Thursday, January 14, 2010

2010: the year of reinventing. What really matters?

I've watched it warming up for a few years and now it's really starting to bubble. We are in the midst of a profound shift - Corporate America and all of the stress it has caused us is crumbling, or at least evolving. The ceaseless, mindless race for productivity is giving way to make room for a higher mission to come into our work. The state of the economy and all of the lost jobs have been like rocket fuel for this professional reinvention.

People have been hitting bottom financially and professionally, then unbelievably, often finding another even lower bottom, only to realize that broke or not, they are actually happier somewhere inside where the true self lies.

The creative/advertising/marketing industries have changed radically over the past few years and there's more to come. Those who aren't embracing new technologies and philosophies are falling behind. The "market of one" doesn't trust advertising any more. Logos and designs are being sold by stock companies and crowdsourcing grows in popularity. Interactive is now the hub of a media plan, and it's changing daily. Analytics improve but it's harder to track financial results of marketing efforts. There's no formula today that will work tomorrow. We are in the great unknown, unexplored space.

At a time like this, faced again with infinite possibilities we haven't seen since childhood, instead of the predictable rut we've been held to by golden handcuffs, we are searching our souls to find our passion again.

Erik Proulx not only is an example of this himself, but he has illustrated it beautifully in his documentary, "Lemonade" (tagline, "It's not a pink slip. It's a blank page."). He tells the story of people in advertising who after being laid off have made creatively explosive changes, finally doing something that matters to them. Definitely watch this trailer!

Jacki Semerau writes of finding your "why," saying, "Simply making a living isn't what truly makes us live." She has reconnected with her "why" and founded the Strong Single Mom Network, which is poised to shine nationally. Watch for it.

Many people I know are turning to their passion and inner-calling which comes from a higher source. It might be an Account Executive turned inspirational novelist, or a shift in focus in an existing business to bring some "cause" into it. Look around, you'll see examples of it everywhere. What about you? Are you finding new meaning in what you do or are you starting to do something completely new? How are you reinventing yourself in 2010?

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