So I had a professional experience the other day that left me thinking “Wow! If we could always treat each other like this, not only would I be waaaaaaay less stressed out, but we would all function better as a society.
Well, as most of you know, my sis and I just recently published our book. Yay!! Need-less-to-say, aside from documenting all our embarrassing, exasperating, crazy adventures, we really had NO IDEA what we are doing, which naturally left me in the position of asking lots of questions and expressing ideas that to the “professionals” seem either crazy or not practical at times. Don’t get me wrong I DO have GREAT, workable ideas too, always mostly crazy, but still doable. So for us it’s balancing great ideas with the budget! Lol
When I was working on the cover I ran into a situation where I was afraid to share my opinion. I did like what was done, it looked great, but it seemed to spur on some of my creativity! Hmmmm. Yeah, just ask my husband what happens when I get in the “creative” mood. Anyway, Jess and I were together, which naturally makes the creativity even more exuberant, and after an hour we had almost a million change ideas.(which for those of you with more understanding of graphic arts than me can already see the problem, lol… $$$$$) However, as I said above sometimes I’m afraid to share my opinion, especially if it is with someone I look up to and respect. (And then there are those lovely times that I am waaaay to willing to share my opinion and end up eating my own shoe)
Anyway, I was working with Connie Sweet of Connection Graphics and for some reason, even though I look up to Connie, I still feel really comfortable in sharing with her , perhaps too comfortable at times, she has seen waaaaay to much of my lack of “professionalality” than any of my other “business” relationships. Lol And what if my ideas were dumb, what if I hurt her feelings, what if it was too expensive, what if she was offended, what if it was impossible, BUT what if they were good ideas!! Ahhhhhhhh. I emailed my response and waited nervously. Long story short we had a few emails back and forth and a few phone conversations. She was honest with me as well about the extra costs for THAT many changes and whether it was worth it for this project. She helped me step back and look at the project as a whole. She was open and honest about her opinion and the cost effectiveness of my ideas, while validating a few of my ideas would be worth investing in, yet leaving the choice up to me. After hearing what she had to say, I was able to make a clear decision. There were some important changes that needed to be made, but not a million.
After it was all done, and she didn’t want to “fire” me as her client, I felt amazing. Literally, AMAZING. I was able to express my ideas so I wouldn’t have to wonder forever, “should I have said this, should I have changed that”? Nope, I felt great about our team effort and the decisions made. And to top it off, she saw my inexperience, she saw my stress, she saw me obsess over this project, and I still didn’t feel judged by her. After she saw this side of me, after all the emails back and forth, we could still work easily together. It was actually a freeing feeling. I felt like I was free to be me, mistakes, crazy ideas, stress and all. I could be me, learn and move forward. I felt so much more secure to be myself and share my ideas with her, because she didn’t change and she still accepted me. No eggshells, no offense, just 2 people trying to make a good product, within a realistic economical means. After this experience I thought to myself, how nice it would be if all relationships could be this great! Too often we aren’t secure and we personalize causing unnecessary riffs in relationships. But what if an opinion or idea could be just that…an opinion or idea! Not something that defines you or classifies you. Something we can look at objectively and either accept or just let it be someone else’s. And in turn, give them the freedom to have their opinions and ideas, not using them to define them as well. It’s like that saying “Don’t get your panties in a wod.” Or as they say in the UK, Don’t get your knickers in a twist.” Lol Just typing that makes me laugh. “knickers in a twist, lol, too funny.” But for real, do you take it personally when someone prefers chicken and you prefer beef. Or if someone else has a different favorite color than yours do you get offended or count it against them. Of course not. The same goes for all of our other crazy ideas and opinions. So, “Don’t get your knickers in a twist.” Just work together.
So I have to give a shout out to Connie Sweet at Connection Graphics, she is great and truly has her customers best interests in mind!