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10 THINGS I LEARNED ABOUT LIFE, BUSINESS & PUZZLES!

I am a fast paced person. I like when things are exciting and dynamic. It’s why I love working with video. You can create this super short, but super impactful piece of media that delivers facts and feelings quickly and has an immediate impact on the viewer.

But in life and business, it can be good to switch gears from time to time. It helps you get a new perspective, gain clarity and be at your best.

For me, I like to “get away from it all” by doing something really slow, once a year. I try to cut out all electronics and do something that takes patience and time. This activity is something that really isn’t… ‘me’.

I do puzzles.

Yes, you read that right. Me. The woman who can never pass up a party, who loves to take on exciting new challenges, who moves at the speed of light… I do puzzles.

This year, I chose a 1000 piece Beatles puzzle.

Now hear me out, because you would not believe how eye opening puzzles can be! Working on puzzles allows me to explore a part of my brain that I don’t use often and to exercise my patience muscles. I almost feel like I’m using a different set of eyes. Just by putting a puzzle together, I begin to see life and business with a whole new perspective.

Here are 10 lessons from puzzles that have made me better at life and business:

1. When things look chaotic, take a deep breath and just start

When I first dumped 1000 puzzle pieces on the table, my sister, husband and son all quickly reminded me that it was “too much”.

In my own head, I was thinking, “Maybe they’re right! What was I thinking? OMG! Can I return it? Where do I even start??”

But then I just started. I flipped all the pieces right side up and began sorting edges with edges, blue with blue, white with white… pretty quickly that big mess started looking more manageable. More possible. And most importantly, I was doing it. Slowly, and literally piece by piece, I could see my small, deliberate actions having an impact.
I remember once coming out of a meeting with a potential client thinking how much I wanted that client. But the project came with so many challenges: the story, the décor, the coaching… where would I even start? I got every idea on paper, organised it piece by piece, and it quickly became manageable.

In puzzles, life and business, just dive in and get organised!

2. Success = timing + patience

Ok, so there’s more to success than that. But timing and patience are a big part of it.

Sometimes I would get into a “groove” of finding and connecting pieces amazingly fast. Other times the groove slowed down. It is so exhilarating to have one success after another, but when it slows down it is not as easy to continue.

Don’t give up. Sometimes I would try a piece so sure that it would not fit, but to my biggest surprise it did. Try things. Take chances. Have patience. The pieces will come together if you stick with it.

3. Sometimes you have to let the pieces go and keep your eye on the big picture


I had been working on the puzzle for a while. I was almost finished. But the last pieces were hard. There were no more colors, just black and white. I had gone from rapid success, finding one piece after another, to finding nothing. I was discouraged.

So I let it go. I left my project on the table and avoided it for a few days.

But I knew I had to finish. I did not want to hear, “I told you it was too big!” So I took a walk in front of it. No pressure. No commitment. Just looking at it from a distance. No more sitting in front of it.

To my surprise, I could see things from a distance that I could not see up close. I started to find new matching pieces. I was on a roll again!

At work, when I get a creative block, I go for a walk or a workout (or chocolate!). When I come back and can see things from a distance, my creative flow is back again. When you feel stuck, you are not stuck. You just need to step back and see the big picture. Let the pieces go. Step away. Take a walk.

4. Sometimes it’s the big picture, other times it’s the pieces

Not surprisingly, John and Paul’s heads were pretty easy to put together. As were all the other “big picture” parts – the colours, the tickets, the edges, the Fab Four… it all came together nicely.

It was at the very end, when I was left with a large white space to complete, that I struggled. The pieces all looked the same at first. When I started to look more closely at the unique shapes, to see that some were more rounded, others heart shaped and so on, it helped so much.

In business, we often say the details will kill you. I usually start my videos with a storyboard. I put it aside then come back and add to it, bit by bit. I constantly add details to ensure nothing is overlooked. Promotional text can be rewritten, but it is expensive and time consuming to redo a video. The details are critical.

Details will only kill you if you do not pay attention to them. Hurray for details!

5. The right partner can complete you (or your project)

When you’ve done the biggest part of a project yourself, sometimes you need someone with a different eye. You get tired of seeing the problem and the more you look, the bigger it seems. Or maybe you are a big picture person and need someone detail oriented to step in.

One part of the puzzle had an image of green and orange tickets. And I was stuck. My husband walked by to see how I was coming along. He can be a bit competitive and happened to pass at just the right time to help with the orange tickets. I welcomed his help and competitive mind. It was exactly what I needed in that moment!

A while ago I met a guy at a business event. He introduced himself saying he did video. I almost left, thinking he was competition. Good thing I listened to his elevator pitch because we have been working together ever since! We each bring unique perspectives and strengths and complete each other so well. We end up producing amazing videos together!

Embrace partnerships. The right mindset can complement your own in incredible ways.

6. You can’t be #1 ALL the time

I love being at the top of my game. Sometimes I would get on a roll, fitting so many pieces together, feeling like nothing could stop me. Other times, it would take an hour just to get one piece.

But it’s ok.

When you’re on a winning streak, you’re on adrenaline. It doesn’t matter if it’s a puzzle, a marathon, or a business deal. It’s like a drug. And you cannot be on it ALL the time. Just accept that that is the way life goes. When things slow down, you get to appreciate your little successes a lot more and take time to plan for your next winning streak.

Appreciate your winnings, learn from your losses and make the most of the slow downs.

7. Go ahead… try the weird thing!

I sometimes found myself ready to give up. So much time would pass without finding a piece that fit. Then, all of a sudden, success!

All it took was trying that weird piece that looked like there was no way it would fit anywhere.

Take chances. So what if the piece doesn’t fit? At least you tried. Sometimes “the weird thing” will surprise you by just how well it fits.

I like to go to networking events to meet new clients. Certain events have such great branding, I get excited just thinking about going. Once there, the potential clients are nothing like I imagined. Yet, we fit perfectly! They need a video, I make video, and when we start working together, I realize their business is so much more interesting that I expected, and we end up making amazing things!

8. Have a vision

I once tried a puzzle without a picture to reference. You had to guess what the image would be as you assembled it. Pas evident! Needless to say, I never finished it.

With my Beatles puzzle, I could always look at the picture on the box to see if I was on the right track. It’s essential!

In life, as in business, you have to have an image in mind of what you want to accomplish. A goal. An objective. An end result you can visualize. The clearer you see it, the better your chances of achieving it. It could be a house, a job, a trip, anything. Have a clear vision to reference as you work towards it.

9. Take things one piece at a time

Too often, we look for quick fixes or magic wands. People start a Facebook business page and expect clients to pour in. They make one video and expect huge, instant results.

Life and business do not work that way. It’s consistency that creates results. It’s picking up one piece at a time, trying each one on its own, and not giving up. You cannot attack 1000 pieces at once. There is no secret technique to instantly sort them all into place.

It’s like I tell clients. You cannot create one video and expect it to solve everything. Create a series. Publish them at intervals. Post to different outlets. Try different approaches. Take it one piece at a time, consistently. If there is any “secret”, that’s it.

10. Dream big and shut out negativity

When I first started the puzzle, I had doubts. I was in love with the image and the colours (and the Beatles, of course), but was reminded again and again by those around me, and myself, that this was not a 300 or 500 piece puzzle. This was 1000 pieces!

For someone who only does one puzzle a year, that’s a lot. But who cares? I did it!

I am someone who dreams big, in all aspects of life and business. I visualize success a lot and I am an idealist. Why was I letting negativity give me doubts? Well, I shut out all that negativity – both outside and in – and I finished my puzzle.

Now? Now I have big plans for Lionzest. I know the mind works in mysterious ways. When I set my mind to something, really believe it, my mind and I make it happen. Don’t let negativity hold you back from your big dreams.

Takeaway:

I strongly believe that different experiences and activities can help you gain new perspectives and see your life and your business in a refreshing way. It allows you to approach problems with fresh eyes and tackle challenges with new motivation. What do you do that opens your eyes?

Are you ready for the world to see your business with fresh eyes? Contact Lionzest to discuss how we can energize your business and make you shine.