Work is Where the Heart Is

Tara here. I have to say, I have more people ask me about my writing shed lately! I told Kathleen that it seems I’ll be having conversations about it for years to come! I don’t mind. I love it. I love when you can shape your space to feel creative, safe, focused, energized – or simply like “this is what I pictured! This is the vision for what I want my working life to look like!” That not only feels fulfilling, but it feels legit!

But where we work, just like where we live, has as much to do with the physical environment as it does the people we share it with. My shed is pretty solitary in the physical sense. But I’m always Skyping with clients and coworkers every day.

work environment should be enjoyable

Many of you working on your own find the same kind of kinship and collaborative spirit online, or you make a point to step out to the local coffee shop or co-working space at least a couple times a week.

Some of you work within an organization or larger team. I see you out there too. I was one of you and I loved it too—from water cooler chatter about your favorite show to team meetings with wild doodling and brainstorming and planning, with people who – well, I’m gonna say it, people you kinda love.

Home is where the heart is. But so is work. It’s not like we just turn off our personality, our interests, our humanity, or our natural inclination toward happiness, comfort, and kinship just because we’re at work.

If you find yourself saying “uh, yeah, I kinda just put on my blinders and try to get through the day when I’m at work,” then you need to stop, drop, and come up with a new plan for what you want your work to actually feel and look like. You’re in the right place. If anyone is going to inspire you to vision out your working life, it’s Braid. (Hint: just start with this blog post and read backward—ha!)

But! If you start thinking about the last person you had a great conversation with online or a client who by the end of your time together felt like a magical bond had been created, or if you work within a team and a certain coworker popped up in your mind like “yeah, I could never do it without Gretchen, not only does she ‘get me’ she gets it done!” then I’d say, tell them.

I am the worst at this I have to admit – at acknowledging the people around me for how awesome they are. I’m about nose-to-the-grindstone and getting it done. (Yes in a shed that looks like a mini-cottage surrounded by a garden, but that doesn’t mean I’m not a hard working Hobbit!)

If work is where the heart is, then telling the people you work with that you love and value them shouldn’t be that big of a stretch… right?

The way I see it, I share these moments of “love” with clients when I give them above and beyond what they ever imagined. I know I’ve told their story in a way that is magical and will change how they think about themselves and their work from this moment forward. That’s the moment. And then I move on to the next task at hand. Chop chop, let’s not dilly-dally here. (Maybe I’m more Mary Poppins than a Hobbit, now that I think of it).

How I share these moments of “love” with my colleagues and peers is when I give to them as much as I expect them to give to me. For example, if I want you to design a project for me faster than usual, I’m going to give you one rock-solid outline of content and then some in return. Give, take, equal effort—for me, that’s also a form of love.

But, I should say it too. If work is where the heart is, then telling people you love and value them shouldn’t be that big of a stretch, right? I might have to check our human resource policies here at Braid. Oh, right, we don’t have any! Okay, watch out Braid, my love is about to come your way today!

I’ve been having a new visitor to my shed lately—our newest member of our team, Holly, one of my favorite brainstorm and planning partners (and TV show water cooler conversationalists) who is helping us to launch a new offering for teams. Very exciting. Check it out here! You can also sign up for our newsletters especially for those of you who might not be solopreneurs but “in the thick of it” with your layered business or organization. Because it’s nice to look up every now and again from your to-do’s and get some creativity, inspiration, and yup, I’m going to say it again – a little love from people who “get you” and get it done too. – Tara



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