I confuse people. I’m a marketer’s worst nightmare and a recruiter would probably win a million dollars on a reality show if he or she could place me in a job. I’m a writer, performer, trainer, consultant, speaker, sales and business development expert, and a host of other things, none of which fit into a nice box or neat package. When I started my own company I made a list of what I wanted to be paid to do and a list of my values.
Here is what I wanted to be paid to do:
Here is what I listed as my professional values:
After I lost my job people would ask me what I wanted to do and I would rattle off my first list and then add, “But I want to own my time, only work with smart, interesting clients, and earn my worth.” It was as if I said, “I’m looking for a job as a unicorn.” There was no such job of course so I just cobbled my living together on my own terms and ignored every person who told me that I had to create a highly detailed client profile, identify my verticals and limit my services. I believe in these exercises for businesses, the appropriate businesses, but they didn’t fit my business or my goals.
I work with individuals and companies to position them to earn more so they can choose to grow or eventually one day sell. I have different goals. I want to earn enough to do what matters to me. In a recent conversation with a client I explained that I would rather earn a million a year than a run a ten or twenty million-dollar company. Being exceptionally clear about this has allowed me to live my values of owning my time, earning my worth doing what I love.
The very thing that makes marketers nauseous is the very thing that differentiates me in the marketplace – that long disparate list that seems messy and too big. I am hired to approach revenue generation in a highly customized innovative fashion. The diversity and complexity of my work only enhances my capacity to innovate. Being a performer and writer makes me a better storyteller and educator. Nothing is wasted. I am able to see opportunity differently and communicate that opportunity.
When I first produced my one-woman show in San Diego I agonized over how it would be received by the business community. My show was edgy, confessional, and unapologetic. To my complete surprise the San Diego business community embraced me and showered me with support. It actually increased my business believe it or not. I have successfully integrated my creative and business life and my work product is richer for having done so.
If you too are seeking life as a unicorn, well I can tell you we are a small group, but there’s always room if you’re brave enough. It’s a good life that you are completely in control of but also totally responsible for creating and sustaining.