What I GET to Do

Life is the principle of self-renewal, constantly renewing and remaking and changing and transfiguring itself.
— Boris Pasternak

As more and more people ask me “What do you do again?” I realize that my life is not as transparent as I think. That is good to know since I am a private person, but in this case I would like to offer a window into what it is I do.

On the outside it would seem that I am a writer or content creator or travel blogger, however, I am none of those.

For the past six years I have been the Director of Brand Strategy at a multi-million dollar management and investment company. We specialized in hospitality venues across the Southeast. I used my time there as wisely as I could to travel, learn more about marketing, learn way more about myself, and establish a solid financial footing for my next exploits.

As Isocrates would put it, "Be slow in your deliberation, but be prompt to carry out your resolves."

For 5 years I would wake up thinking, “I GET to do this”, but for the past year it is “I HAVE to do this”.

Lacking the ability to examine ourselves, we reinvest our energy into exactly the pattern of behavior that cause our problems to begin with.

It comes in many forms. Idly dreaming about the future. Plotting our revenge. Finding refuge in distraction. Refusing to consider that our choices are a reflection of our character. We’d rather do basically anything else.
— Ryan Holiday, Ego is the Enemy

My next adventures did not come easily or quickly. I have waited and worked countless hours outside the 9-5 realm in order to find a) work I can be proud to move on to and b) work I can support the family and life I have built.

Luckily, through much waiting, long days, countless sighs, shrugs, and tears, I am on the other side.

In life, timing is everything.

So what’s next?

 

SKILLS

No man is more unhappy than he who never faces adversity. For he is not permitted to prove himself.
— Seneca

 

A recent friend of mine told me a story. It was of a law firm that separated its employees not along the traditional divisions but instead into groups of work strengths. They were given subcategories and referred to as: a finder, a minder, or a grinder.

He began to explain that as finders these individuals went out and were the driving force for new clients, lasting partnerships, and external relations. They were best at venturing out, bringing home the “kill”, and then heading back out again.

The minders were those who are very logical and operations oriented. They are the air traffic controllers of the firm. Once new work is put into the machine they direct where it goes, manage the case, and then weed out past or stalled work.

The grinders are the diligent worker bees. They are best suited for long periods of uninterrupted work. All of the actual casework is given to them to crush through and present arguments.

In this giant beehive of chaos it seems that to be a productive worker you need to be a grinder. However, not everyone has the same strengths. Each category works in conjunction with one another to produce a very effective – and lucrative – firm.

You cannot compare the work from one subset to another in terms of who is more important since each part is of vital consequence.  Everyone has their own specific tasks meaning each group can work diligently without feeling burned out or spread thin or inadequate.

Everyone – even you – doesn’t fit into just one category. Our strengths as individuals can blend the lines between all three.

Now, are you a finder, a minder, or a grinder?

After a decade in the economy I can satisfyingly confirm what I am. My skills, attention, and personality blend into that of a finder and a minder. My personality makes me a finder. I enjoy the process of building something out of nothing, of connecting the invisible dots out in the world that pertain to the goal at hand. My attention is set to see the world, meet new people, and collaborate on ideas.

My skills make me a minder. I build and then make efficient. I am a logistical and operational tornado.  Sometimes to a fault if it weren’t for my personality and attention that brings inclusivity and humans into the foreground.

Which is why I’m excited for the industry pivot…

 

INDUSTRY

Previously I worked solely on marketing strategy and advertising. I became very good at knowing which branding techniques resonated with what customers and where the gems of new customer development lay hidden.

Unfortunately, I hate the crushing torrent of selling products/slogans/creative pieces over and over and over again.

Business ethnography is a small niche that demands a lot of attention to those who know the power it holds. Who has ever wondered what makes people buy one brand over the next? How does someone find their way through shopping for clothes, phones, or furniture? What does your age have to do with technology design?

For many, these questions aren’t necessarily talked or thought about until the answers are accommodating their lives. The future is dedicated to those who question the ethics and design of humans’ needs.

 

FUTURE

One of my first jobs was as a zookeeper at The Birmingham Zoo in Alabama. I worked in the bird department but would spend my breaks or time after work to walk the grounds and look at the exhibits.

This is the type of “marketing” and media I am interested in: how to make effective teaching tools for all types of learners. Marketing can be used to educate, not just sell.

 

WHERE TO FIND ME

In case you would like to talk about tourism development, business ethnography, or museum planning you can find me on this site, YoutubeTwitter, Facebook, etc. or by email.

In the meantime I’ll be learning multitudes through Bad Babysitters, teaching Krav Maga, and interviewing people about the impact of tourism.