Wanting my blog to be a hub of information and my take on the goings-on of the business / social media world, I have always kept this blog 100% professional – never getting personal with all my readers (*hears voice echo*). Today, however, I’m going there, because I’ve just made arguably the biggest decision of my life thus far. (Let’s hope it doesn’t turn out like that dye job in 2008.) I know most of you clicked on this because of the title, and I promise, I will get there. But first you have to deal with me being sentimental.
When I first decided I was going to move to Tulsa in the summer of 2012, someone who should have supported me in this decision (because that is what these types of someones are supposed to do), told me that if I moved to Tulsa, I’d never find a job and I would never get married. Well, they were half right. But they were very, very wrong about the other half, because I found not one, but two jobs, and in two weeks I will say goodbye to Brothers & Co., leaving with so much more than what I had when I started.
BroCo is a sink-or-swim type agency. You either get it, or you don’t and you get out. So for two years I’ve gotten to work with people that really get it. I am constantly inspired and impressed by the level of talent, dedication and plain ol’ smarts that my coworkers have. Maybe people that aren’t in the ad biz won’t understand, but there’s a certain feeling you get when you happen on an ad in a conference room with a simple line of copy that gives you chills. It can really only be described as, “Holy shit. I work here.”
Like any office, I’ve had my fair share of frustrations, of wanting to throw things, of anxiety and occasionally of a cry of the I’m-so-stressed-out variety. But that is because I am challenged. I am pushed. I am used for every last drop of creative energy I have because that is the level of service that BroCo gives its clients. They get all of us. And in turn, we get to be proud to say, “I work here.” For me, that is everything. Now I am leaving smarter because of the people I work with, a better leader because I was lead by the type of boss I want to be, and with more respect for industries I would have never worked with if it weren’t for BroCo. I hope that I’m leaving at least a little something behind, too.
So now, to Los Angeles. I’ve always known Tulsa wasn’t my final destination. It was a stop on my path to where I want to be, and until recently, I wasn’t 100% sure where that was. I’ve been considering California for awhile, but after visiting, I knew. Oklahoma is the farthest I’ve ever lived from a beach (by a considerable amount), and there’s just something about the ocean that makes me want to return to it. And luckily, LA is one of the best spots for budding and booming startups, like Snapchat and (ironically) Tinder. (Now we’re getting to the part you actually wanted to read this for.)
A little over a year ago I saw Adweek tweet this article about Blake Jamieson – this guy who was using “Tinder hacks,” to increase his number of matches and messages on Tinder. But what I loved about it was that he wasn’t doing it purely to have a better chance of a date on a Friday night, he was doing it as an actual study, citing percentage increases and testing a kind of personal brand native advertising, if you will. Many of you know, I have never been shy about using Tinder, and when I read about Blake parlaying his Tinder game to include KPIs and then press from big time publishers like AdWeek, well to put it bluntly, I wanted to be friends with that fucking guy. I saw that Blake had commented on the original AdWeek Facebook post about the article, and sent him a friend request. What could it hurt? He approved the request from a creepy stranger with no friends in common, and since then I’ve been even more amazed by Blake’s hustle in the social media world. I’ve gotten to talk shop and work with him on a project called Tinder Society, and through that have met more top-notch marketers, including Blake’s girlfriend, Kristi, who recently got a job as a senior marketing manager for Playboy. (That has nothing to do with my story – I just think it’s really freakin’ awesome.)
I knew Blake had just moved back out to LA, so I reached out to him to see if he knew of any job opportunities there. He immediately told me about this tech startup called Vytmn – a growth hacking software that uses strategic data mining to generate leads. He e-introduced me to the CEO and the growth manager, and they trusted Blake’s recommendation enough to interview me. I talked to not one, not two, but five people at Vytmn over the course of a week. Because they are a brand-new company, it’s important to them to start their business with people who are right for the culture and the future of it. I respect the hell out of that, and after talking to each person I grew more and more excited about this opportunity – because not only do I know the need for their product, but because the people I talked to were passionate, had a clear vision, and you know? They were just smart.
All of this leads me to Friday – when I accepted a job as an account manager at Vytmn. So throwing all caution to the wind, I am leaving my 40-years-and-counting agency for a tech startup on Venice Beach that hasn’t even celebrated its first birthday. I couldn’t be more excited. I get to work with new industries, in a new position, while still serving the same purpose I always have – social media as a means to increase traffic, awareness and revenue.
For those of you who have always toyed with the idea of moving somewhere new, you need to do it. Whether it’s an LA or a Tulsa, go. You won’t fail. You won’t be lonely. Going somewhere where you know essentially no one is exhilarating, challenging and inspiring. If you’ve been thinking about doing something like that, email or Facebook message me about whatever it is that is holding you back. I will do my best to make you realize that you’re wrong.
To all of you, thank you for always supporting my career-related Facebook posts, tweets, etc. I know if you’re not in the industry, they probably aren’t all that exciting, but they are exciting to me and I appreciate everyone’s encouragement to pursue it.
And now, it’s on to Los Angeles.