Growth happens one little step at a time. There's a pace to it. A pattern. If you stand really still while you let it carry you, you can almost see it, just out of the blurry edges of your line of vision. It's kind of like pedaling on a bike, and then coasting for a few seconds to feel the pavement's feedback come up through your frame.
Look at that tree in Kristyanne's photo. It's a growth pattern. It's exactly the same as your company's. It's exactly the same as your brain, and the network of blood vessels and nerve pathways throughout your body.
It's exactly the same as your social networks, your website's architecture, your genetic history, and your spending habits. All healthy growth patterns look like this. (Unhealthy ones look like a really long and crooked stump.)
Forget about bar charts. This is the real deal.
Every little branch is a customer. A client. A project. Every big branch is a partner. A venture. An idea you've followed through.
The more big branches, the more little branches.
The more things you try, the more questions you ask, the more ideas you explore, the more challenges you tackle, the more great people you befriend, the more favors you do for fun, the more new experiences you seek out, the more skills you learn, the more chances you take, the more you screw up and try again, the more branches will grow.
Routine is not a recipe for growth. It ought not even be an option.
We've added a few very cool little branches to our tree this week (via the decidedly polymorphic F360), and I am seven kinds of excited about each one of them. There's no guarantee that any will grow into big branches, but that's just the point. I don't really want to know. I want to find out.
I was happy to learn today that a good number of folks from the just defunct Henderson Advertising agency have opted to forego looking for jobs at other ad agencies and are forming their own firms. That's the best news I've heard all week. Cheers to every one of you who chose that path. You've just made the best decision of your respective careers.
Welcome to life 2.0.
It's been a long week for a lot of people, myself included. Weeks like this are great tests, on so many levels. They test your resolve. They test your endurance. They test the people around you. They test your tolerance for everything from some people's arrogance to the self-righteousness they try and pass off as wisdom, authority or even good will. These are the weeks when everyone's true character is revealed to you, when even the most well articulated piles of bullshit can't be passed off as anything but what they are anymore, and when those who bring nothing worthwhile to the table can no more hide from the sting of their own irrelevance than conceal it from everyone who hadn't yet noticed it. These are the weeks when the strongest of your branches begin to grow, and your understanding of the path they will carve for themselves takes on a zen-like clarity.
Everyone I met with this week, everyone whose hand I shook, everyone with whom I shared a cup of coffee or a bite to eat, or the corner of a couch or table or doorway, thank you. If you are reading this blog, you know who you are. You're all branches now. Some personal, others professional, some both. Every last one of you. I have to pinch myself every ten minutes to make sure I didn't just dream the last five days.
They were that
I think that after today, I'm going to take a couple of days off to recharge my batteries, enjoy some sunshine, hang out with my impossibly cool little family and as many of the amazing friends and partners in crime that I have been lucky enough to meet in recent weeks, months and years, and count my blessings. The next two days are going to be as nice as the rest of 2006 is going to be absolutely insane.
I am the luckiest guy on both fronts. You have no idea.