Why I Quit My Job (and what’s next)

Thursday, June 5th is my last day as the Digital Marketing Evangelist at Marketo.

No, I do not have another job lined up.
No, I’m not sure what I want to do next.

I’ve been living, breathing, eating, sleeping, and sometimes dreaming email marketing for nearly a decade. During that time, I’ve dabbled in social media, influencer relations, and most recently marketing automation and marketing software. When it comes to marketing, I’ve seen and been a part of a lot over the several years. I’ve loved (nearly) every second of it. The people. The conversations. The conferences. The blog posts. The debates. All of it.

Four years at Bronto. Two years at Blue Sky Factory. Two years on my own (Waldow Social). And ~9 months at Marketo.

Before I continue, let me be crystal clear about one thing … because I know you are wondering (I would be too).

My leaving Marketo has nothing to do with Marketo. It was a true honor to be recruited by and to work for one of the smartest people in the marketing automation/software space – Jon Miller, of course. Marketo is amazing – full of smart/talented/caring people, an incredible product, in a hot industry, and so on. Marketo has positioned itself as the market leader as it creates a “marketing first” world. There is no doubt in my mind Marketo will continue to grow and prosper.

So Why The Sudden Change? Why Am I Leaving Marketo?

I’m an “all in” kinda guy. When I commit to something, I tackle it with 100% of my energy. When I joined the amazing team at Marketo in September of 2013, I had the same “all in” mentality. As I wrote when I started at Marketo back in September, one of the five criteria for my ideal gig was “a job description that fits what I’m good at and what I love.” What I’ve come to realize is the “what I love” part – email marketing – is something I don’t love nearly as much as I used to.

How could this be? What was wrong with me? How could I lose passion for something I loved so much? A few months ago, I began doing some serious self-reflection. If you’ve ever been down this road before, you know it’s not easy. It’s been tearing me apart. I just couldn’t put my finger on what was making me so unhappy and dissatisfied with my career, until I realized I had lost my passion for what I knew and did best. 

Once I realized my passion for what I loved was gone, it was time to take a step back, to reevaluate what I wanted to do with my career, my life. I knew it was time to do something different.

I’m not sure what different means yet. As I said above, I don’t have another job lined up. I don’t have a set path for “what’s next.” Does that scare the hell out of me? You know it. However, it’s also pretty exciting. I have complete confidence it will all work out.

The bottom line is this: It’s time for change. When your title includes the word “evangelist” yet you are not passionate about the industry you are evangelizing … well … that’s a problem.

So, Really, What’s Next?

I need some time to clear my head. I need some time to really think. I need some time to re-discover my passion, re-discover what I really love work-wise and where I want my career to go. I need some time to exercise, to cook, and to spend quality time with my family. I need time to figure out what’s next.

Could my next adventure include email marketing? Or digital marketing? Or social media? Or influencer relations? The answer: Maybe. I just don’t want to limit myself just to those things I’ve done for the majority of my business career. Instead, I’ll be exploring all opportunities.

One thing I have not lost my passion for is people. I gain energy from being around other human beings. I’m a connector, a relationship-builder. I love learning from people, interacting with people, and generally just being around other people. As my online bios read, I’m a “lover of beer, coffee, & people (in no particular order).” Hmmm … maybe I could figure out a way to combine those 3 things and make a living. Ha!

The adventure continues … soon. Thanks for sticking around.