Seek Inspiration…

Seek inspiration in daily affairs
Now your soul is in trouble and requires repairs…

The words comes from my fellow Illinois native Dan Fogelberg.  This past week saw the September kickoff of the BSA’s Marketing Wizards monthly meeting series.  The topic of the presentation was “how public relations can advance the architecture profession as a whole”, and the room was packed!  It was one of those sessions that really brings people out of the woodwork – consultants, journalists, jobseekers.  Everyone’s interested in being published, whether or not public relations is still a mystery to them.

It was at last year’s September meeting that I found that inspiration that led me to revive Design-product Systems in its current form.  For years I had attended these meetings as a consultant, and the other regular attendees were my market.  I had never been one of them – handling marketing inside a firm, and facing the same set of concerns and pressures all at once.  I was a writer only, and I was offering a service that many of them did as part of their job.  I couldn’t just tell them that I could do it better, or that they were doing it badly.

During that lively discussion, I recognized what I shared with the other participants.  Although I had never been “one of them”, I shared their genuine passion, their commitment, and their desire to do the best job.  We need not be afraid of or in competition with each other. 

Of course, this meant that in order to truly help them, I had to offer them services that directly complemented their talents, and target an area where they weren’t self-sufficient – and more importantly – didn’t want to be! Our service mix now draws from a more diverse store of experience and competencies.

I didn’t exactly experience the same sense of inspiration.  A year has passed, and it was a solitary summer as the BSA office took its August break and people made time for their families.  There is just so much to do to make the revitalized Design-product Systems realize its potential and its vision.  For me, the challenge right now is to iron out the issues with my own organization and communication.  It’s not the well-oiled machine that I’d like it to be.  But I also have to do it even though it isn’t elegant.

…And the voices you hear at the top of the stairs
Are only echoes of unanswered prayers
Echoes of unanswered prayers

I can relate to all of you who are slowly building a presence by doing good work, divining an individual specialty, and branding each project along the way.  This will hopefully ensure your future and your happiness. 



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