Friday, February 10, 2006

Do What You Love...

Yesterday was Christmas in February here at Hendrickson House.

A box arrived from one of my newest (and largest) marketing clients. It was full of a sampling of their products, multiple catalogs detailing their entire line, current promotional materials, and more.

The cool thing is -- I love what they do. It's not like I got a box full of proctology instruments or kitty litter samples. The vast majority of what the client produces is either something I would buy for myself or for a friend. The catalogs are the kind that I would happily take out of my mailbox and spend an hour or two browsing through.

Of course this means that hours of work lie ahead of me as I familiarize myself with their full product list. But I can't wait to get started. That's one of the perks of being an independent marketing consultant as opposed to being a paid hack. When I worked at an ad agency (100 years ago, in a former lifetime), I didn't have the luxury of choosing to work only on campaigns for products that I believed in. Money was good. Job satisfaction, however, was in woefully short supply.

"Do what you love and the money will follow," is the too-trite-to-be-true title of Marsha Sinetar's classic self-help book .

I think perhaps Marsha oversimplifies things. I also think she may have copped her book title from something Hedy Lamarr once said:

I know why most people never get rich. They put the money ahead of the job. If you just think of the job, the money will automatically follow. This never fails.

Now, Hedy knew what she was talking about. She's credited with a great number of insightful (or just pithy) famous quotes , including:

Compromise and tolerance are magic words. It took me 40 years to become philosophical.

Any girl can be glamorous. All you have to do is stand still and look stupid.

Because you don't live near a bakery doesn't mean you have to go without cheesecake.

I have not been that wise. Health I have taken for granted. Love I have demanded, perhaps too much and too often. As for money, I have only realized its true worth when I didn't have it.

The point is -- life is too short to waste chasing money. If you put the money ahead of the job, you are essentially just renting yourself out to your employer. Doing what you love, and focusing on the job rather than the payment for services rendered, allows you to enjoy the rewards of your labor on several levels... And only one of them is monetary.

You'll have to excuse me for getting so philosophical. After all -- yesterday was Christmas.

Online Alert

Thanks to Claire Zulkey for the kind mention in her blog of Jan. 24 . An excerpt:

A few months ago a writer asked me to write the forward to a book of short stories he was publishing with a small press. I was flattered but baffled about what I was exactly supposed to do, and how I would do it well. Because honestly, the forwards to books can be pretty boring. Fortunately he let me be as stupid as possible so I pretended I was writing the afterward instead of the forward...

She ended the blog with a nice plug for my article on Fashioning Fabulous Forewords that featured at the end of last year. It's funny -- you never know where you'll show up.

Until Monday:

Keep writing. Keep working. Keep doing what you love.