Suddenly Marketing

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Do you know why you do what you do?


Listen to this post:


Do you ever stop and wonder what the hell you’re doing, or – more importantly – why you’re doing it?

Do you ever find yourself suddenly struck dumb by the depth of the disconnect between the thing that consumes most of your waking hours (for most of us, our work) and the thing that is truly “you?”

I do.


I lie awake in bed and my brain does somersaults in the dark – flip, turn, roll, flip, turn, roll.  I go over the day’s events and tomorrow’s plans. I think back to when I was a kid and I wonder what it will be like when I’m old and near the end of my days. My mind flies back and forth along the continuum that is my life, weaving random thoughts together like the shuttle on a loom.

I try to connect the dots. I look for patterns and meaning. I wonder what kind of hole I will leave in the world.




When I drove my daughter home from school yesterday, it was an exceptionally beautiful day. I was high on sunshine and the frisky wind that cavorted through bright, new foliage. I was singing along to track 10 on KT Tunstall’s Eye to the Telescope album – Stoppin’ the Love.

“Mom, stop it.”


“I don’t want to be one of those people other people can hear outside the car!”




Kaarina Dillabough wrote a post called Why Are You Doing It? She encouraged readers to ask themselves, “Is what I’m doing resulting in results? Is it productive? Does it create something meaningful, beneficial, profitable, or necessary?” She then asked, “If not…why are you doing it?”

Good question, Kaarina. Good question.



Craig McBreen wrote a post called  Do you want to be remembered? Do this. He wrote about being the spark, making a difference, and realizing your full capabilities. He asked, “So, why not wear a little chunk of your heart on your sleeve?”

When I originally read the post, I had been moved to comment. This is part of what I wrote:

People talk about “voice” and “authenticity” all the time, but I think what truly magnetizes a brand is more about enthusiasm – about being SO excited that you can’t contain yourself, about letting your love or passion for something spill over and out and into the world, about being SO zealous that you don’t care if you look like a fool. You will dance in the streets, scream from the rooftops, say the thing no one else will say, admit you’re wrong, sing, write poetry, stand up in the boardroom and tell it like it is … because you believe with all your heart, because your excitement compels you to take action, to speak out loud.


People who can capture and share this kind of unbridled enthusiasm will be remembered. They will be remembered because, in the words of Maya Angelou, “…people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”




Connecting the dots. Click. Click. Click.



Do you know what makes your heart sing? What inspires you to surrender, to drop your guard, to let your unbridled joy shine out? What is it that unleashes your inner geek? For what cause, belief, or love will you willingly be a fool?

Have you forgotten? Have you lost your way? Are you afraid or ashamed to admit the source of your passion?


Why have you forgotten why you do what you do, why you’re here?

This thing – whatever it is – this thing that brings you such joy and strips away all the extraneous layers, this is your purpose. It’s what gives your work meaning. It’s what gives your work value.

Don’t just sing in the shower. Don’t just sing in the car with the windows rolled up and the world whipping anonymously past the windows. Sing out loud. In the world. For other people.

Whatever your passion is, if you let it out it will infect others. Your enthusiasm and excitement will spread like a beautiful virus. It will attract attention, draw people in, and fascinate them.

And the best part? Your willingness to proclaim your love will give others permission to proclaim theirs.



Image Credit: Pinot W. Ichwandardi (freeze frame from one of his awesome Vine videos)


Freeform Friday: Looking for love in the real estate section


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  1. I will sing out loud, colour outside the lines, ask myself “why”…and be sure there’s an answer. And that answer some days might be “just because…because it makes my heart sing, it affects others, it ripples out to the world.” I will dance in the streets, share my thoughts and passion, and know that for every action I take, I will mindfully be aware of the “why”.

    Thanks so much for the lovely tip of the hat, and thanks so much for making me think more, smile broader and know, with assuredness, I’m making my own path and finding my own way and, hopefully, touching others and helping them see: the only person who has to give them permission to be all they can be, is themselves. Cheers! Kaarina

    • I love your energy, Kaarina. Life is short, right?

      Thank you for helping to inspire the post, for stopping by here, and for sharing on Twitter.

      Love how you bring it!

  2. I love this exploration of passion and purpose. Sometimes, I get stuck thinking that my purpose always has to be related to my business and that it doesn’t incorporate the rest of who I am and how I live my life.

    But when I really tap in to whatever that mysterious purpose is, I lose all track of time and space. Worries and anxieties fall away and leave me grinning like a crazy woman in love with the world.

    Purpose is one of those amorphous words that I can never quite fully grasp. If you look directly at it, it disappears. But you can capture a glimpse of it in your peripheral vision every now and again.

    The concept of purpose is too big to truly understand. It is a multifaceted crystal. Each facet reflects a different aspect of our bigger purpose.

    I love my work. But my work is not my purpose. It is just one facet on the crystal; one way in which my purpose is reflected out into the world. All of those other ways? My writing, my love for the outdoors, my love of good food, wine and conversation, and even my truly terrible singing, those are also facets on the crystal. And they are every bit as important.

    Thank you, Jamie, for another beautiful and thought-provoking post!

    • Oh, Erica! I love your metaphor of the many-faceted crystal. That’s perfect. :)

      I don’t see much distinction between my purpose as a human being and the purpose of my work. I find that – once I get to the core of what it is – it reveals itself to be a central force in my life, one that touches everything from my personal growth to relationships to the work I do and the people I serve … it is, in essence, my “throughline” – the theme that runs through everything.

      It can take some digging to unearth this “thing,” but once you find it, it’s easy to see that it’s been there all along. I’m still figuring out exactly what mine is, but it has something to do with the emotion behind this post.

      Curiouser and curiouser. 😉
      Thanks, as always, for coming by and being part of the conversation.

  3. Jamie,

    First of all, thank you for the mention. Really appreciate that!

    I’m now working on a 2nd site idea that is more inline with my passion these days.


    The older I get, the more often I ask myself these questions.

    Another why? (or Why not?)

    Because through writing I’ve discovered something that just flows (kind of like the post you referenced). When things just flow that’s pretty damn exciting.

    And what better way to sing than to post it on the old web log for the world (or at least 10 people to see).


    • I’m so excited to hear more about what you’re working on! Love that it is more in line with your passion. Sometimes, I think we’re conditioned to wait before going for the things we really care about … but, wait for what? Glad you’ve decided to go with the “why not?”

      And – yes!! – sometimes something just flows and it feels so good and so right. And too often we dismiss that thing because it can’t be that easy, can it? We devalue our biggest gifts because they don’t feel like work.

      How silly is that? Why on Earth would we give up doing the thing we love, the thing that flows, in order to do something that sucks our energy away and puts us through the gristmill? Silly humans.

      Anyway – good luck and keep me in the loop. I look forward to your new adventure! :)

  4. Beautiful post Jamie! I come home to this question over and over anytime I get lost.

    My why? Because I feel deeply fulfilled when I know that I’ve made the world a better place by helping those I work with wake up to their light and intuitive voice within.

    • Thank you so much, Sabrina.

      I love your why. I would hazard a guess that our “real” whys are usually more about other people than they are about ourselves. And that’s the way it should be … part of a larger story, of something bigger than us.

      Here’s to waking up the light.

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