For some time now, ever since I started teaching so much at Cornish College of the Arts, I've had the feeling I'm holding 2 or three running power tools in both hands at all times. This is not how I want to be living.
The brand business with Pam Heath, called Emerson Harris; the NGO with Therese, called The SisterScarf Fund; the teaching, the travel, the book, the articles. By the end of last semester I was dodging deadlines left and right, and I knew I would have to make some hard decisions about reducing the complexity of my work life.
I couldn't imagine not teaching. I couldn't imagine not continuing to support the microgrants that SisterScarf funds. I could not imagine not helping people communicate about their projects concerning positive social change. And I couldn't imagine not writing. But I could imagine doing less of some of the more annoying aspects of business.
Pam Heath and I agreed that if we were to do less, we'd want to do less big stuff for big concerns that eat up a huge amount of our time in the pitch-and-propose process, in the management of talent, and in the infernal paperwork that goes along with handling projects for big corporations. And so we decided to end Emerson Harris and be individual people again, consulting one-on-one with the people that make decisions in nonprofits, NGOs and corporations.
Now that Pam and I are unstringing Emerson Harris, I look forward to getting my students' papers back to them, the two articles I owe to magazines filed, my book done and my relationships with my clients back to a one-on-one. And should another huge, gorgeous project come up that we just can't resist gathering a team to do-- well, Pam and I agree to prance across that bridge when we come to it.