I listen to NPR on my way to and from work most days. I feel that if I am not utilizing that commute time to expand my mind – then I am wasting time. Yes sick – but I am the oldest of 5 siblings, so growing up, I was pushed hard to succeed…so I can blame my mother for my over-achieving sickness. Anyway, NPR has a regular program call “This I Believe” where people’s essays are read that discuss what it is about life that they believe and what drives their actions. You can see the archives of these essays here if you are interested – admittedly this may be a little hokey for some of you. Yesterday, a woman’s essay about Barbie was featured. She contended that her belief in Barbie is what led her to believe in her imagination and making her life into whatever she can imagine it to be. It was interesting, but it really got me thinking about what I am doing. What is it that I believe in?
I believe in office supplies. When I was little, I played “Shannon The Spy” and wrote about the goings on of the neighborhood in little notebooks during my summers in Western Pennsylvania with my Dad. For me though, it wasn’t about the spying, it was about the notebooks and the pens. In school, I did very well making me a “President of the National Honor Society” in high school yet also on the Homecoming Court kind of nerd. Again – I can blame my mother here. The “back to school” Office Depot trip: buying the binders, the notebooks, the highlighters and pens was a very exciting trip indeed. Doing homework, even into College at Colgate, I know how stupid this sounds – but I believe that the joy I took in using office supplies drove much of my success. Yep, even after college…every new job the pattern is there – the new date books, pens, writing on beautiful paper, typing on well designed keyboards on beautiful laptops…I even take all my notes in various Moleskins.
As I got older (and geekier) my love extended into an obsession for software, clean code and gadgets. I love blog software, all office software, and online collaboration tools like Writeboard. The best present that Julian ever got for me was my first BlackBerry – this was for our first Valentine’s Day actually…talk about true love.
I am the one that wanted to start EXCELER8ion. I am now driven to blog – I actually dream about blog posts. But they don’t end up here as frequently as they should. Why? Because I am not a great writer, but I am the one that is stressed out every time our life gets too busy to consistently post. (As an aside and relevant to the recent Recruiting.com post – EXCELER8ion is not our main source of income – but I admit that it could be and it does not surprise me at all that a blog has replaced the need to make prospecting calls).
Anyway – the rub for me is that despite all of the beautiful tools / notebooks / pens out there – I am not a writer. I can communicate my thoughts, but I am not a writer the way that Julian is clearly a writer (and a talker – can we say WAY over developed left-brain). I feel driven to write and express my thoughts, but at the end of the day, my writing is OK. I am a person that constantly thinks about starting a journal but never does. I want to write my thoughts down – but I can never seem to get it out and then I am frustrated. But I am great editor and I am a listener.
To this day – going to Office Depot; installing a blog, designing it, and making it work as well as it can thru plug-ins; making a really kick-ass excel spreadsheet etc – will get a much bigger rise out of me than even buying shoes. But if I really look at it, it isn’t about the writing or the content; it is about the design…the potential of what the software can do if someone were to actually use it or how elegantly a gadget operates. It is the excitement of the potential of what is about to be done on that new clean sheet of beautiful paper that you are about to write on with a fountain pen that has fabulous ink.
What worries me is that in the end, the content isn’t my strength – it is the container that I love. I guess I love a pretty face? Maybe what my strengths come down to is Beauty and Potential. I recognize beauty and great design and I recognize potential. But does that make me a good recruitment marketer? Am I only good at beginnings… all show and no substance? That can’t be true, but it is good to stop and think about.
Ok – after all that – I still don’t know what the hell I am doing. Maybe I should just go be a talent agent. Oh yeah – I already wrote Wind Beneath his Wings a few weeks ago.