Surely you all have seen blog and social media posts entitled something like “A Note to My 16 Year Old Self” where authors give pointers about what they have learned since they turned sweet sixteen. Well, in this week’s pair of posts, Jim and I decided to look back at our now year plus of working together and talk about what we’ve learned.
We wrote similar point/counterpoint posts in March 2011. (Note: I officially started working with Jim in February 2011.) My post was titled “Working with Jim is a full-time job, but one I like.” Yes, that headline makes me giggle now too.
Anyway, in the spirit of the “16 Year Old Self” notes, I thought it’d be fun to have a little conversation with myself – or rather me now as my 2012 Self giving pointers to my 2011 Self – in regard to working with Jim. Pretend it’s a little discussion in my head as my 2012 Self and my 2011 Self meet over coffee.
The introduction between selves
Scene: It’s late March 2011 after Self 2011 has written the aforementioned blog post.
2011 Self: Thanks so much for meeting with me. I appreciate it.
2012 Self: No problem. I’m only a year ahead of you so I don’t know how much I can tell you.
2011 Self: (shrugs nervously) Well, maybe you can just give me some clues about a few things …
2012 Self: (sits back and folds arms smugly) Okay, shoot.
2011 Self: (in a small voice) Am I still in business for myself?
2012 Self: Yes, but not the way you thought.
2011 Self: (with a confused look) What do you mean?
2012 Self: Maybe we should talk about Jim.
2011 Self: Jim? Don’t tell me his company ColorMetrix is still my one and only client …
2012 Self: (laughing) No, no. Actually ColorMetrix isn’t your one and only or even your biggest client anymore.
2011 Self: Phew! That’s a relief. I mean, I want to get other clients. That’s all I meant. So why did you mention Jim?
2012 Self: Maybe I’d better explain this in a different way …
Looking back …
2012 Self: I read your recent blog post on working with Jim. Maybe we should start there.
2011 Self: Okay …
2012 Self: Let’s take this graph:
I think of Jim as my number one client and that’s how I treat him. I always take his calls and answer his emails, texts and tweets straight away and make sure his projects get done in an efficient way and in a timely fashion.
2011 Self: (shrugging again) Well, I was grateful because taking on ColorMetrix as a client helped me start Panoramic Interactive.
2012 Self: First, there is no such thing as Panoramic Interactive anymore. It’s SheHe Media. Second, don’t feel badly about that graph cuz you are still doing that today – maybe even more so.
2011 Self: Wait. What happened to my company?!
2012 Self: You partnered up with Jim and started a different company. Panoramic dissolved into it.
2011 Self: How did that happen?
2012 Self: You don’t know Jim like I do.
2011 Self: That sounds scary.
2012 Self: Let’s take part of another graph from your post:
In Jim’s prior post, he said that me dealing with his rather large ego (don’t kid yourself, he does have one) and putting him in his place from time to time is what he thinks matters most in my “Working with Jim” strategy. Yes, I fill that role when necessary, but always in a joking manner.
2011 Self: (nervous laughter) I felt badly about writing that. But he really does have an ego.
2012 Self: Did you not see the photo with this post?! Of course Jim has an ego. (rolls eyes) That photo is taken in late January 2012 in Florida during a sales trip when he accepted an upgrade on the rental car. Take a good look. It’s a cherry red Ford Mustang convertible. Ego? Jim? Nah…
2011 Self: (in a small voice) Do I get to drive it?
2012 Self: I’m not going to tell you everything. Wait and see.
2011 Self: (pouting) Fine. But okay so he accepted a car rental upgrade. That doesn’t make him egotistical.
2012 Self: Honey, you will get soooooooo sick of this line over the next year but Jim likes it: “My job is to look important.” And he lives and works by it.
2011 Self: Grrreeeaatttt. I’ll keep that in mind. But wait … again. What am I doing in Florida? The only thing I’m traveling for is Las Vegas for this ColorMetrix event thing next month …
2012 Self: Oh, there’s another topic.
2012 Self: Yes, you end up bartending at that ColorMetrix event in Las Vegas. Nice dress, by the way. But in the next year, you’ll also be in Phoenix, New Orleans, Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, Detroit, Concord, Minneapolis, Orlando … not in order and just to name a few.
2011 Self: All this for ColorMetrix?! Huh. Who knew?
2012 Self: No. Not all for ColorMetrix. In a way, SheHe Media really got started because Jim convinced you to do speaking gigs.
2011 Self: Speaking gigs?! What are you talking about?
2012 Self: Oh, that a different story …
The stage …
2011 Self: Hold on a minute. I’ve spent the last 17 years in a cubicle and behind the proverbial camera. What are you talking about?
2012 Self: You’ll do plenty behind the camera at trade shows for ColorMetrix. However, sorry to break it to you but Jim will find a way to get you on stage within the next few months. He can be very persuasive when he wants to be.
2011 Self: So you’re telling me that he’s even more egotistical and self-important while managing to dissolve my own business by becoming my business partner in another – all while somehow convincing me to get on stage?!
2012 Self: Yeah, that almost fits into 140 characters. Good summary.
The review …
Okay. That was probably too much fun in too many words. However, I hope it gives you insight into my psyche when it comes to working with Jim today verses a year ago. One last thing … this graph from my March 2011 post:
In my opinion, this is most important: Jim and I have a partnership and we treat each other as people in that partnership who each deserves mutual respect for their thoughts, ideas and time.
That’s still true today. And isn’t it still most important?