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J.C. Hart, Indianapolis ApartmentsI’ve privately told a few people already, but I’m ready to make it official (like a referee with a whistle or gangster with a pistol)! Last week I accepted a job with J.C. Hart as its Digital Marketing Specialist. I start on Thursday, and I couldn’t be more amped! A journey that started in January of this year has come to an end, and I couldn’t be happier with where my feet landed! So many emotions go into an announcement like this, especially because it signals a huge step for me as a marketing professional. For the last six-plus years I’ve been a “hired gun”. As a consultant, I’ve had a lot of great wins with a lot of great companies like Deep Ripples, BLASTmedia, V3im, SiliconANGLE, ExactTarget, and New Haircut just to name a few. But I’m hanging up my full-time consulting hat, and dawning a new full-time on-brand marketer hat.

The job search isn’t fun. When you’re being courted for a new job from a position of power (reads: already have a great job) that’s fun. But when you don’t have that good job to lean on, it can be devastating to hear the phrase, “We’ve gone with someone else.” I had a lot of interviews over the past seven months with some awesome companies…and interviews I thought I nailed! Unfortunately, I heard my fair-share of no’s over the past seven months. If I had one key takeaway from my experience it would be this: Don’t let the word no stop you. If I had given up my search for a great opportunity after my first no, or second, or third…I wouldn’t be in the spot I am today announcing this awesome next-step in my marketing career.

January through June of this year I did a lot of backchannel looking for jobs and pushing the ball down the field on a couple of potentially great opportunities. But there were some huge life changes that were coming my way in August, so I decided to finally flex my network muscle. Building relationships is something that I’ve taken very seriously for a very long time. So on July 24th I sent out an email to 48 people in my trust-circle, activating them as someone to potentially help me in my quest.

I took the email very seriously too, so much so that I had my friend Kara Findley optimize it for me. Kara is a friend from both of our former ExactTarget days, and when I asked her to help me with the email, I thought it was already perfect. Two minutes later and what felt like 40 changes I immediately said to myself, “Crap this is way better.” LOL (Kara is really good at what she does) So I had a few more friends look at it, and then I hit send. I obviously personalized it to each person, but here is a copy of one I sent:

Hey Heather!

A huge life change is happening for me on August 1 – namely becoming the single parent of my two nephews. My work has gotten some good press lately, which seems like a great time to take the next step in my career. If you know of any opportunities that might be a good fit, would you please help introduce me?

What I’m looking for: Mid-level marketing manager position with room to grow. Salary and benefits suitable for a family man.
Link to my resume: Here
More details: My next move marketing job blog post here

I would greatly appreciate any help you can offer during this transition in my life!

What is new in your life? I hope you’ve been doing great, and thank you for your continued friendship and support!

PS: I thought this was a great post: I think you could do an entire post on #2, mobile gap because so many clients/websites are expectations-dumb here.
PSS: #skypecoffee soon? I’d love to get on your calendar.


Busy mom, parent and professional, working mom, busy parentI share this with you because an opinion I’m very strong of, is the opinion that you have to ask for what you want. The people around you in your trust-circle, sphere of influence, whatever-you-choose-to-call-it are folks that want to help. But the first step is letting them know that you need help. Remember, they have busy lives too — you can’t expect them to be keeping a keen tab on your life. The next step is to give them a very clear outcome of your ask and specifics to how they can help. I identified the position I was looking for, compensation, linked them to my resume and lastly linked them to a blog post depicting everything in much greater detail.

Well did it work Ryan?

Heather Whaling is the friend I sent the email to above. She is the Owner & President of Geben Communication. Heather is someone I connected with two years ago through my normal routine of finding awesome people to dig deeper with. Heather is someone who was consistently popping up in my digital life. Whether it was a guest post somewhere, tweeting at someone I knew, or otherwise doing something that other people noticed — I noticed. So I started a conversation with her and asked her to grab #skypecoffee and connect on a deeper level.

Two years later, she’s someone I considered to be one of my top business friends + minds, and is someone I felt comfortable with leaning on for an ask as big as job recommendations.

Timing is everything. Heather had just heard of an opportunity in Indianapolis, and she made an introduction that quickly became a very serious opportunity. Think about that. Heather, in Ohio, made a recommendation in Indianapolis for me (and I lived in Indianapolis). Use the Internet to your advantage, seriously people.

A month later I had accepted that opportunity, and am set to begin the next step in my marketing career.

J.C. Hart is a phenomenal company. For more than 30 years, the J.C. Hart Company has been developing, building, and managing distinctive apartment communities. Bluntly put, they’re the best of the best. As their Digital Marketing Specialist I’ll take the lead on all of our digital marketing efforts, and really perfecting our processes of data collection and optimizing the customer journey. The first time I sat down with my boss Mark Juleen, I knew it was going to be a great fit. I’m going to be given a tone of responsibilities (which as self-motivated guy I needed) but also given the opportunity to learn from someone who is damn good at what they do.

We’re looking to position J.C. Hart as the industry leader in apartment marketing. From social to inbound, what about the apartment on-boarding process can be improved? What do you expect but aren’t getting out of your apartment community? How do you create value-add to a one time purchase, but year-long experience? There is so much to think about, it gets my juices flowing just writing about it. To say I’m excited would be an understatement. Taking an existing brand and moving it to the next level of success is like a kid in a candy store to an growth marketer like myself.

J.C. Hart downtown Mass Ave. projectThere is a tone of on-brand experience I’m going to gain in this opportunity. But there is one aspect about the J.C. Hart offer that is best described as the 100 pounds of icing on the cake. J.C. Hart has been approved for a $43 million residential/retail development along the 500 block of Massachusetts Avenue. Part of the development is the first digital media board in downtown Indianapolis. Think Time Square, without the 24-7 ads. Being a part of the marketing team that is bringing this next step of digital innovation to Indianapolis was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. Now granted, there are a lot of hurdles to get over, but the digital media wall is something that any marketer would covet…immensely. I’m super stoked at the possibilities!

So there it is and that’s the news! I’ve accepted an offer from J.C. Hart to become their Digital Marketing Specialist. I start Thursday! To all of those who have been supporting me from day one, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! From the bottom of my heart, it means the world to me. You rock.

Board MeetingI can tell you that in writing this post I did not get a consensus from my ‘inner circle’ that it would be a good idea. I didn’t even get a consensus that it would net anything promising. However, those of you that truly know me and my style, a post like this is completely in line with who I am. I’ve been actively looking for a new job for the past 90 days and I’ve decided that doing a calculated public ask would be a good business decision. Anything less open-book would be unlike me, and this just feels right.

Come August 1st, which is 16 days away, I will be a newly single-parent of two moving to Fishers, transforming my current personal situation into a forever full-time one. Because of that personal transformation, the world of consulting is no longer a sound option for a single income household. Even those who aren’t intimately familiar with consulting know that the highs are very high, but what you don’t see is the low lows and hours upon hours of business development…promising nothing in return.

I’ve had a great run in the consulting world over the last six years. I’ve flown by the seat of my pants, if I’m being honest, but I’ve grown so much as a person and a business professional in the process. I have an entrepreneurial drive at my core, and that unwavering tenacity has proven to be a valuable asset. Harnessing that asset has proven harder than I realized at first, but when you can focus tenacity, I think you have a hand that cannot be beaten.

Fork in the road and choosing your path

I believe every career has forks in the road. Choices that present themselves, mutually exclusive as it were, that will shape the rest of your path toward your goals. My biggest goal is continued success. Continued success is how I define success, because a success that doesn’t have an end is the kind of success I want to strive for. As it were, I’ve come to one of those forks in my career. The first fork has me continuing in the world of consulting as my primary source of income. Frankly, with the recent wins I’ve had: being named one of the top marketing professionals on the rise, starting Feed The Kids and projects with awesome clients like SiliconANGLE and Arcompany — it wouldn’t be a bad path to choose.

However, I’m striving for a bigger goal, remember? And as part of that bigger goal, I think that choosing the path of consultant will cap my successes.

So what is the other path? The other path leads towards the corporate world. There is a void in my resume and experience, and it’s the corporate side of business. All of my success to this point has been consultant-driven, and I think that getting into an established business and gaining the invaluable experience of the ‘bigger fish’ pond is something that will prove to be a great decision.

I’m going to paint a very clear picture, and I’m going to use a friend to do it. :) Joanna Lord has been someone I’ve admired for many years. We have been friends and I’ve followed her career arch for the last five years or so and I like to use her as an example for my scenario. I’ve watched her gain experience and knowledge in a career she is profoundly passionate about. Joanna has been acutely methodical in her process, at least from afar. She throws herself into a business, grows both the business and herself, and then uses that momentum to extend both her personal and professional brands. I admire Joanna very much, and she is a marketing mind I covet.

I use this example because I think it highlights a perfect maturation of my next step. I want to throw myself into a business. I want to grow both the business and myself, and then use that momentum to extend both my personal and professional brand. That is the part of my skillset that needs to be sharpened. I want to prove and achieve successes on the corporate side of the equation. A mentor of mine, Shelly Kramer, has been drilling it into my head for over a year now. I’ll paraphrase, but it sounds almost exactly like this: “Ryan, I think you just need to get into a corporate job and sharpen your skills. I think that is the best step for you professionally.”

Opportunity breakdown

So what kind of job am I looking for?

The honest answer is a job that offers stability. Remember the new single parent, single income part of my equation? I need the backing of a good job (read: salary + benefits) with a realistic offering of “no ceiling”. I’m not just a driven person, I’m an always-in-overdrive person. I want an opportunity I can throw myself at and give 110 percent because the success they’ll receive from my work will mean 3-4x success for me.

Okay, that’s great Ryan, but what type of job, or job title is that?

Mid-level marketing manager (or above). Look, I get that we live in a LinkedIn job title world. I also get that even though my resume shows some very big wins, and will come with extremely favorable recommendations — there is a ‘freelance’ look to it. I was a hired gun for the better part of five years, that’s the truth. But I have experience managing teams both on-premise and digitally, and I have an innate gift of leadership. I’ll be the first to admit to you, here ontheline: I’m not ready for a CMO position. Heck, I’m probably not ready for a (mid-large sized company) VP of Marketing position — but the only thing I’m lacking is corporate experience. I want to get in and get to work, so the ‘mid level’ 4-6 years experience type position is a perfect fit.

What does that position pay?

I’m not going to box myself into any corner. Here is how I will answer that question, though: comparable. I’m looking for a job that offers, as far as ‘pay’ is concerned, comparable rates, full benefits and most importantly, great company culture. I don’t think you can put a price on great company culture.

What kind of time table are you looking at?

City Council on TVI could’ve started yesterday. August 1st is happening, so I’m ready to go the day the right opportunity presents itself.

Here is a link to my resume.
Here is a link to my LinkedIn profile.
Here is a list of references that I’d be HAPPY for you to call.
I’ll meet anyone in person in Indianapolis for coffee, my treat, to discuss opportunities. Put time on my schedule, or email me: coxymoney(at)gmail(dot)com.
I’ll talk to anyone about remote opportunities, my Skype is coxymoney.

This is who I am. This is my style. This is how confident I am in both my past and my future successes. I’m going to be a great dad. I already am. I’m going to be a great marketer. I already am.

good deed, help old lady cross streetDo the right thing because it’s the right thing to do. We’ve all heard it, but how many of us actually practice it? At its basic root-level, I’d say that statement is a pretty good philosophy to live by, regardless of your religious beliefs. The ‘proper etiquette’ adoption of this rule, however, is where I vehemently disagree. Why is being proud of a good deed such a bad thing?

Let me make my case…

Isn’t that the point of a more connected world?

By 2020, there will be 50 billion connected devices. Fiddy. Billion. So with a more connected world, there has to be a gazillion (accurate, but no data supporting claim of accurate) things we can improve, right? Power conservation, home security, family picture sharing — like I said, a gazillion. But I want to focus on one thing: good deeds.

Social signals are becoming an integral part of the Web as we know it, and moreover our lives. Here are some wow stats:

  • There are approximately 3.2 billion likes and comments on Facebook a day
  • 80% of pins on Pinterest are re-pins
  • Justin Bieber averages 32,000+ RTs on every one of his tweets
  • Instagram has more than 75 million daily active users
  • YouTube hits 1 billion unique visitors every month
  • Tumblr has over 113.6 million blogs posts a day
  • In 2013 Reddit had 56 billion page views with 4 billion votes

So if we’re all more connected, wouldn’t it make sense to share more good with each other as a form of positive reinforcement?

Positive reinforcement

What is positive reinforcement and where did it come from? B.F. Skinner is regarded as the father of Operant Conditioning. Operant Conditioning is a type of learning in which an individual’s behavior is modified by its antecedents and consequences. Skinner’s theory of operant conditioning was based on the work of Edward Thorndike’s Law of Effect. Skinner introduced a new term into the Law of Effect – Reinforcement. Behavior that is reinforced tends to be repeated (i.e. strengthened); behavior that is not reinforced tends to die out-or be extinguished (i.e. weakened). Skinner identified three types of responses that can follow behavior: neutral operants, reinforcers and punishers.

Skinner classified reinforcers as: Responses from the environment that increase the probability of a behavior being repeated. Reinforcers can be either positive or negative. Positive reinforcement strengthens a behavior by providing a consequence an individual finds rewarding. The Law of Effect supports that by providing consequences an individual finds rewarding, the behavior will be repeated.

So what does that mean in our digital age of social signals?

Here is my hypothesis: sharing good deeds that you have done through your social profiles online will provide the behavior of others following your lead in search of a rewarding consequence. Thus, your act will be copied by others producing a greater outcome of more good deeds.

Change your default to praise, not hate

I’m going to use a recent example of a good deed shared online as to why I think people need to put down the Hateraid and try a cup of the Praiseaid. DeAngelo Williams of the Carolina Panthers posted on Instagram, unbeknownst to the U.S. Marine, that he had traded his business class seat with the Marine. Williams then tweeted the image with an explanation that he always gives up his seat to members of the U.S. Military. It was a very kind gesture, on Independence Day no less, and you would think that it would make everyone feel warm and fuzzy, right?

But the Internet quickly found fault with Williams sharing the image, saying that he posted the image for PR purposes and may have given his seat to a man only posing as a Marine. Seriously? People thought that Williams might have gone as far to have someone dress up like a Marine and/or scoured the airport to find a Marine in order to post the picture. (I can’t make this stuff up.)

Since when did we become so cynical? Since when did we default to hate not praise? I wonder how many of those people throwing ‘shade’ or questioning his motivation for doing the good deed posted via the same social media channels something related to Happy Fourth of July, God Bless our men and women who have served, etc.? Wouldn’t that be, as the old adage goes, talking out of both sides of your mouth?

Does intent matter if outcome is positive?

I’m not even going to argue whether it was, or wasn’t, a orchestrated PR move. I’m not, because neither you nor I can know 100% for sure what the truth is here. I just have one simple question.

Does your better judgement say that MORE or LESS people would be motivated to do a similar act because Williams posted it to his Instagram, Twitter and other social media accounts?

It’s a simple question with only a more or less answer allowed, and therefore I hope you see the point. The answer is undoubtedly more, and I cannot think of any educated arguments to the contrary. (By all means, if you have one share it in the comments below.) So regardless of his intent, the outcome of his action produced a positive outcome.

[turns to editor: Is this where I drop the keyboard and walk away?]

Why does sharing a good deed have to be considered bragging by default? Why is it that doing a good deed and sharing it is “not proper etiquette”? If the produced outcome motivates others to seek a similar consequence they find rewarding, shouldn’t we be sharing more good deeds and not less? I’ll analyze my personal sphere of influence. I feel comfortable going on the record that of all of the positive acts of pay it forward, random acts of kindness or good deeds that my sphere has done over the last month, greater than 90 percent of those deeds they’ve shared ontheline were done for the right reasons. So with a greater than 90 percent return on investment of good deeds, doesn’t that make for a better world?

I have been categorized both by myself and others as someone who leads by example. So as far as example-setting goes, I like the idea of putting more good into the world and challenging others to follow my lead. It’s how Feed The Kids, Inc. got started — by me realizing I could activate others to pay it forward. Oh by the way, it’s how at least 11 good deeds were ‘motivated’ to happen in the last month. I know that only because those good deed doers let me know privately.

So I’m sorry ‘proper etiquette’ when performing good deeds. While I agree there are times to do it anonymously, I choose to live in a world where I assume right reasons first, and wrong reasons second.