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Living in the Present

Most of us assume we know why we do what we do for a living, but do you really?

Words: Jason Briscoe

Jason Briscoe is a designer based in London. He's also a regular at our Leonard Street Cafe.

I often challenge the work I do given my ‘why’. I find it quite hard to work on a project or even stick with an existing opportunity if it doesn’t resonate deep-down with me – I have to believe in the work as well as the people behind it. You have to consider every ounce of why that business, person or opportunity exists – passion doesn’t continue to feed off nothing.

The good news is, embedding the ‘why’ into your story is quite simple. As a co-founder of a few startups, I’ve learned the power of defining why your product or service exists outweighs everything. Years ago a friend and I co-founded a sales tool which helped automate and measure the success of cold-call scripts. It wasn’t a product I would use nor was it remotely near and dear to my heart so both my passion and motivation for the project disappeared pretty quickly. It’s not rocket science but it’s easy to get carried away in the excitement of creating something for somebody else’s passion instead of your own. Making that sacrifice will cost you more than just time.

Today, the work I take on has to connect with something greater than just what it is. It should serve a purpose, challenge the status quo and be both brave and memorable – I strive to work with people who share these same sentiments. There is immense power in saying no to opportunities which don’t resonate with you or your core values – trust that the one that does is just around the corner.

In the past I’ve also made the mistake of putting money before passion and 100% of the time resulted in failure. If you build for wealth, notoriety or even social fame, you’ll be challenged to find success, especially emotional success – it can only take you so far

"There's something beautiful about living and working in the present - knowing exactly where you are is exactly where you’re supposed to be."

It’s completely acceptable to pivot and deliver a re-imagined set of principles to the world – people will respect you for it and you’ll likely attract a completely new and inspired audience. The key is you need to be authentic. Everything you do and say, especially on social platforms, has to come from the same voice – this isn’t just a temporary pitch to win new business or fans. Transparency is more important than ever – your audience will see through the cracks and call you out on your bullshit.

There’s also an emotional and spiritual side of business which is often overlooked and not spoken about. Inspiration is everywhere, but the best inspiration is inside of you. It’s a state of being and never an intentional thought – give yourself permission to set your mind free and watch what happens.

There’s something beautiful about living and working in the present – knowing exactly where you are is exactly where you’re supposed to be. We’re often chasing the next big client or next big win but for all we know that next big anything doesn’t exist. There’s beauty in exactly where you are. We only have our now and it’s good practice to give the present everything it deserves – you’ll find your work will improve dramatically when you do this.

Remember if you stand for nothing, you’re nobody to everybody. You need to differentiate yourself beyond just what you do. Learn to think, act and communicate from the inside out. Ask yourself – what is your purpose, what are your beliefs, why does your business even exist? It’s a crucial step in building a business that continues to engage and inspire.