Does everything happen for a reason? Is there such a thing as fate? I’ve never been a big believer in either. But sometimes life throws you some things that have definitely made me think twice about it. On January 1st, 2019, I started a new journey in my career as the Chief Marketing Officer for NetBlaze. It is by far the most exciting opportunity in my career to date and that includes a Chicago to Seattle move for Microsoft back in 2005. It is the biggest challenge and sphere of responsibility I’ve ever taken on, and it has revitalized my passion, drive and desire for what I do. A much needed adventure after the last 10 year roller coaster.
The truth is, everything I’ve done has led me to and qualified me for this opportunity. Even the shitty stops along the way have given me something to help prepare me for this challenge.
1992-1997: The College Years
I had no idea what I wanted to do. 2 years in at Illinois State and I thought maybe film school made more sense for me. I applied, got in, and let fear take over and didn’t go. Instead I powered through getting a communications degree just to get out of school, but more importantly, ran a successful painting business during my summers providing me my first taste of entrepreneurship.
1998-2003: The Finding Myself Years
I still wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do, but I was good with computers and the internet so I naturally fell into a few marketing roles across a few different places. None of them ever felt 100% right. The 2000 dot com bust propelled me into unemployment so I decided to do my own thing for a bit helping small businesses with their marketing and web design.
2003-2005: The “I Want to be a Teacher” Years
The beauty of doing your own thing is you control your own hours. It allowed me to coach high school girls volleyball and I loved it. I successfully ran an entire program which led me to believe that teaching may be my thing. Unfortunately after 2 years and obtaining a masters degree, I learned (through student teaching) that teaching isn’t quite the same as coaching. A painful and expensive lesson.
2005-2009: The Microsoft Years
Coming in a close 2nd to my current situation is Microsoft. I packed up the family and moved to Seattle to join Microsoft, being one of the first hires for what would become Microsoft Advertising. It was and still to this day was the biggest factor in shaping my professional life. Incredible people, experiences and opportunities to do so many things. If I hadn’t been one of the 5000 people laid off in 2009 I would probably still be there. Even though I came back for a year in a different group, it was never the same.
2009-2018: The Dark Years
I had moved to Seattle for Microsoft. So when that ended, I wasn’t sure what was next. Over the course a 10 year period, I took on some pretty high profile roles mostly at agencies running marketing teams. I’m proud of the work I accomplished at most of the stops I had along the way, but none of them had long term potential. Along the way I took another stab at entrepreneurship, but my personal life created too much financial challenges to keep it going.
2019: The Year it all makes sense
NetBlaze is everything I’ve worked towards. I’ve always loved helping small businesses with their marketing but the challenges have always been around time and money. Most small business owners have little to work with on both fronts and that’s where NetBlaze fits in. I’ve always believed that to solve the small business marketing problem you’d need a mix of technology and service…not one or the other. I always wanted to build something myself but never had the resources to do so. I was fortunate enough to stumble upon the awesomeness that is NetBlaze, and for the past 3 months I and my team have been building towards our launch this month and I couldn’t be more excited.
If you have or know someone that has a small business, you owe it to yourself to check out NetBlaze. It is the answer to the question I’ve been trying to solve for years…How can you effectively and affordably offer a small business a marketing solution that works? NetBlaze is the answer and I can’t wait to see it come to life.
If you’ve gotten this far and have use for it, use the coupon code “50PERCENTOFF” to get 50% off your first month in addition to our 7 day free trial! I promise you won’t find a better value in the small business marketing game!