Thursday, April 02, 2009

Get Out of the Way

Often when I come home I am greeted with various demands: "Can I have…?," "I want…?," etc. I have to stop and help my daughters realize that daddy just got home, and the proper greeting is at least say, "Hello." They comply briefly and get back to their list of demands.

But aren't we the same in a lot of ways?

One thing I've learned from my two little girls is that it is easier to be aware of one's own interests (whine or complain) than about what other people need. In fact, it is hard for me to see beyond what I want, to solve someone else's problem. There are times when my list of problems, needs, and wants loom so large that I can't even think about other people.

When clients come to me, they don't come to solve any of my problems. And most of the time they don't even care what I want. They have a problem they want me to solve. They want something from me. And some times they want it for free!

I, on the other hand, need to be paid. I also desire respect for what I do. Both I and the client want something from each other. But how do I get past what I want (and need) to truly help them?

I try to remember why I do what I do. Yes, I want something out of the work relationship, but that is not the reason I do what I do. The reason I became a visual communication designer (or graphic designer), is that I enjoy helping other people look good, and be favorably received by their audiences as a result.

As a father, how do I get past my wants and needs to help my daughters? I remember that as a father, I love and have a responsibility towards my family. I can give them things no other person can. I have a mission to build into them so that they will be an honor to God and mankind. This overarching purpose prioritizes my needs and wants with theirs.

The same holds true with business or any other relationship. What am I here for? That should determine the proper response to my needs and the client's needs.

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