Write an About Page, even if for a Readership of 1

You need not be a webmaster or blogger to have an About Page: Write one which is just for you.

I’ve been thinking about this lately, and of how it’s such a fabulous exercise of self-attuned and value-aligned thinking, because of three reasons:

  1. My online reading habits. Whenever I click somewhere new to me, an About Page is the first thing I look for. I want to know what people believe in, and what they happen to be working on currently as their Ho‘ohana. That information can be tough to find, and it shouldn’t be if the site or platform is the work of genuinely authentic people.
  2. It was time to update my own About Page here on Talking Story, and writing as a physical activity always delivers in some way. Thinking about something, and forcing yourself to write it down as you flesh it out, even if just to explain it to yourself, are two distinctly different activities, and they build on each other quite well.
  3. Writing my D5M Playbook has reminded me of how small jobs are, and how abundant ‘work’ is in comparison.

To sum it all up, you can write an About Page too (or elevator speech, or Ho‘ohana Statement), to grab hold of your own abundance, and get it into more focus — “it” being the work you find you gravitate toward most of all. That physical activity of writing about it, will often turn on another tap, releasing very attractive thoughts about what you GET to do, and still WANT to do, and probably can. The work you enjoy is what bubbles to the top, just like buttercream does in milk — and like spirit-spilling does, when we treat Aloha as a value.

Write a simple page about your Ho‘ohana work that’s more like a letter to your Aloha Spirit, saying “I know you’re there, and I still hear you guide me!” in wonderful self-affirmation.

Writing about the work you love doing is value-mapping Nānā i ke kumu (Managing with Aloha chapter/value 17): You “look to your source” to thereby know your own truth — that whole, beautiful truth about who you really are… sense of place, sense of work, sense of liberating life design for best well-being.

There’s never been a better time to reinvent ourselves.

We all know that the recessionary economy we’re still in has made earning a living a whole new ballgame. There are several struggles to overcome still, but let’s hō‘imi, and focus on the good ways we’ve been forced to make a change. We get to creatively reinvent ourselves in more liberating and individually-customized ways as we work within our means.

People are too big for jobs and always have been. We don’t fit into them completely enough, especially people like you, who have decided to explore being an Alaka‘i Manager.

‘Job’ will often pigeonhole us into somebody else’s preconceived notion about it, as documented on a ‘job description,’ a construct written for a business objective, and not for you individually as the unique packaging of the Aloha Spirit you are. So ignore the word, and any title you may have which is attached to it, because job is a too-small container for the wealth of working capacity you have — ignore the thought if you can, and focus on all the work activity you do instead.

Job is scarcity thinking — it’s a restrictive definition of sameness and uniformity.
Work is abundance thinking — it’s an activity-packed definition of individuality and possibility.

In my case for example, jobs like author, coach, business owner just don’t cut it; they’re far too general. I’m always trying to laser in to greater detail, and the marvelous result is that being more specific and descriptive doesn’t restrict me. My quirky qualifications actually help me see more possibility that I might have missed before, and I better understand my own niche and place in the world.

Bursting forth

We can’t be the life of every party, but we sure can rock the party we’re at.

I’ll be tweaking my Ho‘ohana descriptions forever, always exploring and experimenting, always revising and refining. I fall in and out of love with the words I choose to describe myself, and I love that talk story opportunity I get when people say, “You do what? Tell me what that means.” It’s part of the fun of it all. Work can lighten up, that’s for sure, and be more playful and inventive.

Wikipedia is a great place to discover how some of the people you may admire most had actually defied the conventions of traditional jobs and forged their own destiny. Here are a couple of examples:

Martin Luther King Jr. “was an American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for being an iconic figure in the advancement of civil rights in the United States and around the world, using nonviolent methods following the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. King is often presented as a heroic leader in the history of modern American liberalism.”

George Bernard Shaw
“was an Irish playwright and a co-founder of the London School of Economics. Although his first profitable writing was music and literary criticism, in which capacity he wrote many highly articulate pieces of journalism, his main talent was for drama, and he wrote more than 60 plays. Nearly all his writings address prevailing social problems, but have a vein of comedy which makes their stark themes more palatable. Shaw examined education, marriage, religion, government, health care, and class privilege.

Shaw was most angered by what he perceived as the exploitation of the working class. An ardent socialist, Shaw wrote many brochures and speeches for the Fabian Society. He became an accomplished orator in the furtherance of its causes, which included gaining equal rights for men and women, alleviating abuses of the working class, rescinding private ownership of productive land, and promoting healthy lifestyles. ”

So tell us, what are you all about today?

Always remember that motivation is an inside job. When we honestly reflect on it, we often realize that self-motivation is the only kind that counts in the best work we do. That’s great news when you think of all that energetic, pure-talent possibility inside you, just waiting to come out to play.

I’d be honored to be your Reader #2 if you draft an About Page for the first time” I know many of you reading this, and you’re a very interesting bunch. If I wrote your About Page, it would be absolutely impossible for me to describe you in a single job title, or even in a single paragraph! So for heavens sake, don’t do that to yourself.

Stand tall, and stake your claim with what you believe in, and thus, what you work on (another way to describe Ho‘ohana in English :) In fact, do feel free to use the comment boxes to have others in our Ho‘ohana Community meet you. How would you describe your Ho‘ohana these days, your intention with the worthwhile work which makes your heart sing?

Here is the “About the Author” write-up now in the latest draft of my D5M Playbook in progress:

Rosa Say is a workplace culture coach who is determined to reinvent our workplaces value by value, and conversation by conversation, making our working communities healthier and more rewarding for us all. As founder of Say Leadership Coaching, Ho‘ohana Publishing, and Writing with Aloha, Rosa is hired as a speaker, teacher, and coach for her expertise in values-based business management, and as a change agent leading organizational culture design.

Rosa is known for her work leading the Managing with Aloha movement within Hawai‘i and internationally, a philosophy which draws from her 30-year career in the resort hospitality industry and her current business laboratories in writing and coaching for a variety of fields, including education, medicine, governance, and land development due to her specialty of Sense of Place acculturation. Her ‘Ohana in Business modeling initiatives are focused on enabling people to achieve self-sustenance as the shared Kuleana of thriving communities — in her most passionate vision, ‘public welfare systems’ become relics of the past because people no longer need the crutches.

Published in 2004 as the first of her books, Managing with Aloha is considered a classic values essay which describes how Hawaii’s Language of Intention and Sense of Place perception delivers a sensibility in work ethic which can be brought to the art of business universally. The book is widely used as an indispensable resource for managers, for Rosa is their most vocal advocate and champion when management is courageously redefined for developing people and their human-powered energies. Rosa publishes the popular Talking Story blog, and the ebooks she writes “on managing and leading as accessible verbs” are published to encourage the constant curiosity, questioning, and creative energies of her Ho‘ohana Community’s learning conversations there — please join us!

Rosa lives on the Big Island of Hawai‘i and travels frequently in her passion for speaking with audiences of managers seeking to bring the values of Aloha into their work practice. Learn more about her current projects at www.RosaSay.com.

Honey Collector


    • Rosa Say says

      Do come back and share a link with us when you’re done Dan! The way I see you? Directional thinker, behavior explainer, mentor of faith and trust, and exceptionally generous coach.

  1. says

    This is a really good idea. No seriously… This reminded me that people are so anonymous on the web, and to really connect and build trust with people, they need to really know who you are and provide relevant contact info. My About page: http://leadingquotes.org/about/ was kind of pathetic. So I thank you just for the few opening paragraphs to remind myself to change them.

    • Rosa Say says

      It is ironic isn’t it, how people can be so secretive and protective of their privacy (quite understandable) while they use the web for personal and professional branding.

      Thank you for reading, and for adding your thoughts here Will. I’ll revisit your site in the coming week to see what you came up with!