No Business Card Needed

Why I’d prefer to have my work speak for what I do vs. my mouth

The last year has taught me more about what I want in life than I ever would have expected. I’ve gone down a path that’s a little left field from my comfort zone and exposed to an entirely new industry and different group of people, opening my eyes in a whole new way,.

As society and industry continues to shift further and further away from the traditional career paths of years past more and more people shift into the world of entrepreneurs, business owners and self proclaimed experts. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s an amazing time, filled with opportunities as far as the eye can see, but it’s becoming ever more evident that it’s also full of BULLSHIT as far as the eye can see.

An “Expert” is defined as “a person who has a comprehensive and authoritative knowledge of or skill in a particular area”. One would imagine in order to garner such a title you should actually have worked in the field of such particular area. Maybe I’m a bit naive, but I like to believe that if you’re ready to put yourself out there, put it all on the line, that you are not only obsessively passionate about your topic of choice, but believe in it with all your heart, ready to eat, sleep and breath it with it and consume every scrap of knowledge available to you. And after all that, here’s the important part, YOU NEED TO ACTUALLY GO GET YOUR HANDS DIRTY AND UNDERSTAND HOW TO DO IT!

I remember years ago reading a story from Zig Ziglar where he was attempting to sell cookware door-to-door with no luck. Throughout the story he has no luck selling the pots and finally gets down to his last dime, needing to cook with the sample set in order to eat. After cooking dinner with the pots, he has a eureka moment, where he finally understands the value and just what makes them so special. Immediately after using the pots he makes his 1st sale because he can finally see the value of the cookware!

Unfortunately, the world we live in today is not one of genuine honesty or transparency, but one of puffery with smoke, mirrors and a digital extravaganza to boot! Kids graduate college with immediate dreams of grandeur! Every Tom, Dick and Harry is ready to start a business flashing a degree like an all access pass and venture capital has become a sport.

We’ll i’d like to call BULLSHIT and also encourage anyone who is thinking of starting a business to check their over inflated ego at the door, roll up their sleeves and get ready to use their own cookware, because you can’t sell what you don’t know and those who do will only hold up the allusion for so long.

It’s not enough to understand the theory or full garner the overarching concept, because it’s all in the details, the things you don’t realize until your in the trenches the things that you’re able to learn if you just get dirty and get out of your own way. It’s not enough to be an expert in on segment of the business you need to understand it all from soup to nuts, because theory and practice are 2 VERY DIFFERENT THINGS.

I feel incredibly lucky that i’ve had the opportunity to work with great managers, bosses and friends throughout my life who have showed me the value of getting dirty, the value of being honest and the value of doing it right. I’m also extremely fortunate to have worked with so many who have lead by example, valuing the work product over praise. Personally, I have a bit of an ego, I take pride in my work and am crazy in love with what I do, which is why I do like when the people I work with recognize the value of my work. Like a grammar school student and a gold star, I will proudly hang it on my fridge, so I can see the product of my efforts, but that move, that’s just for me. I don’t feel the need to go around before or after and tell people who I don’t know “hey look, I got a gold star” because I want my gold star to be gold stars, so much so that they get me way further than my mouth could ever go.

While I do understand the need for promotion and PR once you’ve build a steady foundation of work, but you sure as shit better be able to back up your words, when the smoke, mirrors and lights are gone. When at the end of the day it’s just you did you earn that gold star? Could you get more?

For the last 5+ years I haven’t had a business card, no fancy website, no obnoxious PR pieces where I talk candidly about my success and that’s just the way I like it, because one thing I do have is a ton of gold stars, that I earned through and through. I’m proud of my work, what I stand for, what I do! And as for new business and new opportunities, I’ve never had a problem because I’ve got the work to show you what I can do!