If you took a look at my Twitter profile a week ago it read: “I work from home in my pajamas.”
That was my life for the last seven months.
Going from my room, to the living room, to the kitchen. Turning on ESPN, watching HBO and listening to music as long as I wanted while I did my work; and eating Ramen Noodle soups because if I was already saving on expensive downtown lunches and monthly metrocards, I wasn’t going to go ahead and spend unnecessary amounts of money on Dyckman lunches either.
Gentrification made things a lot pricier out here.
I had no office and no physical bosses (just virtual employers) around me. Nothing. My office was my bed, my kitchen and an office chair. I had a laptop table of sorts to prevent the heat from destroying any chances of future children for me.
This was my life. I liked it and I disliked it at the same time.
For those seven months I worked with two clients, one on the east and the other on the west. My days would start as early as 5am and end at 8pm on some days.
If you weren’t around for my last real post on this blog, I quit my job in November for two reasons:
1. I didn’t have the urge to be there anymore. I was no longer in line with their mission.
2. I felt I could help websites in the black news space grow and I wanted to challenge myself. I wanted to try my hand at SEO/Analytics which is something I did in the last year of my job at my old company. I wanted to see if I can build a business out of it.
Looking back on my decision, I don’t regret it one bit.
In the last half a year, I was able to sit down, study and learn so much about editing, writing, analytics and SEO that I probably never would have learned if I didn’t have that “freedom.”
In the same way I left my old company up in traffic by about 200 percent (with the help of others), I left these companies up in traffic at a rate of 100 percent.
I saw one site grow from 500,000 to 1 million unique visitors in my time there. I also saw a site come close to doubling its growth and continue its climb up the traffic ladder. I would have wanted to continue my work for self journey, but I found a non entrepreneurial position I felt was better for me.
I’m now back in the working world. By that, I mean corporate structure, daily train rides and suits.
While it’s no ones business where I am now, just know that I made my decision based on three simple factors.
1. After a few months of consulting, I realized that what I do is such a specialized skill that entrusting someone else would be difficult. Aside from that, if I continued to accrue clients I would not be able to perform to the level my clients would need me to perform. When you are SEO’ing for 2-3 sites a day, it can get extremely taxing and mistakes have and were bound to happen.
2. A man named Andreas who I would consider a friend and a budding mentor (referred by my friend Gabe) mentioned how a lot of companies were moving more towards social media optimization and not search engine optimization. He said if I could find a company that would give me the reins and also pay well, go for it.
3. I found a company that needed me. They need to grow quickly and felt I was the right man for the job. Better yet, I proved to them that there was no one better equipped for the position through my preparation. I also looked at the company and how small it is and realized it is a great growth opportunity for me.
In the end, I have moved around from job to job in the last 3-4 years, but I’ve also climbed in salary substantially at each job and landed a higher position at each.
Now I’m somewhere where I feel I will be for a long time and am just a few steps on the staircase away from being an executive.
My friend told me that I gave it a shot and wasn’t going to turn down an opportunity to continually say “I’m grinding and I’m going to make it” like a lot of others foolishly do.
But I sure did grind even if it was for a short period of time.
And that grind paid off with this new opportunity.
To new beginnings…
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