In 2004, Facebook was launched, “Friends” aired its final episode, and only about half of all homes in the U.S. had internet access. When I started my company in 2004, I’d just had my second child and made the difficult decision to leave a job and a fantastic group of people I loved.
Fast-forward sixteen years, and it seems like the entire world has turned upside down. We’re in the midst of a worldwide pandemic and social upheaval we’ve never before experienced. In spite of this, I remain hopeful and inspired by the people who are making a difference. As Mr. Rogers said, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”
Below are a few lessons learned from sixteen years in business:
In a 24/7 news cycle, we’re constantly bombarded with interruptions that take away from our focus. There are opportunities at every click and link competing for our time and attention. I’ve learned to practice mindfulness over the years to help me stay focused. One way I do this is by trying to limit my social media use to certain times of the day so that my brain isn’t continually hijacked by outside influences. Staying mindful and focusing 100% on whatever I’m doing – whether it’s work, exercise, or time with my family – means that I’m remaining focused under pressure and moving forward, one step at a time.
I’m always seeking out new challenges in whatever I do; it’s a necessary part of a growth mindset. In the early days, I’d wallow in setbacks and beat myself up with every rejection. But I quickly learned that there are many more “no’s” than there are “yesses” in business. That means that you have to get comfortable with rejection and be undeterred by setbacks. The best training you will ever do is mental training.
Set a Schedule to Stay in Control
When it feels like the entire world is out of control, it’s important to remember: you can only control your own thoughts, actions, and how you respond. This is true now, and it will continue to be true after things get “back to normal.” Set a schedule for your day and stick to it. Don’t overthink it – just do it. By controlling your time, you’ll continue to move forward and make progress toward your own goals.
Own Up – and Do Better
There’s no sugar-coating the fact that I’ve made my fair share of mistakes over the past sixteen years. Admitting mistakes, taking ownership, and learning from failure are part of any long-term business strategy. How well you bounce back from failure can be the difference between making it and just – breaking.
Overthinking leads to procrastination. Worrying too much about the outcome or getting frozen in decision fatigue can mean that you do nothing at all, which is the opposite of progress. Follow your gut; chances are, you already have the answer you need right inside you. Make the best decision you can with the information you have, and keep moving forward.
Roll with the Changes
Change is the only constant. If you’re clinging to how things used to be, you could risk falling behind. The “new normal” demands more clear, consistent client communication than ever before. Stay in communication with your team and your customers and figure out how to continue to best serve them – just like always.
The Next Opportunity
The opportunities where we’ve made a significant difference for our clients have been some of our greatest successes. From Fortune 500 companies to smaller, independent brands, I’m thankful for the many client partnerships we’ve had over the years. Many of these opportunities have been born out of challenging situations and the need to respond to a new set of circumstances. It’s always exciting to see where the next opportunity will come from.
We have so many exciting things happening at MCG that I can’t wait to share with you in the coming months. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of our journey.
I’m thankful for the amazing team members we’ve had over the years who have used their very best skills in writing, design, video, animation, and web development to produce award-winning work on our clients’ behalf.
To our clients: thank you for believing in us and challenging us to do our best. Our best is what we’re going for.
Are you looking for new ways to connect with your customers?
For questions or business inquiries, call 630-945-3390 or email Kris@martinezcreativegroup.com