When we touched down in Moscow, I knew we had only one more flight to Houston. I would be home, finally! I was finishing an eight-week business trip, and it felt like I was spending more time in the air traveling from location to location in the Asia Pacific region than on the ground working. I had just completed a final push to launch the latest contract management system for one of the largest construction projects underway in the world. My job as a Project Manager was to implement supply chain systems on mega oil and gas construction projects, which required the training and onboarding of thousands of users across multiple continents in some remote locations. The challenges were multi-layered from culture differences, language barriers, impossible schedules, budgets, client and corporate appeasement, user resistance to change – just to name a few. In full transparency, the monumental task scared the crap out of me!
While I was extremely blessed to have a career that took me to some amazing locations and to be part of some incredibly remarkable projects, I felt stuck. The kind of stuck when you know there is something more out there for you. When you know you haven't yet fulfilled your calling. That stuck feeling as if you are in a place that just doesn’t fit. The proverbial forces of society had pushed me in a direction I knew was not the right path, and I had become jaded. It felt suffocating, isolating… OK! You get it! I knew I needed a change. But how? I had just given over 10 years to a career that was my life. It’s what I knew and understood. It was a network that felt more like a family.
They say the things you enjoy as a child is what you will return to as an adult. That was the case for me. Prior to entering the professional culture of a corporate career, I truly enjoyed the idea of creating story that elicited an emotion through film (although I didn’t understand that is what I was doing at the time). As a kid, my brothers, friends, and pets would be featured in my home movies. Our favorite was a Friday night WWE reenactment on the trampoline complete with smoke bombs and flood lights [Insert eye roll]. As I got older, I forced myself to forget about that passion giving in to society's norm that a career could not be sustained on such a childhood dream. However, that passion began to bubble up again. I found myself googling, reading, and watching YouTube channels produced by people who are about the same age I was when I had the same passion.
What I found was the amount of information for creative visual content was overwhelming including the need for it. No longer were audiences watching and responding to traditional methods of advertising but were seeking to understand the 'Why' behind the message. Audiences were responding emotionally. Frankly, this was the exact tool I had found to be most effective while implementing change management on the projects I had worked on. My research online quickly turned in to film courses that took me to Iceland and various parts of the United States to learn from industry leading filmmakers and those who studied story.
The idea of a career change to chase a desire and passion all sounded great in theory but taking the plunge to become an entrepreneur and leave behind everything I worked so hard to achieve took some serious thought. However, the passion to create masterfully crafted stories that help businesses communicate their message that drive action became so loud that I could no longer deny it.
I’ll never forget that exact moment I hit the send button asking my boss for the call to put in my two weeks notice. It had all come to a head. After the call and a deep breath I knew I was all in. 100%. Every chip and card I had. It was game time!
After being in a place where I felt stuck for so long, being all in on the next great leap towards my passion was probably one of the most liberating feelings. Finding one's purpose and being able to focus completely on that passion is my greatest hope for anyone that is in the same situation I was in.
It has been 8 months now since I left my corporate job and in that short amount of time some very remarkable experiences have occurred. I have worked with many different clients who are looking to share a message, but had trouble finding their story. Working through a process we were able to craft that story. Here are just a few examples:
- We are working closely with an engineering firm who is trying to communicate their vision internally. They understand their strongest skill sets are designing complicated buildings, not being motivational speakers! Putting together a presentation with some fancy slides and sharing that with their target audience was not going to cut it. Through the power of a vision film they found the conduit to relay their message in a truly meaningful way.
- The new kid on the block in a small town doesn’t always get welcomed with open arms. We helped one such company struggling to connect with their target market and assisted them in creating a compelling 'Why' story. The film worked so well, they saw three times the amount of traffic expected.
- We worked with a local custom home builder who left his career to pursue his passion as a custom wood craftsman. When his story of the chance he took to follow his passion was visually told on film, people felt compelled to see his success through supporting him. A Founder's story can be remarkably instrumental when you are starting up a company, especially when you leave everything to follow your passion.
And here I am...sharing my start of the story with you. I am endlessly grateful to have this opportunity. I have personally witnessed some of the most remarkable stories in over 10 years of travel around the globe working on some of the largest oil and gas projects in the world. Yet I feel as though my true journey has just started.