In this post, I rank myself and my work on reputation, knowledge, expertise, tools and skillfulness. And, I share around some of the business (and art) assets I invest in and look to build. This is the 4th in a series of posts where I answer, publicly, questions about my work and business that Seth Godin asks the participants in his Freelancer Course.

These are tough questions to answer as I don’t know anyone else who is doing exactly the same kind of work, though I am familiar with people who use applied story and/or play and the written and spoken word. How do I rank myself when we are all being and becoming and growing and learning? How can one compare oneself with another? 

I decided to have some fun with this and so I’ll rank on the following scale where 24 balls-a-bouncing is the high point and 1 is the low point. Although I do think a person can have a lot of fun with one bouncing brightly colored ball!

24 – balls-a-bouncing
13 – balls-a-bouncing
11 – balls-a-bouncing
1 – ball-a-bouncing

Why bouncing balls? Tossing the ball is a metaphor for my business and art, because how we toss a story and how we catch the moment can make such a difference in our personal and professional lives. It’s a reminder that there is an invitation in every moment and there are many ways we can answer the invitation in our conversations, our stories and the actions we choose or choose not to take. The metaphor came to light a few years back when I decided to carry a ball with me for thirty days wherever I went. It was interesting experience!

So here it is, my ranking – in this moment of time:

My reputation?

How would I rank my reputation as a story and play facilitator and writer? Reputation can refer to how well known a person is in a particular area. Also it may refer to the character of an individual.

Rank = 1 ball a-bouncing … Why? In the scheme of things few people have heard of me.

My knowledge, expertise & skillfulness?

I have a solid level of knowledge, expertise and skillfulness in story and play work, and as a process writer. I have been working with this material heavily since 1999 and I continue to write, study and apply story and play on a daily basis, to seek out new experiences, and grow my understanding and learning in these areas. The work I do fascinates me.

Rank = 13 balls-a-bouncing … Will I ever have more than 13 balls-a-bouncing worth of knowledge, expertise and skillfulness because there is so much to learn. I don’t mean to suggest I am not increasing my understanding, but so are we all. The more I learn, the more humble I become. The more I learn, the more engaged and connected I become.

In addition to continuing to invest in my education and growth , I am invested in:

  • my brand because I am my brand. But I don’t think of myself as a brand – I am a human being and intend to share my work and art with integrity, care, and playfulness.
  • sharing relevant messages to my clients, customers, and potential customers. When people give me permission to contact them via email, social media, newsletter, etc. I agree with Godin in that it is a privilege.

How in the world would you answer these questions?

I’m sure there will be more in this series of posts, hopefully the words will tumble out a bit faster than they did on this one! In the meantime, enjoy the stories and have a playful day!

– Mary

Other answers in my Seth Godin’s coursework blog project can found on the following pages:

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