We talk with Tess Robinson from Smack Bang Designs about the underlying lessons that will allow us to reach those places that, sometimes, feel so far away.
Like a fine wine (or cheese), all good things take time – we’ve all heard the saying before, and both things sound equally delicious – but how do we take stock, stick back, and allow ourselves the time to realise that we will eventually reach that place we’ve been dreaming of? As owner and Creative Director of branding agency Smack Bang Designs, and co-owner of Start Up Creative Tess Robinson knows all about this.
I have tried, and failed, god knows how many times to cook sausages for the adult portion of my life.
And I know why.
I rush it.
Every. Single. Sizzling. Time.
I think my partner and I have avoided close calls with salmonella at least eleventy thousand times now. I just can’t stand to wait around for the little logs to toast themselves right through. Personally, I’m all for the simple steak – blast your pan as hot as the devil’s infurnace, chuck them on for literally ten seconds each side and Bob’s your uncle. But sausages? Oh no, put them on, progress from childhood, through to buying a house, popping out a few kids and then by the time you’re ready to pack your bags and move into a retirement home they might be ready. Might being the operative word.
Aside from the key lesson that you should never research what is actually in a sausage, these BBQ favourites have also taught me an important lesson in life – that good things take time.
And they also take a certain mindset. One of perseverance. One of persistence and one of painstaking patience.
If there’s one saying that I hate the most it’s that ‘Patience is a virtue’. I’ve spent the most part of my life trying to prove this theory wrong. I live and die by the motto that impatience is actually more of a virtue. Hell, last time I sat around and waited for something to happen, it just simply, didn’t.
I recently spent a week of solitude down the coast with nothing but my laptop, my dog and great hopes / plans to get a tonne of writing done. Yet, for the first time in my working life, I really struggled to make any headway.
I’m not sure whether the anaesthetised vibe of the area got to me or whether my adrenals had finally called it a day. But I just simply could not get it together.
And I think I know why. It comes back to the sausages. I’d forgotten that good things take time. I’d put all this pressure on myself to take the week off and smash out the most part of a brand new ebook.
Oh girl. Stop right there. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.
My last ebook took my contributors and I almost a year to write. And here I was gallivanting down the coast thinking I could smash out the next one in a week. What a big fat LOL!
But really, can you blame me? We live in a world of snack-sized information: the 15 second insta story, the 25 word elevator pitch, even my Dad chooses to leave all conjoining words out of his messages for the sake of word economy, rendering his language a certain kind of broken English.
It’s 2018 and we’ve well and truly come to expect turbo results, quick-fixes and overnight success. And apparently, 40,000 word ebooks in a week.
So here I am, with only a few chapters of my ebook complete. I’m taking a deep breath in, slowing down and reminding myself that good things take time. Here’s how I’m going about it, please join me…
1. SLIPPIN’ INTO SLOW-MO
Whilst I certainly believe that in business, it’s the fast who eat the slow, not the big who eat the small, I do not condone working to the speed of the hampster dance songunder any circumstance. If that song doesn’t give you nervous sweats and an increased heart rate then I don’t believe you to be human. Slow down, do one thing at a time and be present with your work.
2. GIVE YOURSELF AN EXTENSION
Turns out we are all too much of a rush to get to places, do the next thing, tick the boxes and do it all with a smile on our dial, a calm mind and a green juice in our hand. Our standards and the pressures we put on ourselves are so unbelievably high. Right yourself a note, forge your own signature and grant yourself an extension.
3. DO ONE THING AT A TIME
Modern society can be irrationally over-zealous, and trying to persuade someone to only do one thing at a time– rather a bajillion tasks at once – can be like trying to stop a 6 year old from overdosing on Easter Eggs by explaining that the Easter Bunny would prefer him not to have high blood pressure and cavities.
4. START WITH THE END IN MIND
Taking your time is no longer just a sweet little creed your mum urged you to follow so you could colour neatly between the lines, it’s rapidly becoming the only way to successfully do your job. Taking your time means questioning why you are doing the task in the first place and ensuring that your output is actually of value.
5. DON’T DO LESS TO ONLY DO MORE
Technology is great. But don’t use automation to free up your time only to cram that free-time with more things to do. Use automation to rid yourself of unnecessary complexities, protecting your business (and self) from burnout. But be discerning with your new found time.
6. DON’T BE A BACKSEAT BANDIT ON YOUR OWN BUS
Don’t play victim to your own life. Whether it feels like it or not, you are very much in charge of your time. What you do with the hours in your dayis entirely up to you! It’s too easy to slip into martyr mode and crack the whip on ourselves for fear of ‘slacking off’.
7. BUT DO TAKE YOUR FOOT OFF THE GAS ONCE IN A WHILE
You’re allowed to pause from going full throttle every once in a while. Especially if you’re anything like me and you’ve been peddling yourself up a steep-ass hill for so g-damn long. It turns out that if you ease off, you might actually find you’ve still got enough momentum to roll you down the other side. And maybe, just maybe, there is more wisdom in ease than we realise.
8. MARIE KONDO THE CLUTTER OUT OF YOUR BIZ
If you get lost in biz-know-how on the internet you’ll soon find yourself wading through the ‘more’ trend that promotes diversification, multiple income streams, and complex business models. It’s the land of plenty. But instead of overextending ourselves, I think we need to shift to a simpler business model. After all...
“Genius is the ability to reduce the complicated to the simple.” — C. W. Ceran
Manning the guns of the Smack Bang studio is Tess. She is all about working hard, avoiding the obvious, barefoot living, seizing the day and leaving on time.
Tess is an ambitious young creative with a strong vision and distinctive creativity. An ideas guru, branding specialist and compulsive maker of things, Tess’ main focus is positive impact.
With her infectious energy and enthusiasm, Tess pours passion into everything she does.