Has Peter Shankman Found the Marbles?

One year ago I posted about an afternoon I spent with social media pro Peter Shankman.  I’ve been thinking a lot about that day lately, and about how much has passed since that afternoon.  This site had launched just a couple of weeks before.  I was feeling pretty down at that time, yet I couldn’t help but let Peter’s optimism get the best of me.  So one year later, here ‘s my post about a day with Peter Shankman.


Peter Shankman is acclaimed throughout the business world for spreading his expertise on networking, PR, marketing and customer service in today’s Social Media centered environment.  He is most well-known for founding Help a Reporter Out (also known as HARO) and for selling it to Vocus.  He has over 97,700 Twitter fans and counting.  He has authored two books (and counting).  He is a classically trained singer.  He has jumped out of airplanes all over the world.  He has competed in marathons and triathlons.  Soon Peter Shankman will add Movie Producer to his long list of accomplishments.

When first I asked Peter to meet for coffee, it wasn’t done under a plan of interviewing him.  Seriously. I just love the opportunity to be around bright, confident people.  At first I thought I would pick his brain for a while and come away with a fabulous new idea or two.

Being an enormous business success story and a world traveler, I assumed Peter had it all.  I began by asking how he had come to this point, how he found the marbles.  “Here’s the thing,” he said. “I certainly hope I haven’t found them yet.”

Peter went on to say that he lives by the belief that we should be happy with what we have but we should not stop reaching for something more.  “If we don’t keep striving for more, then we become complacent.”

Inspiring, isn’t it?

Of course, that begs the question, what’s next for Peter?  Truth be told he is not quite sure yet.  As long as it does not feel like work, he says.  “If you do what you love, it won’t be work.”

It is evident that he truly loves public speaking.  That is his passion now.  If Peter could choose his next audience, who would be in the room? “Everyone!

For those who follow Peter regularly you know that his life is generally an open book.  You know about his love of skydiving, his ADHD and all about his two cats.  I asked if he could meet anyone in the world he has not met yet, who it would be.  Perhaps it was a bit of a clichéd question but the response was unexpected.  “Pierce Brosnan” he said.  “I like his style.”  (I told you it was unexpected.)  Because of his innate ability to handle the naysayers, Bill Clinton runs a close second.

If you have not yet heard Peter speak in a webinar or group setting, he talks super-quickly and with great energy.  While I was really looking forward to talking with him, I couldn’t help but ask myself, “What do I have to bring in this conversation?”

That is not a question I would have asked myself a few years ago when I was employed by a major media company.  I loved my job, knew I made a significant contribution and never doubted myself.  I realize now that during those years, I never worked (in the Peter Shankman sense of the word); not even for one day.  Many people can’t wait to leave the competition and politics of a big company setting for the entrepreneurial world.  Not me.  Setting out on my own was not something I had planned. It just happened.  While it has been a fabulous learning experience and something I should be proud of, it has also been a tremendous amount of work.

I didn’t quite recognize any of that until now, but I have a feeling Peter knew it the second he met me.

This site is another new venture for me.  Though I have committed many hours to it so far I have yet to work on it.  I am vowing right now to never work one day on this site.  After all, how great would it be if we could all not work for a living?

Peter pays it forward by having coffee with strangers; strangers who become friends.  He can teach them a great deal about the social media world or even a simple thing or two about themselves.

So, has Peter Shankman found the marbles?  He hopes not.  With positive energy like his, I sure wouldn’t want him to become complacent either.


Leave your comment below!

Do you know someone who has Found the Marbles?  Send an email to Jessica@FoundtheMarbles.com.

Get email updates!
(You're so smart.)


  1. Great post, Jessica. Sounds like it was an exciting meeting with Peter! Very inspiring.

  2. Wow – how inspiring. It’s just recently that I’ve made a concerted effort to turn my thoughts and energy towards more positive things. Seems like this guy has it down pat! I could learn a lesson or two – but had never heard of him before. Thank you for introducing me! ;)

  3. You lucky duck. How did you land this interview? He sounds so cool! What an accomplishment. I love HARO and I am so jealous that I didn’t think of it. I like his words of wisdom to keep striving for more…

  4. Jessica- awesome article, awesome site.

  5. Great article. Isn’t it interesting the turns our lives take? And I bet you have a lot more to offer than you give yourself credit for.

    Thanks for linking up last Sunday. I hope you’ll come back this week!

  6. Jordan Holtz says:

    Great post Jessica. I love your writing style, it’s so fluid.

    I just bookmarked your blog, I’ll be sure to read it regularly.

    Much love-

  7. I’ve been so wrapped up in my life insanities that I haven’t even gotten the chance to visit your new site till now!!! Jessica, I love it! Sooo awesome!
    Great interview. He’s a cool dude. You’re great at sitting down for coffee chats. =)

    Can’t wait to read more!

    Joey Fortman

  8. That’s an amazing interview to land! He is certainly an intriguing person, I’ve been following his adventures for awhile. Great advice, too!

  9. Fabulous post. Thank you for sharing your experience with Peter.

  10. Great post! I knew it was time to leave my last job when it became work. Peter sounds delightful, and meeting him must have been amazing. I’m thrilled for you! Congrats on your new “not-work” mindset. Visiting from the Time Travel. If you have time, I’d love for you to visit my time travel post as well. Thanks!

  11. Love this post! Love it! It is so encouraging and inspiring. I used to think I wanted to go after my dreams and I also use to think I would actually obtain them. Now I realize that happiness and a full life is not found in the achieving of your dreams but in the creating of new ones every day so you are always striving and learning. Thank you!

  12. I heard Peter speak in NYC at a Tory Johnson event. He was even better than expected and I actually love the way that he is looking for new marbles! R

Speak Your Mind


Theme Customization by eDesign-Pro Company