Rapid Recharge // Competitors or Allies

Episode 221. Airs July 26, 2017.

Are you better alone or do you and your skills get enhanced when you are around other people? Better alone or better together?

My dad read me this joke that he shared with his Sunday School class last weekend. It has stayed with me ever since.

Here it is, (honestly I tried to find the source. But there are so many versions out there, I couldn’t find the original in the time I gave myself.)

A visiting Pastor was attending a men’s breakfast in Farm County.  He
asked one of the impressive older farmers in attendance to say grace
that morning. After all were seated, the older farmer began—

“Lord, I hate buttermilk.

The Pastor opened one eye and wondered to himself where this was
going. Then the farmer loudly proclaimed, “Lord, I hate lard.”

Now the Pastor was worried. However without missing a beat, the
farmer prayed on, “And Lord, you know I don’t care much for raw white
flour.”

Just as the Pastor was ready to stand and stop everything, the farmer
continued, “But Lord, when you mix ‘em all together and bake ‘em up, I
do love fresh biscuits. So Lord, when things come up we don’t like,
when life gets hard, when we just don’t understand what you are sayin’
to us, we just need to relax and wait ‘till You are done mixin’, and
probably it will be somethin’ even better than biscuits. Amen.”

It made me think about competition and allies, and community and contrast. Competitors often push us to go further, but allies help us by lending a hand or solution or give us the support we need. Contrast in design is so important for a message to be seen. Contrast allows a viewer to see what’s important because it’s standing out.

Contrast is like the hot pepper, but you need the right amount and you need something to pair it with, something that makes the intense flavor palatable.

All over the internet there are recipes for habenaro peppers and fruit, or chili peppers and chocolate. People need contrast too, especially to grow. People can be palatable too, for example their personalities, energy, and moods make some people easier or harder to stomach for longer periods.

But just like peppers, depending on how they are used (amount, what they are paired with) they can be exactly what a recipe calls for. Am I making any sense?

See sometimes I get the idea I am too much for a lot of people. Honestly I have a lot of energy and people get turned off by it. So I have had to figure out how to read people to adjust my level of intensity accordingly. I don’t just chili pepper my way through life. I adjust or hold back and give them a little more pineapple instead of so much habanero, if you get my analogy.

I used to get the feeling like they are looking at me from hasmat suits thinking if I am nuclear or not.

I feel like other people feel this way too especially when we lose a job, or a client breaks up with us or if we are having a hard time finding clients or finding work. When we experience situations like these we tend to do a ask ourselves questions like, “What did I do? Why are they letting me go? What didn’t I do? How could I have done better, improved, communicated, etc?” The inner ramblings are endless. I replay events, situations, scenarios over and over, but get no where because the people aren’t able to tell you. Or I fear they aren’t telling me the real story to save a relationship, save themselves from an awkward situation, or because they don’t want to hurt my feelings.

At times like these, I think it’s time to investigate ourselves and do a deep dive on what is really going on. BUT you can take it too far and your self-analysis can become toxic and your self-talk and self-confidence can really go through the wringer if you take it too far.

That is where your core community comes in. This core community helps you assess the “real” problem, and helps you find a solution, gets you connected with your larger community. Your larger community also has a role, those people are the cheerleaders and the encouragers. We need people who will rally for us when we are too tired to do it ourselves.

This means you have to reach out and tell people when you are struggling. When we lose a job, or a client or have a hard time finding a position or growing our freelance business it is time to search for your core community. These are the people on the inside. Think of yourself and your work like an apple. Most of your larger community only sees the skin and your overall shape. But your core community is smaller and they are within the fleshy part, they reside close to the core. They know where they bad spots are and where the sweet spots are.

When you go into self-analysis mode it is important to have your core community there. These people are there to tell you when you have gone too far, or when you need to keep pushing. These are people who know you, or know your work. These people are colleagues, creatives you admire and trust, but most importantly the love you enough to tell you the truth. They will call you out on something when no one else will. This is probably not hundreds of people but a smaller group of people who are working within your industry already.

I have been asked to open a patreon many times. But it doesn’t set well with me. Instead I am going to build a group of core communities. About a year ago before I knew how much time the Interim Chairperson position would take, I had asked y’all if you wanted a facebook group or a slack group. There was a good bit of response for both. I thought I would be able to do slack better than facebook. There will be a larger group, the larger community for you to interact with. The core communities will have their own slack channel. Everyone needs four or five people to be in a core community group with them. I would like to see if y’all are interested in something like this.

Over the years people have asked for a place for critique and advice. I have debated on this so much. And feel like the core community is a better place for this. I haven’t worked out all the details but it will be a monthly subscription to the large group and to be placed in a core community. As you grow and change you can request a different kind of group that will serve your needs better. But I am just trying to see if this is even something you are intersested in.

If you are interested in being part of a core community or just interested in finding out what it entails send me an email that says YES CORE COMMUNITY. That is all I need. If I get enough response I will reach out to you then start teaming people up based on their interest, experience, and needs.

Send the email to diane@rechargingyou.com

or send me a tweet to @designrecharge

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