Happy New Year from Clearer Thoughts

New Year Thoughts

I start every year with an intention to write more frequent blogs. So here it is ensconced as a formal New Year’s Resolution 2015: I promise I will write at least one a month, in the first week of each month.

One of the things they teach you in Social Media Marketing courses is that you need to establish an online personality. Who will people see when they read you? What will they expect to turn to you for? That sounds too complicated and fraught with danger for me. What if you forget who you’re meant to be? Or aren’t in the mood for the perennially upbeat new persona you’ve chosen? Or can’t think of yet another gem on a chosen topic of expertise?

In my case I must have been influenced by old-time computer terminology. I’m a WYSIWYG blogger: what you see is what you get. In other words I have no alternative ego – it’s just me. So why bother? Well, I’m a great believer in the adage that – in the service sector at least – you don’t buy product, you buy people. I would consider the majority of Clearer Thoughts’ long-term clients as more like friends than just clients. The relationship is professional, of course, but we know the important details of one another’s professional lives and we care about outcomes as much as if we were full-time staff not business partners. So if I want you to trust me enough to become a new client and buy my services I figure you need to know a bit about me so you can tell if we think the same way, share the same approach to business and to business ethics and the important things in life.

Another thing they teach on Social Media courses is that you should be in people’s faces quite often – some advocate twice a day. Well, frankly, I’d expect you to have better things to do than to chat to me – or rather have me chat at you – twice a day. Nor would I want to do it: I’d feel like a midge buzzing round your face and waiting to be swatted away. Once a month, though, that sounds reasonable.

What happens is straight-forward enough. Something I see/hear/read catches my attention and I want to share it and draw conclusions from it. If it engages you then maybe you’d like to chat back. Let’s see.

One of my most interesting presents this new year was a poem from a dear friend – see below. He speculates on new beginnings and the way in which our pasts can stop us progressing. It’s something that I feel really strongly about. I hate the way in films or TV we are constantly being urged to “move on”, “get over it”, “put the past behind you”, “make a fresh start”. Characters are expected to recover from bereavement in a matter of days not years, from relationship breakdowns as soon as the next charming person smiles, from catastrophe as soon as the dust has been shaken from their coats.

Yes, I know that narrative drive and our constant desire for novelty is the reason: this is entertainment after all. But I fear that this thoughtlessness is becoming accepted as the new desired reality. There is a true dilemma here and one that we face up to in business every day: should we take time to evaluate? to learn from experience? to structure the future on the lessons of the past? Or should we just abandon all that in the white hot drive of  the creativity which Government advisers tell us is all?

I’m an old fashioned gal. I think we should build our futures from the best of the past topped up with innovation while taking care that we don’t let the worst of it cling to our ankles and stop us moving.

See you next month.


A poem for New Year

Does the year begin

when the second clicks

the egg breathes

the branch tips with bud

when the sun is hot enough

to drown under the wave?

These are beginnings

to which we insistently return

Or when we wake

lonely as the leiermann (*)

weighed by last year’s residue

resistant to response

at the foothills of the year.

(*Leiermann – the hurdy-gurdy man at the end of the Winterreise song cycle by Schubert.)

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