Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wake Up and Live: A Story From My Marketing Nadir + Indie Business Help For You

I learned so much during my three years as a marketer: detailed SEO strategies, search algorithm theories, navigating Google's tricky "pay per click" campaigns, and more in the world of web marketing and writing. My role at that start-up constantly evolved, I was grew as the company did. My first move up the ladder was being relocated to a generous shared-office, I spontaneously beamed a huge smile looking at our bright new space. Illuminated with natural light by a mammoth window; it represented unlimited opportunity. I didn't know at the time the most important lesson I'd leave this company with would be how to Wake Up and Live.

Toward the end of my tenure I was deeply unsatisfied. My boss (company present) and I couldn't get along. I was stretched like a taut cord, nearing a breaking point. Our arguments were making my office mates antsy. Remember being yelled at by a parent in public? Dredge up that look onlookers gave, thick with second-hand-embarrassment and pity. I got used to seeing that expression on my office mate's faces after every fruitless morning meeting. One of my office mates was a movie director/videographer, we bonded. Once considered for academy awards and on staff to film our reality show pilot, he was middle-aged, easy-going and baffled by the way our business operated. "The way [boss] treats you makes me very...uncomfortable. You can't beat creativity out of a person," he once consoled after a boss-confrontation that left me silent and sullen.

Edit: Found a photo of my side of that first light-filled office, when my job was nothing but opportunities. I was later moved back to a dark corner with two other co-workers as the office expanded.

I could sense our videographer's imminent departure when my third birthday I'd celebrate as a marketer came. I had Thrift Core on my computer screen that morning, it was glowing in our dark office. He leaned in and said, "My birthday present to you is advice. Quit. What you do there," he waved at the computer monitor, "is incredible. How old are you? 24? Get out there with your work!" He said he'd love to collaborate on future videos. He escaped soon after for projects devoid of sabotaging, neurotic supervision and left a hardcover vintage book, "Wake Up and Live" by Dorothea Brande on his desk. I took it with months later when Thrift Core and freelance PR jobs had grown enough to sustain me.

I think of that day from time-to-time feeling humbled that an accomplished director (he's met some of my favorites, like Thriller director John Landis) with feature films under his belt gave me that spark of encouragement. This is a guy who fled home as a teen for Hollywood, working his way up to ranks. He still supports his family comfortably with his two Canon 5D Mark II SLRs and determination. Now here I am still "living the dream" of self-employment, too. It's hard and frustrating, you work longer hours, but the liberation of not answering to a boss and building my own vision can't be beat.

This is my monthly "Call for Clients" post where I remind you of the small business design, marketing and promoting services I offer. I wanted to lead in with an honest story. I vividly remember the days working without passion, I'll never go back. I'm compelled to help others reach the same goal. I know where my talents lie now, and helping others streamline their goals, promote their business, and design their sites is one of them. I love putting the skills I learned in marketing to use for indie businesses. Please e-mail me if you'd like to advertise on Thrift Core or work with me on streamlining your dream. (More info here.). I'd love to help you take those steps to present yourself as a pro to the world and get earning- - without relying on "The Man."

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