In the mornings, I start with something of a routine. Meditation. A bit of scripture. And I write poetry. It is a simple routine, but it serves to empty me out, and prepares me for the day, which is inevitably complex.
This morning I wrote this short little poem and I used the picture that is in this post as the header:
Like the Sea.
I am best
when I am less.
There is a lesson I have learned again and again in this little poem. We have our best success when we can simplify our life and goals and work.
I learned this as I built companies in the technology sector.
In one case, the company I was a partner in, a startup, had just finished the rebuild of a TV station in Raleigh, NC. It was a massive, ten million dollar project, the first High Definition PBS station in the nation, chock full of new technologies. When the project was done, we went to them and asked for their feedback on how we did.
We had expectations. We were sure they would talk about our great project management, logistics and methods. That’s what we thought we were about. The truth was though, that they weren’ that impressed with that side of us. But they told us what they WERE impressed with. “Your expertise.” they said. “You have expertise no one else has.”
Expertise. We rode that simple concept in our marketing and sales for years and years. It was simple. It was true. It was powerful.
The next company I was part of tasked me to start and develop a Mid-Atlantic division in the DC area. They also asked me to do much of their marketing. Once again, as we got started, I would meet with the clients and ask them what we did well and what we did less well. Once again I had expectations of what they would tell me. Once again, I was wrong.
“You listen better.” I was told again and again.
I’m no dummy. Tell me the same thing again and again, I get it. We made that phrase “We listen better” at the center of our story. Again, it was simple. It was true. It was compelling. And for us, it was a big part of our success.
Three decades into life and work and that message has proved true again and again. When we simplify, we are more powerful. We make more impact. Our message resonates.
It is true in the corporate world. It is true in our private lives. In our faith. In our creative lives. Even in our spiritual lives. What I have found. What I have seen is that simplicity is what gets us there, where ever our own personal “There” is.
But getting to simple is a process. It takes work, and like my experience on the ten million dollar project in Raleigh, sometimes it takes someone on the outside to help us cut through the mishmash of thoughts we carry in our own heads to help us get there.
Think about that a while. Can you cut to your essence? We’ll be talking more about that here. Tune in!
Be well. Travel wisely,
PS: The painting is one of mine. It is called “Like the Sea”