Over the years, I’ve had my hands in many things. I’ve worked as an independent designer running my own company. I’ve worked as a consultant for other companies. I’ve worked as an employee at startups. I’ve managed my personal brand online, built side projects like HappyPatron, and a few other business-related endeavors that I’ve since sold. None of this includes my personal life as a husband, father, life-long Learner, etc.
I’ve written a lot about my desire to collect experiences to grow and learn. However, this has come with a challenge. When I meet someone, they ask, “What do you do?” or at the end of an interview, they may ask, “Where can the listeners connect with you?” Inside I would always cringe and quickly default to the social media handle or platform that felt “right” for that particular audience.
For example: At a networking event? I would default to LinkedIn. HappyPatron? I’ll send you to HappyPatron’s website or HappyPatron’s Twitter. Design? I’m going to send you to my website or my personal Twitter. The list goes on. As odd as this sounds, it bothers me. Why? It’s because I’m not just ONE of those things. My story is ALL of those things, and by me choosing to send you just one of these links (unless you’re genuinely interested in only one of those), you’re not getting my whole story. You’re not getting the context.
Who I am is because of all of these experiences. I’m shaped by the projects I work on, the books I read, and the podcast and music I listen to.
Beyond feeling like I’m cheating someone out on my whole story, I find it cumbersome to share all related links with individuals. What If you’re a designer, but also a fellow builder who would like to see what I’ve made recently? I’d often leave these moments and wonder if I shared the right ones or if they captured them correctly before we went along our separate ways.
This is just one piece of this puzzle. As someone who deeply believes in authenticity and breaking down silos to better integrate work and life to maximize value and the overall experience to any business or project I’m working on, I’m compelled to share more about my personal life and strive to learn about those I’m collaborating with. It’s what I do. Work relationships always tend to lean heavily towards work personas. That bothers me. In reality, when I work with clients, businesses, or colleagues, I find myself and many are more interested in learning about the person they are connecting with throughout the project. It gives us all a bigger purpose to lean into the project. To bring our whole self to the table and in the end, the work feels better.
As humans, many of us are interested in what we can learn from and who we should learn from. I’m sure this is why it’s common in many social events to talk about the books you are reading, what you are binge-watching today. All of those things are incredibly interesting to most. It sparks an opportunity to grow and stretch. Many of my closest relationships today are built on this openness of sharing. It just feels right.
In 2020 many realized that curiosity, empathy, and the willingness to understand a person’s entire story is essential. We can’t just assume, and as we navigate through new challenges, we have found new interests, new ways to grow. We’ve found that our digital footprint and story spans many platforms and encompasses many parts of our lives. It’s how we share and connect with friends and family. It’s how we are learning, entertaining, and so much more.
In 2021 our personal life has deeply been integrated with our digital life, and our story is more complicated than a single individual profile on any particular medium. It’s far richer than any single post allows to capture.
We’ve evolved. It’s as if we need a profile that is the profile of all profiles.
Guess what? It exists, and it’s called a Slabb.
Here is my Slabb. It allows me to highlight my entire self in one location and share it with one link. It enables my network to learn more about the books I read, podcasts I listen to, projects I’m working on, social accounts I belong to, view recent work, more. It allows them to follow along with me as I navigate my day to grow in wellness and self-development and anything else that I choose to share at any given time with the world.
You can learn more about Slabb here. If you are interested in having your own Slabb, be sure to sign up for an invite. New invites are sent out to the list twice a week! On Mondays and Wednesdays!
What do you think? Are we ready for the profile of all profiles? If so sign-up here to get in line for yours.