It’s always interesting being in an airport as a person with pink hair — especially when I’m traveling for business.
Pink hair is a little more mainstream these days (curse you, Nicki Minaj), but it still gets attention.
Small children think I’m some kind of live-action muppet, which I enjoy very much.
TSA security officials look at the combination of the pink hair and the business jacket, and give me a puzzled smile. My fellow business travelers give me confused looks … mixed, sometimes, maybe with a tiny bit of jealousy as well.
Anything you do that’s visibly different will get people telling stories in their own heads. Pink hair seems to inspire stories about freedom from arbitrary rules, about navigating the economic changes of the 21st century, about 4-hour workweeks.
The 4-hour workweek part is bogus, but the rest of it has some merit.
I first dyed my hair pink in a kind of post-corporate stress disorder statement — I’m not going back there.
I had attitude about corporate when I was in that environment. Career-limiting kinds of attitude. And I’ve never particularly gotten over it.
I’m sure that I should have behaved myself better and been a little more politically astute. But I’ve never been all that good at that. Ah well.
When I first declared independence with my hair, I was a fledgling freelance copywriter with definite ideas about writing, content, business, and ethics.
Funnily enough, now I’m a reasonably seasoned business owner with definite ideas about writing, content, business, and ethics.
I’m still very much the same person (you can see what I used to be like in this post), but a more seasoned version. (That post is where the quote in the blog image above comes from …)
These days I’m a professional pink-haired marketer.
What the heck does that even mean?
It’s not about the hair, of course. It’s about the symbolism.
It’s about making sure you’re living by rules that make sense for you.
To be honest, it’s also about getting successful enough to follow your own rules.
You might have noticed that we launched a giant podcast network last week. It’s been a kickass experience — both friendly rivalry (we’re all trying to figure out how to beat Demian Farnworth’s numbers on Rough Draft) and the cheers of Go Team! to see everyone hogging up so many spots in the iTunes Top 20 business and marketing podcasts.
Our production team have been superheroes, working very, very hard to make this look easy.
My own little corner of our network is about living by your own lights — as a professional, but also without pretending that our careers aren’t a vital, core part of our lives. You aren’t one person at work and one in your “real life.” Work is real life, and we should treat it that way.
So far on the show I’ve gotten cranky about the lies that our culture tells about business, and geeked out on talent and creativity with my friend Sean D’Souza.
In the months coming up, I’ll be riffing on:
- Productivity for flakes, head cases, and other natural disasters
- Some harsh truths (and some awesome ones) about how social media works
- Figuring out what makes customers buy from one business versus another
- How to handle risk without losing your mind (or your house)
- How to manage your team with more heart, empathy, and effectiveness
- The mistakes that businesses and marketers make over and over … and how to do better
I’m also doing Q&A sessions where I dig deep into audience questions, to try and uncover the general business lessons that can benefit the greatest number of people.
(If you want to ask a question for the podcast, you can leave it in the comment section on any of the existing or new show posts — I’ll be picking the ones I think have the greatest general applicability. You can also tweet me @soniasimone.)
I don’t have all the answers
I don’t know it all, by any means. I’m not a mogul or a guru or a wise old lady on the mountain top.
I’m a working professional who cares about being a good human being, about doing meaningful work, about having solid relationships with my family and friends, about helping other people with my business.
I’m walking the path, with as much awareness as I can, and talking about what I see as I walk it. If you are too (no matter what your hair color), I welcome you to join me there.
You can check out the existing shows here: Confessions of a Pink-Haired Marketer
And if iTunes is your thing, you can find me here: Confessions of a Pink-Haired Marketer on iTunes
And of course, if you feel moved to subscribe, rate, or review the show in iTunes — well, that would be amazing. My great, great thanks to those who already have.