Choose to be Selfish

Only when we close our eyes, are we finally able to seeI’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about life (again) which is generally when I tend to blog. I haven’t had the urge to blog much lately because I’ve been trying to keep my rambling to marketing on here, but every now and again I feel like I experience a stalemate and it just feels good to write about other things. So, if you’re looking for a post that’ll teach you something, you won’t find it.

I’ve been reading I Am That Girl (which is great so far) which basically talks about embracing who you are and being selfish; but in a way that helps you grow and flourish.

Let’s face it… I always need to be contributing to or doing something. I love work, possibly to a fault. But I’m OK with that. It’s been a defining factor in who I am, and it always will be. I have tunnel vision, I’m a little selfish, and I want to do big things. I’m not ready to settle down. I always need a rush and I want to make waves. We all want to be a part of something bigger than ourselves.

The hardest thing for me to ever admit is when I need to stop and be selfish.

And sometimes… we need to be a little bit selfish. We need to be self indulgent.

What I’ve realized over the past few years, especially when leaving my old job, is that we all need… things. And by things, I don’t mean objects or material things. I mean we need inspiration and beautiful things outside of our normal jobs. Not to distract us, but to kick start us into thinking differently, because everything intertwines even if you don’t realize it. Sometimes I’m inexplicably drawn to things and I fall down the rabbit hole. When I finally climb out, I see things through different colored lenses and I have a fire lit under me to haul ass down whatever path I choose to be on. When I had that month or two break between jobs after moving to LA, I exuded peace and tranquility. I was happy and got to work on myself. Hell, I even discovered a few things about myself during that time. It was pretty freeing, and I considered that a pivotal point in my life.

I used to feel like I always needed to be “on”. I had no choice but to take quantity over quality when it came to work.  I wanted to attend conferences, and I did. What was ironic is that I still have yet to actually attend the bigger “classic” conferences like SES or SMX. I love PubCon and speak there yearly, and went to a lot of other niche or company related conferences. I got over my fear of public speaking and presented a TON over the past few years. However, I was contained in this very neat little bubble where I was always working, and only sent where other people wanted me to go. I spent all day, every day, looking at data, working with my team, and working to fill a bazillion hats.  At the time, I enjoyed it.

Until I didn’t.

I wanted to focus more on marketing in general and get out of my confined box. I started diving into things that made me completely shift how I was viewing the industry and my career. The biggest trap we can fall  into is believing that we’re done growing and already reached a point where we won’t have new interests or anywhere further to go. Seriously people. You’re not even close to reaching your peak in your late 20s and early 30s. You’re only just beginning, and your interests will evolve over time. You’ll find new things to obsess over and love, and certainly more drive as the years go on.

Sometimes we need to close our eyes to everything we’re used to seeing, in order to finally see.

I spoke at Authority Intensive last week, and oh my godddd was it a freaking amazing conference. It made me realize that there’s so much more to the industry than what I’ve experienced. The feel, the people, the hospitality, the fun, the topics, the “Ted Talk” feel… I met so many new faces, business owners (small and large) and everyone from rookies to veterans. It was quite the experience. Outside of the normal discussions around marketing, I found that I had a lot of great conversations about things that had nothing to do with marketing. To me, those are the best kinds. The kinds where you really get to know each other beneath the surface.

It took stepping outside of the old bubble to see that more creativity and meaningful experiences comes from a mixture of everything beautiful in the world. Getting recharged by friends, cars, love, music, film, design, fashion, conferences… ALL of these wonderful things. They’re what keep me up late at night, brainstorming, writing, exploring or thinking through crazy ideas.

We need these in our lives. They’re the fuel to our fire. They inspire us and make us better at what we do. They’re what make us interesting. Some of the most talented people I know are making waves in other industries from the confines of our LittleBig industry we call home. They’re the movers and shakers that are chasing their loves. Let’s join them, shall we?

So take the time to be a little selfish. Make a conscious effort to allow yourself to be free. Indulge in everything around you and pick up some inspiration. I dare you.

Trust me, you’ll feel more refreshed and inspired than ever.

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