Tuesday, May 17, 2011
In February, Etsy broadcast a success symposium featuring speakers talking about various aspects of creative business. I particularly enjoyed April Bowles-Olin's "Achieving Your Creative Dreams." (You can still see that talk if you like here.) She spoke in part from a book called "Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard" by Chip and Dan Heath. I highly recommend this book! Though it has a somewhat "business-y" slant, I took away some great personal application that has really made a difference in how I approach my business and other areas of my life as well.
This very engaging book is a study of change, why it's hard, why we fear it and what might be done to make it easier in multiple contexts. A metaphor the authors use throughout has stuck with me. They suggest that in order to make successful change, we must have our Rider (our rational side) and our Elephant (our emotional and instinctive side) working together to make progress on the Path (the environment where the change will happen). If my Elephant isn't on board with my goals, my tiny little Rider won't be able to keep him on the Path. Which is why you will eat that cookie even if you're "on a diet" unless your motivation is very strong. There must be a strong "why" that motivates on a deep level. We have to engage our mind, will and emotions and tweak our environment to make positive change happen. Of course, there's so much more than that! Read the book.
Here's my Elephant as he was: Old Mossback George. Half asleep, rooted to the ground, not exactly nimble and lithe. Having worked with him for a few months now, he's getting much more lively and engaged in the business at hand. We've been able to set some ambitious goals and actually accomplished some of them! More on that soon . . .