Digital Marketing

And Thus Begins My Startup Hiatus

I just started my third week at DragonSearch, a digital marketing company with an office in Kingston, New York. I’m incredibly excited about my role there, which is internal marketing. DragonSearch is a full service digital marketing agency whose CEO happens to have written a couple great books about social media. I’ll be helping grow our speaking program, which currently involves many events for our CEO and a few others, and soon will begin to grow the speaking prowess of anyone else in the company who shares that personal goal. I’ll also be helping with a variety of other core components of the company’s marketing and brand goals.

On my first day, the difference between startup life and office life were glaring. Being part of a startup is like being in the wild west. There is no play book. There is no person to come over and set up your phone for you. There is a lot of freedom to blaze your own trail to find an answer. One day you might be talking on the phone with the CEO of a major national brand, and the next you might be renaming image files so the API knows which objects they relate to. Would I regret giving up all that freedom and excitement for something more structured and rigid? I’m pleased to report I haven’t surrendered any of my freedom or passion. In fact, I’m motivated to blaze a trail even brighter than before.

I actually feel like I have just as much autonomy as I did previously. Sure we keep track of our time a little more diligently and we’re a bit less liberal with working from home, but if I need to find an answer to something, I go find it! There is no playbook for my role and I’m going to be able to do it my way. The opportunity to step up is just as critical, I just happen to have a much larger team working on a wide variety of projects that I can trust for support.

To be clear, I loved working for a startup. The passion drawn from developing one killer product and refining it (and refining it and refining it) really is something great. Luckily for me my new role is internal marketing, and because it’s a relatively new role, I’m still able to focus on growing one brand and I’m still empowered to innovate. I hope some day be part of a startup again, perhaps as a founder. For now, I’m looking forward to working with an office full of new people I can learn from and working for a company that highly values personal growth so I’ll never have to stop learning and developing new skills.