With each came a different aspect of their life experience. And most importantly, an expression of their identity, a statement of who they are and what they are about.
This is why it is so hard to change careers -- it inevitably demands we shed old identities and adopt new ones more suited to what we now are and want to become.
Nevertheless, old identities die hard, and their remnants often remain even once the old application is long since gone.
My own life drives home that point.
All have something to say. Regardless of whether they have a product or service to sell, a message to deliver, a cause to advocate, or a battle to fight, the result is the same -- a cacophony of voices all speaking at the same time, all wanting to be heard, they each want something from us.
But they don't have a snowball's chance in hell of getting it if their target audience won't give them the time of day.
It is within this environment that mission entrepreneurs must find their way. Their challenge is to deliver their message in a way it can be heard above the din and acted upon by those who need to hear it.
Typical marketing tactics often include the use of superlatives as a way to stand out from the crowd. Their use suggests that the product or service they offer is better than all the other options that are also vying for the consumer's money or attention.
But do they really work? And perhaps just as importantly, do they help to create the kind of world their mission is working to build? Or are they simply helping to create another problem along the way?
It ain't necessarily so. In fact, it usually isn't.
Content marketing, in whatever form -- tweets, Facebook posts, comments, video, blog posts, among others -- provides a common umbrella for promotional activity that serves to deliver a mission's message and attract customers, clients, donors, supporters, followers, investors or whatever you're looking for.
But content doen't mean a thing if you can't clearly communicate what it is you're about, what you offer, and most importantly, how it benefits those you want to involve in your efforts.
So many times content is created helter skelter, with no rational plan for why it was created, who it's for, or what the reader is supposed to do next. When that content is posted somewhere on the web, either on your site, someone else's, or on one of the social networks, it becomes easy to confuse everyone as to what's in it for them.
Unfortunately, for many mission entrepreneurs communication breakdown isn't limited to the marketing content they create for their web sites or social media posts. It can happen at any step along the path of manifesting their missions, and even the best of intentions can't cure the problems it causes.