I’m just Hanging Chad. I work hard. I count my blessings. I’m a lucky guy with an amazing wife, three stupendous kids, and a pretty cool spot on the north side of Chattanooga.
But still I have a message I’m sending to myself. A message I do believe in. It’s just not always easy to execute. You gotta “find the DNA of your message,” Vaynerchuk says. I totally agree. However our own approach to our message and product ends up translating, there’s something infectious about the way Vanynerchuk works so hard to deliver his message. Should we all think of ourselvses brands? Maybe. What I know I like is that we should all find that little something that we love. It’s what Sinek means when he says it’s about starting with WHY. It’s what Tony Hsieh means with the entire philosophy of creating a culture of happiness.
After I read or listen to what these guys say, I get pumped. I feel ready to rock the world, to move boldly, to do my one thing well, to live a life out of passion. If it’s out of your passion then you’re already winning. That’s the big overall message from the Vaynerchuks, Sineks, and Hsiehs of the world. I’ll be fulfilled because I’m doing what I love, and working hard at it.
Whatever the case, I like to do lots of things. I suck at accounting–but many things interest me. I can be sold-out passionate for something for a good while, but over time I want a new project. So, guys like Gary Vaynerchuk who are so sold out for their passion are infectious. I want to go and do like them, to be bold, authentic and transparent, tapped into my passion.
I leap off the chair, ready to set up a whole new series of social media contacts and outlets and interactions, and then I stop and go, “But how exactly do I brand myself when I don’t always know who I am?”
That’s right, you heard it right here, some 40 years after the day of my birth. I don’t always know who I am. One day I’m a community organizer, going around and setting up readings, and drafting grant proposals for festivals, and contacting public relations firms. Another I’m a start-up publisher reading manuscripts and trying to respond to each one individually, setting up ISBN numbers, PR templates, author profiles, and distribution agreements. Another I’m a novelist hunkered down in front of my screen drafting pages in solitude.
The paradox is that while I need to embrace the person I am–shaped by personality, experience, and context–I also feel freest to move forward when I embrace the collective identity of what I feel best about when I’m doing it. Wait. What does that even mean?
I sense that I’m in need of saying yes to one very important passion a little more. My own writing.
I look at the inchoate mess that is otherwise known as Simon Krimple’s Wager, my latest unpublished novel. I’m taking a deep breath. I’m squinting at my notes from months back. I’m eating the elephant one bite at a time.
Patience is not my best virtue. Although you might not know it for how slow I am.