creative energy that speaks


A little advice—from our resident dairy farmer to designers everywhere

Denise Hoeing, Business Manager

As the business/office manager of a creative marketing firm, you probably don’t hear much from me until your project reaches its very final stages (and even then, we may only communicate over email or checks sent through the mail); but, believe it or not, I’ve been a part of the SDi family for 19+ years!

When you’re a non-creative* person working with creative people, the schedules, personalities, environment, etc. can be overwhelming. (Especially considering my other job is helping to manage a successful dairy farm/crop operation south of Rushville, where our days are a bit more… planned out.) For almost 20 years, I’ve gone between two worlds—from corporate clients to cattle—and I’ve learned an important lesson: everyone (even creative people!) needs some structure.

Here’s an example of how days at our dairy operation go:

5a.m.  1st milking

7a.m.  1st feeding time for calves

8a.m.–4 p.m.  During this time, the cows are fed once — they can eat, drink or sleep all day as they please (except during the two milking times).

5p.m.  2nd Milking (Note: we milk 400 cows/day and sell our product to Dean Foods, who pick up milk everyday by semi-truck out of 6,000 gallon tank.)

6p.m.  2nd feeding for calves

So, what does this mean to you, the creative person in your office? It doesn’t mean you need to get up at 5 a.m.! It does mean, come up with a timeline structure for normal days and don’t be afraid to carve out time for you or certain projects only. Even if the “structure” involves 15 minutes of “do-nothing-but-read-interesting-stuff-online” or “make-a-funny-Jib-Jab-video-to-get-your-coworkers-laughing” time, that’s okay! Stick to it. I think routine makes us more productive and gives you a chance to plan short breaks during the day to work toward and look forward to.

Whether it’s farming, fundraising or designing, you should welcome structure instead of being afraid of it. You might just come away with a more productive herd!

(Oh, and drink more milk! It does a body, and mind, good!)


*These are Denise’s words — the rest of us at SDi respectively disagree.