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