Lemme start with some context.
From the outside, we at C4E look like a marketing, brand and communication services company. Of course, we are more but we look and feel like a service company. And truth be told, we make a lot of money from that. And this means that we lean on businesses to give us work. Work that allows us to put our skills to use, vibe (in AK’s words), monetise our skills and live a good life off that money we make.
PS: We want to not get stuck here and be out of this loop (of chasing client work, delivering on that work and then waiting for money to hit our banks) at some point. Plus, in the words of Steve, we are here to make a dent at scale. Marketing / communication / branding may not be the best way to do so. So, we want to get to a place where we do what we like to (vibe, plant bombs and make dents) and have access to patrons that allow us to live the life we want to. PS: This may be construed for FU money (which I may not agree with in this context. And why I don’t agree is a different post for a different day).
Ok, I digressed.
So, as a marketing services company and in the day and age of Dall-E, Midjourney, chatGPT, freelancer.com and all the other such things, we have to work very hard to get work. Plus, we charge a premium compared to companies our scale / size. And we work in a certain manner – we choose who we work with, we mostly work on our terms, and we are VERY big on ensuring our culture / cult is above everything else. After all, life is short and we better live it the way we want to!
This means that for each project we get, we need to bring our A Game. And while we deliver on what we commit, we at C4E MUST operate from a place of gratitude. We HAVE to be grateful that we get the opportunity to work on the business that our clients trust us with.
Contrast this with how most other professionals think and operate (at least the ones I meet). They tend to think that work is essentially a business transaction.
A client has a job to be done. They have certain expectations / budgets. You have a skill to offer. You ask for a certain price for your skill / time / experience. Each of you agrees on a fair value of the transaction.
They give work and offer money.
You deliver and take money.
And everyone goes home happy.
However, I don’t agree with this.
The thing is, we are in a buyer’s market. This means that the customer is indeed the King and the Queen and everything else. And they have a million options to choose from. And they now have tools to lean on and not even hire a marketing setup for support.
So, when you get work and you take it for granted and you shit on the clients (and call them dumb for wanting to increase the size of their logo, laugh at them not knowing the next cool creator, cringe at their seeking approvals from entire top leadership et al), you do them and your work and the opportunity a disservice.
What if you approach it with gratitude?
And attempt at arriving at a solution that nudges their brand and agenda forward. And you’d magically see the quality of work, interactions, and satisfaction go up!
No, this is not mystic, manifestation mumbo-jumbo and all that. This is as straightforward as it gets. You love something enough to feel grateful about it being in your life and your love for that fills you! Think of your loved ones. Isn’t your love for them rooted in gratitude? Aren’t you grateful that you have them in your life? Of course, you may not love the skill you’re able to monetise but you can for sure love the money, opportunity and freedom it gives you!
What if we apply similar thinking to our work? What if for each piece of work, you work on, you feel close to it, you feel engaged with it, and you feel it as a part of your life!
That, ladies and gents is the thought blurb for the day.
Lemme know what you think.
PS: Thanks to AK, CM, and V for the comments, thoughts and edits. Thanks to Parry, AC, Anand, Arpit, Moksha, Kushagra and others for reading and sharing inputs.
PPS: I could’ve added more nuance to this and could’ve talked about the following…
- Work-life balance / work-life harmony
- Live to work vs work to live
- Meaning of life in the large scheme of things
- Balance (I dont have a lot of things in life apart from work)
- Long-term thinking – build relationships (long term) vs transactions (short term)
- We being as good as our last delivery