Wednesday, January 12, 2011

12 Days

This is a post by Gabe

I feel like people should hear this, here we go...

On December 30th I recieved a phone call from my boss letting me know the company I worked for would be shutting its doors on December 31st. I had been working for them and my previous employer who they were tied to for the past 5 years. I had become good at what I did, I had the opportunity to work in the companies in many facets, learn an amazing amount about business from marketing, to finance, to sales, to analytics, even opened roughly 50 small business in the 2 years I was doing the consulting piece. In all that time, I tried to be appreciative of all the skills I was learning and tried to take advantage of all the opportunities given to me. Also in that time, I discovered a lot about myself and what I wanted to do with my career.

A few years ago I decided I wanted to be in entertainment brand marketing. I love the entertainment business and I knew in the branding piece I could expand on my right brain/creative thinking. So over the years I have given myself outlets to use some of this while doing my day job. I developed several concepts from branding talent, to developing a couple website concepts. That was my release.

I feel I have had a very blessed life, sure I have had hard times, but for the most part I feel as if I was blessed a little more by God than the "average Joe". I don't feel a sense of entitlement or anything, I just feel I am blessed, so I always have tried to remain appreciative of the gifts God has given me, whether it was getting to meet my amazing wife when I was 16, graduating college, developing friendships with some amazing people, having a family that has always loved me no matter how reserved I have been, the amazing home we have been blessed with, and above all else the feeling of total security I feel in God having a plan for me and that he will take care of me and my family no matter how hard or good times can be.

All of these things have led me to 1/11/11. The day I will always remember as the day "the rest of my life" started.

When I was laid off, I did the only thing I knew to do and that was to stop, pray, think, plan, and execute. When I hung up the phone from my boss, I immediately dialed my brother and asked if he could get me a job at the restaurant he works at to make sure we would be financially sound for a few months. The next thing, I called my dad to tell him and ask him for help with any contacts he may have for a job search. Lindsay was at work, so I could not tell her yet. However, when she got home I had a job at a restaurant serving tables, I had my resume updated and was emailing people like crazy.

I can be "rough" sometimes and not everyone gets my humor, because I truly do appreciate those around me though I do not show it. I did not know how people would respond to me, because I hate asking for help and those who know me, know that is not me. Not that I help others as much as I should, but I just did not know what would happen. Needless to say, there are a lot of amazing friends and family members around me that must care a lot about me and my family because the hands reaching out to help were plentiful.

Saturday I went in to the restaurant to talk with manager and she gave me the job. Sunday I began my training (without any serving experience mind you), Monday I scheduled a Wednesday meeting with a guy who owns a creative agency here in McKinney that I know through a mutual friend, Tuesday I worked, Wednesday I woke up at 7:29 (LATE) for an 8:00 meeting. The whole drive I thought God was telling me I am not supposed to go to the meeting because I was running late, but I literally walked in to the little coffee shop (Spoons) at the strike of 8:00. Jeff Simpson (Owner of Day6 Creative) and his colleague were sitting there waiting. We introduced ourselves and began chatting.

I gave him a background of what I had done professionally and told him a little of what I wanted to do. I tried to tie the 2 together because they are different industries all together (aesthetic medicine to entertainment brand marketing). I decided to divulge a couple of my concepts and they both got excited discussing them. I then mentioned I would like to get into account management for an entertainment brand marketing agency. Jeff's eyes lit up. He looked at his partner and said "Gabe, I have to tell you... I am looking for an account manager right now". Day6 does illustration work, packaging, branding, etc. for Hasbro Toys (Nerf), Star Wars, App companies, etc. He did the style guide for the movie Star Wars Episode 3, but he did not have an account manager in place to leverage the work and find more business. So now he wants to expand that piece of the business. From there, the meeting turned from Jeff writing down contacts to put me in contact with to essentially an interview. Not just any interview though. A little background on Jeff, he is a very strong christian. He has built his business on his faith and will literally make business decisions based on his faith. I mentioned something along the lines of my faith is getting me through this time and from there the meeting went into another direction. I had laid out my professional background and I essentially gave him my life testimony. Not something you typically do in an interview. As the meeting went on, we got more and more excited about our "divine" meeting. Neither one of us had any clue about the other and again, I had no clue of any openings at his agency which currently has 9 employees. Jeff asked that I put together a proposal of what I can do for the company and what my plan would be. It was an amazing 1hour, 40 minute meeting in a little coffee shop in McKinney, TX.

That afternoon/evening I worked at the restaurant and had a million ideas running through my head and I knew I had to get them out. I was able to fix my restaurant schedule and Thursday I woke up and went to work on the proposal. I knocked it out and called Jeff. He said lets meet Friday (the next day) morning to discuss.

This time Jeff brought his co-owner/wife and we went through the proposal. The meeting again went really well. I was told I would hear from their business consultant soon to interview again. Monday (2 days ago) I spoke with her and the meeting went great. I was asked to meet with Jeff again the following day (yesterday). I met Jeff at his office, we walked outside, he stopped me on the side walk and said "we want to offer you a job." It was a great offer, it was my dream job, it is working with amazing people, so of course I said "yes". I look back now at the past 10 years and truly see where I was on a path to this. Every single thing I have learned and experienced has taught me what I need to know in order to perform this job well. It is too amazing.

There were times in all of this when I could not look at my kids in their eyes, but beyond that I felt ok. I felt like we were going to be taken care of. I know God is good, but never in a million years did I imagine a miracle such as this. I truly believe God has a plan for me, he will provide for me and I own nothing that is not his. He is the almighty.

There are 2 many people to list on this post that I need to thank, but you know who you are and just know something good is coming to you.

I hope this inspires you to find God and trust in him no matter what.

1 comment:

Lady Harris said...

what an awesome story! I loved reading it! Congrats on the new job! Excited for you both!!