What I learned from a blue dinosaur, a geek and a little green monster

I realized the other day that it is often the little things that make a big impact on me.  I was having a conversation about this with someone who realized that a single red flower on a bush she walks by every day inspired a slew of creative thoughts and insights.  Amazed at how something so ordinary could break open a pathway to ideas, it got us to talking about this and before I knew it, I was getting some ideas of my own.   I realized how some things, that may seem minor or insignificant can be our best teachers.

For as long as I can remember, I have read signs, cereal boxes, shampoo bottles, what ever is in front of me; I just like reading. At some point in time, the reading started to become entertainment as companies took some liberties with their packaging.  I found it amusing and uplifting, for example, how the Kashi brand took off with the idea surrounding  ‘seven whole grains on a mission”. I love Luna Bars, and even before the girlie version hit the market, I liked the original Clif Bars. I am not sure if I liked them so much because of their taste, portable convenience and nutrition, or if it was because of  the great packaging.  They always had a story to tell on the wrapper and it just seemed to make it a whole lot more personal and therefore I kept buying. When the ladie’s Luna Bar came out, I was over the moon [yes indeed, pun intended!].  The flavor was great, calories were reasonable and I loved how on the back of each bar is a message from one woman to another, thanking her for her inspiration.  I have one in front of me now, and the message on my Peanut Honey Pretzel says this,

“Audrey, you taught me how to walk to the edge, listen to my heart and choose with no regret. Thank you for believing in me.” – Erica.

I read those messages and I can’t help but be inspired, and in that way how when you car is clean it seems to actualy run better; those personal messages make it taste better and I bet it’s even a little healthier too! I feel like I am part of something good when I enjoy a Luna Bar. Which is just about every single day. Really.

Reflecting on this I realized how important it is to let these kinds of things inform me; be my teachers.  Not too long ago, I ordered something from the company called PhotoJoJo.  Their website alone is a ton of fun; full of whimsical charm,  fun information and great products. I look forward to getting their emails and spending time on their website.  Being a photography fan; when I had some extra cash, I ordered a couple of items from them, and as with any online purchase, it’s so fun when the package arrives .  When I opened the box, I was just happy to get my new toys, but then I saw a little blue dinosaur.   Apparently, they send a stowaway with most orders; and the receipt? It felt like a party on paper! Those two elements transformed my purchase from a simple transaction into an experience.

I am not afraid to admit that I get my geek on; I love devices and technology and am a self-proclaimed gadget girl.  So, for me to purchase soemthing from Think Geek was like any other day;  I bought a great mini speaker for my iPhone that I discovered through DigiTwirl.  Turns out the mini-speaker was perfect; I loved it.  The crazy thing was,  my dog loved it too; so much that he chewed the cable to bits. Literally bits.  I emailed their customer support to see about purchasing a replacement cable, and when I explained the situation; the reply that came back to me was,

 “is your dog ok?”

and followed up with  a replacement policy so unbelievably customer friendly.  I was blown away.

I’ve kept that little blue dinosaur on my bathroom shelf ever since, and every day he’s provided some inspiration to me; in intangible ways.  I’ve considered how it would feel to run a biz or organization with a focus on that kind of creative freedom and fun, to give customers an experience.  I’ve thought of how freeing it must be to care about your customer’s dog.

Little did I know it, but many months down the road, I would come to open my own Etsy shop; and while noooooooooooo where near the scale of any of these awesome companies; I realized that they have inspired and informed me.  No matter how small my creative biz may be; I think about how I felt when I interacted with those companies and if I were  able to replicate even a fraction of that; I would feel like a success. The handmade community is exceedingly supportive; creative {obviously} and positive.  On the contrary, I work full-time in an environment where those elements are not found easily, or in abundance. It’s challenging some days, to not let it get to me and permeate my overall attitude. It takes an almost daily restart to stay on track with an attitude of gratitude and generosity.   Yet, I make a daily point of approaching my Etsy shop; and as much as possible all areas of my life, with that sense of abundance.

I was mulling this over on the drive to work one morning; but I was feeling those hints of self-doubt and struggling with the questions of “can I do this?”, “will it work”, and wanting to dream even larger but instead  feeling small and defeated that particular morning.  Shortly after that, I saw a post on Facebook where a person in my community was really starting to make a name for their art. Without missing a beat, I found myself being critical; judging them, their art.  Trying to convince myself they weren’t really that good.  Immediately I could feel the difference in me. It felt awful.  I noticed and I caught myself and literally reminded myself out loud to refocus my energy towards  abundance, generosity and promotion of others.

I felt better almost immediately.

I realized though, that I had been paid a visit by a little green monster.  I was feeling self-doubt and small; and so when I saw someone rising, as they should be, my initial response was envy and to avoid that uncomfortable feeling, I instead attempted to try to diminish their success in my mind. As if that would make me feel bigger?  I know, right?!  I am not proud of this; by any means, and it’s hard to admit, but there it is! The little green monster has joined ranks with the dinosaur and the geek as my own personal teaching faculty in well-to-do abundance.  Do you think they have good snacks in the teacher’s lounge?

Later that morning, I checked my email and I see a message for a new blog post from Lisa Jacobs’ blog, Marketing Creativity.   The post is titled, “Competitively Speaking, Think Abundance“.  After picking myself up off the floor {ever have that feeling a blog post was written for you?}, I read on and this paragraph more than validated my early morning anguish.

As we are all human, we all are capable of that sudden jolt of envy when we see the high sales and huge success of another. What I try to do is transform that scarcity thought from envy to admiration. Do you realize that small business magazines, like Inc., are doing articles on Etsy sellers, like Ashley G and Drew, who are reporting six figure salaries with their handmade craft? SIX FIGURES! With nothing but the most respectful admiration, I shout, “Yes, please! That’s for me! Hallelujah!” By keeping my creative juices positive and forward-moving, I work toward success.

So yes, when I am feeling abundant and generous, I am contributing in my own small way to the success of others and because I believe that one action begets another, I am in fact working towards my own success; on a variety of levels. So, I am abundantly grateful to the little blue dinosaur {he’s back on the bathroom shelf after a romp in the grass for his photo shoot today!}, the geek and yes, even the little green monster. They have each taught me such important lessons; and I would like to leave you with another perfectly stated comment in the same blog post by Lisa Jacobs:

Here’s a new thought…..: change your affirmations in a direction that leads you away from competitive, scarcity thinking and toward that sea of interested people. If you take one thing from this article, I hope it will be this quote from Wayne Dyer: “Abundance is scooped from abundance, and abundance remains.” That’s Universal thinking, and to that I say, “Yes, please!”

{cheers, go live abundantly!}

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7 thoughts on “What I learned from a blue dinosaur, a geek and a little green monster

  1. I totally ‘get’ how thrilled you would be to open a package and find a blue dinosaur in there! Great post – honest and up front – we all get the ‘green monster’ attacks, I read a quote recently that summed it up neatly ‘jealousy is wanting someone else’s blessings’ …

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    • Cari-Jane – I love that you get how fun that was to find the dinosaur – amazing how something so small and alone, not so significant, can make such a big impact! My son must have 30 toy dinosaurs, but that one is unique – and mine 🙂 . {he even asked if he could have it when he saw me pull it out of the pkg!}

      That’s a great quote – definitely a good way to identify the oh not so pretty pangs of jealousy when they hit!

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  2. Oh Christine, how I adore {to use your word} your comments! You are definitely not alone. I think we all benefit when we realize that, don’t you think? It’s great to have a place to ‘come clean’ a little bit; and fess up; so we can get over those hurdles together. And yes, we do this this, I am realizing more and more each day, because we just HAVE to – hard to explain or describe, but we have to shush the monster so others can hear us! And by the way, I think what you are doing is amazing!!

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  3. Thank you Pam! It’s so awesome of you to share with your followers – can’t thank you enough! And mostly, it’s great to know the message had some resonance. All the best – you are amazing!

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  4. I just adore this piece…for many reasons. We all go thru our little blue monster moments. I have them all the time…the doubt that my idea is going to generate any money to eventually support my dreams. Until then, I continue to spread my little morsals of support and friendship in the creative communities…without these friends, uber successful or not, we are all doing this ‘thing’ for much of the same reasons – because we HAVE to! I do believe that our time will come for success…it just might not be on our own personal timetable. :)Customer service is so important these days and that little blue monster taught me a valuable lesson, that I’m simply not alone in my doubtful moments. oh, I hear that inner monster roar – off I go, spreading good cheer on my little creative journey! 🙂

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