Thanks to Jules for sending me this awesome NYT interview with Carol Smith, SVP and chief brand officer at the Elle Group in NYC. People often ask me how I got into this weird niche of internal communications and how I succeed at running my own business, and whether this was my lifelong dream, yada yada. I will say this – all I ever knew was that I wanted to be a writer. No, I don’t write what really “makes my soul sing” to put food on my table. I make time to do that on the side because it’s important to me, however at this point, it doesn’t afford me the lifestyle or the freedom I want. But as Carol notes below, work brings success and money and freedom – and then more success and money and freedom. Take note, kids: the key word here is WORK.
Q. Looking back, do you feel there was a moment or experience that set your career on a different trajectory?
A. I started working at 16. I worked all through college. Work brought me success and money and freedom, and then more success and more money and more freedom.
I failed a few times. I failed to get into the college of my choice. I failed to get into law school. And they were big failures for me, but I found the more I worked, the better I did, without ever having a goal. I didn’t have a goal. I wanted to be a lawyer and I didn’t get to be a lawyer, but all of a sudden I woke up one day and I was in publishing, and I knew what I was doing.
As I look back, I think that sometimes you can’t have the five-year plan for yourself. If you’re doing something well, you tend to keep doing it. That’s how you fall into careers.