You’ve heard the phrase “color outside the lines” and “think outside the box” haven’t you? Me too. They’re painfully cliché and they’ve never really quantified what I have to offer as a creative. Sure, I like to do those things, but they never really meant anything to me. I never felt inspired when someone suggested that I should “think outside the box”.
Whether you’re a creative or not, the bottom line is there’s an expectation out in the world about what you’re supposed to be. Or maybe it’s what you’re supposed to achieve. And sometimes it’s about how you’re supposed to live. And you’re supposed to live outside other people’s (or maybe your) expectations with these phrases.
What if there are two boxes… one that represents expectations and another one that represents your ability. Let’s focus on that second one. It represents your energy, your ability to perform, your big dream, your crazy endgame. It doesn’t matter if you’re running a department, a small business, or a Fortune 500 company, you’ve got juice. You’ve got spice. You’re a boundary pusher. You wouldn’t be here if you weren’t.
So, for the sake of argument, and the awesome person I’m sure you are, I’m going to assume that the expectation box is smaller than the one that represents your ability. That one is kind of a mind blower for me. I think I saw my mind socks shoot across the room. Now what?
We all have obligations (family, friends, etc) and I think they fit nicely into that first box. All of that space between the first box and the second one… that’s greatness. That’s the space where you can experiment with your ability, build great things, inspire others, live in light, rock the casbah. That’s the place where the limit can move.
So, just fill that expectation box up, go ahead. Fill it up with doing what’s necessary to help build a springboard into the outer box. Love the family, kiss the baby, hug the partner, show up for work on time… knowing that these wonderful things help build the bridge to the next part of your life, the part that inspired you to become a business owner. If that first box isn’t full, then you won’t be tall enough to reach the second one.
I'm a veteran digital marketer whose career has grown up with the Internet.