I am a half hour late to my meeting when I stumble out of my car into the Dunkin Donuts parking lot, cursing. The sky has unleashed a torrential downpour over most of Massachusetts. A harsh beep from my phone alerts me to a severe flood watch, but the washed out bridge down the road has already let me know, under no uncertain terms that the weather is shit. Where are my shoes? I’m barefoot in a parking lot. Gross.
Why am I always interviewing people looking like I jumped in a lake?
Frazzled, I burst into the coffee shop.
Matt is sitting in the corner with a coffee, on a conference call. At 45-years-old, Matt has just unveiled his new business, Executive Recognition Services. Matt describes ERS as a creative service. Boston-based journalists aid folks in memoir writing, personal branding, and creates multi-media packages to highlight businesses or special events. These packages may be used in conjunction with existing business websites or be used with social media.
Matt is in it for the story telling. He says he hasn’t always identified as a writer despite a natural inclination for the craft. That came later in life.
He stands out from the bright orange cafe in a dark blue exercise shirt and shorts. He has a notebook and a pen in front of him, with which he used to scribble business tips from his conference call.
Here is what he has to say about life.
What is making you happy right now?
I’m happy about our prospects for our new business, Executive Recognition Services. We tell people’s stories.
What is bothering you?
The rain, because I know it is going to take me a while to get back to Boston.
[He looks out the window as rain pelts the Dunkin Donuts parking lot. Much of Massachusetts experienced flash flooding on Wednesday.]
Tell me a happy memory.
Summer always meant time off from school and one of my happiest memories is playing stickball with my friends in the schoolyard in Roslindale. I’m 16. So much fun. You could play all day.
When is the last time you received an unexpected nice gesture?
I was in uniform about a month ago and an older person bought me breakfast. She paid my check.
[That’s nice. What did you get for breakfast?]
I just got a bagel and a coffee.
[You should have gotten more.]
If I had known then I would have! She thanked me for my service and I turned to her, I turned to her and said, “You know what you’re worth it.”
What’s something small that you regret?
We all have so many. I wish I was more self-aware as a young person. I wish I didn’t worry about petty things, like what other people think.
[Do you still?]
Not as much.
What is something big that you regret?
Boy, that’s a good one. I wish that I could have had a longer conversation with my dad. He is in heaven.
What do you wish you did more of?
I wish I pursued writing more as a young person because I always had a gift for it but I never considered myself a writer. That came later.
What do you wish you did less of?
Worry about things that aren’t in my control. I worry about the state of the world, about the people you love in your life and you do everything you can to enhance their quality of life but so many things are out of our control.
What frightens you?
Questions from you.
What frightens me? Paperwork and petty people.
What are you looking forward to in the near future?
I’m looking forward to developing this enterprise to the point to the point that we’re able to tell people’s stories in a way they’ll be proud of and in a way that they and their family members will always remember it so it will be not just a transaction but a gift.
[Visit my post, Boston-Based Journalists Want to Tell Your Story or check out Executive Recognition Service’s website to learn more. ERS aids folks in memoir writing, personal branding, and creates multi-media packages to highlight businesses or special events.]
When you imagine yourself in your head, how old are you?
I am 22-years-old. I’m hanging out with my friends playing basketball at Fallon Field in Roslindale and just being in my neighborhood living our normal lives.
[Are you wearing anything specific in this memory?]
I’m wearing a BNBL shirt. That stands for Boston Neighborhood Basketball League. I was an average player but loved the shirt. It was gray with white lettering. I never thought of it until you mentioned it but that would be the image that springs to mind.
How do you feel about aging?
Beats the alternative. I’m okay with it. It’s a matter of the life you live. Your habits are very important. If you have good habits then your body will treat you accordingly. I don’t think about it.
What’s the best thing about being you?
The best thing about being me is that I have an intuitive sense of people so they feel comfortable talking to me. I have very real relationships and real conversations with people.
[How does that help you with ERS?]
What I am able to do naturally, I have turned that into an endeavor that is a service to everyone involved and I’m looking forward to doing work.
Check out the other interviews in my Strength in Numbers series!