Starting a business isn’t easy, but the reasons why aren’t what I expected. I expected to be pounding the pavement and networking, but I had no idea how often I’d be in the situation of being taken advantage of. I guess it’s a learning experience, but I am startled and frustrated with how much free work I’ve done as part of interview processes, training programs, and panels in an effort to secure my next piece of income.

I’ve had people drop off the radar entirely after I’ve wasted 7+ hours of time (not to mention more than a month of waiting) on a process, I’ve created custom pitch decks for clients that canceled the meeting the day-of, I’ve created full classes of coursework for a course that never materialized, I’ve created several rounds of proposals for a project I was later asked to do on trade.

I really try not to complain too much, but I do feel like at this point, I need to take a stand.

I will not be doing any more spec work as part of a “vetting process,” and I won’t rely on something to materialize before a budget is approved. If you cancel on me more than once, I won’t take your calls anymore. At some point, I need to have some respect for myself and my time, because at the end of my day, as a self-employed person, time is my currency these days.

I love what I do. I’m a smart marketer, a great strategist and trainer, and a media expert. And my time is worthwhile.

If you’re in need of smart marketing, let me know.

But if you don’t have a budget, hire an intern.

Boring Adult Things

Making Moves

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind. I left my position at the tech company to forge my own path as a consultant, and it’s been up and down as I transition. There is a weird uneasiness to having my day be at my discretion, and the paychecks be inconsistent. But I’m lucky to have a supportive husband, a great network, and good opportunities. So far, I don’t have regrets.

I’m excited to take on this venture. My time spent training so many people on the ins and outs of digital marketing has me feeling that much more confident in my skills, being able to take people from square one to fully ramped in very little time. From my side, I was challenged to take on a more technical track than I’d anticipated, learning the ropes of ad server tagging and measurement, so I could quickly become a subject matter expert in a field I in which I had no background. It was scary but fulfilling. It wasn’t where I wanted to go for my career, but it was a confidence boost I needed.

If you care to read more on my career and what exactly I do, check out my professional blog, Millennial Advocate (a bit of a tongue-in-cheek reference, as my approach is pretty tough-love based).

On the personal front, I’m continuing my guitar lessons and will be finishing up a recording of an original song, “Prey,” over the next month or so. I hope to have my next book, Paris to Phuket: My Life in Airmiles published in the next month or so as well (assuming someone gives me my marked-up hard copy draft back… yes, Jason, I’m talking to you). I suspect by May 2017 I will not own a second home or have seen a wonder of the world. I probably also won’t have found spiritual enlightenment. But I do hope to have taken that road trip with Brandon. And we are going on more walks together. So 25 (or whatever it is) out of 30 isn’t half bad.

Here’s to living the life you dream, and taking the road less traveled. I don’t know if it will be my forever. But it’s a refreshing place to be for now.