Tell Me What You Do

posted in: Uncategorized | 51

July 28th, 2011


“It’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know.”


Well, that is terribly unhelpful. Of course it matters to know people. But you know what helps even more?


Doing impressive things that matter.


A few months back I came across this inspired post by Lauryn. Go read that. It’s a quick read and certainly worth your moment’s glance.

There’s this artist who makes some damn impressive sculptures out of US currency (coins). Her motto is simple: Work hard, play hard, and make bad ass shit. That hammer above is part of her work. She’s busy doing, not just worrying about who she knows. (By the way, I don’t know her, but I wish I did.)

I’m curious to know what you all do. I usually try to stray away from asking actual questions for the comments below, but if you do something- anything, link it below. I want to know. I want to see.

I don’t care who you know. I care about what you do.


It’s not who you know, it’s what you do.

What do you do?



51 Responses

  1. Brian Gerald Murphy

    I’m a social activist entrepreneur.

    I co-founded Sanctuary Collective, which inspires, empowers, and supports young LGBTQ adults and allies living and organizing for justice in Christian communities. @SanctuaryCo

    I co-created Legalize Trans, an artistic and educational campaign to draw attention to the lack of inclusivity within American Apparel’s Legalize Gay t-shirt (and the mainstream gay rights movement in general). It’s also a funding vehicle for transition and living expenses for trans and gender non-conforming people. @LegalizeTrans

    I manage the branding and communications for several ventures. In addition to contract services, I also write on social change, business, non-profit funding/development, alternatives to charity, media, and technology over at my personal website @begeem.

    There ya have it (er, me).

    • Brian, this is exactly what I’m talking about! You are a do-er. Thanks for posting up all that good stuff! I also know who to go to for my activism entrepreneur connections!

  2. James Cornell

    I am a Reiki Practitioner specializing in stress relief and healing. Western medicine typically treats the symptoms not the root of the illness. I focus on the energy of the person and release the dis-ease that causes the illness. It would be considered Eastern medicine which is quickly dismissed by western medicine, however that is slowly changing.

    I am also launching a service called 4 in 1. You get 4 hrs of sleep in 1 hour. It is for people that are sleep deprived or refuse to work less in their lives but want an edge.

    I am in the process of bringing forth some amazing stuff to the over stressed, over worked, and tired of life people.

    That is what I do!

    • James, pop back by and link to your service when you get it up and running. I’m very interested in the 4-in-1. Check out my post on Sleep Without Sleeping and you’ll see my fascination with the topic.

  3. I am a change agent.

    Yeah, what does that mean, right?
    My “title” is Staff Development Coordinator. My work is helping others learn and grow. My title speaks to the fact that I get to do this work with schools and educators. The work I do is more about my personal philosophy and less about the messed up educational system. I stay in it to try and impact positive change. With every interaction with teachers and administrators, with every group I facilitate and support with their planning and goals for kids, I ask questions that get them to think about what really matters – doing what is right for kids and what will help them be independent and authentic on their journey. I get to remind them that the most important thing for kids is trust and relationships – that is what helps them learn.

    I get to do other stuff to, like read up on new State Education Department initiatives and how we get schools to comply…that is the not so fun stuff. Probably the best part of all of this is the relationships and connections I have built with some really cool people!

    And everything else I do outside of that is about the same thing. Being an example of living authentically and experiencing life fully – this is about helping others change, too. Helping them break free from the box.

    And I get to be a mom to two awesome kids! I love helping them realize their passions and how to simply be who they are…

    • Liane, you’re one of the few people I know that speaks about her day job with such enthusiasm. I am deeply impressed by that!

      And I think you should link to your blog! So, I will:

      • Thanks for the link. I thought I had done so…geesh I better fix that!

        After spending a week in Albany on job related training with 500 people from across NY state, I am even more inspired and ready to support some necessary reform in our schools!

  4. By day, I am a technical writer for the state of Texas. Basically, I translate auditors’ findings into plain English after they audit other agencies, public and private, that we give money to. But my passion is helping people preserve their families’ memories by creating scrapbooks detailing their lives, for themselves,their children and for generations to come. They may not always create what is commonly held to be beautifully artistic, but we each have a story to tell, and I get great satisfaction in helping bring those stories out.

    • Luci, what a great idea! I’m one of those forever sentimental types, and I wish I had the dedication to get my stuff together. I’ve been trying to gather family info for ages but I lack the follow through.

  5. Baker Lawley

    David–this is a great idea. Thanks for letting us share! (Also, what do YOU do? The whole blog’s about that, but, tell us more!)

    As for me, I’m a writer. I like to use my writing to help people live more creatively.

    I write at, and soon I’ll also be writing at but my favorite writing to do is fiction. I’ve got some published short stories under my belt that I’m proud of (two that you can read online are at and I’ve got a young adult novel manuscript finished that I’m submitted to literary agencies this summer, too. It’s a lot of fun.

    I’m also a cook, a swimmer, a woodworker, a musician, and a soon-to-be father (insert freak-out noise!).

    And to your point, if I waited to know someone with power in all the things I’m interested in, I wouldn’t explore and do most of the cool things I do. That’s the key–just follow your nose and do cool things. Then keep doing them. The people will come.

    Thanks, David!

    • Baker, Congratulations on your almost-fatherhood! I’d say that is one of the most exciting things one can do. Good for you!

      If you don’t slow down, you just may take over the world yet. I enjoy following along with your endeavors. Keep us posted when you get published! Also, for anyone reading this, Baker is also a pusher. He is looking to connect with folks who need help with their creative pursuits. Hit this man up!

  6. I’m still daydreaming about it. I’ll get back to you.

  7. We are virtual (new school) Human Resources and Career Development professionals. This virtual business allows us to do work we are passionate about while traveling the world and giving back.

    Love what Brian is doing – I will certainly be following him.

    • Caanan, you guys are inspirations and what I aspire to be. So just know that.

      Also, Brian is running in the right directions. Definitely keep up with him!

  8. What do I do? Well here it goes…

    Yoga certified Teacher: yet still not teaching. (working on it)

    Make-up Artist: still get jobs here and there

    Rookie Blog Writer:

    Health Advocate: vegan, gluten free (currently raw), fitness enthusiast, volunteer for F-CANCER. (

    Executive Coordinator and Operations Analyst: National University- I plan and coordinator events, run reports and data for our online sector, basically do whatever the Vice Pres needs me to do.

    Graduate Student: Masters of Special Education, just completed all the coursework and will begin by student teaching in September while maintaining my full time job. This should be interesting.

    I am also a mother to a shipoo named Dahlyla and to a newly added vegetable garden. πŸ™‚

    I am a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a niece, a cousin, a granddaughter, a girlfriend and a friend. That’s what I life most about what I do.

  9. You asked…

    There’s the vague/fluff answer: I provide, I look after my family, I tickle my nieces until they squeal, I question, critique and over analyse. I make people laugh, and am usually the person to say the one inappropriate thing everyone else is thinking.

    By day, I’m a Civil Engineer. Everything in the built environment I guess. A combination of science and natural resources for your living social infrastructure pleasure.

    More than anything, I complain too much!

    Tell us David, we want you chime in with what do YOU do?

    • Andrew, you didn’t mention one important thing… you are also a writer and a thinker. Give yourself more credit πŸ™‚

      As for what I do, well I’m still trying to figure that out. I like to think I do whatever it is that interests me. πŸ™‚

  10. Hey David,

    I am human being and what I do is I live. I wander and I observe. I communicate with the world in a mindful way.

    I am a husband and everyday I enjoy it.

    I design softwares. Right now I am in the process of learning new languages and I am looking for new ways to interact between humans and machines.

    I write at not much lately as I spent more time studying programming.

    • Beautiful answer Manu. Designing software sounds tough, but damn cool!

  11. There’s two main things that I’m extremely passionate about and am an expert at.

    I make music. I compose, perform, teach, record, mix, produce, arrange, study and analyze esoteric/innovative work…

    I make food. Always vegan and delicious. Simple or complex, traditional or experimental, raw or soul food.

    I like to interact with people that are doing things to save the world. Like Marcin at, who I used to live near and help out. Open-source hardware to build civilizations, how super-cool!

    I’ve been self-employed for four years, living very frugally and doing a huge variety of odd jobs when my music work is slow.

    Selling most of my possessions and moving in Portland in five weeks with no plans. Most likely I will be making music, food, and interacting with other folks saving the world.

    By the way, this is cool, I love reading about what other people are doing!

    In my link I have some of the music I’ve written, mostly performed with groups.

    • Joseph, you are exactly the type of person I had in mind when I wrote this. Thanks for the response!

  12. Jen Smith

    I am a photographer!! I end that emphatically because I left the corporate world 5.5 years ago to stay home with my kids and had I not done that I would have NEVER started my photography business. When you make a change or take a leap of faith… You make room for new things in your life. I believe this path of simple living does the same thing!! By removing clutter, stuff, negativity, unhappiness…. you make room for new experiences, jobs, relationships. It’s a beautiful thing!

    • Jen, exactly this! You got it! If anything, you are the motivation folks need! So keep telling your story. You are a do-er and we need more of you around here! πŸ™‚

  13. rob white

    Hi Andrew,
    I’ve declared myself an author and I write first … and when I can’t stand it anymore I keep writing! I’ve made it my marvelous obsession to finish my next book. It’s when I am writing and exploring that I best express and experience my superlatively creative side. Releasing all my energy into creativity is the most satisfying feeling I have known.

    • Rob, you touch on a great point. Make the declaration. And then follow through!

  14. I’m a multi-dimensional person, and I don’t just do one thing.

    >I breathe.
    >I think.
    >I feel.
    >I write.
    >I love.
    >I hurt.
    >I create.

    That’s just a little glimpse of me though.


  15. Yoneco | A Life Undeniable

    I write, teach, travel, and run my own business. I also sing in the shower, poorly speak Dutch, and am the well trained co-owner of the world’s most adorable Cocker Spaniel.

  16. Yoneco, you are doing it! I hope the educational consulting really takes off! You’re bound to success regardless… you’ve got that solopreneur spirit!

  17. Itay @ DCAC

    I run a community acupuncture clinic. So instead of seeing one person at a time, I have a big room and see 6-11 people at a time. Individualized treatments, just made affordable. $15-$40 sliding scale, pay what you choose. I’m part of a movement changing the way people get acupuncture (and healthcare in general) in the US and around the world. Love it!

    In my “free” time (what business owner ever has truly free time?) I’m a husband and father and reader and minimalist. I’m always learning new ways to really help people get better faster. I think there’s a big overlap between health and minimalism – people buy stuff to feel better, but if the felt great in the first place, it’d be easier to make positive change in out lives. It goes both ways, of course. Cut back on consumption and you’ll probably feel better, too.

    Yay, us!

    • Itay, thanks for doing what you do. I have done both group and solo sessions. I’m so glad to have discovered it. I’m hooked. One of the best ways I’ve found to explore new territories (for myself anyways).

  18. Todd | Channelingmyself

    Hey Dave,

    I’m a network engineer for a major telecom company. I also have my blog and of course throw father and husband into the mix.

  19. Hugo Martins

    To be honest…I do a lot less than what I could not…shame on me.

    But thanks for the opportunity David πŸ™‚

  20. a little late to the party, but here goes:

    and some of this:

    • Anca, you should know this party goes on forever! πŸ™‚

      Thanks for linking what you do. Btw, your tumblr is making me hungry!

  21. I make art and accessories from duct tape. Some of my stuff is currently on .

  22. By day I live in a cube, and make sales quotes for all the fancy software and equipment that goes into calling customer support and getting a human, or not.

    This is my spoon:

    This is my tunnel:

    I’ll be free soon enough.

  23. I was sent your blog by a friend who told me to read it because she thought what you were doing reminded her of myself and the impact I’ve had on her to leave a job she hates and follow her passion of traveling. Im 27 and graduated UCSB almost 3 years ago. I moved down to San Diego and tried the corporate world for 3 months and knew something was wrong. My inspiration to remove myself from the corporate world didn’t come from being completely miserable in my job but instead that there was a lack of passion and motivation. Much of my decision too was based on taking the time to listen to those much older than me and the regrets and changes they would make or had made in their life. I didn’t want to live a life to impress others by my title or by the amount of zeros in my salary but instead wanted to be an example of what it means to live your dreams. To wake up each day excited for the day. I think overall the level of personal happiness and being able to live in the comfort of ones own skin has dropped significantly. For these reasons I dropped everything and started over.

    I spent 2 years traveling to places like Indonesia and New Zealand while working side jobs in between. I had a pattern of every 6 months I would float off to somewhere else. It was at this point that my passion transformed into a lifestyle and a job. I’ve been an avid snowboarder for almost 9 years now and along my travels, I fulfilled my desire to live and work in the mountains for a season. Mixing together my passion for photography, my love for snowboarding topped off with a bit of motivation, the road as a snowboard photographer opened up. So to answer your question, what I do… I am a contracted snowboard photographer or living my dream. my website Sometimes I can’t tell if Im working or playing or flat out just LIVING. Though Im relatively new to the industry itself and am working my way up, I couldn’t be more motivated to learn, succeed and grow while doing so. Im a full believer that if you follow your hearts passion you will find what you are looking for at the end of the road. The universe has a funny way of aligning your stars when you let it.

    Im inspired by your words and think what you are doing is great. People like you create movement. I was speaking with someone a while back about how many people in my life thought what I was doing was crazy… their response to me was this, “you do what most people want to do but don’t have the guts nor the courage to try. You make them nervous but it’s a good nervous” Thanks for the inspiration…Keep it up, movement creates change.

    • Shaunte,

      Thanks for sharing your story. You are the type of person I want to surround myself with. After all, if you’re a reflection of your friends and they aren’t crazy, passionate, motivated, risk-takers, well then I imagine it’s tough to be that yourself. Truly, thanks for connecting. Your photography is damn impressive. Makes me want to give snowboarding a try. Or at least it makes me think there’s more to life than surf and sunshine.

  24. What a great post! And what an eclectic bundle of responses! I just recently came across your site (actually, my sister sent me your hammock post and well, I’ve been making my way through the rest of the posts). Then I got to this one and figured I would attempt to contribute despite being 149 days late.
    I’m a 26 year old graduate student originally from New York, but currently living in North Carolina, researching the genetic basis of brain tumors and brain tumor metabolism.

  25. I question. I think. I don’t write; I don’t know if I want to or not. I cook. I think more. I go to sleep, then do it all over again.

    • Keirsten, thanks for sharing! Also, great video explaining the paleo lifestyle on your blog. Aaaaand you say you don’t write… πŸ™‚

  26. Tough question. I’ll start with what I’ve done and where I see myself going.

    I recently paid off all my debt. Now I’m working my ass off to save some coin and travel the world slowly and cheaply. First journey is to kayak, walk, ride, backpack to Brazil to attend the World Cup in 2014.

    On a deeper level, now that I’ve freed myself from financial obligations, I want to explore the gift economy. I hope to untether myself from the belief that I need as much money as I do — or any at all!

  27. I’m a good year late. I just started reading your blog and I’m starting at the beginning and reading ALL. That being said, I’m a receptionist at a car dealership. I’m also a bouncer at a bar on the weekends. I sometimes work at seminars where people cry and hug a lot. I love that stuff. I’m currently looking for my scientist-like job. For now, I read your blog while random strangers sit in the lobby impatiently waiting on their cars. And I’m buying a hammock to replace my bed with.

  28. I also just found out about this blog and I already love it. Glad I found you! πŸ˜‰

    Well, currently I work as a front desk manager in a luxury boutique hotel and as a side job I do personal fitness training.

    I also recently (at the beginning of this year) went vegan and started blogging about it. and Not sure if I want to turn that into a business at one point but for now it’s just fun to share my experiences and adventures in the “vegan world” with others.

    Stop by and say Hi if you have a chance! πŸ˜‰


  29. Well, the second link works better when you add an “n”. lol.

  30. […] Lasly, if you know anyone who has a unique or just damn interesting living situation and would like to be featured, please get in touch! If anonymity is needed or preferred, that’s no problem. There are a lot of folks out there looking for inspiration on unconventional living locations. Let’s collaborate. Show off your place and show us what you do. […]

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