Living Creatively: Enchantment II
Last week I shared with you the concept of enchantment proposed by Elizabeth Gilbert in her book Big Magic. Gilbert shared her belief: Ideas are driven by a single impulse to be made manifest. And the only way an idea can be made manifest in our world is through collaboration with a human partner. It is only through a human’s effort that an idea can be escorted out of the ether and into the realm of the actual.
Once an agreement is made, enchantment is what follows. Enchantment is the magic experienced when falling in love. Similar emotions arise when we engage with an idea. Signs and confirmations in support of the idea fill our days along with a nagging distraction that leads you to a state of utter absorption. This experience is absolutely something I can attest to and the very fact that I do the work I do today. I was driven by my willingness to commit to an idea that wasn’t about to let me be. But that story is for another time, perhaps next week, as I have a current story line unfolding as I write. Allow me to share how Gilbert’s proposed concept of ideas and the enchantment can play out in everyday life.
Negotiating the waves of transition that is underway with my office team has provided an unarguable opportunity to practice what I preach about trusting the process. I will admit however, while some days have been more challenging than others, for the most part this experience has taught me well. Taking time to get quiet, allowing all the emotions to rise and fall, wailing (or whining) when I needed to, avoiding knee jerk reactions, and most importantly always staying present have been the guidelines I’ve followed. This time around I have chosen to do the work now, in the moment, so it won’t be necessary to replay it again in the months or years to come.
As a new way of structuring our office work began to fall in place, I am not surprised that in my days of quiet an idea paid a visit. This one in particular, I am quite sure has nudged me a time or two in the past but always at inopportune times, while I was in the throes of completing a book, or was headed off to manage a conference. But this time, it found me to be a willing partner as I was wide awake and waiting. Over the last two weeks, I have certainly fallen under its spell allowing it to guide me on a timeline of its own and the experience has been gratifying.
I’ve longed for a way in which I could make our Gemmo extracts more visible and accessible, but struggled with practicalities such as time, money, and risks. Additionally, we face the challenge of having a product that needs considerable explaining to a population that doesn’t know a lot about the subject we need to discuss. Try as I may, I’ve yet to meet success in reducing what these little dropper bottles of extracts can do into an elevator pitch. While we know visuals help, as they have done wonders for my curriculum and my books, how might we use them in a retail setting providing just enough to intrigue a customer without overwhelming?
I’ve read countless books on consumer behavior but none captured my dilemma more closely than the book Crossing the Chasm. In it, author Geoffrey A. Moore, discusses the importance of finding a beachhead in which to cross over from your early adopters to the masses. Turns out those early adopters and the masses don’t speak the same language or even hang out enough to pass each other a message. This lack of connection is what creates a gap or chasm for innovative products. For those who’ve studied marketing this is nothing new but for me it was a revelation that has helped me see the problem I faced was not completely unique.
So here’s the wild idea that won’t leave me alone. Are you ready for it? It’s a Gemmo Bar! A pop-up kiosk model that could introduce essential starter extracts for acute symptoms and everyday immune support with a clean fresh look that mirrors what the extracts can do for the body. What do you think? While the placement of these pop-ups as well as countless other details is yet to be determined, I’ve signed on and as Gilbert explains, the moment you say yes to an idea,
You have officially entered into a contract with inspiration and you must try to see it through, all the way to it’s impossible-to-predict outcome. You set the terms for this contract however you would like.
So with just a hint of where I thought this might go, I reached out to my visual magic maker, designer Christine Terrel. Christine has worked with me for years refining my vague and often rambling ideas and shaping a Gemmo narrative that actually makes sense to those who don’t think like me, which I’ve learned happens to be a lot of people! I knew I was on the right track when it only took a few mumblings of the concept and Christine too fell under the spell. She got it all the way through and could agree that we needed to separate Gemmos from the slew of natural products available and create a display that would capture the essence of this extraordinary product and its potential. She also got the challenge behind the task.
The first week we were totally caught up in the excitement and had some fun playing with visual displays, quickly settling on one. Rest assured, you will be seeing a stream of renditions as this idea takes full shape and the fun will all be happening right on the walls in my waiting room. What better space to try the first prototype than the best idea incubator I have known these past five years. I also happen to be confident in the honest feedback we will receive from my local clients who are fabulously forthright.
Here’s the latest look we are playing with.
It’s a start and we never know where ideas will lead us once we accept their invitation. For now, we know our next steps will be to refine the content we use in order to best reach our audience and also to move on to various types of displays such as freestanding and tabletop. It will all be one big experiment and we invite you to play along with us! If you are in Austin, you are most welcome to drop by on a Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday after October 31, we will be opening up these days of the week for drop-in shopping during the hours of 10-2. Stay tuned to our Facebook page, or better yet follow us on Instagram for up to the minute happenings and upcoming giveaways!
Until next week, make time for some quiet in each of your days and be mindful of what idea may be trying to capture your attention.