Effective Environments


Sowing Success

It can be hard to navigate finding our place in the world, let alone the workplace or in our careers. There are so many factors to consider. As I have mentioned in other posts, one of those factors that affect me most is people and my environment. This past week, my family’s house was having renovations. Despite my efforts, my regular work schedule was tougher to handle without at-home office in my dining room at home. I tried working in my room or upstairs, but it was uncomfortable and sometimes noisy with the workers doing their job.

Therefore, I was pushed out of my comfort zone for the week. In hindsight, it was an incredible week because of it. I finished a website project with a close friend, MARYO. He is a professional Dance Instructor and Director for several dance crews in Surrey. It was such a great experience and example of the kind of branding and graphic design development work that I want for BALDORIA. It is such a blessing that after all these years of friendship, we have the opportunity to help each other in our professional lives.

Maryo and I got into this really great conversation about inviting people into our journey - to help and support us. It can seem that there is no one out there who cares and that we have to do it all on our own. But through great relationships and even the power of the internet and social media, we can connect our messages and stories with others who genuinely want to be there for us. The value of our skills, talents and reasons are our treasure and is what makes us unique. It is by carving out your specific team and crew to support you in your journey that we can all succeed.

Moreover, throughout the week, I have been able to engage with a couple of project proposals with prospective clients in my network. It is all really exciting and I have the belief that there will be a big break and everything - work, projects and growth - will start rolling out. It just takes time and hard work. And the people that motivate and inspire me tell me the same thing: work hard, work smart and work together.

The Parable of the Sower

I think it is hard for us to expect that great things will come out of our hard work. Yet, time and time again, friends that are able to travel all over the world or complete an amazing branding project with a stellar client tell me the same thing: I worked hard for it. Behind the beautiful Instagram travel feeds and polished designs are the extra hours of hard work in the office or the consistent messaging, project proposals, negotiations and follow-ups with prospective clients and businesses.

The work is always there. It is not exactly complicated. But it is hard and difficult to stay consistent and persistent that no one really wants to put in the effort. As an entrepreneur, we work around the clock and around our client’s schedules to provide fantastic service and products. It means sacrificing and digging deep into why we are doing what we are doing. Through my professional and personal network and circle of friends, I see the same pattern: constant work and sacrifices made produces rewards.

Whether these rewards are short-term like developing a new habit or long-term like changing your lifestyle into a healthy lifestyle to stay fit, to succeed means to give as well as take. It is starting to make sense that in order to receive success, there must be something given. Consistent and value-based giving will sow opportunities. When we are purposeful and smart with our giving we can return not only what we want, but even more. With this concept, I am reminded of The Parable of the Sower:

That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore.

Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.

Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.
— Matthew 13: 1-8

For me, I interpret the seed as our sacrifices for our craft as creatives. How others will receive us, our services and products are like the various terrains where the seeds fall. Some people will reject us or try to use us, others may be interested but slow to act, while others will accept us and see the value in our work. I ask myself, if the sower knew that his seeds would be received this way on those poor terrains, why did he bother to give his seeds out there? I think it is because the parable is a realistic response and reminder that not everyone will accept us and our work - and that is okay.

In order to find the best environment for our skills and social support, we may have to be rejected. In some cases, the terrain we want to venture into may not be for us now, but later on in life. Just like in the example of my friend, Maryo. It was not until we were working professionals that we had the opportunity to work together professionally, but our good relationship was always there. So do not stress if things do not turn out the way you want now. Your perspective or the opportunity may change later on in life. Just keep working on your skills and finding the right environment for your professional and personal growth. ■

Patricia Atienza