Finding Clarity on the Long Way Home

June 2016

Almond trees at a Buttonwillow rest stop.

Almond trees at a Buttonwillow rest stop.

There’s a stretch of Interstate 5 that California motorists know well. It bisects the largely agrarian Central Valley and, for the uninitiated, is rather boring. There are endless farmlands, a few rest stops and limited gas, food and lodging options—for hundreds of miles and hours of driving.

It is the perfect place to let the mind wander.

Normally I need movement to think with any depth. It’s part of my process. But a few weeks ago I used several hours of distraction-free driving along this freeway to contemplate our business. The custom content industry is growing, but that also means more competition. As such, it’s important for Twirling Tiger Media to remind people of how we’re different.

We speak Geek. Our core focus is helping clients in the technology, science and healthcare industries. This requires both a broad and specialized knowledge of terms and trends so we accurately and adequately capture our clients’ thought leadership in white papers, press releases, content marketing and articles. Creative agencies tend to be generalists that can address multiple audiences. Technologists and scientists tend to be specialists communicating important topics. We combine both types into one outstanding team.

We’re insured. Unlike most freelancers, we carry professional liability insurance to cover any legal challenges to the work we create on behalf of our business partners. Fortunately, we’ve never had to file a claim. But our clients have peace of mind knowing we’re covered for any errors or omissions.

We’re 100% women-owned. We work in traditionally male-dominated industries, so our business partners appreciate the diversity of ideas and approaches we bring as female business owners. We also bring a different perspective, one that may be a little more intuitive and introspective because of the way we approach our work.

As a society, we’ve come to believe that staying busy means staying productive. But, as small business owners, we’ve come to believe taking time off for periodic “clarity breaks” also yields breakthroughs and sound business decisions.

The clarity break concept is part of the Entrepreneurial Operating System that we follow. Reflection time is an essential part of leadership, and it’s often overlooked. (Tell people you’re taking half a day off to go think, and, well, you can easily guess what they are thinking.)

But our brains, not just our bodies, also need time to rejuvenate and focus fully on the future. Your clarity break may require a quiet room, blank computer screen or notepad to capture the ideas unleashed as the mind calms. You’ll know what works once it does. For me, nothing beats a couple of hours hiking in woodland. Though I did discover that moving through acres upon acres of agricultural beauty is a great alternative.

—Anne