She was blonde. She was gorgeous. She was my neighbor.
It was the time of big shoulder pads, big hair, and big paychecks! It was the late 1980s, the era when Greed WAS good! I was young and greedy living the dream as a free-wheeling Hollywood Talent agent.
One day I ran home for lunch to take my dog Sunny for a walk. As I was checking my phone for messages I heard a sweet southern female voice say, “What do you do?” I looked up to see a gorgeous blonde bombshell eyeing me. She went on, “I always see you zooming up and down the street in your fancy pants BMW, you always have celebrities stopping by, and today you’re wearing an Armani suit.” She repeated, “What do you do?”
I told this beauty I was a talent agent! She said, “That’s what I need. Will you represent me?” It was then my turn to ask her… “What do you do?
“Well, I am currently Miss America!” the beauty quietly said!
Many times in life we let our work title define who we are. I admit when I was younger and living in Hollywood I tried to use my title as a Hollywood Agent to impress people like I did with Miss America, Susan Akin. Note, NOT Susan Atkins, the American convicted murderer who was a member of The Charles Mansoin family! Now, I’m embarrassed by the actions of my youth. It now really chaps my ass that certain work titles carry on last past their last paycheck for that occupation. Example:
Any person who has once been a coach seems to have a license to use the term coach for life. In my little mind that is so limiting. We are all more than what we did for a living. Recently, Former Miami Dolphins Coach Don Shula passed away. Yes, he was the winningest coach in NFL history. Yes, Coach Shula lead them to two Super Bowl victories. Yes, that included the only perfect season in NFL history. My point is, he hadn’t worked as a coach in 25 years, yet he was always still referred to as a coach up to the day he died. RIP, Coach.
Whatever you do for a living or are pursuing, don”t fall into the trap of using that as your sole identity. If you are seeking to be in the limelight as an actor, model, recording artist, or influencer and then you are asked, “What do you do?” Don’t sell yourself short by saying, I want to be X or Y. Technically, you haven’t done that yet, but you still are an X or Y, you haven’t been paid for it. Anyone can say they are a singer. But if you use that title and you haven’t dropped any beats yet, then you’re going to come off as a wannabe. That will sting the ole ego.
What you do for a living should serve your life, not BE your life. Many people have their priorities in life all screwed up. When you die, and I remind everyone all of the time that we all will die at some point, very few people will say as they near death that they wish they would have spent more time at their work. On the contrary, most people say they wished that had spent more time with family and friends, or on their hobbies, or learning new skills.
So, Mr. Brick how should we answer the age-old question of, “What do you do?”
My answer: With humility.
We are all here to serve others. This life is not supposed to be all about us. So why take the question and self promote? Why not use the opportunity to let others know your God-given gifts and skills and how you are using them. Who really cares about your title? Exactly… no one.
Hey, Mr. Brick, what do you do?
“I help successful people succeed by using my organizational skills to manage their life.”
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Have a great day!
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