Personal or Professional?

This is a question I always ask clients about the voice of their site. Who their target audience is, what they want to convey – it determines what fonts, colors, verbiage and imagery I'll use to get their message across. But the other day I was looking over my new client questionnaire and seeing this question made me realize something about myself that seemed totally unrelated at first.

I'm constantly working on bettering myself professionally but not personally.

My wife Jen and I are in a group of folks who are all in the same stage of life: age 20s-30s, married couples, two kids per couple. The point of the group is to encourage and commiserate with each other while growing ourselves both as couples and as Christians. In the time we've been together we've read books and watched videos about how to be better parents and how to thrive as a married couple, among many other things.

Wow, that sounds really productive and awesome right? It's supposed to be - and usually is. But when you're just using it to check off a box in your life and aren't actually dedicating time to grow yourself outside of the group... what's the point?

It's exactly like people who go to church on Sunday, go to a support group during the week, or leave a motivational conference and say "That changed my life!" but completely lack the followthrough that is evidence of real life change.

One night after the kids were asleep Jen asked me about where I wanted to grow personally. Specifically she was trying to find a topic for a book we could use in our group. But... I had no answer. Even after some introspection all I could only think about was learning more about programming for work and video games for zoning out when I'm not working. It came to my attention that almost none of my thoughts went into bettering myself as a person.

This shocked me. Enough so that I felt the need to write about it – for a couple of reasons.

First, I feel like I'm a pretty good husband, dad, friend, co-worker, Christian, but obviously I'm not flawless. There is always room for improvement, but my lack of drive to grow in these areas is due to my ability to coast at my current level. Letting "good" be "good enough".

Second, I only have so much capacity. It's a busy season with no foreseeable end in sight and I convince myself the best thing I can do for my family is to further my career right now. But even now in writing this it becomes so obvious how backwards that is.

Having to physically write out your excuses really point out what flawed arguments they are.

So cool, I've had some revelation about personal betterment, pointed out the futility of my excuses, and I've even written a blog about it. Now what? Well it's obvious isn't it? I say something inspirational about doing the right thing and then do some follow up blog post that pulls on your heart strings and then somehow miraculously you pay me to make a website for you. Seems legit.

But for real, this was really eye opening for me and hopefully for people reading this. You're more than your work and you (read: we) should start acting like it.

Evan Lemmons

Lemmons Creative LLC, Alpharetta, Georgia, USA

Husband, father, musician, gamer.