I’m happy and excited to announce that I’ve changed my business name to Huff Industrial Marketing, Inc.
Changing my business name wasn’t a decision I made overnight. It began in 2012 when I began thinking about changing my business model. In February 2014 I posted that I was closing my copywriting business in order to focus on web overhauls. My plan to be the web overhaul goddess didn’t quite work out as I expected, however, mostly because I had come to the decision in all the wrong ways.
Have you ever made a plan and then felt as if you’re banging your head against the wall trying to implement it all the while the Universe is saying, “Um, no. Sorry. You’re not going that way.” That’s what happened.
I had started DH Communications for one reason: to be home with my son, who was 12 months old at the time. But as with all kids, he grew up. Now that I no longer needed to revolve my entire life around him, I found myself asking, “So what exactly do I want to do with my life?”
The answer was a huge crash of silence.
Somehow I knew I needed to give myself time and space to reflect and reassess, so I cut back on everything. I eliminated distractions and got rid of the TV.
I cut back on the services I offered and stopped working around the clock. I found myself sleeping nine and ten hours a night due to sheer exhaustion — an exhaustion I hadn’t let myself feel. I freed up all kinds of time and created space and quiet, something I hadn’t had in decades.
2014: A year of opening my eyes to what was in front of me
In Genesis is the story of Hagar, Abraham and Sarah’s slave whom Abraham banished, along with his and Hagar’s son Ishmael. In the desert and out of water, Hagar places Ishmael under a bush and sits far away so that she doesn’t hear his cries.
God hears Hagar and tells her he will make a great nation of Ishmael; then “God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. She went and filled the skin with water, and let the boy drink.” (Genesis 21:19)
What I love about this story is that God didn’t perform an impressive and awe-inspiring miracle by making a well appear instantly. Instead, God opened Hagar’s eyes and allowed her to see the well that was right in front of her.
That pretty much sums up my year of transition.
The more I eliminated distraction and clutter of all kinds, the more I began to see things that had been in front of me for years. I had just been too busy and too distracted to pay attention to them.
From DH Communications to Huff Industrial Marketing
My new business focus is providing strategic marketing for small, family-owned industrial manufacturing companies.
I can give you all the reasons why this new focus makes good sense, but here’s the most important one: I’m happy. I love working with the families that run manufacturing companies. I love hearing their stories. Mostly, I love telling them.
All this change isn’t simply about creating a new business. It’s also about creating the life I want, which has meant lots of “backend” changes. My vision is to create a business that sustains my life rather than having my life sustain my business.
For example, my colleague Rachel Cunliffe of Cre8d Design is in New Zealand. Working with someone on the other side of the planet isn’t difficult but I was finding myself working late into the evenings so that I could be online when she was.
It made for very long days.
It dawned on me that I really didn’t have to work a traditional schedule, and in fact, I could improve my life considerably by taking a three-hour break in the middle of the day and following my new-found passion — riding my bike. So, I changed my schedule.
As soon as I did it, I thought, “Duh, why didn’t I think of this sooner?” Now I have my quiet morning work time where I do strategy and other focused work, then my lovely early afternoon break time.
I’m telling you, no other experience compares to riding your bike along New England backroads in the middle of a warm sunny day. Sheer joy.
Then I’m back online for four or so hours in late afternoon / early evening where I overlap with Rachel. The benefits of this one simple change have been amazing.
One, I now have the downtime I need to mull over my work. Riding my bike (or going to the gym in the winter) is perfect for this “letting it gel” time I need.
Two, Rachel and I are now able to collaborate much more fully in real time, which has greatly benefited our work. We recently completed a website overhaul for European Home — a months-long, highly complex project whose outcome thrilled our client, CEO Holly Markham, as it solved so many challenges for her.
And, three, the change has been good for my clients. Being business owners, they often do their calls at the end of the day, so I’m now available to talk to them at their convenience.
Steve Jobs said, “Everything around you that you call life is made up by people no smarter than you, and you can change it. . . . Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.”
His words have been my inspiration these last few months as I go about redesigning my life and how I want to live it. And, I’m not done. I continue to simplify and eliminate. More importantly, I now question what is and find myself coming up with my own ideas of how I want things to be.
I’m very excited about my new business, Huff Industrial Marketing, Inc. and the potential and opportunity for growth. For those of you who have been following me for years and who have continually offered support and feedback, thank you.
Why I Gave Up My Copywriting Business — February 11, 2014 post
A Lifetime in Manufacturing — My personal and career story.
Cre8d Design — Rachel has been my one of my main sources of inspiration on creating the life I want. Read her blog and website and you’ll see why. She’s amazing.
European Home — An importer and manufacturer of modern gas fireplaces.
Steve Jobs’ Vision of the World