The VPM Blog

What Vertigo Taught Me About My Business

Posted by Don Crow on Mar 14, 2014 3:15:10 AM

"Don't look down!"

I've heard that phrase mentioned and yelled many times over the years, from Airborne School in the US Army to Rappelling School to trying to catch a fly ball to all manner of much younger endeavors.

But this week, I've yelled it in my own head at least 100 Million times. Why? Something the medical community refers to as, Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo.

The room is spinning, the floor is falling out from under you as you walk, memory and cognitive capabilities disappear, and the slightest movement of the head to the left or right brings on incredible nausea. Oh yeah, and looking down makes the vision go blurry and the feeling of passing out rushes over you. In Don Crow's words, it's like being drunk without any of the benefits. And as my friend Bobbie Byrd (@Clumsycrafter) said, "all that and worse."

And somewhere between medication and rest my body adjusted, I adapted, and I was able to keep going - often to the disapproval of my nurse wife.

The two things I learned:

  1. Don't look down
  2. Do one thing at a time, deliberately

Which consequently, have become reminders of what it takes to build a modern marketing agency from the ground up in today's world. I had lots of time to think over the past five days about our business here at Verge Pipe Media: how we serve clients, how we're viewed by others (brand), and what steps we need to take to keep moving forward, to stay on course and change the way our corner of the world connects and converses with customers.

Being an entrepreneur is tough. Running a successful business is tough. Looking down is something neither one has time for. You've got to zero in on one thing straight ahead, and keeping your head up is the only way to do so. There's no time for looking over your shoulder, looking back, and for gosh sake don't-look-down-oh-my-god-the-floor-is-crashing-into-my-face. Chin up snowflake!

We all think we're skilled multi-taskers in today's world. We pride ourselves on keeping up with a half dozen social networks, the demands of work (the boss), the demands of home / family / friends, and then all the "fun things" we want to do for ourselves. A review of the 12 resumes on my desk reveals 92% of the applicants list, "multi-tasking" as one of their key skill-sets. Bull shit.

Multi-tasking has become synonymous for, "I don't do any one thing well, but I can do three things at once half-ass."

So I am thankful for my bouts of projectile vomiting, dizziness, and yes, even the couch time (OMG CNN WTF happened to you over the past 10 years?!), because it's given me a renewed sense of focus on what it is going to take to push Verge Pipe Media to the next level of this evolving advertising and marketing game. You're going to see an even greater emphasis on content that connects, informs, and delights - even if that means dropping an occasional four letter word in a blog post or *gulp* a picture of a cat. You'll see more insider looks into the focused world of a small team of passionate marketers and designers who love what we do and believe that the work we do for clients really, truly matters. You're going to see that we're now all looking ahead, chin up, and focused here at Verge Pipe Media.

That's what vertigo feels like.

photo credit: Dirigentens via photopin cc

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