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Turn Any Negative Into a Positive

How this agency came to be.
Author: Jamie Costello

There is an old story of a wise king. Wanting to test the people of his city, late at night he had a large boulder placed in the middle of the road leading into town. He waited close by, observing but out of sight. People came and went, complained about the inconvenience, complained about the king and proceeded to walk around the boulder. It took many hours, but finally a peasant came along and after some time attempting to move the boulder, decided to fetch a large piece of wood that he could use for leverage. After much struggle he removed the boulder and underneath was a purse of coins. Attached was a note left by the King which informed the peasant that within every obstacle is an opportunity to improve our condition.

I was supposed to be jetting across the globe early on in 2020, sipping ice cold beer on Copacabana, making friends with Llamas as I trekked to Machu Picchu, taking a Narcos tour in Medellin or driving across the salt flats in Bolivia. Ever since I've been able to save some extra cash, I've traveled. I've spent money on a lot of dumb stuff over the years but I've never once regretted a red cent that I'd spent on travel, not even after getting mugged by the Policía Federal in Mexico with my friend Steve. I have been fortunate enough to hold a great job that funded these trips and even allowed me to take extended leave to go solo backpacking across Thailand. When you catch the travel bug it doesn't go away, at least for me it feels like a hunger that wont be satiated until you step off a plane in a country that you've never been to before. I've grown up in Galway, attended university here with a stint in New York and these travel breaks were amazing but it had finally felt like the right time to go one step further, save up, hand in my notice to a job I enjoyed and head for South America. For how long? No idea. I knew I could make at least €300 per month online (which would cover the cost of hostels) and I had my Teach English as a Foreign Language Certificate in my back pocket in case I fell in love with a small town and wanted to perch up for a bit. I applied for an Australian visa with the end goal being to move to Melbourne where I could meet up with some friends and live the surfing and BBQ life for a while. I booked my flights, put a date in my calendar to hand in my notice at work and I was sticking to it. I knew it was the right thing for me to do, not to go "find myself", but because travel has always opened up my perspective, taught me new ways of thinking and been all-in-all beneficial to me as a person. This had the makings to be a trip of a lifetime!

Fast forward to 10 days prior to my flight, my new rucksack had arrived, I'd broken in my new travel footwear, my route was planned, I had friends to meet along the way and my loose ends were tied up at work. The sad goodbyes were over with. I'd been seeing all of the headlines about Coronavirus and I just knew that this would impact not just me, but the world in some way, shape or form. Little did I know that writing this right now, we would be in complete lock-down. Adios Argentina! Hello unemployment. Another two days and I would have sold my car and moved out of my house, but I got lucky with those. I've always had a job, ever since I first started working in a small hardware store at the age of 13 I'd moved from job-to-job. This was new. Ryan Holiday points out in his writings, the worst thing to happen is never the event, it's the event AND losing your head! There are three ways we can deal with a problem before it deals with us. Step back and think;

One of the most impactful books I've read
  1. How do we look at the problem? Have we been caught in a negative head space? One of those days where everything is going wrong and now this! Practice objectivity. Look for that purse of coins under the boulder. There's an opportunity somewhere.
  2. What is our attitude towards the problem? Maybe you've failed 10 times already but failure shows us the way by showing us what's NOT the way. Sir James Dyson spent 15 years creating 5,126 versions of the Dyson vacuum that failed before he made one that worked. The payoff was a multi-billion dollar company known for its creativity and forward-thinking designs.
  3. Challenge your own creativity when faced with an obstacle. Think outside the box that the box is in. Choose not to feel harmed, if you don't feel harmed, you haven't been. We don't have the luxury of controlling the majority of what happens to us, but we can control how we perceive it. You're in isolation right now? What a great time to read all those books you haven't been able to get to, or learn that instrument that's been frowning at you from the corner of the room since you bought it.

So, I took the opportunity to start my own business, something I've always wanted to do. Economically, probably not the best time, granted, but as I saw it, when would I get the opportunity again to sit in-front of my laptop and strategize, plan, learn & find potential clients (and annoy them with cold calls). Red Pick Media is born! A digital marketing company with expertise in SEO, eCommerce, Social Media, Web Design and Strategy.

I'm getting a lot of messages from friends, asking how upset I am that my trip is cancelled? I've never been a religious person, but there is no denying the relevance of the Serenity Prayer:

"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference"

The biggest change I can make right now is to stay at home. Non-action. I can however, choose what to do with that time, and why waste it? I've been luck that Red Pick has started well and kept me extremely busy but the options are endless if we use the three steps mentioned above when faced with an obstacle.

And remember, whilst we sit and wait it out in our homes, non-action is action too. We are asked to stay at home as healthcare front-line staff tackle a deadly virus for us. This IS us taking action, however boring some people may say it is. Martin Luther King Jr. told his followers that violence would be met with peace and hate would be met with love. Opposites work. Videos emerge of strangers sharing moments of oneness together as music rings out across their apartment complex or down their streets. Teams all across the globe have meetings every day now, where they don't actually meet but work alongside each other online. An incredible sense of community has been revealed across the globe. Race, class or gender is forgotten about as we work towards one common goal. Opposites work, just as we are currently apart so we again can be together.

What's in the way becomes the way.

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Jamie Costello Founder of Red Pick MediaRed Paint Blob
Hey, I'm Jamie. We'd love to hear from you and help you with any digital marketing or design needs you might have. Drop us a line below if you'd like to have a FREE Consultation to see if we can help.
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