Tell me honestly: is there any question worse than “What do you do?” I mean, I can think of a couple. Like, “Why is there an atrocious green thing oozing out of your ear?” or “Do you smell that toxic death smoke, too?” but that’s probably about it.
I get it. “What do you do?” is an easy question, and it makes sense. When you meet someone for the first time it’s totally natural to try and find common ground by inquiring into a generally neutral aspect of a person’s identity—their work. And, as a bonus, it leaves the intent open to the questionee’s interpretation and allows the questioner to avoid any awkwardness if that person is unemployed. It’s totally possible that you could just be asking them what they do for fun or what, as a human, they like, do, man. But we all know that you’re not.Read more
Growing up playing hockey, calling someone the Q-Word was akin to insulting their mother, stealing their Gatorade, and throwing in a breezer wedgie to boot. In my hyper-competitive and melodramatic adolescent mind there was nothing lower than giving up, literally the last step before death. Needless to say, I never imagined I would become exactly that.
In the past year I’ve quit four major occupations, three of them jobs and one a labor of love organization I co-founded with two close friends. While I didn’t exactly set out to become a quitter and none of my decisions to quit were easy—some were much harder than others—I don’t regret it.Read more
Change. It’s a word that carries a lot of connotations these days, many of them political. And while we can certainly learn a lot about change in the context of politics (Change is not instantaneous! Change can’t happen on campaign slogans and good vibes alone! Change is actually kinda hard to achieve sometimes!), I’m going to focus on change that affects all of us on a much more intimate (hubba hubba) level—professional change.
A good friend shared this blog by Eklund Consulting with me recently, and it was seriously one of the raddest, most feel-good things I’ve read in a long time. That may sound a little weird since the thesis is essentially “change blows,” but don’t let the downer message fool you. If you look at it the right way, the main point of the blog is actually a much more powerful upper than ten cups of coffee or [insert illicit substance here] could ever be: change is hard.Read more
Recently I wrote an essay for mnartists.org about the rising popularity of collaborative arts projects and a “Do It Together” vs. Do It Yourself ethos in the Twin Cities (Do It Together? Patience, cricket, I’ll explain). Although the article was focused on the Minneapolis arts scene, rereading it got me thinking about how the Do-It-Together concept could be applied to almost any creative or professional culture, including nonprofits. And lo and behold, just like that I had organically stumbled upon the perfect topic for this blog All. By. My. Self.
Err… hold on a second. That’s actually a stone cold, rock hard lie right there.
A few days ago magician-of-all-trades YNPN board member Chris Oien casually suggested the idea to me and I was sold. Do It Together, kids.Read more