I started writing this blog in my newsletter, when I realised it was going to be way too long for an email. So voila, a newsletter blog. 🙂 I really just wanted to reach to you today and share my thoughts.
I’ve been working hard lately, to get more of my art school curriculum going after my recent depressive episode. So lots of planning, recording, editing and building. I flip a switch and go into Bob-the-Builder-mode.
And then…I suddenly felt lonely. Disconnected, if you will. I was looking at my customer reports and I wondered, who is this person? What are they doing right now? What do they like, dislike, feel good/bad about and so on.
Most of the time I have a pretty decent balance between being in touch with you, and being alone. It allows me to be open, and speak to you sincerely and from my heart. But every now and then that scale needs a bit of recalibrating.
See, the thing that bothered me the most about my previous work, was the lack of human contact. For someone like me, with pretty extensive social anxiety, that was a weird thing to admit. It’s not that I wanted to see or speak to people every day, but I needed to know that who ever was on the other side of an order or an invoice, was human. And that they know, that I am also human. That we have lives, and histories, and that we make mistakes and behave awkwardly at times while navigating the world.
The tendency to see clients, customers, business associates, as numbers rather than actual human beings is probably to protect ourselves. We learn that we shouldn’t let our emotions dictate our work. That business is business. You’ve probably heard one or all of these dead beat arguments at some point in your life, on how you need to toughen up in order to get things done.
I tried, I burned out, and concluded that wasn’t working for me. I can’t look at newsletters that I’ve sent out and be content with a 68% click rate if I don’t support what is in that newsletter. That might sound obvious at first sight, but I’ve found the devil is still in the details and it’s important that I check myself all the time. Sales based on yearly celebrations, is one of those things that got me thinking again this year.
At the beginning of the year, I made a planning and for the month of May it said “Mother’s Day Sale”. And in my production mindset, I started working on that sale when – again – I looked at a long list of humans who are part of my community. Maybe some of you said goodbye to your mother. Maybe some of you don’t or can’t speak to her. And maybe some of you can’t or won’t be mothers. The point is that for a moment I lost touch with why I started all this; to build a business based on human connection. To look past the things you’re supposed to do or required to do. I lost it and at the same time it took only a little bit of effort to get it back. Progress, isn’t it?
All of it got me thinking about our individual responses to content created for the masses. There are loads of people happy with a sale or discount, especially when money is tight. But are they happy with the sale, or specifically happy with a Mother’s Day Sale? I would argue that the latter isn’t valid for anyone. No one would pass up a sale thinking: “Nah, I prefer Mother’s Day, I’ll just wait until that sale comes along”.
It’s also far too easy to say; well, anything will be hurtful or offensive in some way to someone out there.
Or turn it around and state; if I can’t say this then what can I say these days?
You really only need a dash of Socrates to invalidate those statements.
So those are things that occupied my mind while I was preparing for yet another sale. And I feel more alive because of it, I really do. I’d love to know what you think about the questions I posed and this topic in general, so please leave a comment. If my mother taught me anything, it’s that mental growth never ends. It’s always time to learn and gain new insight. And to honour that lesson, I’d like to share this artwork I did back in 2018 before I sign off. There is also a (very crappy lol) time lapse available on my Youtube channel.
No full-blown sale announcement here, but a coupon code to give those of you who need it, 15% off for the rest of the week. You can enter it at checkout and it works on all my stuff: HUMANNATURE2022
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