My Journey (The Short Version)
Why I Have a Website
July 5, 2017 was the last day of my last job. The company had just hired me about 9 months prior, but told me the previous week that my position was being eliminated for budgetary reasons. I had a very short meeting with HR, at which I was told that the severance they were offering was exceptional considering my short tenure, clearly implying that it was the silver lining to this situation. I got a handshake, a few pieces of paper, and that was that.
I don’t believe in fate. I don’t believe that things happen for a reason, or for the best, or that there is any design to it. I believe there are only situations, choices, and new situations those choices create. I’d been through this layoff situation once before, in 2005, and I made the choice to go and get another 8-5 job. I left jobs and picked up new ones, and at each one I was looking for that job to give me something that previous one had not. In one job, I would have some authority but no budget. In another, I would have autonomy but no direction. Or employees who respected me but a boss who didn’t. On it went, until I was doing a good job for a good company with good people, making a difference even if I wasn’t especially invested, and I got my walking papers less than a year in.
I don’t blame anyone for this situation, but if I didn’t learn from it, I would have to blame myself. The last time I built a portfolio website was to help me get my next 8-5 job. This site is to help me re-orient my life around something other than an 8-5. I want to work with more people on more topics and more unique projects.
Remember Harvey Keitel’s character, The Wolf, from Pulp Fiction? He was the guy you brought in to fix things that needed fixing. I want to be that guy, but for writing, multimedia, and general communications stuff. I want to live life on my own terms, on the days and during the hours I designate, so that my ultimate goal of being a full-time novelist has a chance of coming true. If the only time that belongs to me is on evenings and weekends, that’s not going to get it done.
This is not going to be easy. We won’t be able to afford health insurance for a while. We won’t be able to add to our retirement accounts. We might blow through a good chunk of our cash reserves. It’s likely one of us will have to take some kind of regular job just to sort of break even. But in the pursuit of an ambition, these are acceptable compromises and challenges. Life has been pretty easy to this point, and I don’t think that’s necessarily a good thing.
Why the Previous Five Paragraphs Should Matter to You
If you’re reading this, you might be considering me for a freelance or contract position. If so, thank you for making it this far. The care and thought I put into this site is a product of my desire to be excellent in everything I do. I like helping people solve problems and achieve goals. I like coming through in the clutch.
To this point, my pursuit of excellence has been in service to some specious, collective goal like “executing on our mission to …” or “achieving market dominance in …” There’s nothing wrong with that, because the kind of people who are able to hire freelancers and contractors are invested in those kinds of objectives. The objectives I am invested in happen to be very personal and important to me, and they are only possible if I am able to earn your trust and confidence. If I’m a full-time employee, I have the luxury of not being personally invested. As a writer for hire, I don’t. The stakes are too high for me.
Lots of people can do what I do, but very few have the same breadth of hands-on experience. If you need a white paper, for example, we can have a bigger conversation about strategy, or if there are tone words you like to focus on. We can talk SEO. We can discuss whether you want a white paper at all, or something more interactive. We can talk about audiences and messaging. We can talk about whether there’s a social media play, and if so, what it might be. We can talk sales enablement, and account-based marketing, and personas. I have much more experience with communications than marketing, but I understand marketing and can make those critical connections.
Finally, voice. My writing style is distinctive, but I’m a chameleon. If you need impactful, authoritative business writing, I can do that. If you need a more casual style with some attitude, I can do that. I will take the time to learn what your brand sounds like and who you’re really talking to in order to write copy that sounds like it came from someone who really gets it. That saves you time and stress, and who doesn’t want to do that?