When I grow up, I want to be successful.
I have always been a hard worker. Scratch that, I have always identified myself as a hard worker, therefore putting that label and expectation on myself. Not that working hard is something negative, but sometimes when you identify with something for too long it becomes the thing that can break you.
Always the overachiever, I grew up juggling a million things and did so with ease and grace. But what I didn’t know was that when you keep showing up as an overachiever people not only expect that from you, but you almost don’t know how to live life without it. I spent years doing homework after school between theater rehearsals and Amnesty International meetings. My undergrad was no different; working part-time, interning at MTV2 and going to school full-time. For years I had conditioned myself to take on the world. I went full speed ahead with the attempts of being “successful”.
But what measures success? Is it a number? Is it a title? Is it being able to juggle everything and then some?
Fast forward to my mid-thirties - After working full-time and continuing my education through an online program for my Masters (again, full-time - I know I’m a glutton for punishment), I took a risk on a new position and a new company with the hopes of being successful. But, three months in and suddenly I found myself laid off from what I thought was my big “success” job. The company crumbled - a sinking ship before I even jumped aboard.
I spent the following months in a pattern of getting back up again and falling down. Every opportunity I took, never panned out to be more than a learning experience. But when you spend your entire life being the overachiever, this time of my life was devastating.
I self-identified with the hard-working version of myself, revered by my colleagues and peers. But if I was no longer that version of myself, the hard-working multitasker, who was I?
So much of our culture focuses on compartments and labels because it’s easier that way. But when you take away one of your self-identifiers, we crumble. I no longer recognized myself, nor did I know how to come back from the disappearance of my identity.
Despite networking like crazy, applying to almost every single marketing job I could find, I found that I didn’t fit neatly into anyone else’s boxes. I was not a novice in the field after spending the past 15 years working marketing positions, volunteering on marketing committees, attending school for marketing and consulting for small businesses. But I was also not considered a seasoned vet by today’s standards either because I had sprinkled in positions that were not “Marketing” jobs despite incorporating marketing aspects into them.
So where did I belong?
I kept thinking to myself that if only I could find a company willing to mold me or provide me with more experience, I would be able to make a successful career out of it. If I could gain more experience I would feel validated enough to be considered a thought leader in my field. Happily Ever After. The End.
But what I kept overlooking was that I already had the experience. I already had the validation. I already had it in me to just work for myself. I fit perfectly into my own boxes.
I was “enough”.
So after dragging my feet, I decided with wild abandonment that I needed to create my own company, my own legacy, my own success that knocks down the walls of those cramped corporate boxes. I decided to birth my own company that no one dictates the legitimacy of except for me.
I wanted to take all those years of knowledge, experience, creativity, logic and wisdom and roll them into something that I could be proud of. Something that could help others. Whether it is with my marketing, my clumsy attempts at balancing everything in life, my messy parts and fun parts, or with a taco recipe and a funny cartoon - I hope that you find Let’s Taco Bout Marketing to be exactly what you needed in your boxes. Because despite becoming my own success, it’s lonely without my people.
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