I can read your mind. No, really, it’s true. I work in marketing. It’s my job to figure you out: What you’re passionate about. What gets you emotional. What pulls at you, eats at you, drives you crazy.
Think I can’t spend 10 minutes in a room with you and find out what makes you tick? Try me. I fucking love it. It’s secretly the best feeling. I love being able to get inside your head. It’s the INFJ in me. Some little thing you’ll say—usually in the middle of a sentence, maybe it’s a passing joke, something you thought I missed—nope, logged it, filed it under “this person’s secret trigger,” and we’re good.
And if I can’t? Don’t worry. I’ve got Big Data for that. Trust me, we’re all over that. That’s the little secret about marketers: we’re obsessed with your obsessions.
The dirty little secret about marketing.
We need people like you. We need people who are deeply passionate about what they do and what they care about. It’s paydirt to us. It makes us get all tingly inside. We go bananas. You: the person who’s just really fucking good at what you do because it’s the first thing you think about when you get up and the last thing you think about before you close your dreamy eyes at night on your sweet little pillows. You live and breathe for it. And so do we.
The dirty little secret about passion.
Passionate people are creative. They’re builders. They’re attractive—I mean, really. They tend to literally attract people to them. But here’s the dirty little secret about passion…
First: It can burn you up. I guess it’s supposed to? Which is why so many people play it safe and spend their lives working on other people’s dreams. Brene´Brown said, and I’m paraphrasing since I saw her speak last month (and she’s my hero):
“The only guarantee of living a brave life is that you will get your ass kicked. You will get your heart broken. You will be disappointed. You will absolutely fail. And it will be great.”
Second: It may be really attractive to 90% of the people around you. But, it can really, really really fucking piss off the other 10%.
I just heard the great Seth Godin speak in person. What a trip! This guy is pro-fucking-lific. He hit it spot-on. He said go check out all the greatest writers’ book reviews on Amazon. They all contain 1-star reviews. Why?! Because they didn’t write books for everybody! They wrote GREAT FUCKING BOOKS! And, those books weren’t for everybody! They were for somebody! And, somebody else probably really fucking hated them!
Tension makes people very uncomfortable. Why? People do not want to be changed or challenged. Make something happen. Do it.
Third: Living a life void of passion and emotion is inauthentic. You have handed in your human-card and checked the fuck out. Good job. Look, for people that know me (warning, this is about to get personal) it’s no surprise that I take everything really serious. Why? Because this is it for me. This—all of this—is it. There is no golden paradise waiting for me if I promise to be good. This isn’t a dress rehearsal.
Fourth: (and this is the worst) While I depend on your passion and energy as sustenance to my career…there is, sadly and honestly, no room for it in the professional world. Look, this might get me in trouble, and here it goes: but I’m having a hard time finding a way to bottle it up, pack it down, and keep it quiet. As I’m busy manipulating what it is that drives you, I have to work really hard at keeping my own emotions in check. And, it’s hard to do sometimes.
When I was 18, I got my first tattoo. It was your typical 18-year-old tatt: lower back, Japanese character. I know, I know. I should really regret it, right? Well, I don’t. I really wanted it then, and I’m glad I fucking did it. My mom saw it years later and locked herself in the bathroom sobbing about it. Well, I got the symbol for Passion. It was the most important thing to me then, and I didn’t want to let myself get too old and forget about it someday. So, there you go. I’ve cut myself open, laid bare my soul, and told you a lot about me.
Now’s your chance to sell me something.