What business are you in?

I read all sorts of things: magazines (Inc., New Yorker, Wired, Fast Company), books (literary, pedagogical, business, scientific, biographical), blogs, websites, and newspapers. Every word? No, of course not. A great skimmer, gliding through them with my teacher brain alert for possible ideas, my writer's brain on the hunt for details, data, sources.

This week in Inc. magazine, I read an article about the guy who created the clothing company Ecko, having started by airbrushing custom t-shirts when he was in high school. Now he runs a billion dollar-a-year clothing company. But at one point, he said, "I don't see us as being in the clothing business. We are in the marketing business."

This challenged me to think about my own work and that of my colleagues.

Are you in the English business? The character building business? The effective communication business? The 21st Century Skills business? The poetry business?

And is this what you were hired to be, to do?

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