I’ve joined Bold. Why? I’m glad you asked!
In the year since leaving EllisLab I’ve had a lot of options, offers, and career opportunities. But I’m not looking for a career.
Making a pro/con list based on professional growth, business opportunity, raw salary potential, blah, blah, blah… if those were my top priorities I’d still be at my old job following a well defined career path with incredible people I love and respect to this day. But I didn’t want a “career path.” So what do I want?
I want life and I want it to the fullest. At home. At work. Full. I don’t just want it for myself either. I want it for my family, my partners, and our clients.
At 38, I know that to be whole I need to be a partner, an owner, to have authority not conveyed by job title or longevity, but by real equality in the relationship and opportunity. I also know it needs to be with people who will not just be great peers, but people I can do life with.
I’ve secretly kept a short list of people that meet these requirements and ever since reading Noah Stokes interview on the Great Discontent, he’s been on it. I knew of Noah, but I’d never met him.
At the 2012 ExpressionEngine Conference I invited Noah to breakfast along with Sean Sperte and Michael Rog to talk about living out their faith in their professional lives. I cried inside after that conversation because I knew I wasn’t doing that. In that same conversation I also learned that Noah is the real deal, an authentic man who doesn’t hide the bad or is “fake humble” about the good. And by the way, so are Sean and Michael.
I left that table knowing I’d made the right decision to leave EllisLab but having no idea what was next for me.
Eight months later I wrote an off the cuff email to Noah and Garrett offering to consult with them about FRNVT for free. They accepted and that’s when I discovered that Garrett St. John is just as solid as Noah.
A month later Garrett called and asked if I’d help them plan Bold’s future as part of a freelance contract. Ninety days later they offered me a partnership in Bold.
It was an incredibly easy decision. I said yes before discussing terms, compensation, etc… I want to wake up and live life with these men, to do our best work not for the sake of the craft, but for the sake of the people the work impacts. If we do that successfully, I know the hard work that growing an agency requires will happen too.
I learned an incredible amount over ten years with EllisLab but the lesson that is absolutely the most important is this. Who you start with defines you, what you do, and how you grow professionally and personally. With EllisLab I lucked out (I call it blessed). I started with Rick Ellis, who is just an amazing man. I could not have asked for a better start. This time I get to choose with wisdom and experience on my side and that is also an incredible blessing.
I am honored that Noah and Garrett have given me the opportunity to define our collective futures, to shape each other, our work, and the our lives ahead.
I’ll be writing about the ups and downs of all of this as we go. Here’s to 2014, here’s to being BOLD.
ps – It also helps that Noah works for only $15 an hour. You thought he was joking, but Garrett & I took him seriously. You guys, the margins are massive.