What do you do? It's part of that polite conversation people make when they are first introduced.
I'd respond, "I am a journalist."
I wish I had counted the number of times the person I had just met would reply, "I have always fancied myself a writer." If every wannabe author had given me a dollar, I would be writing this blog entry on my own private island.
You see, everybody who learns how to read also learns how to write.
But just because you are a reader doesn't mean you are a writer.
Sure, you can write things: shopping lists, thank you notes, checks.
But being a writer is a calling. You don't fancy yourself a writer. You are a writer. Because you have to write. You have no choice.
Everybody has at least one story to tell. It's their own personal story.
If you fancy yourself a writer, then write. Do it for you. Nobody else even has to read it.
My first official job, when I was 13, was being a holiday gift wrapper at H.L. Hodges Sporting Goods in downtown Greenville.
Wrapping gifts may seem like an easy way to slide into the world of work, right? Not at a sporting goods store.
Using the only resources at hand -- rolls of thin paper, scissors, tape and slick ribbon -- I had to figure out how to decoratively conceal cans of tennis balls, fishing rods, shotguns, even an assembled exercise bike.
I loved it!
Each time a customer brought over a gift to be wrapped, I was given a present, too. I was formulating my personal work ethic.
I was required to think on my feet, be neat, conserve resources, be creative, be quick but thorough, be artistic and keep a smile on my face no matter what I had to handle.
Then, at the end of the week, I was handed money that I could spend however I wanted. It was more than compensation for a job well done, it was a ticket on the independence train.
My gift-wrapping job unwrapped my potential.
What lessons did your first job teach you? Please share them in the comments section.
Branding is everything.
All businesses, large or small, must create a unique presence to attract and retain customers. They do this through a coordinated name, image and logo they use for all products and marketing.
When it's done well, it's immediately recognizable. Think Nike's swoosh and "Just do it."
When I decided to start my own business, I began with branding. My husband, Bill, and I brainstormed ideas for names, deciding on "Bee There Media." The slogan came next: "We create the buzz."
Now for a visual interpretation. For that I turned to my former coworker Dana Gray, who with her husband, Zane, own the design company Graystrype. They created a unique, compelling yet playful design that I think fits our name and purpose with panache!
Now we are branded. What do you think?
I loved seeing all those personalized "Friends Day" videos on my Facebook friends' news feeds yesterday. The videos, featuring photos they previously posted to their pages, were created by the social media giant to mark its 12th birthday.
In a dozen years, Facebook has transformed the social landscape by allowing users to share with the people who passed the friend request test their thoughts, their opinions, their good times and bad times, their vacations, their new hairstyles, their "TGIF"s and what they ate for breakfast.
And as a result, the world has become infinitely more connected. The 1.59 billion Facebook users are connected to every other user by an average of 3.5 degrees of separation.
So, I'd like to wish a happy Friends Day to my close friends Kevin Bacon, George Clooney, Matthew_McConaughey and Betty White.
Over a seafood dinner, Bill asked me what I wanted to do next.
"What is your dream job?"
Well, a Victoria's Secret "angel," of course. But I don't think I'm tall enough.
"Seriously," he said. "You are really good at Pinterest. You have almost 25,000 followers."
Of course I would love to pin all day, and read comments on Facebook, and check out photos on Instagram, and keep up with what people are tweeting, and watch Periscope, and read blog posts ... Hmmmm, wait a minute. Do you think that's a job?
Now that computers increasingly are becoming the vehicle for our information, our purchases and our connections, it IS a job to keep up with those platforms.
And now it's MY job.