In a recent post, she wrote about travel: "The destination may surprise you. It will probably surprise you. When you get to what it is you’ve been working toward—a primary relationship, a VP title, your own business, a gold statuette—it will not feel like or seem like or look like what you thought it might on the way there."
And I guarantee that it will indeed do just that. Working towards something is a lot more fun and challenging - some days in good ways, others in not so good ways - than being there. The growth is in the motion.
Have you ever watched a tree or a plant grow? You probably won't see it day to day when you want it to show, but you will see it in the end. The destination often is also an opportunity to look back and see how far you've come. Colleen writes at Communicatrix. This destination will surprise you, and so will the exposure to her ideas.
I'm one of those people who connect with stories, that's why I write so much about them. And her story is intriguing. Colleen's transparency is the kind Jim Collins talked about when he was on stage with Alan Webber at Fast Company Real Time in Phoenix talking about "the three circles". Finding that place of intersection - and interest - between passion, DNA, and economics. Straight from the About You page, here's a conversation with Colleen.
Why are you online?
Colleen: Aside from TMZ and all the awesome pr0n, for two main reasons:
First, it is the cheapest, fastest, easiest way to put the word out there. Growing up, I always wished I had my own publishing company; now I do. She shoots! She scores!
Second, as many of your wiser and more articulate subjects have already said, the Internet is a genius way of connecting with your right people. "Right" is going to vary from person to person, but for me, it's about finding people with whom I share Significant Areas of Overlap, and expanding my knowledge base from there.
For example, we may both be fascinated by marketing, but you come at it from the perspective of a multinational conversation-starting sharpshooter with experience in big-boy stuff like tech, whereas I'm a loopy clown who has happily frittered away her life writing jingles, playing dress-up and waxing rhapsodic about her intestines. Where in real life would we have met? Maybe SXSW, but even then, not without the Internet intervening.
What prompted to post in "About You" at Conversation Agent?
Colleen: Because it terrified me to do it. I think it's pretty important to do stuff that terrifies you on a regular basis.
Also, I see what you're doing as providing a bridge between people who might not otherwise meet, and whose connecting will certainly change them, and might change the world, for the better. That's something I want both to take advantage of and to support.
Also-also, because I knew if you decided to interview me, I'd get to see how you describe me. Since half the time I have no idea of how to describe myself, I shamelessly throw myself in the paths of those who can do it for me.
What are you working on that you feel will connect ideas and people?
Colleen: I wish I had some big, schmancy-cool, global foundation or think-tank or what-have-you to get people on board with, but really, it's just me, the entertainer, and my mission: to be a joyful conduit of truth, beauty and love. Not exactly Joan of Arc material, but hey, we all have our jobs.
Currently, mine translates to a lot of writing about my own processes—on my blog, in my newsletter about effective communicating, in a monthly column about marketing for actors. I'm halfway through a year-long project that's about "marketing out loud"—I'm externalizing the day-to-day work of marketing a small business via a separate blog and podcast. I speak as often as I can about non-hideous ways to put yourself out there on and off the Internet, and I've got a few other strange little creative projects cooking on the back burner.
I suppose you could say the main thing I'm constantly doing is working to make myself a better, more joyous conduit. Is that even a thing? I'm doing it, so I guess it is.
Who would you like to connect with?
Colleen: At a recent unconference I helped facilitate (an amazing experience I heartily recommend to anyone thinking about it), a friend of mine, Jason Womack, answered this question the best way I've ever heard: I don't know what I don't know.
I have a long wish list of people I know I'd like to meet because I think they're cool, but I'm equally interested in meeting the people I don't even know that I want to know. I'm pretty sure I'd like to meet someone who likes producing as much as I like creating; I'm much, much better at generating content than I am at putting it out there. And it would be amazing if they were fellow travelers who get that self-development doesn't have to be ponderous, dull or poorly written, and who want to put some good, juicy, fun stuff out there.
But really, I'm open to what I'm not so sure about, too. Serendipity rules!
A couple of immediate connections I would make for you come to mind:
- my friend CK, who I admire for keeping it real and managing to be kind, generous and graceful while kicking ass in the marketing department
- I know you would also enjoy meeting the talented Karen Hegman, a communicator passionate about narrative
- and my Australian friend Gavin Heaton, a servant to chaos and a master of story
I open the floor to the community for more suggestions and ideas on who you should meet, as well as of course, the connection they can make with you directly.