I was at an interview today, and as is usually the case, at the end of it, I asked the person if he had a question for me. Normally, most people tend to have a very conservative question in mind which doesn’t really do anything to draw real insights. But it did seem like this person was prepared for a question, and he abruptly asked me: why do you do what you do and why are you passionate about it?
Not having enough time to reflect on it, I narrated the story of how I started. And now that I got some time to think this through, I realised this was something I wanted to ask myself for a while. But I wanted to break it down into measurable chunks.
Why do you do what you do?
- I admit that I enjoy it. There are days which are awful and then I force myself into writing and my world just feels better.
- I’ve had previous jobs which I have enjoyed too. In a consulting firm before, it was easy to fall in love with creating stories and decks that brought out insights after enormous analysis. But something fell short in a different way. We were paid to give advice, or share insights. Someone else had to take the trouble of implementation.We would draft out the exact plan to the nth level of detail, but we never had the pressure of having it “go-live” in a consumer environment, up to people’s views. We were writing the story-line but never really being the actors in front of the live audience. There was always an element of “back-end” even though our strategic thoughts were presented to and heard by the decision makers.
- Now, there are 4 stories and multiple mini-stories that I launch out to the outside world every single day. There is no time to back out, change the story line, what goes out there is for ever. Some stories work, others don’t. It’s learning on an everyday basis. In the world made of 140 characters, there’s instant feedback. The sheer vulnerability of that one story and the immediate response is humbling.
- There are no back-ups. Everything is right now, hands-on. There is no space for back-end drama and complaints. I am responsible, I deliver, the world is watching.
Why are you passionate about it?
I feel like Kathleen Kelly, sending my questions into the cosmic void. Like her, I feel while the shop around the corner is gone, I may still have learnt to spell f-o-x. Without sounding too abstract, just that, I feel thrilled to be able to scale the love for stories. Many of us suffer from indecision and vulnerability, stories help navigate stress and bring something to relate to. Stories touch people’s lives. Stories are what we share in whatsapp groups seedily named famous 4. Stories bring life to our irrelevant parts. Stories help us complete each other in subtle, delicate ways. Stories help us find who we are. Stories are all that we strive for. Stories are all that remain.