like an important expense. However, I feel quite to the contrary. To me, the joy, the success and the reward is just being there. Being with my colleagues (who might not know I exist) and being surrounded by creativity and color and paper and products with beautiful packages… these are all things that inspire me to do better, push the limits, reach for the sky, what have you.
As with any successful partnership, however, compromises must be made. So, my compromise with Brad is that I will spend the entire time on the plane to New York identifing goals to achieve at the show, making lists of things to do at the show, and putting down on paper some intentions directly related to the next steps of my new semi-custom invitation business (that I am hoping to launch in the coming months). All of these lists, and pieces of paper, and questions and answers will hopefully prove, err I mean indicate, how being at the show is equal to the success of my business. But I think we all know, that just being there, is the only thing that matters to me!
p.s. Here’s what the dictionary has to say about success: