Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Creative Energy

I think in a previous post I already spoke about my love for self help books. The nice thing about me is that if they tickle my fancy, I do follow through with the books' advice and actually get something out of it. I don't follow every single thing, but there is usually something that strikes a cord and I go with it. Take "Coach Yourself to Success". The only thing so far that I've zeroed in on is page 3, entitled "Eliminate all those petty annoyances". Anything that you've put off, anything that you think about all the time should be dealt with. I made my list of about forty items and I update it every month. Next week we'll see if I'm successful with the number one item...

So last week I ordered "Getting Things Done". I didn't really like the way it's written. Mostly because he's more of a businessman trying to make other businessmen productive so the linguistics stricter and more rigid. My eyes grazed over a lot of stuff, but what I did get out of the book was a system for dealing with my office clutter. My office room is now beautifully clean and coordinated and I have an "in" box that I check out once a day. I had 120 emails in my incoming mail that just sat there. Whenever I would close the computer I always felt that my work was incomplete, which it probably was, every other day. So now I have just two messages in my incoming mail, I'm waiting on an answer for them and then I can deal with them. I closed my work computer at 6.30 pm and felt like I had done a nice days work.
This is all aimed at freeing up your creative energy and to give you more productivity so that you can work easier. In both books they talked about things just "coming to you" when you've done the exercises correctly.

Today as I was sitting there gloating about what a nice clean desk I had when an old client of mine called on my cell phone. It's a really really important client that starts with an "N" and ends with an "E" and is one of the biggest sport manufacturers on the planet. They wanted to know if I could coordinate a convention that they'll be having at a half marathon race in March. "Of course, no problem!" Now, I've never done this before, but I don't see it as being that difficult. The triumph for me is that this is the same client that four years ago told me that I would never set foot in their offices again. Why? I had worked heavily and almost exclusively for them for three years. I had just finished a big project and was supposed to maybe start a new one when they just stopped answering my telephone calls, emails and phone messages. At that point I understood that they weren't interested in further work for that season, but since we had seen each other every single week for three years, couldn't they bother to give me a call and say thanks but no thanks? Apparently not, because they're the biggest manufacturer on the planet and they don't need to do that. I did something that I do not regret even though it probably cost me a lot of money: I called they're bosses in Holland. I told them what happened and said that all I wanted was for a phone call from the Italian office saying that they no longer needed my services. I wanted closier. They'd be seeing me all the time anyway, why not be on a friendly basis? I am at every friggin major running event in this country, my husband has several athletes that are sponsored by them, so why not be nice? Holland said they would get back to me.
The next day I instead got a call from the Italian boss. I'll spare you the details but his parting words were: "You'll never set foot in this office again".
Oh yes I will. Next tuesday, in fact.
The creative energy flows...


anji said...

Hi Julia!

You did the right thing by calling their bosses because it doesn't look good to the company overall.

And look what happens? You get this new opportunity :) I'm so proud of you :D

I'm sure the convention will go find and I know you'll get it all organised!

Re: self-help stuff. I found this page yesterday:

Kind of interesting!


Elaine said...

It takes a strong person to stand up to such a huge corporation. They make me shake in my boots..or should I say tennis shoes :)