So pretend you have a passion to do something. I my case it's easy to pretend, because I have a passion for writing. Ever since age 16 I've known that I want to write for a living. First it was as a newspaper reporter, then as a marketing writer.
Being a writer is not what I do, it's what I AM. It's virtually impossible for me to go two days without writing. I can't remember the last time I did. When people ask me what I do for a living, I love to say "I'm a writer." Lucky for me there are a fair number of jobs out there for writers -- and blogs like this where I can chase the verbal dragon -- so the odds are good I can continue to get my fix.
Now pretend your passion is for driving a race car. And everything I described about myself as a writer applied to you, only as a race car driver.
Wellll ... that's not going to work for Woman of pressdog® Shannon McIntosh (@Shannon_Mac on Twitter).
Shannon is who she is. And who she is not sugar plumbs and pink ribbon. There's no pretense or veneer. She can be confident, even brash. Spontaneous, impetuous. She has a pointed sense of humor. She's Alpha Female -- in charge of her own life. Sometimes she'll tweet stuff and I'll say ... "Wow, not so sure that was a good idea." But, that's just Shannon being Shannon. True to herself. Irrepressible (impossible to repress, restrain, or control). Maybe it'll work, maybe it won't, but it's honest and real, and I respect that.
All of this was recently driven home for me by two things. First, some incredible photos of Shannon by photographer David E. Jackson (including the photos above and below). When I heard Shannon was going to get some photos taken, I figured it would be some shots of her in the race gear, some glamor shots, "looking nice," "nice smile," you know, standard stuff. WRONG. David and his crew did a fantastic job of capturing Shannon's personality. A little edgy. A little aggressive. A little playful. A little avant-garde. More leather than lace. The kind of woman who would go upside a guy's head if he tried anything -- without permission. David's site is here. More photos and a video from Shannon's shoot here.
The second thing was Shannon's blog she posted today in which she talks with admirable candor about where she is in her career. She said "no" to a sponsor because it didn't feel right and moved on. That, all by itself, stakes some steel ovaries.
From her blog post:
Since September, I have been working hard to revamp and rebuild my vision. I have formulated a plan, identified my options, and connected with those who will be able to help me make it happen. The last component needed to make this happen is obviously the financials.
I am completely confident in what the outcome of my plan and commitment to persevering will be. I am content in one of the only regards I think it’s ok to be content in – my focus. I set my eyes on a path the day I knew I would dedicate myself to making this passion my career choice and I am back to where I should be: pursuing NASCAR. (Read more here.)
Attracting sponsorship for racing -- which sadly is increasingly the responsibility of the vast majority of drivers -- is about personal branding. Girl next door doesn't exactly fit Shannon McIntosh, but that's OK. More like young, spirited, professional woman grabbing life by the horns and wrestling it to the ground. More Tony Stewart than Jimmie Johnson.
Maybe Shannon being Shannon will work for her, maybe not. I hope and think it will, but, hey, no guarantees. If it doesn't, at least she'll exit with her integrity. And, push comes to shove, that's more important than any ride in any series.
For much more on Shannon, including how to contact her, go to her site, shannonmcintosh.com