Wowzas, it’s been a heck of a 24 hour period or so. We left our wonderfully-appointed house in Scottsdale (shout out to having an amazing cousin and family down there) to trek North to Mexican Hat, Utah for a stay at the incredible Valley of the Gods Bed & Breakfast. This was the first real completely “off the grid” experience we’ve had since we’ve departed Northeast Ohio. Honestly, it was needed. As I write this, my entire family is asleep in the hotel we are staying at in Page, AZ. All of the evenings of trying to focus and work while literally everybody in the room is asleep gets to be tricky. I’m a loud typer and a loud music listener (even with the AirPods in). But here we are, back on the grid, back on wifi.
A moment of thanks
Without my team, this trip wouldn’t be possible. Last night I saw the Milky Way with my bare eyes. No telescope, no binoculars, just my fresh set of Warby Parker glasses on my face. It was right about that point where I knew that somewhere along the line of building this agency we pushed some of the right switches. I just got done watching a recording of our weekly zoom team meeting. I was able to respond to everybody, even at 10:30PM MST, when most of my team is probably dead asleep. So, if you’re on my team and reading this right now…thank you. Thank you for your flexibility, thank you for not being “judgey”, thank you for continuing to do the great work that you do every single day. My gratitude for you knows no bounds and I hope I’ve done an ok job of letting you know that.
No network, no problem.
So as an advertising & marketing agency owner in 2020, it’s difficult to do work with no internet, no cell phone service, nothing. But Mondays are our typical day to record podcasts and I knew I couldn’t get on a call to do that today. So I looked at our content calendar and picked a topic I knew I could record myself quickly. As the sun rose over Mexican Hat, Utah this morning I pulled out my mobile podcasting kit that is detailed in one of my recent posts. Me, a microphone, a recorder and 350,000 acres of nothing. I sat and gave a ton of thought about what I wanted to provide to my audience (that’s probably like 4 people lolol) and then I hit record. It wasn’t flawless, it wasn’t perfect, but the point is that I still stuck to my schedule – even when I had absolutely no connection to my team. That’s the key to making content.
Stop f*cking worrying about making it perfect or else you’re never going to get it out. Hit publish and evolve. Stop making excuses.
That’s the biggest piece of advice I can give if you’re producing any sort of content.
I’ve talked about it before, but this trip has allowed me time to think. Time that I normally wouldn’t have. Strange that it took packing 5 of us into a minivan for me to find time to think, but stay with me. When you have nothing around you but jaw-dropping scenery, a two-lane road, 100º heat and sleepy kids you think. You think about what has worked so far, what you should be looking to do in the future and everything in-between. My big focus has been ‘how do I push this agency further?’ How do I push my team further? How do I make them feel more like a team, even though we are all remote? You see, I want to be the greatest all-remote marketing and advertising agency on the planet. It might not happen in revenue form, it might not happen in accolades or awards, but I am striving to make it happen by building a team that truly enjoys working together. I’m pushing myself to hear more ideas, to take more risks and to push the boundary. Because a ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for…right?
So where do we go from here? We travel to Zion National Park tomorrow, then off to Bryce Canyon National Park and several other stops. I’m working, but enjoying life at the same time. My challenge for you is to do the same. Tonight my 5 year old said ‘Daddy, you’re always working. What would happen if you didn’t have any work to do?’ My response to her was a mixture of ‘Oh shit, don’t make me panic like that’ and ‘you see, I love my work. I love the work that I do every single day, so I’m happy to do it.’ I know I’m fortunate to be in this position, I’m grateful and humbled to be able to do what I’m doing right now. Our website views are up over the past week, so I guess people are reading these things. If you find these enjoyable at all, I’d be humbled if you would share them. I hope to inspire one person to realize work can look way different than sitting in an office.
Thank you for attending my TED Talk 🙂