Undeniably Usefully Unique

I just read Jason Toney’s “Do the Hard Things” where he talks about how his work mantra is not serving him in this season of life.

I have my own version of this story. My work motto is

“Be undeniably usefully unique”.

(A mouthfull, but I like the alliteration.)

A few years ago I hit a ceiling as a marketer. My early lead in understanding the technology and culture of publishing for the web had faded.

To be undeniably usefully unique I decided to learn to code and build projects in public.

(Plot twist – Jason’s wife was one of my generous mentors)

So I rented a co-working space in downtown Greensboro, and twice on weekdays and once on the weekend I went there to code.

It was hard on my young family, but I prioritized having dinner together, and worked out a deal where my wife put my kids to bed on those nights.

I became a “Marketer who Codes”, a unicorn, and that led to a string of 3 jobs and double my salary.

Tech layoffs struck last year, and I’ve been freelancing. I got my first AWS certification and I’m slowly working on the architect badge.

Why slowly?

Because my kids are older, my wife is busier, and my interests are wider. I don’t want to live a lopsided life to upgrade my unicornity.

I still believe in the value of being undeniably usefully unique. But I want to be that for my family and community first.