You did what?

Yup, I quit the best job I’ve ever had. For one of the best agencies in Grand Rapids. My last day as an official employee of ddm will be October 15, next Friday. And no I did not quit with a whiteboard and a mass email like Jenny ;)

Why did you quit?

I have heard a lot of people give lip service to having their family as a priority. I have been watching myself fall into the same trap, saying I value my family and time with them over work, while at the same time I was spending every moment possible working. I have encountered a fork in the road of my career where I could choose to continue to sacrifice my family time and attain a really successful career in the marketing agency I work for, or choose my family over a successful career. I have made my choice. I challenge you to make yours consciously versus unconsciously.

So now what? Unemployment?

Well not really, I’m going freelance, doing the same work I’ve done before just on a more focused client list with fewer obligations and less overhead.

What about ddm and their clients?

Until ddm hires a replacement I’ll be on contract for them to ensure their client commitments are kept.

Do you really think you will work less?

3/4 of my reasons for quiting. Most people I’ve talked to about this suggest that I will work harder, and more. However I believe that its about making a choice, I thought about the possibilities of freelance vs self-employed and I choose to quit my job to spend more time with my family, not to make more money. If I work the system right I will get to do that, if not I’ll have failed. Either way I need to figure this out, give it a try and find out if I can actually spend more time with Becky and the kiddos.

Put it this way, the status quo of working at an agency was not going to get me more time with my family. Working freelance might not either. But there is a chance it might. In my opinion, these little faces are worth the risk.

What do you do anyway?

I go by many titles, and do lots of jobs, but it all falls under the arena of online marketing. I ask businesses a basic question: What are your online presences doing for your bottom line? Then I help ensure the answer to that question is a positive answer.

In reality I do:

  • Search – Both SEO and paid placement (PPC). I get targeted prospects to your website
  • Social – Who has time for it? How does it apply in a B2B market? – I answer those and assist clients in managing their social presences
  • Segment – Some think of it as Google Analytics, but it’s more than that, I dive deep into user behavior, and produce actionable changes a business needs to take in their online presences.
  • Email Marketing – managing lists, managing campaigns, working through conversion metrics and the like.
  • Conversion Optimization – Does your website have a call to action? Is it obvious to viewers what you want them to do? I help you start converting from product pages.

Are you going to start an agency?

I just quit an agency where I was given a lot of leeway and leverage to build a successful online marketing department. I have no desire to build an entire agency, nor do I want to compete at that level.

That said, if you were to ask me two years ago if I’d be working at ddm in 2012 I would have said yes. I leave the future to God’s plan, all I know is the next step. I’m taking this step in faith. If I am blessed with too much work, I’ll have to cross that bridge when I get there. I have ideas and ‘plans’ in case that happens, but we’ll figure out what to do when that occurs.

Honestly, my goal is to get out of the trading hours for dollars business (aka the service sector). I don’t have a way to do that yet, but when I do I’ll let you know about it. Until then I’ll be assisting clients in a more focused manner than I was able to do before.

Who influenced you in this move?

There are a lot of influencers in this decision, some know their role, some don’t. Some are larger than life, like Gary Vaynerchuk, others are not so large, like my Amish friends. There have been many great conversations which have lead to this. Becky and I have been praying and working through this for about a year which has given opportunity for some fun conversations.

Wait, you have Amish friends?

Ah, young grasshopper you have much to learn.

Got any questions I didn’t predict? give a shout out in the comments and I’ll be sure to answer them for you.