I’m glad to announce I’m starting a new chapter in my life. On Monday, I start working with Constant Contact as Regional Development Director for South Florida. I couldn’t be more pleased about this opportunity, as it is a perfect match for my skills, experience, and objectives.
About a year ago, I left the medical community I helped build to explore new opportunities. I pursued a number of projects, organized some great events, was lucky to travel a lot, and spent much more time with family and friends. The year also became profoundly cathartic as I questioned and discovered a lot about myself. I truly enjoyed the ups and suffered through some inevitable lows. At times, I appreciated the freedom of choosing projects and scheduling my workload, but at other times I also experienced the famine every freelancer knows about. I gained a much deeper understanding of my motivations and objectives and interestingly, my path now takes me back to my Internet roots.
In fact, email marketing is how I started working in the Internet over 15 years ago, when I co-founded emailvision.com. I had completed an MBA and had spent several years working as a business strategy consultant, working with very large companies. Seth Godin had just published his best-selling book “Permission Marketing” and together with some friends, we created Europe’s first email marketing provider. We modeled our company after Digital Impact and MessageMedia in the US, which were cloud-based providers of email marketing solutions. The more correct term is “software as a service (SaaS),” which means that we designed an online solution for managing your customer database and sending promotional campaigns and newsletters. It was early days for email marketing and even for the Internet, for that matter, but this experience made a lasting and invaluable influence on me.
After this first entrepreneurial experience, I was hooked into online marketing and into startups; this would define my career for the next 15 years, as I worked in and co-founded other startups. My interest and passion for social media developed naturally from email marketing, as this field is also entirely based on developing good content and in following Seth Godin’s premise of permission marketing.
Over the past 15 years I learned something else as well, though, which was an important departure from my earlier experience in advertising and in strategy consulting. Rather than working with some of the world’s largest companies, I learned all about small business marketing — both as an entrepreneur myself, as well as from helping other small businesses through their challenges and opportunities. I remain more convinced than ever that small business is the under-appreciated and under-served engine of the economy, as large business have become leaner and more efficient through automation and outsourcing. There are no more jobs in large companies, they’re not hiring anyone else anymore. Small business is where future employment and future innovation lies.
“Innovation comes from new entrants in the arena, and so when an industry has had an absence of new entrants, it tends to have a very limited innovation.” ~Elon Musk
So I feel that everything came together very nicely, with this new opportunity representing a perfect marriage between my online skills, my entrepreneurial experience, and my objectives of helping small business succeed.
I’ll still keep rocking the other stuff I started, like Social Media Club of South Florida, among others, and these initiatives will benefit from my newly defined context and more focused mindset.
Let the new chapter begin!