Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A New Chapter

Who is crazy enough to voluntarily leave a perfectly fine job amid the country’s second worst recession without a parachute?

That’d be me.

After more than seven years at my current employer and 16 in corporate, I’ll soon be off to my own devices, raising and nurturing the consulting business I launched in March. As is my inclination to stay behind the scenes, I am advising clients on the decidedly unsexy side of social media marketing strategy ... editorial calendars, crisis management, social media policy development, awareness strategy, and monitoring, mainly, with a little of this and a little of that thrown in for spice.

Last December and January surfing the holiday party circuit, eight people approached the wife and me asking for our help with this social media problem or that on behalf of their respective companies. We’re generous folks by nature, but we didn’t need to peel the velvet from the hammer to realize the opportunity before us.

The idea was simple. In no-B.S. terms, we would look at an organization’s overall marketing plan, audit its social media presence, and make fact-based recommendations on improving the social presence to help meet the larger marketing objectives. It all seemed so natural. These are exactly the conversations my wife and I have virtually every evening sitting on the back deck watching the sun go down. We live this stuff, eat it up. It’s most certainly a shared passion. But could we do it for a living for ourselves?

We joked about it. Then we talked about it ... a lot. And by mid-March, I gave birth to a bouncing baby LLC, complete with its very own FEIN. We were proud parents planning our baby’s future, and I’ll be darned if babies don’t grow fast! Managing the sentient family, two full-time jobs, a few extracurricular interests and the infant consultancy devoured that season called summer which most of you experienced. Meanwhile, I built out our partner network and began filling the umbilical cord, er, pipeline.

Clearly the wife is the more risk averse, and after seven years in largely the same role, I needed a change. I needed some uncertainty. I needed to do something I’ve never done before, and never dreamed I could or would. So on Thursday, after some herculean calculating to ensure the target audiences would be in the right places at the right times, I tendered my resignation.

It wasn’t a tough decision. In fact, I had already decided back in March. Finding the right time was another story. Change is good, and I had accomplished about all I could hope to there. I’ll stick around for another 5-7 weeks to wrap up a laundry list of projects large and small. It’s not in me to walk away from a mountain of work and leave it to someone else to clean up. After that, I become a full-time Mr. Mom, caring for this toddling company.

While the decision itself was a no brainer, I’m admittedly sad to be leaving such a talented group of employees and colleagues. I take no credit, but sincerely believe that my team is the best RFP team in the software business. And my many friends there beyond my team are also some of the most dedicated and smart people I’ve had the pleasure to work with. The execs taught me a lot about business, about growing a business, and I’ll forever be grateful for the experience. What an amazing ride it has been.

Thanks to the magic of technology, I don’t have to say goodbye. Everyone remains a click, a post, a tweet or a speed dial away. I know I will miss the routine, but I am trading it for that edge-of-my-seat, making-ends-meet thrill ride.

I believe in this so strongly, as does the most understanding wife ever. Demand is high; the pipeline is strong; the passion is off the charts. This.Will.Be.Awesome.


Marti said...

Congratulations and best wishes!

wrytir said...

Thank you, Marti!!

Average Jane said...

Sounds like a great step forward. Congratulations!

wrytir said...

Thank you, Celeste!