Friday Four No.8

 

Each Friday, I share “Four Things For Friday” that are a collection of things I’ve seen, heard, or experienced during the week. Thoughtfully chosen, and intended to spark your curiosity, imagination, or inspiration. HAPPY EXPLORING!

 
 
Duchess of Cameron cake (with edible flowers)

Duchess of Cameron cake (with edible flowers)

Duchess of Cameron sugar flowers

Duchess of Cameron sugar flowers

What happens when there is no internet?

You get creative, and get back to your roots. We experienced a two day outage this week and fortunately while this doesn’t happen very much when it does there is an immediate sense of annoyance and frustration that pops up.

I decided to let those feelings go - I could have chosen to really lean into them and been grumpy and irritated all day, but I decided that there was probably a good reason for the outage, it was being worked on, and so how was I going to use this loss of internet to my advantage?

I considered my options - read a ton of books (tempting), meditate for the entire day (um, let’s get real!), go to a café and borrow their internet (tempting, but I am so distracted by people watching, plus I’m sensitive to data on the screen, my banking upbringing), or… is there someone in the city I could ask if they would willing to let me work at their studio? Inspiration that felt really good!

Yes, the beauty of this business is we have developed such wonderful relationships and so I felt comfortable to ask one of our amazing partners - Duchess of Cameron - the most incredibly talented paper crafter, couture cake baker and sugar flower maker I believe I’ve ever met. Grey came to my rescue for the day and I received so much inspiration from being able to work at her Cake Design Lab studio.

The power of relationships, collaborative working, bouncing ideas around together, and getting creative when the internet goes down.

When you loose technology access - how do you choose to respond or react?

 
 
 
The French Quarter. Charleston, SC.

Fall? What? Really?

I was able to work outside the city for part of this week and headed to the Hamptons for a few days. It makes such a difference to inspiration and creativity when you change your view, and it definitely did that this week.

I was surprised to see signs of Fall, yes! already. In the middle of August, the sweltering heat, here was Autumn making a stealth visit. It reminded that the seasons are like people too, we all go through different seasons in our life. Seasons continually ebb and flow, and so if you find yourself in the darkest, coldest Winter right now, have comfort in that in due course Spring will appear. It’s just a matter of being patient, and eventually, it will come. For those of you in Winter right now (I’ve been there) hang in there!

 
 
 

Which TED talk was this week’s favorite?

Vanessa Van Edwards’ “You Are Contagious”. I have read Vanessa’s
Captivate book, and it’s captivating in itself. Lots of wonderful insights with some concepts I intrinsically knew, but was happy to hear a scientist validating my suspicions, and giving me more insight into how we are all memorable - if we want to be, and know a few things.

Listening to Vanessa’s TED talk of “You are contagious” was such a lovely, entertaining, and insightful experience, with plenty of great tips of how to spot genuine vs fake smiles (I’ve always been able to pick up on a fake smile so it was great to hear why!), to how to be more memorable and likable. Infectious confidence really is a thing. Have a listen to find out more.

 
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Too many options?

I appreciate options, I love having choice, but I’ve also noticed since living in New York I can find myself in an indecisive space. Why? because there are SO many options here that the mind boggles.

The question of which restaurant to go to on Friday evening is not quite as simple as you may think. If you’re not careful you go down a rabbit’s warren of googling, app accessing, and review reading, just to try and find a restaurant that fits with what you’re looking for.

What are you looking for? You’ve just been distracted by a million options that you’ve actually forgotten your original intent while you’ve browsed another dozen or so options and found out that those shoes you wanted are now on sale. Yes - you’ve experience that too? It’s the miracle of the internet and the wizards of apps and billions of reviews that add to our ever complex decision making skills.

I was reminded of this vast choice of options this week as I was searching for salad dressing in the supermarket. Aisles and aisles of options and gazillions of salad dressings available for my delights. As I stood staring at the salad dressing I realized that this option thing affects businesses too, offer all these services for optionality, rather than narrowing down, or give clients many options to consider - but don’t give too many options or they won’t be able to decide and will end up doing nothing. It’s an ever growing phenomena.

This option thing is not going to ease up either. I’m really grateful for that as I do like options, but if I’m going to stop myself from standing in aisles, or reading too many reviews of things, then I need to get really good at deciphering and being clear about what I want - before I start looking. Or creating clear boundaries to be able to draw a line and just decide. In many situations I just don’t need to read reviews before I make a decision. If it’s right and fitting for me, then I’m going to do it, even if 10,000 people say it wasn’t for them. They’re not me, and I might really benefit from whatever it is that I’m about to buy or get into.

Finding balance in choice and options is important. Learning to curate for your own life is equally important. Hearing feedback and assessing options is also good, but sometimes it’s about those instinct decisions and then just going with it.

Have you experienced this? Anyone else giving up on reading reviews?