I spent some time today reading reviews of Sheryl Sandberg’s book, Lean In. (She’s the COO of Facebook, former VP at Google. She’s kind of a big deal.) I was looking for quotes from her, for a newsletter article I’m writing for my fitness club client on advice from powerful moms. I ended up reading a ton about her–past interviews, her commencement address at Barnard (after the likes of Meryl Streep and Hillary Clinton…) and I knew, we should pay attention to Sandberg.
I confess, I caught myself twice about to treat Sheryl Sandberg “like a girl,” in the last paragraph, one thing she has been speaking out so strongly, eloquently about lately, in her book and by her very existence. I almost said, “former VP at Google, a real woman’s woman…” or something like that. Calling out that she’s a female, instead of the fact that she’s an extremely important person in two of the monumental tech companies of our time. Then, at the end of the first paragraph, I almost wrote, “pay attention to Sheryl.” I thought, if it was Zuckerberg, would I say Mark? Even though he is young enough to be my son, would I say that, or call him by his last name, in true journalistic style? No, I shouldn’t write Sheryl. That’s too familar. As if we’re going to be playing Bunko together. Sandberg’s a big deal. And her message is amazing.
The start of her message is a question I have adored and pondered and asked others to ask themselves for years, but never really taken all the way on my own,
What would you do if you weren’t afraid?
She says that her book, Lean In, was her answer. One of them anyway. That’s a lot like another question that came to me, via a blog I came to enjoy this week, The Accidental Cootchie Mama. This morning, its author Andra Watkins stated something important, out loud. What she wanted more than anything was to meet Elaine Stritch. And the results of that statement, and the ensuing comments, and her enthusiasm, make me believe that she just might be able to. In Michigan, soon, when Ms. Stritch retires there.
What do you want more than anything?
I’ll tell you what I want. (Let me just say, this isn’t easy. Because there are so many things I want very much, but most of them are on behalf of other people.) What I want more than anything for myself, is to read, write, inspire and teach all day for money, with enough time left to cook, garden, enjoy popular media and travel (and write about that, too).
That is sort of like what I am doing, except I need the “for money” part to fill out much better, and more consistently. So come on, Universal Blogospheric Industrial Corporate Bigbrothery Compound Bankrolling Moneytree of Affirming Life. Show me the money. No, money is not what I want more than anything; it’s what I want at a rewarding rate of return for what I want more than anything. (I’ll note people get paid for that kind of shady euphemistic writing, don’t they? Shouldn’t I be writing political speeches or something?)
What I want more than anything is to do what I love and to make it bankable.
Something like this bank:
Not this bank:
Okay fine. BOOYAH!
- Sheryl Sandberg: Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders (roxanneindelicato.wordpress.com)