What do you want to be when you grow up?

I have had such a great week of new people, and it’s only Wednesday.

It started at an EPUB working group meeting at the Publishers Association where I met two brilliant digitally minded women, both of whom I ended up having lunch with this week.

From What Emma Learned: a fresher’s guide at http://www.emmadaianwright.com.

On Monday, I met with the quiet-but-with-nerves-of-steel Emma Daian Wright (@emmadaian) who has just left her steady job with a large publishing house to start up her own two-man-band poetry publishing house. She has a brilliant story to tell about the journey that she took to make that decision, and I will let her tell it in her own time, but the words were invoked (by me) “living the dream”.

Then, on Tuesday, I had lunch with the vivacious-with-nerves-of-steel Patricia Seibel (www.seibelpublishingservices.com) and the charming-with-brains-of-steel Martin Klopstock of Kogan Page (www.koganpage.com). Pat is also leaving her steady job at an established publisher (Kogan Page) to strike out on her own and live between Portugal and Brazil, agenting. Martin is innovating right where he is… overhauling the very model of book distribution. (And he was kind enough to share some of his secrets with me.)

The thing we all kept talking about is doing the job you WANT to do, something that you are passionate about. Especially in this industry. There is quite a fair bit of people going through the motions in publishing, and with so much changing, that just isn’t going to cut it. (And it makes it so much harder for everyone who wants to love their job, to be able to do it.)

At some point in life, people stop asking, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” But it’s a question worth asking ESPECIALLY when you’re grown up and “being” something.

There are so many hungry, talented people out there, building exciting businesses, and these will be the successes of tomorrow.

It’s the most thrilling call to action… If you don’t like the job you are doing, do something else. Don’t give in to the drag-you-down what ifs. Jump in to the something-exciting-and-new what ifs.

And if you don’t know where to start, just get out and meet new people. I’ve learned a ton from these three inspiring people, been able to pick up on their amazing energy, and am just about to introduce them to each other.

P.S. It’s Independence Day today… take a hint!

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7 responses to “What do you want to be when you grow up?

  1. I love this post. It fits exactly with the thoughts that have been running through my mind recently!

  2. Great post! Sometimes I can’t believe I get to read great books for money, especially when I think back to the days of pointless paper-pushing and wondering what I was getting out of bed for.

  3. What a great post – it’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about recently too

  4. I remember my dreams when I was young – very young. I dreamt constantly of books & chocolate cake. One night I reached out my hand to touch a huge white shiny book with a picture of three pale pink pigs on it – and then I woke up – I was dashed. I had an image in my head when I was the same age of putting a book up on a shelf and it had my name on it as its author. Whenever I got sidetracked I remembered that image – ‘Remember what you wanted to be when you grew up?’

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