With permission, by guest blogger Jodie Brooks
Mark, I recently participated in an ISAE (Illinois Society of Association Executives) committee meeting where your name was brought up and I wondered how you were doing so I thought I’d drop you a quick line. So, how are you? I hope things are going well and I’m sure you’re staying busy.
Things are good here. Really busy but it’s all with good stuff. I am still with the Grain and Feed Association and things are great! I’m swamped with stuff to do – which I love – and continue to enjoy making progress and bringing new ideas to the table….some fall flat on their face but there’s a level of freedom and creativity that I truly appreciate.
On a personal front, I recently launched my photography website:
These new developments have been one of the most exciting (and scary) things in my life. It took a really long time but I’m proud of the result and am overwhelmed at the support of my friends and family who have been my biggest fans. I still struggle to get everything done because there’s so much more I have to do…all while also making time to spend with my family and friends, work on the house, clean and …(insert the other million things I feel have to get done NOW here).
It’s been many months since the ISAE leadership series and while I enjoyed and took note of everything you said, I wanted to thank you for one insight in particular.
On our half-hour phone conversation, I had expressed to you my feelings of being overwhelmed and the worry that I would fall flat on my face with this photography thing. You told me to bring up an obstacle and I did then you told me to come up with a solution to that obstacle and I did. You told me to come up with potential obstacles of the solutions and keep whittling it down until I had all the potential problems and solutions mapped out.
Then I realized 2 things: Everything I was faced with actually felt possible because I realized every obstacle had a logical solution. I also realized the importance of focusing on the solutions rather than focusing on the problems. I was intimidated by all of the things that could go wrong but once I came up with solutions, it took the mystery out of everything and I realized there is no reason for me not to be successful. It’s all doable – I just need to work through it.
And since then I have called in a friend who I worked with to design a killer logo (what can I say – I’m biased!). I have done research to find a web developer, learned new computer programs and have tackled learning all the settings to simply set up an e-mail. I’m working now on improving the search functions and how to track my web traffic. It’s scary and fun and exciting and overwhelming and empowering….and I love it all.