Shift Happens!

Feb 21, 2024

 I did it. I lived through the ‘70s! That was a wild time to be a kid! We drank from the water hose. We played outside until the streetlights came on. We had three TV channels, and you better believe we were watching one of them at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday nights when Donny and Marie Show came on. For snack that night my mom would give us a Dixie cup of Coca-Cola and 20 M&M’s—yes, she counted them.

We used cassette tapes to record our favorite songs off the radio, enjoyed reading Tiger Beat Magazine on avocado green plush shag carpet, and risked our lives by playing on incredibly dangerous playground equipment. I’m not saying it was right, but we never wore seatbelts, and our grandparents may have smoked inside the station wagon on the way to Duncan Donuts on Sunday mornings. After all, smoking was so commonplace that we made ashtrays in art class to give to our parents as Christmas gifts!  Told ya it as wild!

Cool Pics of Children on the Rear of Station Wagons in the Past ...

Equally common was being a latchkey kid. Latchkey kids were extremely prevalent in the 70’s. For my readers who weren’t born in the 1900’s, a latchkey kid is a child who returned to an empty home after school or who was often left at home with no supervision because our parents were at work. That was me and a good majority of Gen X back in the day.

So, it was normal when my siblings and I returned home from school each day to be greeted with what we fondly called ‘A Yelling Note’. My mom would leave these notes to explain when to do our homework, what chores needed to be completed, and any other important information we needed before she got home from work. The vital information was always in ALL CAPS. My family still laughs about the ‘yelling notes’.

My mom was apparently an innovator—she was typing in ALL CAPS before she was even typing! Yet, here we are, without even thinking, we robotically click the shift button on our keyboard. And when you hit shift, everything changes. The letters change. The meanings of the words change. And when we make shifts, we change, too. Shift happens.

I JUST LIKE THE WAY CAPITAL LETTERS LOOK.🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️ WHY are you always ...

Adam Grant talks about this concept in Hidden Potential, the chapter called Finding the Sweet Spot Between Flawed and Flawless. Hint:  You simply need to make a shift. When you’re in marketing and communications, it’s easy to get into a rut of what you’ve always done before. That’s a safe space. You can get extremely comfortable in a booth at the ‘We’ve Always Done It That Way Café’. But to grow, you’ll need to experience some growing pains. When you shift and try something new, you’ll feel growth—that’s the sweet spot. And there will be flaws and missteps to paving a new path. Grant posits that it’s all a part of gaining mastery, determining which flaws are acceptable. Must be why Leonard Cohen said, “There is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”

This is how imperfectionists operate. It’s all about a growth mindset. That Cohen crack, where the light gets in, is where play-it-safers and perfectionists get uncomfortable. Hidden Potential gives us a few words of wisdom when this stinkin’ thinkin’ kicks in…and it will. First, he says to ask yourself if you made yourself better or if you made someone else better today. Wow, that’s a good measurement stick. And while I think both of those questions are viable and valuable, I like this next option better.  As you press that shift key and begin to see changes in what your doing—some perfect and some imperfect—you need to think about how your past self would see your current achievements.

Think about how proud your past self would be if they could see you now ...

If you’ve been in your role for a while, think back to where you began. Aren’t you proud of yourself? And whether you’re relatively new to this field or going on 20-years like me, five years from now we should all desire to be doing better than we are today. So, make a shift! Do something bigger, bolder, better, braver. And don’t worry about being imperfect. People don’t judge you based on your worst moments; they judge you on your best—show them some.

So, how will you press the shift key on your marketing and communication tasks this week or this month? Seriously, decide how, write it down, and then do it. Not too long ago, I decided to write this little blog. Now I've written 100 blog posts just for you! I've become an imperfectionist. Some are better than others. There are a few typos here and there. But, as Seth Godin always says, I have decided to share what I know works and ship it! My past self would be so proud of me today!

i feel happy of myself | Happy, Words, Happy thoughts

Now it's your turn. Don't ask yourself what you would do if you knew you wouldn't fail.  Ask yourself what you would do, even if you do fail. Then do it, learn, and get better from the experience. It's time to let some light shine through the cracks and place yourself on a growth trajectory over the next five years. Do something today that will make your future self proud. Don’t change everything. Just make a shift. And then see what happens.

Cheers to the next 100,

[email protected]
dawn brown creative, llc. 


P.S. Fundraising is hard, even though you make it look
oh-so easy! ♥

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