Anne Esse and the Art of Embracing Being “Stuck”

As a recent board member, I have been excited to move into this year and really embrace all that the Ad Club has to offer. After attending Anne Esse’s talk last Tuesday about “The Shift,” I was surprised to walk away with a new appreciation for perspective.

Passion comes in many different packages, and when you are a creative professional, that can manifest into many different emotions. Whether you are facing confusion, frustration or elation, there always seems to be a time when you just feel “stuck.” As a creative turned digital marketer, this is something that I experience on a daily basis. Gone are the days where I would spin my wheels for an innovative graphic solution for clients; my day to day is now centered around strategic concepting in the digital arena. My “stuck” is now figuring out how to boost organic search results, enhance the user’s experience, and the daunting task of making something “trend.” As the digital space has continued to evolve rapidly in the last few years, the adaptability of digital strategy has become imperative for businesses to adopt. It isn’t as simple as just building a website anymore – it is important that businesses have a comprehensive digital strategy across multiple digital platforms. Not only do I not have time to be “stuck,” but my job is to make sure I plan to not get “stuck” in the future. A simple 5 letter word became my work day’s worst nightmare.

I understand that could come off a little dramatic, but the reality is I needed a little perspective – enter Anne Esse. As a veteran Art Director in Western New York and certified coach, I definitely walked in with the expectation that Esse would have something useful to say, but I didn’t expect it to resonate so much. Esse’s anecdotal approach at coaching about moving forward both personally and professionally was a refreshing take on my own professional experiences. Her talk touched on many different topics, but all centered around the theme of learning how to move past the “stuck” feeling and onto your next big idea. For the first time, I started to look at “stuck” as just a part of the creative problem solving process. Bumps in the road are apart of the learning process, and as a creative professional I know that I signed up for the exciting off road adventure.

As the hour long discussion wound down and Esse began to answer questions, I realized that I wasn’t alone in this new found perspective. Creative or not, challenges are apart of the professional world. It is important to embrace new perspectives to continue to grow both personally and professionally.

Bottom Line – Embrace being “stuck.” It means you are just ready to move forward!