LinkedIn recently launched a micro-blog series where the world's top business minds told us of the things they simply could not work without. Being that I am a top influencer on DFTR, I figured I would put my spin on this professional sharing exercise.
The world of business has evolved so dramatically since I entered the professional landscape over 15 years ago. The life of a sales person can be a lonely one....extensive travel, uncertain schedule, highly unpredictable success model....high highs...even lower lows. But, I wouldn't have it any other way. I chose the profession of Salesman (I hate that title) for all of the elements of uncertainty listed above. Some call it crazy, I call it fun!
Through travel, networking, knowledge attainment and the quest for balance; here are the things that I cannot live without:
The Music Is You
I am attached to my i-pod. I do a lot of work in crowded coffee shops, in airports, and on trains. Blocking out the background noise is essential to my focus. Every Monday night I try my best to stay awake until 9pm pacific time to check out whats new on i-tunes (I still do it the legit way).
This Tuesday, "The Music Is You: A Tribute to John Denver" was released. The album is a tribute by today's great singer/songwriters to the departed songsmith. JD was a person of uncertainty. He may have been seen as a little too safe for the protest music era but his songs kick ass! Jim James, Kathleen Edwards, Evan Dando, Josh Ritter, Blind Pilot and many more contributed to this record. The listening experience makes the old guys in the coffee shop and the girl on the train completely tolerable in their common human elegance.
Pictures of the Kids
I remember being at my friend's wedding. It was in a quaint little place, nothing fancy. A bunch of us skate punks would have destroyed the place a decade prior but on that night all we did was talk about our kids. At one point, someone shook his head and commented on how predictably lame we had all become. I brag about my kids non-stop; it is most assuredly annoying. Oh well....I love my boy & girl more than the world and I totally cherish the fleeting moments I get to spend with these little monsters.
My family used to spend every summer in Minnesota. My Mother was the youngest of 13, my Dad the youngest of 7. So, it was mostly old people drinking hooch in their lawn chairs. I had to figure out ways to entertain myself for countless hours. I conducted wrestling matches against brooms, played catch with myself, and acted out Tracy Chapman songs with my Walkman on. The lonely vacations were the presuppose of my creative development. Thank God for boredom!
The most important trait in business is creativity! There are far too many people who look for instruction, check boxes, ask for more work, and get back into the maze. You have to consistently ask why and push in any direction that will produce originality. The best way to gain your audience's attention is by differentiating yourself. Don't try to be better, be different!
Most every regret I have in life has involved some type of compromise....I went along with the crowd, trusted the opinion of someone I didn't respect, or simply put my creativity aside to do the safe thing...might as well be dead!
Find the path untraveled and work harder than anyone else to pave it. Be the most interesting person you know. Be the first in the office and the last to leave. If your ideas are well-researched, and you know that they connect with your audience, they are easier to defend.
Stick up for yourself! Progress comes from taking chances!
Don't Forget to Remember!