My name is Macks and I am the social media manager at CSD Marketing and Consulting. I figured with the new year drawing closer it might be a great time to take a look back at some of the highlights of 2020 and reflect on the growth I expect to have moving forward.
Where I came from
I began the year as a customer service representative for your favorite amphibian on television, GEICO. The job had growth opportunities and benefits, and every team-building opportunity I had ever heard of, but I experienced major conflict in conforming with company policy. When engaging with our customers I always felt like towing the company line compromised my personal values and beliefs. The dilemma was real, and after consulting with my family about my concerns the main bullet was my need for growth.
Ultimately, I knew I needed
- a stable job to support my kids
- build a future
- embrace adult life.
Facing some hard truths
The truth is, I am the furthest thing from a stable adult, capable of planning past what my kids have for breakfast. So what was I to do? I have a partner, parents, parents-in-law, kids, my peers, and myself to answer to. I was lost, confused, and scared. How could I go day-in and day-out performing a job that met the standards of my family and peers, but feel like I was compromising my integrity and morals just for a paycheck?
I weighed the pros and cons. I consulted my life coach/other mom/sister, Courtney, and decided to create a vision. My vision included things like “Involved Parent”, “Stable Income” and “ Being a voice for my community.” What I stood for, didn’t correlate with what I needed to be a functioning member of my current occupation. I love being able to give people hope, provide a solution to analyze their problems, and provide a calculated solution. I also enjoy the freedom of using my insights to provide custom solutions, which is not the way corporate America works. So I was forced to go back to my scripted solutions, my generic responses, and my sales goals. There had to be something I could do to change the narrative.
I dove into work, researching strategies, and tactics to excel in my position. It was the perfect plan. But it never worked. At the end of the day, my solution always met company guidelines, but it often neglected the human aspect of my job… that real people were calling with real problems and needed help. I lost sleep, didn’t eat, and spiraled into a mild form of depression. The answer to my problems would come along with the virus that struck the globe and left us all with questions. Yep… the social distancing guidelines kicked off by COVID-19 became a blessing in disguise.
My own personal pandemic
In March, when the world came to a halt, I transitioned from a corporate office into working at home, like many of us did, I realized that performing professional duties in the comfort of my own home was feasible. I could service customers with the greatest quality of service while also changing diapers and playing cops and robbers with my almost 2-year-old kid. God was making the moves, I myself, wasn’t brave enough to make.
It was such a great opportunity to get up and support my family, while still seeing my family. But the joy in that was overshadowed by the fact that what I was doing wasn’t aligned with who I believed I was supposed to be. Every day I hated waking up and rationalizing the fact that I had to interact with people and provide NO real solution for their problems. I would find comfort in offering whatever solutions I could think of, juggling a tight line between an empathetic human and a loyal employee. As the virus carried on and the world grew darker, I felt like my life drew a greater purpose than telling people that I could save them 15% or more by switching to GEICO. So, what was I to do?
Reflecting on what’s really important
Yep… you guessed it! I went back to my advisors. I conferred with my family, my partner, and looked at the impact my internal conflict was having on my children. The only solution was to create a vision and identify MY desires and align them with THEIR needs and find my PURPOSE. It resulted in a vision of
- Stable income
- Medical Insurance
- Work that brings people joy
I had an opportunity, the company offered 3 months of paid leave to bond with the child we were expecting in late August. This was the perfect time to make major moves! I planned to turn my family into a YouTube sensation that would take the world by storm and end in fame and wealth! But… after doing my due diligence and research that quickly dissolved as a feasible option to create my vision… in 3 months.
My sister always worked at home, as a way to personalize the business and more importantly focus on single-handedly raising her child. I always had my own judgments, “he’s not socially active, he doesn’t learn teamwork, and he doesn’t get outside enough.” But if you ever talked to her about why she chose to stay home and homeschool her son, she would tell you that it fit into the plan for the type of life she wanted for him, so she changed the way she worked to see that vision come to life. It wasn’t until the time I had to spend at home with my own children, that I realized the importance of involving them in my vision.
Adjusting my vision
In having to adjust, as the rest of the world did, I adjusted my vision. I needed:
- Hands-on experience with my children
- Work that fulfilled my desire to help
Once I came to understand what was really most important to me, I found GEICO was no longer a good fit. At the peak of this realization, there was another revelation happening just a few rooms away from where I sat and worked. My sister was facing some challenges of her own, and she knew she needed help in order to make her business scale and grow. Remember when I told you God was making moves?
Well, I was offered the opportunity to take charge of my sister’s social media account, learn the business of marketing, and most importantly HELP business owners and entrepreneurs find real solutions without compromising the company line.
Where my vision is taking me
I answered the call to action my vision announced by
- Quitting my stable, corporate job and pursued a passion
- Embracing the chaos of entrepreneurship
- Spending as much time as possible with my children
Which leads us to the here and now. I’ve learned more in this business than I have in any of the other industries I’ve been in. I don’t wake up stressed or worried about being the reason someone decides to feed their kids or pay their insurance. I sleep, knowing that my kids have received my all and I left everything on the field each and every day. I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish any of these things if I didn’t have a proper vision in place. And more importantly, I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish any of these things if I didn’t allow myself to adjust the vision when it wasn’t clear. Identifying my wants, needs, and desires have turned into finding solutions to make it all happen.
A letter from the CEO Sister:
Bravery and courage are the first things that come to mind when I read the story of how Macks came on board (I mean I was there, but I had a totally different perspective on the events that led up to it). There are so many insights and gems in this piece, that I wanted to leave you with some actionable things that you can do in your own life and business.
- Remember that your vision is not a fixed state. As you evolve, grow, and elevate, so will your vision. Revisit it often and move the goal, post when it’s time to do so.
- Honor your emotions, especially fear. But don’t let it control you. Move when you’re scared. Just keep going… it gets less scary. You just have to trust me on this one.
- Your vision is an extension of your values. The best vision statement that you’ll ever develop, whether it’s for your business or for your life, will align with your values.
- Keep your vision in plain sight. My son is my “why.” He’s also my screensaver, he’s a photo above my monitor, he’s a color code on my calendar, he’s my co-worker on school days. Keeping it in front of you is a constant reminder on the days that it sucks… why you’re doing it. Whatever “it” is.
- Lineup your accountability partners. Macks used his family and partner to discuss how to get from where he is to where he wants to be. I keep accountability partners for different parts of my life and business. There’s something about an audience that will keep you honest on your pursuits, and they are invaluable for correction, feedback, and encouragement.
- Shameless Plug. Follow Macks’ growth and development on our social media accounts and by joining our newsletter.
Courtney S. Dade – CEO, CSD Marketing and Consulting, LLC