Settle in, Reader: it's storytime.
On Friday I got my first flat tire.
Not a huge deal.
Except for the fact that it was a rental car. With no spare tire in the back. I'd opted not to pay the extra €100 for roadside assistance insurance. And I was in the middle of nowhere.
Look closely at that photo and you'll see this was no simple puncture. I'd torn a hole in the side wall of the tire by hitting a large pointy rock on a dirt track.
Why was I driving on a dirt track in a rented Range Rover Evoque?
Well, I'd set out to drive to a nearby hike. Diligently following Google Maps directions, I turned off the main road onto a side road when it said I should. A little strange, I thought, as I started down the one-lane road. When I'd looked at the route before leaving I knew there was a way there on the main roads. Should I stop and force it to direct me on a different route?
I kept going.
Then the windy, narrow paved road ended and ahead of me was nothing but an even narrower dirt track.
I half-heartedly tried to turn around, but finding no easy way to do so and with the GPS telling me I was only 4 minutes away from my destination, once again, I kept going.
Over bumps and large ruts in the track, I kept going. Knowing I'd made a mistake, but continuing on anyway thinking the only way out was through.
Then came the rock. Then a sense of dread. Then tears and a panicked call to my in-laws to have them come rescue me when I saw that large tear in the tire.
Before you start to doubt my wisdom, please know that I recognise I made some very stupid choices along this adventure. There's a lot I've learned from this.
Like the fact that I apparently have way too much trust in Google Maps. And that I shouldn't skimp on the roadside assistance coverage when renting cars.
But I also learned how easy it is for me to be carried forward by momentum in a direction I know instinctively isn't right. I kept going, because it felt easier than figuring out a way to turn back.
So, I have a question for you:
Is the momentum you have right now – in life, in your career, in your projects or learning – propelling you in the right direction?
As a glass-half-full kind of person (I literally own rose-tinted heart-shaped glasses...), I've always thought of momentum as a positive thing.
The thing that propels you forward towards your goals. The thing that gives you motivation and helps you make progress bit by bit.
Momentum is all of those things. It has its perks.
But clearly, as evidenced by this rock-meets-tire situation, my momentum-optimism can be misplaced at times. Momentum has its pitfalls too. Just because you're moving, doesn't mean it's a good thing.
So, I'm entering this week with a bit of a momentum reset. And I invite you to join me.
- What have you got in motion that isn't serving you?
- Are your habits and choices propelling you in the direction you want to be going?
- And do you need to start building momentum for something you're currently stuck on but want to be doing?
For me, the answer to that last one is writing my marketing design book. I've been experiencing writers block for the past 3 months, and I know the only way I can get past it is to start writing again. Even if they're shitty words that I delete later. I'm going to start moving again in a direction I know I want to be going.
And what happened with my torn tire? In the end (after many phone calls, those Range Rover wheels are massive!) we found a repair shop that had a matching one in stock. €300 and a whole day of my time, my partners time and my in-laws' time later. Quite a price to pay for going with the flow of momentum.
I know this hasn't been a usual issue of the Marketing Design Dispatch, but I hope this story got you thinking. And if you enjoyed this more narrative issue, click this heart to let me know
I'll be back next week with your regular marking and brand design inspiration programming.
Have a good week,
PS: If you want a pump-up song to kickstart some momentum this week, I recommend this track from the new Fall Out Boy album! (even if you're not a fellow emo kid like me)