(815) 503-0286 matt@matthewlbrennan.com

For the last six months, there’s been an all consuming force in my life. When I’m not working on client content, chances are I’ve been changing poopy diapers, wiping up spit up, or trying to exchange some of the most pure smiles I’ve ever seen.

It’s an interesting ride. When you look hard enough, there’s a lesson just about every direction you turn. Here are three quick ones that relate back to my business.

Smile bigger, and smile more – Some situations, projects, and even clients are less than ideal. Given the choice you’d rather be taking out the garbage, undergoing a root canal, or changing a poopy diaper than doing what you’re doing.

I’ve never considered myself a photogenic person. There’ s probably not that many pictures of me out there where I’m showing my teeth in my smile – until Jamie was born. I’ve expended a lot of energy trying to return his wide smiles in full, and it’s been a lot of fun. You know what? I smile more even when he’s not around. I find satisfaction in aspects of my work day where there previously was none, which can really make things worth it.

Keep a beginner’s mind – You’re the expert in your industry. You love what you do, and you’ve read volumes on it. You may even have advanced degrees on the wall that prove to your customers and clients just how much you know, and that they’re getting their money’s worth.

You know what though? You don’t know everything. There are new ideas and advancements in your industry that are happening all the time. The second you call yourself an expert and consider yourself done learning, you’ve become a giant bore, and a liability to those who pay you money. So, stay curious about the world around you. Ask questions. Keep trying to figure new things out.

Sometimes things are loud and messy – Ever try to feed a baby solid food? Sometimes it ends up everywhere but their mouth. As you’re cleaning bananas from behind his ears while he cries in octaves that would make opera singers jealous, try to keep things in a bit of perspective.

The world’s not perfect, and sometimes your work day may be a little less than ideal. Those around you may be visibly upset. A project may descend into utter chaos. It’s important to deal with the situation at hand rather than simply reacting to it. A lot of times there’s not much you can do to change the outlook of things. Some situations you can work to control. Some there’s nothing you can do anything about. It’s important to understand the difference.

Matt Brennan is a Chicago-based marketing writer and copy editor