Is there anyone out there in celebrity land that personifies authenticity more than James Todd Smith aka LL Cool J? I think not. Especially after today.
So last night - I launched this blog as a step of faith. You see for the last year, I was in this conundrum of not knowing/fully honoring my values in my work life. Well I did know them but not until I engaged with a life coach (that's right, type-A, choleric, control freak me engaged an awesome life coach this past summer), I was not fully focused on how to live them out as much as possible. Now, I am not naive enough to believe that any "job" or corporate career is ever truly going to allow me to honor all of my values - that must be done on my own terms. Since I did not have a clear business idea or plan and we need to eat, I was in the familiar circle that many live in all their lives - mediocracy. (I am aware that this may be harsh but I am going for real, not friendly.) My definition for mediocracy is knowing better and doing nothing more than you have to. I was headed there. Until last week.
Back in July, my life coach and I outlined my core values and I'd danced around the following ideas that I wanted to pursue:
Write a book about marketing
Write a book about overcoming life's difficulties
Becoming a motivational speaker
Start an online silver jewelry business
Start a blog
Last week, she challenged me to do one of the above in the NEXT SIX WEEKS- schedule and conduct a motivational speech. I accepted her challenge and without a solid plan - I made a call to schedule a motivational talk and guess what? They bit. I am conducting a workshop for busy adults who want to capture their value proposition and motivate them to "do something they always wanted to do" in early 2009 through the Village of Lake in the Hills Park District. I am also close to scheduling a talk for a McHenry County Moms Group.
Last night, while messing around on someone else's blog - I clicked the "Create a blog" link and started this forum.
Most of today - I just relished in the week's accomplishments and asked God, could this be the start of my empire... I literally asked him to show me that I was on the right path during my 5:15 am daily chat with him. Here's how the day unfolded:
1. Our speaker at the Marketing Town Hall meeting was Doug Akin from Mr. Youth - a cool marketing agency that specializes and advises companies on how to reach consumers the way they want to be reached. The first point of his talk was Authenticity Trumps Celebrity.
2. I had no intention of going to a holiday pep rally we had today to gear us up for the holiday season with special guest LL Cool J. I had too much to do and did not want to be part of a mob of screaming grown women to see him. I'd asked to get invited to one of the VIP meet and greet and got the Heisman. As I was walking back to my desk the swell of people had gathered in our company atrium and I decided to participate as a participant. Anyone who knows me (and you will get to as you follow this blog) KNOWS that I am not a good participant. I lead by nature so it was a little weird to be one of many in the crowd.
LL started to speak and I smiled as he addressed the crowd - reveling in the fact that I really believed his sincerity about his excitement about the partnership with Sears. He went on to talk about his desire to help us make a 'comeback' - he kept it real. It was obvious that no one on our marketing team told him what to say and that was refreshing considering Jaclyn Smith had been on campus a few weeks back and was reading from cards. Who know if they were her words or not - doesn't matter - we knew that LL was speaking from his heart and it showed.
3. I got the chance to shake his hand and take a picture with LL Cool J and he was absolutely humble, charming and extremely down to earth. We did not speak long but as God would have it - as I handed the camera to Melissa - her memory card was full. We are already in position for the photo as I apologized for the delay - he clearly said, "It is no problem. I am here for you guys - don't worry," all while squeezing my shoulder and maintaining the close contact. I thanked him and he flashed the trademark smile. It was real - not rushed or manufactured. He genuinely enjoyed his fans and as I was scooting to a meeting 1 hour and 15 minutes later -he was still in the atrium signing autographs and taking pictures. That is real.
Without question - my day and the people I encountered were put in my path for me to KNOW that my decision to launch this blog, with this name, at this time was ordained.
I smell an empire brewing....