What! Another change!

August 10, 2009 at 3:56 pm Leave a comment

Nothing endures but change. Heraclitus, from Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent
Philosophers Greek philosopher
(540 BC – 480 BC)

As a creative provider, I have to cope with change on a daily, if not hourly basis. Since the digital age made my job easier to make changes, clients seem to think that multitudes of changes are no big deal. Instead of there being this long drawn out process to make a change to a pasted up creative piece before it is photographed to make printing plates, now we are able with a couple of mouse clicks, to make changes almost instantly. In some ways this has been good for the industry in others bad (that’s a topic for another day).

However, let me use this analogy for life itself in our now very fast paced world.

Back in olden times (by that I mean just a few short decades ago) we didn’t experience much change over a period of years. In fact the new car models in fall where a big event every year because they were one of the few things that changed every year. Schoolbooks remained the same for years; neighborhoods didn’t change much and stayed static as people lived out their lives in the houses they bought while young. I can remember what a big event it was when they repaved our road. Things just didn’t change at the pace they do now. In fact I just got a software update just a few minutes ago, one of dozens this year.

We now live life in a constant state of change. It used to be that a person would get out of school, get a job at a factory or business, put in 30 years, retire by age 65, and live out his/her life doing whatever. Now we are working longer. Due to a very recent change in the stock market many older people are un-retiring and re-entering the workforce out of necessity. Change is all around us. Some change is very subtle; others overwhelming like the loss of a home or job. How do you cope with it?

A few years back I had made myself a nice little rut. I worked at a large university; I lived in a small town and had just finished a long remodeling project on my home. I was set. I had everything in place and was ready to set back, relax, and live out my life in relative routine. Get up, go to work, come home, sit on the porch, go to bed, start it all over.

But that was not to be. Life had more in store for me. Within minutes my whole life became a series of changes that is still going on. My wife of 33 years was killed in a car accident on a Monday morning as she was going to work. I was jarred out of my self-imposed rut and forced to change. Instead of fighting it I chose to go with the flow of it. I embraced the change and saw it as an adventure.

The first big change was deciding to date after 33 years. So much about dating had changed. So, I did some research and decided to go online and use a matching website to find potential partners. There I found Christina, who is now my wife, and love of my life. Then I moved from the small town I lived in to Overland Park, KS just outside of Kansas City. Even though I had lived in the Kansas City area before, this was a big change for me, as I hadn’t lived there for over 13 years. Then there was the wedding, blending two households together, blending two families together, and buying my first house. Not to mention, her job loss, moving, selling her little house that she had lived in for 13 years, my job loss and many, many other smaller changes to my life like going from eating on colorful Fiesta-type dinnerware to eating on white French country.

The bottom line is change is here to stay. Cursing a client under your breath for adding something at the last minute is overreaction. Compared to the huge changes going on all around us constantly that little change is nothing. The key to dealing with change is embracing it. It’s not going away. We are not going to suddenly be transported back to the 1950’s and life on Leave it to Beaver Street. Not gonna happen.

I suggest that each morning you wake up expecting change. Expect your situation to change for the better, expect the weather to be good even if it changes for the worst. Expect your business and personal relationships to change and evolve, expect the best out of them. I realize that after losing a job its hard to see how that could be a good thing. I know I had a rough time with it when I lost mine. Just look at it as the closing of one door and the opening of a whole world of opportunity. If you expect only good to come out of change it will be much easier to handle, believe me.

Had I fought the changes in my life I would have been committed to an asylum several years ago. I like an old saying that my Dad would say to me when I would get anxious as a child: “take it easy, greasy, you’ve got a long way to slide!” Words to live by.

Next week’s topic: How to use focus groups effectively and inexpensively.

If your business is changing by the day, or even the hour don’t panic, I’m here to help. If you are overwhelmed by the complexity of how to market your small business and how quickly methods are changing, give me a call. I’ll help you make the changes you need to flourish in this economy. My contact info is:

Michael Irvin
Creative Project Manager
913.677.7060 cell: 913.530.7030


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Let’s Talk Some More Focus Groups can be Valuable

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