professional chemistry is a real thing
one of the first times that I spoke at an event as ‘meg seitz of toth shop’, the organization had booked a tiered auditorium for me with probably 500 seats. six people came. SIX. Like, one more than five.
Just picture that for a second. A tiered auditorium with hundreds of seats, a sound system, a lighting system – and there are six people scattered randomly through the room. i wanted to curl up in a ball and die. I wasn’t expecting a packed house, but maybe ten people? maybe even eight? I felt like a total loser in that moment – in fact, I’m pretty sure I whispered to myself in my head – ‘you are such a loser, I can’t believe you own this business, you should quit’ the exact moment I needed to muster up the courage and energy to give my damn speech. Those two thoughts running concurrently produce no chemistry.
I did my speech for those six people. I thanked everyone for being there. And then just as getting ready to leave, one of the girls who had been there came up to me. I remember it to this day. ‘Hey, we need to talk, so much of what you said resonated with me. We have similar stories,” she said.
That girl is Sarah Lupton; she’s the Founder of Shift Creative Agency. She’s now a professional partner and friend; we talk or text every couple of days; I’ve slept on her couch with her dog; we’ve helped each other through some shit, business, personal, life.
As a matter of fact, she and I just partnered on the content for her fresh website. Check it out here. She vibrates strong chemistry because she’s a good combination between soulful, artistic documentary filmmaker and M.B.A.-fueled, business strategist which is why writing for her or about her is fun for me.
All of this is super proof of two important things. First, it really doesn’t matter how many people are there. I see that now. The potential for professional partnerships are possible everywhere. (Count the number of ‘p’ words in that sentence. Go.)
Next – professional chemistry is a real thing that comes about in funny places; I’m going to tell this story backwards – examples first, then an explanation.
I just ordered toth shop’s first round of tshirts through ink taco. (give a shout if you’d like one; I’m giving away 23 because that was my basketball number.)
julia fay photography
Julia and I partner weekly on the hygge blog; but – funny thing is – I was interviewing people and she was photographing them for a probably 6-8 weeks before I even met her face-to-face. I’d notice that she’d shoot things that I wrote about, so we were vibing virtually, no question.
Now, she’s my go-to resource for all things photography.
I walked into the lululemon over a year ago to buy some crops; a guy greeted me when I walked in, and then he met me at the cash register when I was ready to check out. He asked my name to see if I was in the system; my name sounded familiar to him, and so we got to talking. We hit it off as humans. ‘That guy’ is Duncan littlefield; turns out he was also a remote member of my co-working space as he was launching his media company, Littlefield Co. It’s been a year, and I think he and I have partnered on probably a dozen different photo and video shoots and brands.
Lisa ganderson and the wed clique
This is a good one. So, I met Matt Ganderson when I approached my M.B.A. alma mater, Wake Forest University School of Business, with an idea for a guest speaker – he was a client. I talked to Matt on the phone, and he said, ‘you should meet my wife, Lisa.’ Lisa, and I met, and we hit it off; her company The Wed Clique was heading to Tech Stars, so we gushed about women in business and entrepreneurship. NOW – we’re planning a collab between the wed clique, Julia fay photography, and toth shop for local wedding vendors.
Why’s any of this matter? Ya know, ya just never know. There are people and partnerships and possibilities everywhere. When you vibe immediately – as is the case with the examples above AND numerous others – I call it professional chemistry. You feel it with some people you work with; and you don’t feel it with others. Either is fine. The work is not pushing it with the people where’s no chemistry. Just let those go. Don’t worry – you’re not losing any cosmic points by trying to force a square peg in a round whole.
Seriously, only pursue the professional chemistry. When you vibe, connect, click; when someone says something that resonates with you immediately; when you share an experience. That chemistry is unique. It doesn’t happen often. So, when it does, hold onto it.
Pursue the chemistry. Not the numbers. I’ll tell that to the next group of six I speak to.
POST SCRIPT: The featured image above was captured by former sports reporter at philadelphia’s wpvi-tv, jack brayboy, and edited by julia fay photography. this is how julia and i work together. and, yes, my hair always looks this good. #duh