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Work It Baby!

October 3, 2010

Looking at him you might think GEEK. Maybe because of the blue notebook, pen and yellow pencil ready in his  shirt pocket. David Sedaris,  author of 7 million funny books, is reading. While he reads, and while we laugh, he grabs the pencil and makes fast notes. This happens all night, over and over, He reads, we laugh, the pencil dives to the page making a quick entry and then returns.

I know what he is doing. He is testing material and editing it live. After his reading,  he’ll go to the table at the front of the hall and speak with each and every person while signing their books even if it takes him until 1 a.m.Then, he will go to his hotel room. Maybe he’ll note down the stories he heard and later include them in a book. Or maybe he’ll review the scribbles in the margins of  material he just tried that night.

David Sedaris’ tour is a 60-city dry run and material gathering extravaganza. This is why when his crafted material is published his books are killingly funny. The best work their crafts.  Academy award winning actor Sir Anthony Hopkins said last Saturday in Canada’s Globe and Mail that he memorizes a poem every day.  I’m guessing it’s not Dr. Seuss.

Hopkins and Sedaris work it. On good days, we remember to do the same. Last Thursday I gave an OutPerform Career Matters seminar to 100 business leaders at Union Gas. I adore this company because a: I have never met anyone there I didn’t like and b: they are good people doing good work. Prior to delivering their seminar, I gave a free dry run to The Sunshine Foundation of Canada.  They make dreams come true for kids living with disabilities. They give big and are paid little. They don’t have much of a budget for training so I do dry runs with them. This lets me work my craft and give to an organization I care about. How can you your craft?

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Good is no longer good enough. The goal is perfection and the path that takes us there leads to excellence.
Louise B. Karch