Priorities and Passions: What I Learned at the Chicago Creative Space Awards
Chicago Creative Space Awards (via Chicago Creative Space's Instagram account)
As a Communications professional, I have to be mindful of my energy. Working in the digital and social space calls for me to be constantly plugged into what's going on in our world. At any given time, my brain is being fed the latest news, debates, perspectives, social issues, platforms, technology, pop culture trends, and more.
How does one keep their balance during a time where EVERY thing is literally fighting for my attention?
I always seem to find the answers to my internal questions when I'm not looking. Little did I know, when I was attending the Chicago Creative Space Awards that I would learn the keys to finding that balance:
Make My Mission A Top Priority.
Chicago Creative Space showcases the coolest and most creative office spaces in Chicago and is also a resource for entrepreneurs who are faced with growing their companies on a budget while preserving their unique company culture. They have told stories for some of Chicago's most well known brands and on June 4, the company decided to celebrate those brands at their inaugural Chicago Creative Space Awards.
A picture of the awards program with sponsor Inc. Via my Instagram Page.
In every single detail of the event, the CSS team did an impressive job of allowing their mission and their work to shine through. Each aspect of the event aligned with the company's core values: the venue, Venue One prides itself on not just hosting events but becoming them, the guest speakers (included founder of Imerman Angels, Jonny Imerman and CEO of Tech Week Katy Lynch) all possessed a visible respect, admiration, and compassion for all those involved, and the nominees (included Sterling Bay, Red Frog Events, 1871, and Groupon) all shared an excitement for not only their own nominations but gratitude for the community around company culture. This energy made for an extremely successful event.
The basis of CSS reflects the exact culture it represents and that may possibly be what magnifies their energy. Everyone in that room this past Thursday was on one accord because they believed in their mission and created an atmosphere of people first.
Stay Authentic To My Story.
As CEO Max Chopovsky, took the stage to officially kick off the award ceremony, he revealed the inception story of Chicago Creative Space. Max shared that he didn't have any formal training before he began. He put in a lot of ground work for the company by being proactive about opportunities and genuine about what he wanted to accomplish: "I wanted to tell stories."
CEO Max Chopovsky opening the first ever Chicago Creative Space Awards. Via my Twitter page.
While remaining transparent and humble about his accomplishments in building a successful company, I collected the themes of risk taking, having an unwavering confidence in my vision, and always being open with who I am and what I'm wanting to learn. Those themes allowed Max to not just build clientele - it made way for mutually beneficial relationships and created a pathway to the vision of his life without depending on any external factors. Genuine relationships are true currency in today's world and they help us keep our missions in proper perspective. You can't attract the right ones if you're not willing to tell your story.
Never Underestimate My Passion.
The award ceremony was also a fascinating display of the work produced by Chicago Creative Space and clearly showed the passion of each company involved. I've always worked in a freelance/remote consulting role and it wasn't until 2014 that I joined a company in a official capacity. This event helped me to connect the idea of “space” or dwellings to be one that helps you fulfill your purpose. It also helped me realized that the environment where we learn and grow as professionals is often underestimated.
Max decided to follow his passion when creating Chicago Creative Space and although it wasn't the only component that led him to become a success, it was a driving force through the unsure times that most business owners and creatives face. That was clearly manifested in the room the entire night as CSS was able to flourish in a community of the best and brightest in Chicago.
I believe that experiences where I can learn provide the best lessons in life. This event combined innovation, aligning passions with my work, and connecting fulfillment and purpose to my environment. Not only will these things help me maintain my balance, they'll also strengthen my faith in myself and my abilities.
PS. Take a look at the winner of the 75k sq fT category, Motorola. This video was one of my personal faves; watch it HERE.