What I Love About My Job

So yesterday I gave a talk at Naomi Dunford’s membership site, SpeakEasy. (SpeakEasy is closed to new members now, but I’ll let you know if/when it opens up again. I’m a member myself and I think it’s an amazing value.)

I got to talk for an hour about all the things I’m a total dork about. Then I got to answer questions for another hour and a half.

This is pretty much like saying “I got to have an ice cream sundae and then homemade raspberry croissants and then chocolate cream pie.” It’s a good thing.

It really made me think about what a wonderful job this is. So I thought I’d share a few thoughts with you about that.

Helping people!

Seriously, it’s an amazing feeling when someone asks a question, you think, Cool, I have a really good answer for that, and you can share your experience with them and get them moving again.

It’s not at all about being some kind of creepy guru. It’s just about having done a bunch of stuff and seen what works and what doesn’t, and sharing that experience with someone who can use it.

It rocks. So much.

The friends

I’m reluctant to even start listing names here, because there are so many amazing people I’ve met since I started blogging.

Brian, of course, who has taught me so much. Naomi, who was one of the first people who started hanging out here, and who I fell in love with at first sight. Jon, who knocks me out daily. Dave, who wants to save the world (and is so productive that I think he might). Charlie, a magnificent wall of support and wonderfulness. Joanna, with her gimlet eye and her wise, warm voice. Pace and Kyeli, who believe the world is awesome, and make us believe it too. Karen, the world’s most reliable source of sunshine. Janice with her panache and the color in her words. Michael, the cranky un-guru who makes me laugh. James, my pesky little brother (big brother? I can never keep track) who I love. The other James who is so damned smart and who helps me to remember to be optimistic. Jeff, who has been so kind and so generous. Brogan, the most big-hearted guy I’ve ever met.

Shit, I’m forgetting people, and I think someone is going to cue the Oscar music.

(If you’re not on the list, it’s because my brain just melted from gratitude and amazement and I couldn’t think of any more names. But I love you too!)

Seriously, the people in this thing are amazing. Every day I meet smart, funny, active (hyperactive), kickass people who are doing something. Some of these folks are rich and some are still working on it, but all of them are working every day to help other people.

I’ve never experienced that before, at least not to this degree. It’s completely exhilarating.

The money

Um, way better than corporate life. That’s all I’ll say about that.

The stress

Specifically, the kind of stress.

When you’re in a big organization, your stress tends look like this:

I know this idea would rock and make money and not cost a lot and make our customers love us. I also know that it will die a premature death because someone who makes 20x what I do will veto it for a reason we will all agree makes no sense whatsoever.

My forehead has permanent dents in it from crashing it against the wall of my (admittedly nice) corporate office.

When you do what I do now, your stress looks more like this:

Oops, that thing worked completely differently than I thought it would. Now I need a new sales letter, new sign-up page, new autoresponder, new order form and new blog. In the next four hours. Fire up the espresso machine, mama needs to kickstart those brain cells.

The stress in this gig is fun. Still stressful, but fun.

The security

When I left corporate life, people wanted to know, “Aren’t you worried about security?”

You know what? I’m not going to lay myself off.

If my business model quits working, I have a dozen more models I can implement. I know a hundred ways to give value to other people, and a hundred ways to get paid for that.

That’s security. Or as close to it as you get in this world, anyway.

The partnerships

If there’s anything I miss about corporate life, it might be working on a team with incredible people. I had my share of frustrations, but I also have to say that I’ve worked with some people who just took my breath away. (You guys know who you are.)

But, hey, I can still have that!

When I talked with Naomi at South by Southwest about doing something together, she said “Yes” so fast it made me a little dizzy.

(OK, the dizziness may have been aggravated by the margaritas.)

Since then we’ve been talking on the phone and by email, cooking up really juicy stuff for our nice people. (I’m hoping this will be the first of many. Naomi is way fun to work with, and we feed off each other’s energy. And people seem to find us entertaining. Or maybe it’s just my attempt to keep up with Naomi’s cursing that they find amusing.)

Yesterday on the SpeakEasy call, we announced the first project in what we’re calling Marketing for Nice People.

If you’ve been waiting, yep, this is the Third Tribe. It’s marketing reality, not just marketing ideas. It’s what works now, even in this bizarre economy and crazy sea of marketing clutter. And it won’t make you want to put your eye (or other body parts) out.

This is about a business that pays your mortgage and feeds your heart. At the same time. Go figure.

We’re kicking it off with some good free stuff to get you rolling. One piece of which is the recording of the SpeakEasy call, which was about “non-sleazy copywriting.” It was a terrific call and people seemed to get a tremendous amount out of it. (Caveat, the audio quality is not great. Sorry. Working on it.)

If you want to get that teleclass and some other high-quality goodies, you can sign up for them here. And no, we’re never going to spam you with a lot of creepy high-pressure sales messages. That would be pretty lame.

Sign up for the good free stuff

Thank you

I want to thank everyone who reads this blog and Copyblogger. And more thanks to the lovely people who follow me on Twitter.

Thanks for your time and attention, thanks for letting me go on about my passions, thanks for buying our products and letting us share what we know.

I hope you find as much fulfillment, excitement and connection on your own path. Something tells me you will.

We’re just getting started.

(5/8/09 P.S., duh, can’t believe I forgot to point you guys to the Sonia and Naomi interview on Copyblogger. It’s got entertainment value, at least, but also some pretty smart advice from the asterisk queen.)