|When I was young and still thinking about the BIG question – “What do I want to do when I grow up?” – I didn’t give a moment’s notice to going into the world of business. After all, that was what my parents did. Both were business owners (my mom in manufacturing and my dad in retail), and both seemed tremendously fascinated with things I scoffed at: financial data sheets, employee hirings and firings, placing orders, making products, exhibiting and buying at trade shows – yuck! Growing up, it seemed to me that their work lives were woven into a fabric of boredom.
In contrast, from as far back as I can remember, I wanted to be a writer. My earliest recollection of this notion was at age 8. Whenever asked, I announced that I would be an author and write books. I wasn’t too far off – yes, I did write one book, and then spent plenty of time writing newspaper articles. And I didn’t regret my choice. What could be better than interviewing people with compelling stories and writing interesting (hopefully) articles?
Well, here’s the funny part – somewhere along the way, I discovered that the business world did not necessarily equate to the boredom I had imagined as a kid. True, the parts that seemed boring then are pretty much boring to me now, starting with those nasty financial documents that permeate the life of every businessperson, whether you are a words person or a numbers person.
But the part I didn’t grasp in those early years was the excitement of being in business and making things happen. Not just finding out and writing about things other people are doing, but doing things myself. And I have been particularly fortunate to have selected public relations as my industry, giving me the chance to make things happen for other people, too. That’s what it’s all about.
Boring? Hardly! Running the business creates a stimulating daily framework, different every day. And layered on top, like the proverbial icing on the cake, are little “rewards.” Just recently, I … :
• met Nancy Brinker, legendary founder of Susan G. Komen for the Cure
• got a sneak peek at the Crystal Cove Alliance’s Prohibition & Jazz on the Beach benefit that’s scheduled to be held in September
• watched the amazing Walker family (Farmers & Merchants Bank) receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards gala
• promoted diversity in the booming green energy industry in California
• watched Susan Johnson (Susan’s Healthy Gourmet) nab one of just five Orange County Business Journal Women in Business awards
• helped Russ Williams with his passion for creating ethical excellence in the business world (watch for a don’t-miss event in September)
• attended an O.C. Press Club gathering where the Fourth Estate debated the wonders of social media.
And those are just a few highlights. Whew! Who said anything about boring?
My point: Times change and perspectives shift. If my parents were still alive, they’d be shocked to see how I’ve embraced being part of the world of business.
Yes, I still write. But by opening my eyes, expanding my mind and doing business with my heart, I’ve created a slice of life in the business world that suits me just fine.
I’m curious – how many entrepreneurs reading this did a 180-degree turn to get to where they are now?