Having just come back from three glorious days in Chicago at PRINT 17 I am still reeling from all of the positive vibes, great contacts and inspiration that I experienced. It got me thinking about why people choose not to go to shows. I know that time and money are usually the two biggest considerations when it comes to going to something like this. So, I wondered what other things people are probably regularly missing out on just because they don’t give themselves the opportunity to do something that would be considered outside the norm (for them).
And I really want you to look at this a different way. I want you to consider yourself personally and your company as something to invest in in ways other than equipment and software. These might seem like luxuries, but I want to argue that they are NOT luxuries. These kinds of things are vital to your development as a member and maybe even a leader – or THE leader — of your team. Saying a loud and enthusiastic YES to these things will make you better, stronger, happier and could just take you places you never thought you would go (literally and figuratively).
Here are 5 things you should say “yes” to, if you get the opportunity:
- Going somewhere new — Maybe a vendor has asked you to come and tour their facility. Maybe a networking group you belong to is having a happy hour next Friday at a new place across town. DO IT! Extending yourself out of your comfort zone is good for you. You will meet new people, find out about a service or product you didn’t know was available to you, or try some new kind of food you never knew you’d been missing all your life. New = adventure. New = Good.
- Going to a trade show — You might have to fly. You might have to pop for a hotel room. You will have to be off the shop floor for a day or two. You will never see that money or time again. Do it anyway. Being gone is a great time to see what your team is made of in your absence. Being around your peers, competitors, vendors and industry heroes is good for you. I shouldn’t have to explain why. This is your industry and you should be an active participant in it.
- Learning something — Whether it is how to start a Facebook page for your company or being able to explain the fundamentals behind direct marketing, if there is something going on in your business that you are not comfortable with, now is the time to raise your hand, say you need help and get to learning. There is no downside here. The more you know is not just an NBC jingle from the 90’s. It is the truth.
- A project that makes you A LITTLE uncomfortable — Let’s say a client asks you to do something you’ve never done before. It will not require you to go out and buy new equipment or software, but you have not tried something like it before. Before you say no, think about the implications of being able to add that aspect of your offering to all of your clients. Hearing the dollar signs ringing in yet? It is also empowering to your team to give them some latitude to figure out the best way to do it. Yes. You might lose money on the first one. But on each subsequent project you will get better and better and more profitable. Just say yes.
- A new hire that “gets it” — There are at least two whole generations of people who have grown up as technology natives, but who may not look and sound like the kinds of people you typically hire. Talk to them anyway. It is time to start reverse engineering some of the roles within your team. You can look at the person, decide that you admire their energy, vision and manner, and decide that you will find a place for him/her on your team. It may be a title you’ve never had before. You might INVENT a title for him/her. But new blood Is what our industry needs. It’s what YOU need. Fresh perspectives. People who are not afraid to challenge and even defy what you think you know. This industry needs more shaking up. Shake.
I hope I have convinced you that discomfort is the new growth. Change is the new steady. Give it a go.