I recently made a career choice. It took a year, but I made it. I decided I wanted to try something new. Sometimes your job becomes like chewing on fat. I had come to that point. I have been in Marketing and Sales for decades. I do love both disciplines and will continue along those roads as I move forward. It is what I do best. I have had success in large and small companies. Also, in high and low performing businesses as well. The key is how you measure your happiness with your work and your success.

What is success?

Money comes to mind. I have made a good bit along the way. Frankly, it is a hollow feeling to look at a W-2 with a big number on it. Black and white numbers on a page. They don’t make you any smarter, better looking or healthier. I would argue having money is better than being broke. I have been both and didn’t like being broke.

But the real feeling of enrichment comes from doing something meaningful. Something that has a positive impact on others. A job that is fun. I often say my greatest years were in a financial technology start-up, Albridge Solutions. I worked there from the beginning in 2000 until we sold it in 2008. But From 2004 to 2006 was a special time for me. I didn’t know how much money I made and didn’t care. I couldn’t wait to get to work each day.

Why? It was fun.

I worked with a great team of smart, entertaining people. We were destined to change the financial advisor world with our technology. And we did just that.

I had a good run State Street Bank in the earlier years of this decade. I had a great team of smart people who liked a good laugh and making a difference for clients.

Sound familiar?

I have tried other things and had some successes and some that didn’t go so well. But the unequivocal similarities were people, purpose and a sense of humor. I really believe it just might be that simple. I am on a hunt to find the next great team to lead. I can’t wait to meet them.

In the meantime, I am continuing to work on my personal brand. That is something that is super important. I recently had a conversation with John White from Social Marketing Solutions. We both write a lot on social media. I was looking for an idea and he suggested I tell my story. Talking about my brand and what I want to do next sounded reasonable. It inspired the post you are reading now. It serves two purposes. Someone who reads it just might learn something from my experiences. Also, writing is therapeutic for me. Thinking through what has made me successful and what I want to do is helpful to me too.

So I made a list of words that describe me. This is a really meaningful exercise I highly recommend.

Here they are: passionate, market focused, clients, sales, marketing, integrity, creative, storytelling, experience, writing, leadership, risk, emotional, relationships. I am sure there are more but this is a good sub-set to work from.

Why is the list important?

For one reason, I can use the list as I assess a new opportunity. Most important will be finding a company that has good people, a purpose for performing their work and doing so with a sense of humor. Next, I can apply my descriptive words to see if they fit in with the culture of the company.

I believe in this quote by Jim Rohn “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” That is super smart. So I made my list and mapped it against different points in my life. And wouldn’t you know it. My list changed. I got away from the very people who had helped shape me into a successful executive. So the soul-searching has produced some things I like and want to do. We have also learned something to get back to.

Next is the job.

I have managed Marketing, Sales, Support, and Relationship Management. Certainly, my next role will be some combination of these disciplines. What I have learned through speaking with my coach is that I have found success in growth, high growth, reinvigorating and turn-around environments. It all depends on where the company is in the S-curve, how much revenue they have and the time it has been in business. To me, I can see myself managing one or any combination of these functions. That takes a back seat to two sets of requirements. The people, purpose and culture of the organization. Also, how I fit with them and the status of the company. I have decided growth and high growth are areas that I enjoy the most. So that is where I want to focus.

I will continue to chronicle my activities as my search for the next great growth opportunity unfolds. I will describe what is going right and what needs tweaking. I hope that I can share some practice experiences for others to use in their journey.

My best, Chris

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