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  • Writer's pictureSean Cullen Carroll

Shingles, introversion and selfish creation

It’s time to get back to my roots.

When I started my first real estate business in 2004, I didn’t have any clients. I decided one of the ways I could get known in the business was by writing a weekly blog about the market so people could get to know me as an expert.

That weekly market report turned into a daily blog in which I shared everything from market stats to my personal feelings about the super bowl, to my cat.

There was no “format” per se. It was just me, sharing me.

After about 6 months, I started to get these random emails from people asking me to be their real estate agent, and when I asked them how they found me, almost all of them said: I read your blog! It’s so great!”

It turns out, I like to write, and I was pretty good at it! Who knew?!

Fast forward 16 years to 2020. Here we are still in Pandemic mode. Social distancing. Masks. Zoom meetings where we do things I didn’t even realize we could do over zoom.

You would think a pandemic and shelter-in-place order would be perfect for an extreme introvert like me, right?

Well actually the opposite happened. My “side hustle” marketing consulting business exploded during the pandemic and I also ended up being a virtual emcee for several 3 day business events.

I transformed my 600 square foot NYC apartment into a full blown TV studio and wound up spending an average of 30 hours per week on zoom, leading workshops, being “on stage” and coaching business owners on their marketing and social media strategies.

Speaking of social media. I got a little obsessed with TikTok and somehow grew a following of 19,000 people.

Then, I got sick. No, I didn’t get COVID-19.


The blessing? The shingles appeared during the first day of a week-long vacation at the Jersey Shore so I was able to shut things down and just relax.

But I realized something.

I was pushing too hard.

I was doing non-stop extroverted things and my body, mind and soul were exhausted. I was constantly depleting my energy, and just hoping that an extra strong dose of Bulletproof Coffee would get me through that one more meeting.

I realized on that vacation that this is just not sustainable for me.

I love to create, but I LOVE QUIET!

So, I decided it was time to return to my roots and write. My parallel career business is going to look a lot different now.

I am designing it once again to fit the kind of life and work style that best serves me, so I’ll not only be happier, but I’ll be able to take on those acting projects as theatre starts ramping up again in the future.

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Oh, and one more thing.

This blog is for me. Not you. I don’t care what you think of it, and I’m not interested in your feedback. Comments are turned off.

There I said it. PHEW!

Everything I’ve learned as a marketer has trained me to always create with my audience in mind, and for the first time in forever (musical theatre puns aside) - I don’t care who reads this. I don’t care what you think of it, and I don’t care if you share it.

Really. I don’t.

This may sound extremely conceited, but what I’ve realized is that for me to have the kind of impact I want to have in this world, I need to do more creative work for ME. When I’m doing great work, I will have a great impact.

When I am sharing authentically, without wondering how it’s going to be received, I will be more truthful. I will be myself.

When I portray a character on stage or in an audition in the most truthful way, without worrying about what you think of it, it just lands better.

So that’s what this blog is really. It’s one way that this extreme introvert can create stuff without burning out. (Shingles sucked y’all)

Of course, if you do enjoy it. I’m glad about that. If it helps you, I’m glad about that. If you tell people about it, that’s fine.

But if you don’t, I’m OK with it. Because I can already tell you that as I reach the end of this post, I feel much more fulfilled and grounded than when I started writing.

I guess I’m on the right track.

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