Had Jack Kerouac Been a Blogger

January 22, 2011


Jack Kerouac’s typewriter on display in Lowell, MA.
Photo from The Beat Museum on Wheels, via Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub

by James Navé, Co-Facilitator, The Blog Workshops

In a recent post from www.Copyblogger.com, Logan Zanelli contributed an article entitled 125 Tips For Building and Irresitable Brand. Zanelli opens by asking: “How, exactly, do you create a brand that’s irresistible to your audience and positions you as an authority?

Zanelli asks 125 provocative questions that he uses in his coaching to help people build a personal brand.  If you’re as curious as I am, and I suspect you are, you would, as I did, read on.

After reading all the questions, I decided to answer them. Here’s the first question followed by my answer.

“What drives you? Is there an emotion, need, desire, or past event that motivates you to take action? How can you infuse some of that energy into your brand?”

When I was fifteen I watched my father go to work at the Power Company everyday. He went because of duty, not passion. It was his job, something he had to do to feed his family, a wife, three sons, and one daughter. His passion was music. After work he played music; during work he longed to play music.

One summer’s day, the fear of having to spend my life working like my Father shook me. I decided, precisely at 4:37 pm, while walking down a two lane road, that I would never be subservient to a boss, someone else’s schedule, or the grind of an impersonal workplace.

In that flash, I gave my life over to the unpredictable notion that I could live on my own terms, in my own way, and with a sense of wide eyed joy that would wake me every morning with one question on my lips, “what’s next?”

I seldom quote Jack Kerouac’s The Road. But I think in this case, Old Jack sums up exactly “who and what” I saw when that flash of inspiration surged through.

Here’s what Jack said.

“They danced down the streets like dingledodies, and I shambled after as I’ve been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes ‘Awww!’”

There’s a wild spirit that infuses Jack’s quote. It stirs your heart, makes you want to put on something fancy, dance all night and when dawn comes yell out to anyone who is listening, “Here I am world, good morning!”

That is the kind of energy my brand will radiate.

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