01 Aug The chill factor
I keep telling myself that I am supposed to post a blog every two weeks. I was pretty good for a while, then work and traveling got in the way and now I am trying to do it again. The problem is I write best when I’m inspired. When the idea is right, I can write it in about 20 minutes. When it’s not, it just takes forever and then, well, you’ve read some of those…the results are not great.
I had a conversation recently about what those us (who used to be) in advertising call “the chill factor.” You know something—a creative idea, a strategy, an ad, whatever— is right when you get the chills about it. That is not a thinking process. It’s not your brain telling you it’s a good idea. It’s a feeling process. It’s your gut…nah, your whole body…telling you the idea is worthwhile. Like this blog. Which is totally different from the boring one I wrote two days ago about how to dress like your brand.
Someone a long time ago said to me that my gut is always right and it’s my brain that just gets in the way. She was right. My body always knows the truth. Sometimes about things that my brain doesn’t even want to process. And so it behooves us all (don’t you just love that word?) to pay attention to our guts. Those chills we might get when someone is saying something that just resonates perfectly. Or that heebie jeebie feeling that is really our inner sense warning us when something is wrong. You know it when you are listening to someone talk about their business and you realize that they are just trying to sell you something. It’s a feeling you get when someone is inauthentic, no matter how polished the sales pitch. If there’s the slightest false note in there, you can feel it, even if you can’t pin point what it is. It’s the difference between a good actor, who plays the part and a great actor who actually feels the part.
I spent many years learning to pay attention to my gut. It didn’t come naturally. But now, in my better moments, when I’m not sure how to carry on, I take a few deep breaths and focus on my gut. I listen to what I’m feeling. I pay close attention. And only then do I act. It always serves me best. It can serve you too.