How I got into this line of work
It was a combination of burnout and a timely offer of being paid to leave the company, aka a Golden Handshake or taking a voluntary layoff.
One thing for sure, I didn’t need my good fairies whispering in my ear that I should take the offer and plunge full-time into learning to be a marketing copywriter.
Though I was only about six months into my 18-month exit plan, this was too good an opportunity to be missed!
But things didn’t turn out exactly as planned or even close to what I had planned.
That’s because for too many years, my success had depended on getting recognized for my contributions as I helped other people become successful.
It took me a while to realize that my unquenchable need for their approval had screwed up my self-esteem.
Too bad I didn’t realize that before I left corporate America!
I could just say that that working for myself was a disaster, that I learned a few good lessons, and moved on, but that would be a denial of the reality of my journey.
No worries, I’ll spare you the details. Let’s just say when you’re done dealing with one disaster after another, it can bring you to a point in your life where you can honestly say that you’ve got nothing to lose.
When you can do that, then you can start down the unmarked road to finding meaning in your life, work that goes beyond making a living, and a true belief that you can be successful.
And if you’re lucky, you’ll have a few fairies helping you along the way.
Creative – Systems Lover – Idea Broker
Unfortunately for me, the good fairies presiding at my birth got in a bit of a muddle about who was gifting me what.
I can’t draw, paint or sculpt, but I am one serious appreciator of all kinds of art and artists.
But the creativity I did get has served me well, even as a systems auditor.
That’s because I understand how composition and design need to come together to create highly effective systems.
When you look at a flow chart of how a system processes, you’re seeing how someone’s mind works.
- Good strategies has a lot in common with well-designed systems: To deliver on a specific outcome, everything has to work towards that goal logically and systematically.
That’s not to say you can’t be creative, it just that creativity should never interfere with getting what you want.
How the writer Charles Duhigg made my good fairies giggle with glee
Though the fairies messed up my artistic talent, they’ve been telling me for years that they gave me something equally as good.
It just took Charles Duhigg in his book Smarter, Faster Better to put a name to it.
Apparently my talent is: Idea Broker!
In his book, Charles talks about ideas, innovation and creativity as being an import/export business. He calls those who do the importing and exporting between businesses and industries, Idea Brokers.
It’s true I love ideas, and my Gallup StrengthsFinder assessment scored me high in ideas and strategy. But somehow I just don’t see Idea Broker as becoming my new job title.
However would you introduce yourself?
Still though, it is nice to know that this gift my good fairies are so proud of is considered a marketable talent.
But at times I still wonder . . . what if . . . what if my creativity had a more artistic outlet?
Oh! And that reminds me, I didn’t get an aptitude for cooking either!
So what else did the good fairies bless me with?
Well, I can crochet but have never mastered anything but afghans and scarves. Knitting produces things that never see the light of day.
I am good at mucking out stalls, but not at making my bed.
Though I am a bit of a wit and did make a former FBI agent laugh (twice), I can’t tell a joke to save my life.
I haven’t gotten my fairy tale ending yet. The second time I tried somebody with wings accidentally dropped the “C” off of Charming. The prince didn’t turn out to be a frog, but rather something closer to what you’d find in a swamp under a rock.
Though things eventually turned out for the best, I did have to move back home to live with my two wicked step-sisters and their witch of a mother.
Okay, that part about the step-sisters and the witchy mother isn’t quite accurate.
Actually I live with two rescue dogs named Lucky and Jill. We lost Jackie a little bit ago when her heart just couldn’t keep up any longer with her enthusiasm for life.
Though Lucky was born out-of-state, and no one knows where the girls were whelped, I was born, raised and have lived mostly in Connecticut.
Half my childhood was spent on a small farm with cows, horses and occasionally the next-door neighbor’s huge pigs and their downright nasty guardian geese.
I not only have a sweet spot for farmers, but also for independent people who take on tough tasks.
That’s why I do pro bono marketing and writing work for Nancy Strong and her nonprofit organization Strong Family Farm.
Did you know good fairies like coffee?
Though it’s another thing they don’t admit to, I’m pretty sure they my good fairies had something to do with my liking coffee so much.
It’s the only thing that accounts for me offering to get together with people to talk about their content marketing and collateral needs over coffee rather than lunch or a beer.
So is getting together for coffee okay with you?
Of course, the prerequisite is that you need to be in the greater Hartford area. Though I am perfectly willing to fly out to you on your private plane. Or in a pinch, commercial first class is acceptable as well.
And just so there are no surprises, I am a bit more particular about my coffee than the good fairies are about theirs.
I don’t do Dunkin Donuts.
I’ll go to a gas station that sells Green Mountain coffee first, or a McDonald’s for Paul Newman’s, or go without if DD is the only alternative.
But if you’re not going to be in the area, or are disinclined to fly me out for our first meeting, let’s setup a time to talk via phone or Skype. That way both of us can have our favorite beverages at hand.
The best way to reach me is via email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, the second best way is by using my contact form, and calling my cell phone (860-638-9990) . . . well, let’s just say that it’s a distant third so don’t be surprised when you need to leave a message.
Looking forward to getting together with you!
p.s. The fairies say get in touch soon!