The Human Side of My Business

June 17, 2023

On my dining room table,

there’s a handful of Paw Patrol coloring pages strewn about, and orange Crayola markers, and a plate of half-eaten toddler pancake breakfast. A still life slice of my life this morning with the 3-year-old.

I have a sudden idea for a new business blog post. Can’t find my legal pad. Desperate to keep the train of thought, I select the least marker-mutilated Paw Patrol coloring page, flip it over and write my bullet points on the back.

“This’ll do,” I tell myself.

In my kitchen “random things” drawer,

I go hunting for a legitimate adult writing instrument, because for the past five minutes I’ve been business brainstorming with Olivia’s Paw Patrol pink markers.

Aha — the pen. It’s sitting atop a stack of sympathy cards postmarked for January. In the new year, I experienced a loss in my immediate family, as unexpected as it was devastating.

On the top of the stack are two cards — both from clients of this studio — with the kindest handwritten notes inside. I stop to reread them.

When I needed a little time off to recoup (and my supportive team followed suit), trying to find feet again when the grief was most fresh, the January clients had sent cards, emails, texts. Insisting that their projects wait so we could recenter.

There was even, I recall, a polite request for my home address, followed by huge containers of chicken soup and biscuits delivered in the mail a few days later with a note that said, “Work comes last this week. Have a cry and some soup, and know that there’s a whole team of Realtors in Austin who really do care.”

I close the drawer and remember.

It brings tears of gratitude again.

On my living room couch,

my laptop is waiting. On the screen is an open Slack channel of messages between me and a team member. This morning, we’d logged on together to finalize some technical illustration decisions for a current real estate brand, but something wasn’t landing.

It was the kind of virtual work session that normally would take us 10 minutes, we’re always so in sync. We’d been back and forth for over an hour.

My last message to the team member — “You know what? It’s ok. There’s a reason why we aren’t flowing right now. Let’s take an hour or so and get more coffee, take a break, come back to this.”

Team Member and I both have young kids and, as it turns out, were up all night caring for the respective babies, for different reasons.

We sensed the mutual exhaustion.

She typed back — “Thanks so much for understanding. I’m going to go take a power walk around the block and then I will be back and ON to knock this out perfectly, I promise.”

The human side of your business — where the work bleeds into the people, and the people trump the work — is possibly much like mine.

On the less easy-breezy-Instagram side, there’s a lot to hold.

The constant tension of parenthood demands, arm-wrestling your business goals. 

Personal losses and heartaches.

Tired nights into tired mornings, and what it takes to fight for doing work from a place of wellness.

Nothing about branding or real estate from me today. Just a reflection that our lives are the mosaics of people we love and who hold us together.

The people who matter most are stitched into every corner of our worlds.

I hope, this Monday morning, that your business is spacious enough to see those relationships first.

If your child’s coloring pages are mixed in with your latest CMA print-outs…

If you took an extra moment to breathe in the shower this morning before an appointment, because what you’re holding on the personal side needs way more attention than the professional (even if you’re the only one who knows that, smiling through your back-to-back showings)…

If you need to rest, and grant someone else permission to rest, too, instead of just powering through The Monday List…

Then here’s hoping you give the human side of your work a loving glance today.

I’m right there with you.

P.S – What’s BLUEPRINT, again? 

We’re a gaggle of designers, writers, and creatives on a mission to change the branding narrative in real estate.

We offer a signature branding service and the industry’s most elegant and high-converting digital products to help modern, stylish Realtors do three things:

➝ Communicate their worth;

➝ Become the obvious choice;

➝ Tell the right stories to stand out + SELL more.

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