You walk in the front door and the whole house smells like dinner.
You feel safe, loved, and warm — cause man, it’s cold outside.
Only there’s no one in the kitchen. There’s no one slaving away at the counter, blasting music and chopping vegetables.
There’s only your crockpot.
Your glorious, magnificent crockpot, who toils away for hours without reward to turn raw things into delicious masterpieces with no effort on your part. (I mean, it’s about as sexy as granny panties, but it’s still glorious.)
It’s a wonderful thing, isn’t it?
So often, we treat our businesses as stomping grounds for raw ingredients: combine this and this, sell.
Add this to that, sell. But…
Business doesn’t have to be a simple equation that starts with your effort and ends with…more effort.
Why not leave a room for the slow simmer of your crockpot?
For creating a body of work that can be distributed later. (For your retrospective at the Met.)
For planning an event, pop-up shop, workshop, or Greatest Hits collection come next year.
For combining old products in new ways next winter.
For recycling your best work into an entirely different beast: a journal or catalog or magazine or class or lecture or TED talk.
For telling familiar tales in new ways.
For the magazine, the book, the coffee table collection, the gallery showing, the studio space downtown.
When we consciously let work simmer, we give ourselves the benefit of the doubt.
We’ll find a place for this later, even if we don’t know what it will taste like just yet.
We don’t throw away every effort because we know sometimes, the magic happens in the crockpot. Inexplicably, those raw ingredients become something much better. (See: buffalo chicken dip.)
So, while the rest of the world focuses on marketing calendars and resolutions and 30-day challenges, I’m asking…
…what have you put in your crockpot lately? Where are you letting the crockpot do the work for you?
Because sometimes, time and insight yield astonishing changes with little effort on our part. (But only if we let them.)
P.S. Poems are always in my crockpot.