Finding Muscle Shoals
You really don't know what something is like until you've tried it. And that is certainly true when it comes to entrepreneurship. It takes tremendous guts, swagger, and resourcefulness to make something out of nothing. And if you're an entrepreneur for any length of time, you learn to optimize as much as possible. There are only so many hours in each day, and your role encompasses many areas of operation that are constantly shifting. From product and technology to marketing to HR and legal to funding and finance, you operate on all cylinders as you find the right people to help with each functional area.
Moving away from a 10 year run as an entrepreneur has been a journey and one that I discussed in my last blog post. My feelings from August still remain. I am happy that I made the transition and want to stay on this track. So much so that I turned down a request from a Silicon Valley venture capital firm to discuss Entrepreneur In Residence.
But I owe so much to my entrepreneurial career. It taught me more than I ever realized and looking back I have a lot to share. One of my goals is to do just that through this blog. Not because it’s a new year and this is a resolution, but because enough time has passed to give me perspective to share what will hopefully entertain and maybe even help you.
Please stay tuned as I share more stories from the trenches of entrepreneurship, interesting things that you’ll want to check out, and some of the startup and marketing hacks I have learned along the way. I can’t promise that I’ll post consistently and my formats may completely vary. Please give me feedback as I go and let me know what you like and what you want more of.
WE ALL STRIVE TO FIND THE PLACE THAT ALLOWS US TO SHINE IN OUR CAREERS.
This involves aligning our talent and passion with the right opportunity, environment, and culture.
After I moved to California, someone asked me, “What is your passion?” My answer was… that I had lost it. Being an entrepreneur was my greatest passion for so long, and when I decided to let it go, I had to find myself again. I decided that my short-term passion was sunshine.
I bought a bike and hiked as much as I could; and, somewhere in these 18 months I reconnected with my passion again. There are parts of my entrepreneurial side that I hope will always be part of my work, specifically the creation and building of a brand and team. And while marketing is where I landed in the corporate world and I love every aspect of marketing, I believe that the combination of being a creative at heart and a data-driven marketer with plenty of business experience will drive my success. Not being able to execute against my big idea thinking very quickly has been an adjustment, but ultimately building brands that people love, that are human (even for a technology company), and that touch on art that inspires us all is my current passion.
IF YOU ARE FRUSTRATED WITH YOUR PASSION...
(or just really like music)
I encourage you to watch Muscle Shoals (streaming on Netflix), a documentary about a small town on the Alabama border that gave us some of the most incredible music.
The number of famous hits and artists that came out of this studio is staggering. Artists traveled to Muscle Shoals because they were mesmerized by the sounds coming from this area and they wanted a part of it. Many thought it was the land itself, a field of energy, giving the music so much heart and depth. Others thought it was Rick Hall’s desire “to be somebody” fueling it and his musicians.
Before Muscle Shoals, Aretha Franklin couldn’t sell records…
And record companies didn’t know what to do with her voice. There’s a video of Aretha before she arrives saying:
“I’m still about to find out who and what I really am. I don’t know yet. I’m trying to find the answer.”
When Aretha got to Muscle Shoals she sat at the piano and no one spoke. No one knew what to do. Finally, someone started playing a beat, and Aretha broke into “I Never Loved A Man.” This song was her first hit record and it was written in just 15-20 minutes.
May we all find our own Muscle Shoals!