May 25, 2020 - that was the last time I wrote a blog. While it's only been a bit over six weeks (43 days exactly, but who's counting), it's felt like an eternity for me. I honestly can't recall the last time I took that long of a break from writing. While it's felt good to walk away from the virtual pen and paper for a while, I have found myself a little intimidated coming back to it. Yet, here I am, coming back to the one thing that has always provided my solace: writing.
Quite a bit has happened in those 43 days, so allow me to recap a bit:
PromoCorner - I'm assuming that if you're reading this, you know I am no longer President of PromoCorner. If not, the fact that you're reading this blog on a different company website should make that clear. It was a genuinely fantastic three-plus-year run, and I will always be proud of what we accomplished, both seen and unseen. I learned many things during my time there and am forever grateful for the opportunity given by ownership. Yes, we did part on good terms (that can happen if everyone acts like an adult). I wish nothing but the best for the organization and Joel Moore, Laurie Moore, Amelia Madl, Jes Onions, and Brandon Pecharich moving forward. However, sometimes, it's just time.
unScripted Podcast - After 206 episodes, three Pyramid awards, and a few controversies, Kirby Hasseman and I released our final podcast on Friday, June 5. I still shake my head in disbelief when I think that we never missed a single Friday during the entire run of the podcast. A few people have asked why we ended the podcast. The answer is simple: unScripted was ALWAYS a PromoCorner property, and, frankly, it didn't feel right to continue to be part of it when I wasn't working at the organization. Sometimes, it's just time.
Echos, Silence, Patience, and Grace - That's not only the title of a fantastic Foo Fighters album containing the hits, "Long Road to Ruin," "The Pretender," and "Let It Die," it's also how I spent the first week of my 43-day sabbatical. I needed to breathe, reflect, and do absolutely nothing - and that's precisely what I did. I made smoked queso (that's right, I smoked queso), walked the dog for hours, created a few fun cocktails, read actual books, spoke to my 17-year-old sons as men, and a million other little things that, in all actuality, are the big things. After working tirelessly creating content and running the PromoCorner business, I needed to give myself the patience and grace to enjoy the echos and silence. Sometimes, it's just time.
However, I'm not one that's content sitting on the sidelines waiting for life to happen to me - I'm far too purpose-driven to sit still for long, which leads me to today. After weeks of behind the scenes work, I am beyond proud to, along with my business partner Kelsey Cunningham, launch a marketing, branding, and sales service provider: brandivate.
If that name sounds familiar, it should as Kelsey grew up in promotional products having worked on all three sides of the industry: distributor, supplier, and business services. It was an honor to work alongside her at PromoCorner, where she served as the Creative Director. During our time working together, we were able to find creative solutions to our client's marketing, branding, and sales challenges that resulted in more than just dynamic work; our client's revenue was as elevated as the solutions we provided.
This all leads to the obvious question: why now?
After we both left PromoCorner, the next logical step was to continue working together - only this time doing it for our own company. Of course, there were lawyers, spouses, and other interested parties involved, but the fact is we make one hell of a team, and we believe that we can provide an enormous amount of value to our clients. Yes, we know we are launching brandivate in the middle of a pandemic, an economy teetering on the brink of depression, under the continual threat of murder hornets, and with a sky blackened by a Saharan dust storm. However, we have a great support system in our families who believe in us just as much as we believe in ourselves - especially our spouses Aaron and Sandy.
Some things will be familiar such as me posting a blog here every other Monday, Kirby and I will be dropping our new podcast every Friday morning staring July 10, and we will share a favorite beverage every Friday at 3:30 PM CDT. Some things will be new as Kelsey and I debut our podcast on July 15 where we share the challenges of starting a business - and how we overcome them, our different approach to working with the industry, and even our method of leveraging social media. The bottom line is that over the next few weeks we hope you'll get to know brandivate as we share content, our story, and how we can be the missing piece of your success puzzle.
I've long said that fortune favors the bold and launching brandivate during this - dare I say it - "unprecedented" time is about as bold as it gets.
Today, it's just time.