Becoming a Writer with Patrick McNerthney

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My friend Patrick has had a nonlinear career path.

I wanted to have him on the how and hear a little bit more about the pivot he took in his career to get to where he is today.

Today he’s a copywriter and a writer.

In this conversation, we get to dig into all the twists and turns that his career has taken him, as well as geek out a little bit on creative work.

We talk about the discipline of getting in the chair and putting the time in to make creative work and how you have to be in the right place in order for the inspiration to strike, not the other way around. And so much more.

It’s just a really fun conversation. You’re in for a treat here today.

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Resources Mentioned:

Patrick’s Book

Software Generated Transcription:

Dan: Patrick, welcome to The Meaning Movement Podcast. I’m so pumped to have you on the show. Welcome aboard.

Patrick: Thanks for having me, Dan.

Dan: The question I like to begin with is how do you begin to talk about the work that you do in the world?

Patrick: Um, that’s a good question. The, the first thing I try and do is, um, remind myself to not nerd out about the finer points of, uh, writing copy for, whether it’s for a business or a book . Cause then I can see, I can see people’s eyes kind of glaze over, you know? Um, I do, I do like to frame it as, Hey, I wrote a couple books and then, and then I try and give somebody a book, and then they look at me and go, why?

Why are you giving me this book? You know, that kind of thing.

Dan: I

Patrick: then I, and then it’s um, I think like a lot of, uh, people who write it’s, well, here’s what I do to make a living.

Dan: Uhhuh,

Patrick: writing, and here’s what I really enjoy. And they live together. And, you know, maybe the, maybe the p and l on the book is terrible, but that’s why, you know, I have these clients that I write stuff for and that’s how I pay my mortgage.

So yeah, it’s us. It’s usually something like,

Dan: I love it. And that’s such a good just entry point into, you know, I think why so many people listen to this show cause they’re thinking about these things too, of like, oh, I love doing this, I wanna do more of it. Is it one thing or do I do two things? And sometimes they, they feel like we feel weird about it and it’s like, I don’t like that.

I. Have to call myself multiple things and wear different hats. And so, um, yeah. I just appreciate you just jumping right into the, right into the heart of the challenge of this whole world.

Patrick: Yeah, for sure. Yeah, and it, it took me a, it took me a long time. I mean, I, I didn’t, I didn’t start calling myself a writer literally until like 20 months ago,

Dan: Yeah. I wanna hear that. I wanna hear that story. Let’s, let’s just, maybe just to start, um, if there’s more to it than that, what is your, what is your relationship with being a writer? What does that look like? Where did that emerge?

Patrick: Well, I can tell you that I graduated from high school and college with the firm belief that. I couldn’t be a writer because nobody makes any money being a writer, and this is not, this is not untrue. Thus, thus, the book work and thus the work work, right? Um, so I kind of spent a long, long time, many, many years doing work that I thought, um, was the right work to do.

Rarely did it involve. Any kind of writing. I had some, I had some stints for a PR firm and, and um, some time at some ad agencies and stuff like that. And at that time, I really didn’t equate the business writing I was doing for them with the kind of writing I wanted to do. So it wasn’t until, um, someone.

Told me, well, if you want to, if you want to do it, you know, if you wanna be a writer, you sit down and start. And if you do it, I mean, and then, and then whatever number you have to make up to justify it, that’s fine. So you do it four days a week and there you go. You’re,

Dan: you’re a

Patrick: a writer, . That’s it. And then they went on to.

You know, same thing applies for weightlifting, running, you know, whatever it is, obviously. But, but that was probably kind of on, on the, on the stuff. I really enjoyed the book stuff. That was the, that was the moment I went, huh. Oh yeah, that totally makes sense. Right.

Dan: yes.

Patrick: I’m

Dan: I laugh because it’s like, it’s so obvious, but also like we all struggle with it and it’s like you just sometimes just need someone to give you permission to do the thing that you want. You want to do, and I don’t know why. I don’t know.

Patrick: 8, 8,

Dan: why that is. I’m curious if you have thoughts, why, why is that, why is it so hard to just say, yeah, I’m this and I’m gonna do it instead, we like wait for someone to

Patrick: And that’s just

Dan: send us on our way or give us a map.

Patrick: right, right. I I, hopefully I’ll be clear and succinct here, but the, the, this kind of thing I think about all the

Dan: Yes.

Patrick: And I’ll, and I’ll use my. I wanna make sure I keep using the first person, not because I think I’m that important, but because I don’t wanna make it sound like I assume the applies to

Dan: Yes, yes, but it probably will

Patrick: it, yeah. I mean, there’s a, um, I mean, I mean certainly there’s the, the nature and the nurture expectations that happen throughout somebody’s life, right? Where it’s, I mean, Go into psychology and start blaming parents for everything and all that. And that’s not, not the point. It’s just at a, I think for me it was this, um, idea of, well, no, it’s, you know, you need to make a lot of money and oh, you need to be, I need to be successful in all these other metrics.

That were, um, absorbed externally. They weren’t my metrics. They were the ones I heard. Don’t, don’t get me wrong, my friends des my friend, describes money really well. He says it won’t make you happy, but it makes life easier.

Dan: yes.

Patrick: it’s, it’s not like it’s not important, but ultimately, I, I think it’s that outside in we’re hearing that noise and we adjust our thoughts to match

Dan: Yes.

Patrick: expectations of that noise.

Um, and I think it, that’s why it took me so long, because as it, it was basically a function of like actually, I have agency over what I do. I can, I, I’m, and, and what the hard part with that is, and this is the other reason I think people delay different things they want to do. The hard part about the agency piece is this.

Now I’m on the hook.

Dan: Yes,

Patrick: And then you go down the road of like, well, I’m scared cuz what if it sucks?

Dan: yes.

Patrick: Oh, I’m scared cuz what? You know, all those different things and that’s why it took me this long. And I also, you know, would be the first one to tell anyone. I don’t have some kind of like magic experience when I write something.

Where I feel confident and I know it’s gonna work, nor do I have the magic experience of like, oh my God, that’s really good that, I mean, it just doesn’t happen that way for me. Right? Like it’s, it’s the, I, I spoke with a woman once who said to me, I was in alert, this big learning group online. And we were in this community together, and I, I had responded to a prompt and I said something to the effect of, yeah, it’s funny because for me, writing humor and satire is conflicting because I have to be so disciplined to sit down and do it for an hour and a half a day.

At five 30 in the morning, cuz that’s the only time I can do it. And it takes so much focus that it’s frankly not enjoyable.

Dan: Hmm.

Patrick: And someone kind of accidentally took that quote, I had written it down. Um, someone kind of took it outta context on, on accident and posted it in this like big forum. And I remember this woman, I mean, she was like, that is not how creativity works for me.

I love, you know, and just, and this, this was, um, she’s writing back to me, right? And I just said, I. I wasn’t mad, I wasn’t anything I just said. I, I literally just said, I am so glad that’s how you roll. That’s awesome. And then later someone else told her, Hey, sorry I took this outta context. I made it sound like Patrick was like, this is the way it works.

Dan: yeah, yeah.

Patrick: And she was like, I’m so sorry. And, and I was like, it’s all good, right? Like, What was cool for me there was to watch this woman who I don’t really know. That’s how passionate she is about what she does. Right. And it’s not like I could have taken it personally or whatever, but it was just like that energy was was great.

So that was a big answer to one question. Sorry, I cover a

Dan: it’s a, it’s a fantastic answer because again, I think it’s just the heart at heart of the dilemma of like, wanting something and, and going after it. And I mean, just so much of it, everything you said just resonates with me. Like put, allowing yourself to be on the hook is terrifying. You know? Like the more you want something, the, the more effort you put into it, the less of an excuse you have.

Patrick: think it’s a job to

Dan: For, for the disappointment that you’re, that you’re gonna, that you, that you’re gonna, you’re gonna feel disappointed one way or the other. Um, maybe because it’s not as perfect as it was in your mind, or maybe because it doesn’t reach as many people as it as, as you hoped or like, and so it’s just, it’s easier to.

To, uh, you know, pursue success, quote unquote, and living out someone else’s dream for your, for your life and your career. Then it is to like, face your demons and sit in a chair and type words that you don’t even like because you, because you’re not as good of a writer as you wish you were. At least that’s my experience and that’s why I’m, I’m, I barely call myself a writer because I don’t do it enough, you know, because it’s too hard.

Patrick: yeah,

Dan: what you’re saying, just like, just totally tracks for me, so thank you for saying it.

Patrick: Yeah. It’s awesome.

Dan: I’m curious like,

Patrick: I asked my brother too, like if there

Dan: well, I, I, I think what I hear in that also just like so much, so much permission for people to like, Not romanticize the process like that. Creativity doesn’t, isn’t a, a magical experience. It’s just, it’s just work.

Um, it can be magical. Um, there can be magical moments and hopefully there’s moments of inspiration and moments when it feels really good. But a lot of times you just gotta show up. It reminds me of, um, actually haven’t read, um, Steven Pressfield’s latest book,

Patrick: oh yeah. Well, there you go. Yeah.

Dan: Yeah, put , put your ass where your heart wants to be.

Is, is the title which I like. I don’t need to read it. I know, I know what it’s gonna say. Um, and so it’s saying exactly what you’re saying.

Patrick: Yeah. And that’s where, and you know, for the record and for full disclosure things I’m talking about right now, it’s all from Seth Goden. You know, those are the workshops I was in, um, Pressfield’s book. Um, the, I mean, this is, this is all. This is how, I’m glad you mentioned Pressfield because it makes me realize this wasn’t just something I stumbled upon, right?

I was, I was, I was dissatisfied and unhappy with what I was doing professionally,

Dan: Mm.

Patrick: and I stopped and I started. I was exposed to things like Seth’s blog, Pressfield’s book, a host of writers and teachers, and it was by in reading that and stopping, if I hadn’t have stopped, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

I’d be doing something that I would be. Really unhappy. Yeah. And yeah, it would never, so I just wanna throw that

Dan: Yeah. Give,

Patrick: Cause it’s like, like what? Like, oh wait, I didn’t invent all this. I, I, there’s people out there trying, like you trying to help people. Um, and, and being able to read that stuff and being, I just read some somebody’s quote recently cuz I’m a total thief, like all writers, right?

Like steal, like an artist is a book. Anyway, the recent quote was, curiosity makes you dangerous. And really it just comes down to, um, even a kid in school, right? Like, why, why beat this kid up for what he’s bad at or she’s bad at at school?

Dan: Yeah.

Patrick: What are they curious about? Because then boom, you know what I mean?

Doesn’t matter what it is. If you’re, if you’re engaged and curious about, Yeah. Yeah. The sky’s the limit. I mean, there’s, that is like the,

Dan: I love it. Yeah. Well, I, you know, let, let’s give, you know, Pressfield and Seth Goden and, and, and their likes like credit work credits due, but also like you’re, you’re the one who took the time to.

Patrick: Sure. Yeah.

Dan: Actually take action, right? Like we’re talking about, about people who are read by millions, um, if not, if not billions.

Um, and, and no one does any like, I mean, people do things with it. They’re impacting, you know, they’re make, they’re, of course there’s some, some of my favorite people to read, but like, it’s one thing to read and it’s another thing to put into action. And so like, I also want to make sure you give yourself some credit

Patrick: Yeah. All right. On

Dan: You’re, you’re getting in the chair, you’re, you’re, you’re getting in the chair.

You’re, you’re typing the word. You’re doing a better job of it than I am. Um, and so I, I applaud, I applaud you on that. I’m curious, how do you think of like, um, not that we’re talking about writing as being like a miserable experience, but like, like where do you find the motivation? Like when it, because it’s not like, oh, just rainbows and butterflies and unicorns and um, like, I want to hear about that.

Patrick: yeah. Um, you know, it’s funny because I have, um, so much work, um, that I actually get paid to do now that I cannot imagine that I haven’t written. I, I finally had some folks who read. Sub my sub stack. And these are like good friends of mine, right? So five people who are like, Hey, it’s, you haven’t written anything in like five months.

So, um, and they all get it, right? Like, oh, you’re, you’re, you’re writing, you’re just writing for essentially what amounts to business. And I, and you know, when I’m feeling dramatic, I go, yeah. And it’s killing me. Like I need to find that balance. Um, so. I’m kind of, I can tell you that the bandwidth, um, was, was the, has been gone for about five months.

So it’s a really good question because now I’m looking at myself going, okay, how, how do you get back into this and how do you, how do you sit down and do it and find that motivation? I had this down pat. I had this, it was a, I had it so dialed. I was, I just thought it was an intrinsic part of my body, right?

It’s gone and you know what it is. and it, and it is fully gone. And here’s what it is. Sit down at five 30 in the morning and I have until about 6 45.

Dan: Yep.

Patrick: Sometimes it would be 5:00 AM to 6:45 AM

Dan: Yeah.

Patrick: That was it Now. Now if I was lucky enough. Um, so I’m gonna steal another line from yet another person. I think it was Liz Gilbert talk has this TED Talk or something where she talks about how the Greeks defined genius.

And genius. Wasn’t this thing that you walked around with. It lived all over the place. And the bottom, the, the, the moral was if you don’t sit down genius, you’re not even giving it a chance to pay you a visit.

Dan: Yes.

Patrick: And so I haven’t sat down at those hours in four or five months. And so nothing is produced. And as a full caveat, I’m not saying when I did it was all genius by any means.

Dan: Yes.

Patrick: But that’s it. It’s.

Dan: Yeah.

Patrick: It’s the chunk of time and, and I took it for granted. I had it cuz I did it for so long, I did for like two years and it was, um, it was there and then some stuff changed and I was like, well I can get that back. And, and now it’s a little wonky so I know how to, I know where to go to get

Dan: Yeah.

Patrick: know, I know the chair I have to sit in at 5:22 AM to do.

Dan: Yeah.

Patrick: just me. It could be lunchtime, obviously. It could be 11 o’clock at night for, you know.

Dan: I mean that, that really resonates with me and I, I don’t know why, why it is, and maybe it’s just a mind game or excuse I make for myself that like, it just works best for me in the morning. And if I don’t do it in the morning, I have, I get pulled in so many directions between family stuff, work stuff, whatever.

It’s really hard to get back to like, What do I, what do I have to say and what am I, you know, trying to create? And, um, I mean, like, there’s smaller writing things I can do that are more, you know, task oriented, but, but it’s just like holding that space. It’s easiest for me first thing in the day. I know works at different times for different, different people.

But what I like about what you just said is like, I, I asked about motivation and you responded on like the mechanics. Like it’s almost like.

Patrick: much that

Dan: Like, it’s not like, because you don’t, if you know how to, if you know how to do it, then it doesn’t, you don’t have to force it. I mean, like, you just have to show up.

And so it’s not a matter of like, oh, I need my motivation to be at 10, you know, 10 outta 10 in order for me to write. It’s like, no, I just gotta get up at five and sit down and open, you know, get the keyboard out and start going.

Patrick: because

Dan: Which is like, it’s a helpful kind of reframing that it’s not, it’s not a question about motivation, it’s a question of schedule and time, I think in some ways.

Um, which is, which is, I dunno, it makes it a little bit easier to, to uh, yeah. To think about.

Patrick: It’s, it’s, it’s, it’s within reach , you know what I mean? Basically, it’s, it’s, it’s there. Yeah.

Dan: Yeah. I love it. I love it.

Dan: Well, I want to hear just more about the transition from your other work into writing as getting paid to write. Cause that’s big. Um, and that’s something that, um, yeah, I’m, I’m, well, I just wanna, I just wanna hear the story and maybe it’s like, maybe it’s not as magic magical, uh, from, from New York Vantage points, it feels like for mine.

But like, anytime someone, you know, anytime someone makes a major career pit that I. I, I feel like I just like need to know how do you go about doing that? How do you think about that? how, how did you stay the course, you know, through the, through the middle when you’re not sure if it’s gonna work out.

Like tell me, tell me some of that story.

Patrick: yeah. Um, I think it, I think it helped that I had failed a lot. I think that would, I think. Legitimately helpful. Um, I told, I told this story to someone recently and that she said to me, I said, that’s gotta be close to like your top 10, like weird career trajectories.

And she was like, no, that’s number one. And I was like, really?

Dan: I’d get a prize.

Patrick: and I don’t want to take up too much time, so I’m gonna try and just

Dan: Yeah. Yeah.

Patrick: give you a timeline. As, as I remember it, I graduated from school. I started to work for a PR firm, did some writing there, obviously turned out I hated PR because I felt like I was lying to everybody and I was doing retail pr.

It’s not like I was doing PR for Fred Hutch. My boss was great. There was nothing wrong with the clients or my boss. It just wasn’t a good fit. I got invited to sell Christmas trees online in the late nineties. One of those things where if I had kept. I’d probably having this be having this phone call from a, you know, Belize or something.

Dan: Yes.

Patrick: we just did it one year and that was it. Um, I worked for my friend’s uncle as a maritime courier. I drove around officers, crew and payroll to merchant vessels all over Puget. So I would, I would deliver $60,000 in cash to a Russian captain and an oil tanker in Port Angeles at one in the morning.

Dan: that’s wild.

Patrick: And then they’d count the money, you’d sit and they’d pour you a vodka.

They’d go, here’s your vodka. And they’re just like, and you know, all captains did Greek American, you know, um, started a small marketing agency. Of three, two friends that failed, worked in coffee for five years, pursued the fire service after nine 11 because I remember thinking, what am I doing? Like this is, you know, um, I tested for, with fire departments for about four years.

Never got in. Um, There was even more jobs in between here. I worked at an emergency department. I, I ended up opening my own coffee business on Queen Anne. That’s when I met you years ago.

Dan: Yes.

Patrick: Lost a bunch of

Dan: good grad school, grad grad school work in your coffee shop? Yes.

Patrick: So the trajectory is, you know, lose a bunch of money, make it back, start making money. At this point, leases are coming up and all this stuff, and it’s been eight years, you know, over.

Sold it. Went to work for a beverage startup as a marketing person, so there’s some writing in there.

Dan: Yeah.

Patrick: Got invited to work for a CBD beverage startup.

Dan: Hmm.

Patrick: Same deal, kind of marketing ish. And it was in that time when my friend who owned that business said, this isn’t working. You’re not happy. I’m not happy with what you’re.

Yeah, that’s when I stopped, because that’s probably when I was at my most un unhappy.

Dan: Yeah.

Patrick: Um, and then fast forward you go, okay, there’s a pandemic and, and um, I had taken some kind of portfolio classes and the Alt mba, which is a Seth Goden program.

Dan: Yeah.

Patrick: Long story short is I started writing, I hired myself to.

During the pandemic from, that was my first job as a writer.

Dan: I love that. Hired yourself. What a good way to, to frame it.

Patrick: And from that, that led to freelance work.

Dan: Yeah.

Patrick: And this of course skips over a bunch of bumps and all that stuff.

Dan: Yeah.

Patrick: So I think, you know, the, um, I’ve read some authors where you read the back of the cover and it says like, This is obviously not gonna be historically accurate. Jane Austin was a lobster fisherman and was in the military, and, and they list like 20 different things,

Dan: Yes, yes,

Patrick: I’m always like, Ooh, I could have that. I could have that weird, like, what, what, what did you do? Um, but it certainly made me mentally, and don’t get me wrong, I have my moments, but it’s. It made me pretty adaptable mentally. And, um, the, I I share an office space with two colleagues and like, they always say, Hey, there’s no, the secret is you gotta figure it out, right?

Like, like at a certain point you develop the mentality of like, I don’t know, I’m going to figure it out. Because there’s no, you know, there’s, there’s nowhere to go. There’s no one with all the answers.

Dan: no,

Patrick: And yeah, so that’s a very helpful mentality.

Dan: I love that. And I, I couldn’t, couldn’t agree. Couldn’t agree more. There, there is no map. You have to figure it out. I think of that, um, I’m gonna butcher it. Uh, is it like Antonio Marketto? I’m gonna, it’s a poem, but

Patrick: Yeah.

Dan: the, the, the path is made by walking. I’m looking it up right now. Um, it’s in Spanish originally.

Um, But it’s basically express expressing that, that, that very, very idea, like it’s, it, it goes something like the path maker. There is no path. The path is made by walking. Um, and, um, I’ll, I’ll link to it in the show notes after, after I find it. But it’s just so, so true. There isn’t, there isn’t a map.

There’s no map for where we’re gonna go, especially today, you know, maybe. 20, 30 years ago, there was more of a, more of a defined, a defined path. Um, but I hear, you know, I hear some, I don’t know, I, I, I guess I, I think of it like hearing your story and hearing your transition, like, and see like, yeah, that’s not, that’s not a map, but it’s like to be able to say like, okay, Patrick did that.

And so then if someone’s listening, they’re like, I want to be a writer. I want, I wanna make money writing. Here’s a guy. He took some portfolio classes, he pieced together the writing that he had done, you know, dug it out of internet archives or wherever, wherever it lived, and put together a portfolio and then hired, that really stands out to me, like hired, hired myself to write like that.

Like there’s a commitment in there, a commitment to yourself, a commitment to making, to, to the process of making a path, even though you don’t know what the destination is. Um, that, that I think is does, you know, it speaks volumes.

Patrick: Yeah. Yeah. And certainly for anybody who wants to do to, to really, you know, do, do it. It’s, it’s, um, there’s a, there’s also a certain amount of, of, um, well, what’s more important, your resume or a project?

Dan: Mm,

Patrick: it depends on who you’re talking to. I, I rhyme, I rhyme way more, way less with resume folks. Way more with, well, show me what you made.

Dan: yes. Mm-hmm.

Patrick: let me see. You know, uh, that, that, that’s, that’s a, a mindset thing. And some of it’s practical. Like, who cares what I wrote for a PR agency 15 years ago? You know what I mean? It’s literally not relevant, but I. Some of the really interesting stuff that happens is when, cuz I would talk to people and still do, and, you know, my resume’s insane.

It doesn’t even make sense to the point where I, I mean, I just wrote, I finally, after so many years, just wrote the resume. I wanted to write. I wasn’t trying to please people, I wasn’t trying to hit keywords.

Dan: Yep.

Patrick: Um, But it was way, way more, um, you know, when I, when, when the resume folks want to see, you know, let me see your resume, and I show it to ’em, I kind of enjoy it cuz I kind of get this like, what is this?

You know? Um, whereas show me something you did two weeks ago. Okay there, and then you can tell by the reaction whether we’re in the same wavelength or not. So yeah, there’s a lot of, there’s a lot of juice to that that I didn’t know was there. I mean, it was only after doing it, you know,

Dan: And I think that that speaks, uh, especially in the creative professions, but I think that there’s a lot of places in life where even if, even if you’re in a profession or in a field or going into a field that is more res resume based, to be able to have something that’s more of a project, you know, a portfolio, a project, something that you can point out and say.

I, you know, produced this event, wrote this piece, you know, edited this video. Like, I don’t know, like, like to, to, to keep, just to keep track. Like that’s something I’ve, I’ve been try thinking about it even in my own life when all the, all the different things that I’m doing. Like I always have a bunch of things going on, but I, I generally don’t do a very good job of documenting them.

It’s like they happen and then they’re gone, and then I, I’m making the next thing you know, but like, then thinking about, okay, let’s at least like take some screenshots or something and be able to. Here’s, here’s, here’s what. Keep a note on your phone and just write down like, here’s something I did.

Here’s something that I accomplished that, that I could talk about. You know? And it might be applicable to a, to a, to a coming opportunity.

Patrick: mentioned. It’s funny too, because when you were talking, I was thinking about. Your work right here doing this podcast, right? I don’t do that. I don’t know it, but I know here’s, here’s the rhyming part that’s really great.

Uh, people like us do things like this, right? We’re in the same tribe.

Dan: Yes,

Patrick: You know how much work it is, and I don’t mean that like when you’re talking to the right people that you rhyme with, you don’t have to. Because I’m like you. I mean, the documentation’s terrible, but you don’t have to go. Here’s proof of all this stuff I did.

The right person goes, uh, you did what? You do a podcast. Are you serious? And you do it consistently. Holy smokes. And you’re like, yeah,

Dan: Yes. Thank you. Thank you. Yeah. I’m like, yeah, I do. I mean, and that’s, yeah, again, like part of it’s, you know, probably the, the, the creative, the creative struggle of not being very good at talking about myself. I mentioned it to people who have known me for years. Like, you have a podcast.

I like, I’ve had a podcast for like eight years. Like, this isn’t new. Um, so yes, but, so thank you. I appreciate that. It just feels, feels good to be seen

Patrick: Yeah, that’s right.

Dan: One of my, um, frameworks I wanted to mention to you and just see how it lands with you, is when it comes to, and this has emerged from my, my research and working with clients around ideas of your work and meaning and, and what’s the recipe, you know? Um, but there’s four areas of life, and I can’t remember if we’ve talked about this before.

Um, Four areas where, where we find meaning and work is in a broad category. And I think you understand that well, that it’s, it’s using your agency, whether it’s paid or whether it’s a personal project or whether it’s, you know, something else. Um, the most meaningful, um, endeavors will have, have, you know, high marks in all four of these categories, which are the people.

So the people that you’re doing it with, that you’re doing it. The process, which is the actual process of doing the work, which we, we’ve talked about that a little bit. , the unpleasant, sometimes nature of it. Um, the, uh, the product. So like the goal, the end goal, um, the mission, if you will, of, of what you’re trying to accomplish.

And then the profit and profit can be, you know, could be dollars, could be lifestyle, could be benefits, could be, you know, whatever else comes back from, from the work. And I hear, you know, In your, in your life, like you’ve kind of, it feels like you’ve, you’re checking some of those, some of those marks in your, your personal writing and some of those marks in your, in your, you know, freelancing and, and professional, the professional side.

Um, but just at, you know, at a high level, I’m curious your reflections on, on those four categories, you know, in your life and how, how you’ve experienced meaning or lack thereof when viewed through that lens.

Patrick: sure. Um, yeah, that’s a really good. . That’s a really good question. Framework, I think

the one that jumps out at me the most. Okay, here, here’s the two that jumped out at me.

Dan: Yeah.

Patrick: Profit seen through the traditional lens of profit. I was gonna make my standard self-deprecating joke or jokes of Yeah, I sure haven’t experienced a lot of that. You know, um, man, you know, it’s not untrue. Um, of course there’s different ways to measure, um, profit, but I think the, the biggest one is the people portion.

And, and that’s, that’s the. . Um, I remember when I owned a coffee shop, there was, I had about a four year period where through a tiny bit of my skill at human resources and a lot of luck, I had a really good, tight team and they were great, great people. Like, you know, all the stuff that I love like funny.

You know, work hard, funny, don’t take themselves too seriously, that kind of thing. And then we’d kind of have these people rotating around that would kind of come and go. But it was okay because, you know, the core was there. Um, and that makes a hard lifestyle. Um, I, I shouldn’t say hard, just, um, lots, lots of hours, lifestyle, right?

Retail people would say, you’re an entrepreneur. And I’m like, I’m a small business person. I am no entrepreneur. I am just running a small business. Um, . But then on the the writing side, you know, it can be very, um, I think one of the reasons that I forget what I wrote fairly quickly is not a memory problem.

I think it’s because I do it as best as I can and then it goes out. And what happens after. isn’t in my control. The feedback I get, what I do with it is, you know, if I have an opportunity to improve something for, you know, something I wrote for a business. Um, but certainly, um, it’s, it’s not a, um, it’s, it’s, it’s not a conflict in terms of, oh, I wanna, I.

People say how great something is. I want, I want my pride, and I want none of that, right? That’s just not my jam.

Dan: Mm-hmm.

Patrick: However, when someone says to me, well, first of all, if they go, I read your book. I’m like, awesome. I mean, that’s step one. But more so than that, like, all kidding aside, it’s, it’s more. I thought that was funny.

And it could be one sentence because they’re, somebody’s taking the time, their time,

Dan: Hmm. . Hmm.

Patrick: whether I know them well or not to tell me that. Cause I’m not walking around going, what do you think? What do you think? You know?

Dan: Yes, yes.

Patrick: and especially the people that I’ve known, you know, more peripherally who have said, Hey, you know, that really made me stop and.

I was like, it did. Can you remind me of which story it was? Cuz I can’t remember. But, so it’s almost like that is in a weird way, is like, hey, did you just, did I just give someone a break?

Dan: Yeah.

Patrick: Did I just cut ’em a break in their day because they stopped and laughed at something.

Dan: Yep,

Patrick: And then on on the business side, did I just, Some, somebody I like,

Dan: Yeah,

Patrick: you know, um, make a really good pitch to their client.

That is, that’s the whole, the whole jam. That’s, that’s more worthwhile. And, and again, to go back to the money side of things, it’s important, right? So of course, that. A thing that’s in there. I don’t want to act like I’m like, oh, I’m, I’m above worrying about cash flow and money. That’s not the case

Dan: artist.

Patrick: Yeah. Yeah. But one is more, one is one sticks with you. Right. It’s, it’s that connection piece for sure.

Dan: That’s great. That’s great. Thank you for that. It’s great. Yeah. Great. Great to hear, hear your reflections on it. And I, it totally resonates with me. Like how much, just wanna make people feel something. Just wanna give, give people an experience, you know? I mean, that’s what I hope to do in these podcasts when people are listening that, that something new will open up inside them as they’re hearing.

Us talk about these things and so

Patrick: Yep. Yeah, for sure.

Dan: Well, Patrick, I feel like we could go on, you know, geek out on writing and, um, I, I, I feel like those are conversations I wanna continue to have with you. I feel like, I feel like I could use, I could use more of you and, uh, some, some good accountability from you maybe.

Patrick: yeah. Right on.

Dan: but let’s say save that, we’ll save that for offline. But thank you so much for coming on the show. It’s just super fun. Super fun having you. For people who wanna connect with you, follow along, read your work, what would you like to invite people?

Patrick: Oh, well, let’s see here. You can, you can buy my book at The Bad Place

Dan: Yes,

Patrick: which is a joke I stole from another writer. And then, There’s a place called and they donate. Yeah, they’re essentially a non-profit that supports local book bookstores across the country, so

Dan: Love it. I’ll make sure to put, yeah, put links to those in the show notes so people can click on through. This has been just so much fun. Always good to connect and, uh, let’s do it again soon.

Patrick: Yeah. Thanks, Dan.

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