If you or your team expects and welcomes customer problems and challenges every day, then that team might see each challenge as an opportunity for human connection.
If you are working on your own creative project, the same principle applies: Expect challenges every day as an opportunity.
Let’s get perspective. Beyond my screen is a copy of Andrew Keen’s book The Cult of the Amateur (Doubleday) – a warning about the Internet’s adverse effects on our culture and values. What’s beyond your screen? Send me a note and pic.
Making Love & Open Problem-Solving the Norm
I was the “agent of many mishaps” on my trip to and back from San Diego last week.
I ran a little late to catch my first flight. My wallet slipped out of my jacket on a plane.
I left a carry-on on another plane. I found myself low on cash and on gas on the two-hour drive home from the airport parking lot late one night.
I could’ve made the experience miserable, but I stayed steady and focused on tracking and solving problems. Other people could’ve contributed to the misery, but here’s what happened.
American Airlines agents went out of their way to open a check-in kiosk to assure I made my flight to San Diego, located my lost wallet and are mailing it back to me, and a service rep in lost baggage spent 30 minutes on the phone with me to locate and retrieve my carry-on that I left on a plane in Philly.
Plus all flights were on time and every single attendant was friendly & attentive.
A parking lot worker gave me $20 to get home with a full tank. “Pay me back the next time you’re here, or give it to someone else in need.”
Recently a representative from The Tea Spot called me because she noticed I had two subscription accounts that were costing me double in shipping. She asked if she could combine the accounts to save me money.
Just this past Monday, the remarkable team at Cards of Wood processed, printed, and shipped business cards same day so Erin, Tracking Wonder’s Executive Assistant, would have them in time for the STORY conference in Nashville this week.
I honestly love my clients.
And I am honestly taken aback when I consult with teams and organizations and professionals who sometimes resent their clients.
Erin is taking stock of horrible business-as-usual corporate customer service as cautionary tales – and for fodder for a future article she’s drafting.
Your clients are your heroes.
Your readers are your heroes.
Rise to that occasion to lift them up.
That’s one way you do business as unusual every single day.
You and your team have to see and feel customers, communities, or readers as such in your blood to inspire you to your best work. That view must be engrained in your Brand Story.
A few years ago, I created client micro-movies in iMovie, complete with photos, that tell a client’s year-long creative journey and placed them in clients’ Dropboxes.
Another year I wrote client poems on rose paper, folded them up into tiny dissovable seed boxes, wrapped and tied them up, and mailed them.
I have cut instructional videos with me at my whiteboard for a client to show him what he can do and how his mind can work and create.
These things I do because, well,
I do love each of my clients, and I do love the work we do together and the work I am honored to help advance.
What happens between us is a wonder.
Wonder, after all, is not kid’s stuff. Wonder is radically grown-up stuff.
Wonder is our survive-and-thrive ally for the early-21st century in this experience economy and call for business as unusual.
What does this mean for you if you’re a solo-preneur, business owner with a small team, or an artist or author?
How can you engage your customer’s or community’s journey with more love & wonder?
What questions or challenges do you or your team have around this area?
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Jeffrey Davis is a Creativity Consultant and Book Strategist, Author, Speaker, and CEO of Tracking Wonder Consultancy. He works with authors and business artists to master their field, shape their signature identity, and captivate their audiences. Since 2010, he’s been an online columnist for Psychology Today. Follow him @JeffreyDavis108