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.)


  1. Oh you’re just awesome. (The pic of the little girl is great, made me laugh.)

    I’m glad to know you and be part of your life, Sonia. Now gimme back my shovel. *shove*

    James Chartrand – Men with Penss last blog post..Drive-By Shooting Special: Go Smalley

  2. Writer Dad says:

    It doesn’t matter if you forgot someone, the fact that you took the time to express gratitude in the first place is in itself Remarkable Communication.

    Writer Dads last blog post..The Collective Inkwell Interview: Brian Anderson of Dog Eat Doug

  3. Aughhh, Sonia….virtual and (real hugs if I were there) right back. This has such a good and right feel, this Third Tribe….if we don’t like the choices out there, let’s make our own…. and what great company. ( waves to other best, best, people I have met on line ) When I imagine my sofa for my “Dream Studio” I imagine one that would accommodate all y’all ( southern plural for y’all). ;-)
    Now going to click for all that yummy free stuff…..

  4. Kaushik says:

    I left a lucrative but soul-crushing corporate office two years ago. Never looked back–I’ve traveled, awakened to natural being…and you’re absolutely right, the happiness of compassion, being open to compassion, making new friends–nothing beats that.

    Excellent post, thanks!

  5. Dave Navarro says:

    Awww ….

    I don’t know what to say … except you rock.

    Oh, and punchpunchpunchpunchpunch.


  6. Charlie says:

    When I started working for myself, I noticed that my relationship to the phone changed. Where I used to hate talking on the phone, now I love it because I’m talking to such cool people who let me nerd out and tell me what awesome stuff they’re up to. I soon figured out that the interaction with awesome people like the darling Sonia Simone is the top reason why I love my job. Exhilarating is definitely the word.

    Marketing for Nice People, eh – I’m in. Time to start pushing!

    @Dave: Keep throwing the punches. I’ll throw in a few well-placed kicks.

  7. Melinda says:

    Six months after leaving corporate I’m finally losing the dents in my forehead. And the ulcers from dealing with the pedantic, institutionalised public servants, and the worry that everything I say will be shot down by someone at a higher level, or hushed up and then talked about as their idea. Miss it? No way!

    I get to help people, I see results of what I do. I get thanked for what I do. I get to work with people I like, that I choose to work with, not whatever moron sucks up enough to get the next desk.

    Money, ok, I will admit that my self-employed income hasn’t caught up to my corporate income – yet. Give me another year and it will have well and truly overtaken it

    Oh, and James C can be your big brother, cause he’s my little brother, Ok? :-)

    P.S. Argh! comment luv is hating me today!

  8. You just make me smile :) Just because you are you, Oscar lady. :)

    Goddess Leonie | GoddessGuidebook.comOs last blog post..How to Meditate – for lazy people

  9. Ananga says:

    “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.”

    Thank you so much for reminding me why I do what I do and how grateful I am that I’m not still sitting behind a desk printing out reams of airline tickets.

  10. Karen Swim says:

    Sonia, yes, yes, yes to all of the above! This business, this life well everyday I pinch myself and count my good fortune! I have grown in ways I never saw coming. I get to do things I never would have been exposed to in my big fat corporate job. But the best part are people like you who make this whole darn experience as satisfying as chocolate in the throes of a hormonal meltdown. :-) Thanks for being you and for being here, the internets are a better place because of it!

    Karen Swims last blog post..Of Unicorns and Rainbows

  11. Jim says:

    You forgot to mention The Enchiladas.

  12. As always you’ve inspired me, pushed me in ways unexpected,and forced me to look at what I’m facing with fresh perspective. Tank you.

    The Other Jamess last blog post..Are you limiting the number of relationships you could be having?

  13. Pace says:

    This post makes me ridiculously happy. (:

    I feel the same way about the amazing people I’ve met on this journey, yourself most certainly included. (:

    Paces last blog post..Drop everything and follow your heart.

  14. Ron Pereira says:

    Hi Sonia, first time poster but long time reader of your excellent work.

    This article has really inspired me… I am doing my very best to break away from corporate America… and have some things cooking but with 4 kids and a wife that stays home I’m doing my best to step into things slowly.

    I’m curious, if you don’t mind me asking, what did you do in the corporate world?

    Ron Pereiras last blog post..I am sorry

  15. My real question is this: is there a site where I can be some type of creepy guru? I’ve always wanted to associae with people that bragged and achieved little.

    Genuine Chris Johnsons last blog post..Embrace The Worst Case Scenario: Then You Become Powerful

  16. Sonia Simone says:

    @Ron, I was in marketing & corporate communications. The past five years, I focused almost exclusively on existing customers, creating programs to boost repeat and referral business. It was a good gig, as far as gigs go. Thanks for commenting! And yah, kids do make things more complex. Slow is good, IMO.

  17. Joe Ray says:

    Excellent points made about the stress differentiators. When things get tough, you don’t lay yourself off. On another article (Content/Social Media) I enjoyed your mention about the inventive, watchful monkey that awakens within us. Great visual!

  18. Chuck says:

    You hit the nail on the head Sonia. I miss very little from the 20 years spent in the corporate world. It still amazes me how that society affects their employees. Perfectly bright people seem to evolve into zombies whose decisions support a hollow mission statement.

    I think your point about serving people is exactly what we human beings need.

    Nice blog, by the way – this is my first visit.

    Chucks last blog post..Start Your Web Marketing Presence Today

  19. I wish the money from my blog was better than corporate life – sadly not yet, but hopefully someday :)

    Kang LondonEaters last blog post..L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon: French Revolution [Review]

  20. Mark Evertz says:

    Sonia…you got three laugh out louds from me: 1 for the brick wall 1 for the corporate bullshit references and 1 for the clear articulation of what my stress looks like.

    And a Huge Hurray for:

    “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.”
    No…seriously, you rock, simply for feeling like that and acting on it.

    It’s good to know you’re out there, given the self-absorbed and job terror-seized a-holes I bump into on a daily basis.

    Praise the freaking Lord…I’ve found where my people live and you are one of them. I’ll be back.

    Twitter: @EvAtWork
    Blip.fm: http://blip.fm/invite/EvDJ
    LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/markevertz

    Mark Evertzs last blog post..The Pessimist is winning in the battle for my soul

  21. That was a wonderful post and inspiring I must say! My favorite part is when you explain the difference between creepy guru advices and sharing a genuine experiences.
    From now on I will follow you closely :)

    Jean Philippes last blog post..Selfless Action is Always Rewarded

  22. I love the fact that I can go for a run in the middle of the day and then return to work exactly when I choose to!

  23. Epic says:

    I love the fact that I can take off and go somewhere with my kids at anytime of the day, and do my work on ‘my time’.
    Epic´s last [type] ..2009-Business-luncheon-009

  24. adnes says:

    really awesome, I love the fact that I can go for a run in the middle of the day and then return to work exactly when I choose to! and have time for my kids.


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