Please don’t hate us because we love our work
It’s okay; we’ve paid our dues and worked in some pretty gut wrenching jobs where our efforts were disconnected with our interests, wishing we were doing . . . well, what we do today! The specific tasks of today’s work, as great as they are, could quickly become routine, boring, and even disconnected if we did not practice a simple value. So, what is that secret value that keeps us mentally and emotionally engaged?
At our company, we talk with each other quite a bit about our core values, because we want them to be a living, breathing DNA, woven into everything we do. These conversations keep us mindful of our values as we place them into action. In trying to achieve this authenticity in our work, we must actually live those values in the service of our clients.
At Trig, we have found that seeking inspiration is so central to our work that we express it as one of these core values. It feels natural that a business, a profession—a pursuit—rooted in creativity should find its touchstone in inspiration. And our life pursuit—innovation—has so many creative entry points: invention, design, and branding all emerge from a creative fountain.
Inspiration is what fuels those of us who spent our school days drawing on textbook covers and scribbling our manifestos in tattered notebooks. It comes from an appreciation for both our natural surroundings and humankind’s works in the worlds of art and architecture. While the muses of our youth were comic book characters and fast cars, the wisdom of experience tells us that inspiration comes from many other sources we may never have imagined.
Most importantly, we draw our inspiration in our current work in design, development, and branding from our clients themselves. We seek clients who are like-minded people—people who are open to devising new and better processes for bringing great things to life (to borrow an old line from our friends at General Electric). We can’t navigate possibilities without first having clients who are open to them.
Next, we draw inspiration from the character of our clients, who are operating in what can feel like a cold business world at times. Recently, we intersected with a very special group of people, whose leader exemplifies integrity at every turn. While very straightforward and pragmatic, this gentleman’s commitment to honesty and fairness with his own team and his competitors—a deep respect for what’s going on in his industry outside of his own company—is nothing if not inspiring.
And we can’t forget to have fun. This is perhaps the greatest gift that inspiration has to give to all involved in a creative process. Our core design team gathered yesterday to discuss a current project, and I can’t help but think about how much we all laughed as we gave feedback to each other’s work in driving a better solution for the client. Laughter is a great medicine, but it’s also a driver for great collaboration with great purpose—it’s so much easier to take criticism and improve when it’s served in a kind-hearted spirit.
We should never forget to pinch ourselves, knowing how lucky we are to use the skills we first honed on our textbook covers earn a living.