Yesterday, my license plate was stolen. No big deal for the average car owner. Just grab your registration card and proof of insurance and file for a replacement tag. But not when you’ve just had your car inspected and, uh-oh, the guy forgot to give you your registration card back. Now you look very much like someone who committed Grand Theft Auto, conveniently losing a registration card and a license plate at the same time. ‘When it rains, it pours,’ they say.
This “pouring” happens quite often in the agency world. One tiny request from a client ends up being six hours of work, right after we accepted a shoot that’s tomorrow in Ohio, while two Directors are out sick and another guy just had a baby and that big project’s deadline just got moved up to… now. The question cannot be how to avoid these situations, because they will inevitably happen. The question to be answered is how to thrive inside of the chaos. I certainly haven’t mastered it, but here’s what I’ve learned about how to survive the storms.
- Use your umbrella. As much as you can, keep the rain from hitting you in the first place. Don’t be afraid to say “no” to a project. It’s much better to turn away a project than to deliver a crappy one because you couldn’t put proper time and resources towards it.
- Check the weather. Constantly review your project forecast. Consider risks and potential issues before they arise so you know when rain is coming and have a back-up plan ready.
- Bring an extra pair of shoes if you have to. If you’re a smaller shop, sometimes you just have to bring in extra shoes… that are attached to a contractor. Of course, there are rainy seasons for every agency when the team just has to buckle down, drink some Red Bull, and burn the midnight oil. But this shouldn’t be the norm. Relieve them if they need relief. Loyalty is reciprocated.
- Jump in the puddles. Be intentional about having fun! It’s easier said than done, but try your best to not get so darn stressed out. Negativity cripples a team and your work will suffer. Keep energy, attitudes, and momentum up. And if nothing else, remember that being busy typically means being profitable.
Yes, when it rains, it pours. Grab your rain boots and embrace it!