By Tim Hayes

The diminutive supervisor, who by this point in the conversation had had quite enough of me, pointed upward toward my face and exclaimed, “You know what your problem is, Hayes?”

“I have many problems.  Which one is bothering you right now?” I retorted.  Probably not the best career-advancing decision on my part.

“You have an irrational need for external praise!” he shouted back at me, turning around and stomping back to his desk.

Days later he fired me, which was fine because by that point I’d had more than enough of him and of corporate life in general.  That’s when I started my own practice.  Best thing that ever happened.  We’re about to begin Year 16 on November 1, and life continues to be great.

In the classic rock standard, “Taking Care of Business” by Bachman-Turner Overdrive, we hear, “If you ever get annoyed, look at me, I’m self employed.”  But instead of working at “nothing all day,” the entrepreneurial life has been exciting, enjoyable, and entertaining.  It’s also helped provide the means to raise a wonderful family and get them all through college.

One of the most rewarding aspects of writing for a living, though, has been developing and sharing these weekly essays with you.  Each Sunday morning, about 300 family members, friends, clients, and acquaintances receive these musings.  I’ve been told they make for nice first-cup-of-coffee reading, as a gentle Sunday morning begins.  I’ve learned of an essay’s message helping someone solve a problem that happened to be about a similar subject.  I’ve even heard they’re just the right length to enjoy while taking care of another sort of business, if you get my drift.

Umm, thank you?

I mention all of this because today’s essay marks another major milestone around here.  What you’re reading right now is the 250th blog essay that I’ve been blessed enough to compose and distribute.

One book – “Jackass in a Hailstorm” (, a compilation of some of the early essays – has already been published, and serves as a textbook in several college writing classes.  I have enough additional material now to publish at least two, maybe three, more.  One dream would be to have a collection of essays transformed into a movie script.  Wouldn’t that be something?  Who knows – that’s how “A Christmas Story,” the annual holiday classic about Ralphie and his Red Ryder BB gun, came about!

So as my practice starts its next 15 years of senior-level writing, presentation skills coaching, and facilitation of management offsite meetings and staff communications workshops – along with the next 250 blog essays – I’d like to ask a favor.  Maybe two.

If, as you read an essay some Sunday, something stirs you, inspires you, bothers you, whatever, please write back and let me know.  I know many, perhaps most, of the folks on my distribution list read these essays regularly.  But as much as I hate to admit it, my final corporate boss may have had a point when he so disparagingly told me I had an irrational need for external praise.  So please don’t hold back from providing feedback.  I truly do appreciate hearing from readers.

The second favor?  Please accept my thanks and appreciation for the past 15 years of providing service to you.  There’s always room on the plate to do more work on your behalf, so please, by all means, let me know when you need a professional communicator to advance your important ideas, no matter the message or format or size of the project.  I love what I do, and I work my tail off to make sure you do too.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’d better get busy on next week’s blog…

Copyright 2015 Transverse Park Productions LLC and Tim Hayes Consulting