I stood with a friend, renown philanthropist, Derek O’Neill, on the coast near the Hook Lighthouse in New Ross, Wexford. Derek carries an off-handed air of wisdom – the kind that just hangs around even a friendly walk by the ocean. As Derek and I stood there watching the foamy waves roll in and crash against the rocks, he tossed out a seemly simple question.
This question sent my mind reeling because I spent years studying eastern philosophy, which is rife with analogies linking the ocean and the mind. I was trying to make sense of this bubble curve ball because, more than wanting to understand his question, I wanted to tell him the right answer.
You see, I had a bit of a chip on my shoulder. I was living under the false pretense that I had done my work – it was good – and I was essentially waiting for the rest of the world to catch up and take notice.
I was a bubble.
Having grown up a dancer and theater artist, I was accustomed to sharing my work with an unseen audience. I didn’t realize that I was approaching my life and my business in a similar fashion. Traditional marketing reinforces this separation of the personal and professional; however, with the advent of social media + marketing there is potential for real-time and work-life integration.
Although I am a writer and have spent several years touring as a performance poet, I neglected to bring those skills to my work as a consultant. I slowly began to tell my stories and asked others to do the same. I learned to listen better and began valuing the power of communication more than my want to win clients with a pitch.
In the last three years I have built my reputation by writing for the Huffington Post, as well as various journals and blogs. I write on topics I am passionate about – most of which have little to do with my work but are reflective of who I am and how I think. I’ve even attracted the interest of major publications like the New York Times and Martha Stewart Whole Living.
This tip deeply resonates with me because if I hadn’t begun to share more of myself, I might still be alone on a proverbial stage – staring out into a darkened theater. Instead, I have built a multi-leveled, brightly lit platform, from which I am working and living more authentically. In the spirit of sharing and of In Good Company, I encourage you to bring yourself and your stories to your work – share your knowledge and grow in every way.
Read this piece on the In Good Company Blog.