This post has no images.
That may not seem like a big deal - heaps of blog posts have no images, why does it matter? But it matters a lot to me. I didn’t spend nearly a decade as a pro graphic designer to ignore the importance of good graphics.
But this post isn’t about images.
This post is about getting stuff done.
As I’ve said before, I have a tendency to fall silent under the gaze of my Inner Perfectionist. As I type this post, a good 85% of me is feeling slightly offended that I would even think about hitting Publish when I have no intention of adding images. They help with social sharing, they’re part of my branding, they help make the site pretty.
But if I’m going to post every day for the next
30 26 days, I’m going to have to get less precious about the process. My blog posts are not a vehicle for my images - they’re a vehicle for my message.
Which means cutting out the excuses and getting on with what’s important.
A couple of years ago, I was at a conference. The organisation was unveiling their new branding and, as you might expect with any change, there was some resistance in the room.
As I said, I’ve spent nearly a decade as a graphic designer, working in marketing and communications teams for a variety of different companies in different sectors. I’m no marketing genius, but I know a thing or two about image and I’ve picked up a lot about how to communicate identity. Some of the comments from the floor got me rather cross. (FYI - I’m using classic British understatement in that last sentence.)
Now I should probably also point out that I hated public speaking at this point. I’m not it’s biggest fan right now come to that, but two years ago I really didn’t like it.
As the roving mic continued around the room and delegate after delegate stood up to make ‘a helpful suggestion’ for modification to the new branding, the group I was sitting with started to nudge me. ‘Go on – say your piece’, ‘Take the mic’, ‘Go on!’
And I did.
In front of a room of around 120 mostly strangers, most of whom were older than me, many of them more senior, and virtually all of longer standing in the organisation than me. But they didn’t know branding. They didn’t know the process. They didn’t understand the purpose.
I spoke for about 5 minutes. I felt my blood rise and my face turn crimson. I watched my hand shake violently as I tried to hold the mic steady. I heard the crazy wobble in my voice as I struggled to stay calm and prayed the words would come out in a sensible order!
It wasn’t out of anger - it was abject terror! Classic ‘fight or flight’ turned ‘stand your ground’.
And I learnt in that moment that, if the message is important enough,I can say it.
Without fluff or finesse - though they both have their place in helping people understand something and take it to heart.
Just do it.
Too many of us wait until everything’s perfect before we’re prepared to share it with the world. I’m here today to tell you that that’s never going to happen. You’ll never get it perfect. Because as soon as you do, you’ll have another breakthrough in understanding and want to change things around again.
So don’t sweat the small stuff - let your bigger message out. Live out your purpose as it is revealed to you, bit by incomplete bit. Scary? Yes. But you can do it.