Screwing up and Apples, Oranges and Business

I was so excited to be a part of Maryann’s first Society of the Secret Playdate membership session. I took part in a couple of her free one’s and loved the insights I had about playing for productivity.

The first playdate was in my calendar, I was thinking about what I wanted to work on play with, and waiting for the time to come.

I screwed up.

Turns out, I missed the call. When I used the highly technical method of calculating what time the call would by counting backwards on my fingers, I screwed it up. The call was at 1pm ET and I put it in my calendar for 11am PT. It was wrapping up, when I was just getting ready to get on it.

Now you’d think that I’d just go ahead and do it on my own. I’d blocked out the time on my calendar right? But no, I was too busy berating myself for getting it wrong. Plus, it didn’t feel nearly as inspiring to do it on my own, compared to doing it as part of the Playdate community. (Now that’s a whole other blog post!)

I couldn’t let it go.

I kept thinking about the missed playdate. And ideas were percolating about what I could have done. And an encouraging email from Maryann later, I decided to do my own.

I used her Playbook for guidance, set my timer, and got started.

Let the playing begin.

During the days between when it was scheduled and today, one of the things that kept popping into my head was a collage. I was really feeling like I wanted to do something with images. So first, I went through some old magazines and cut out pictures and words that jumped out at me.

I started out looking for pictures of groups, groups doing things, yet I found myself cutting out all these pictures of smiling, jubilant people, mostly women. Their faces alight with joy. Doing things they clearly were loving. And I cut them out. Pretty soon I had a stack of them.

Next, I needed a piece of paper to glue them too. I dug out my old art portfolio from the drawing classes I took in high school and college.  I was going to just pull out a blank page from one of the giant pads, but ended up selecting one of my old drawings.

It was a simple page, with pencil life size drawings of oranges and apples. Although I suspect it was the same orange and the same apple, just in different poses.

Now, I wanted to embellish it. I gave the fruit color with nail polish. Hungary for my Honey, Metallic Mango, Rosa Rosa, Go Go Green, Vague. Otherwise known as orange, orange, green, red and very, very, pale pink. (I want the job of naming makeup colors.)

Then I started gluing on the pictures, and a few words. I was  a little surprise to see most of the words ended up in the recycle pile. A few made the cut:  Fly Free. Rest Easy. Sustainable.

I finished. And noticed things.

As I look at the collage now, I see my business clearly.

  • The joyous faces of my clients who are doing things they didn’t think were possible for them.
  • How flexibility creates flow and freedom.
  • How small changes can make huge differences.
  • The importance of partnership and support, and how you still have to take those small, regular actions on your own.

It also gives me clarity on the projects that are most important to me. Looking at the collage, it’s clear that I want to spend most of my time coaching people one-on-one. I love being a part of something bigger. I want to create in a way that’s sustainable.

Looking at this collage is like shorthand. It triggers all the things that inspire me and get me excited about my business. And, staying in touch with that is what keeps me going through the less than exciting parts of running a business.

What about you?

If you’d like to be one of those joyful client faces, there’s no time like now to get started.


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