Fresh starts

So, a scant 11 days ago I blogged about making this year a year of playing to your strengths. Karma has a funny way of making you walk the talk, because a few days later Edvisors, the company I’ve been with for six and a half years, and I agreed to part ways. We each have different strengths, and we both want to take those strengths in different directions. For example, my love of things like public speaking, new marketing, social media, and the ever-evolving relationship between marketing and technology are areas I want to more fully explore, and those don’t always integrate with the world of financial aid as well as they should.

If we’ve worked together in my work at Edvisors, you’ll likely get an update as to whom you’ll be working with next. If we’ve collaborated in the past, I hope to do so again, especially as there are several opportunities I’m looking at for my next move that promise increased collaboration and exploration. I’ll still remain connected to financial aid here and there; for example, I’ll still be presenting at College Goal Sunday at the end of the month.

As this transition progresses, a few things are on my mind:

  • Six and a half years is a lot of unwinding. To the extent that your marketing or media product/service/system can make transitioning roles easier, faster, cleaner, and less painful, please always plan for those eventualities when you’re designing product or slinging code. I’m running into an issue now where Google Analytics does not let you transfer analytics from one account to another; the workaround is to remove access for a certain user on a site by site basis, but this is obviously much less than ideal.
  • Sorting out and separating personal from professional is harder than ever, because professional things can easily bleed over into personal and vice versa. Amber Naslund pointed this out recently in a post about boundaries. Where do you, the person, and your work begin and end? The catchphrase in social media last year was “be human”, but there’s also the quandary of when the human and the company need to part ways, who gets what in the divorce? I’m approaching by area of focus. Work I did that relates to Edvisors’ core mission is clearly theirs. I’m fairly certain they don’t want my Warcraft videos or coffee roasting techniques guides.
  • A corollary is to explore, but keep your home base strong, sage advice from Chris Brogan. Six and a half years ago, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and social media weren’t more than vague ideas in someone’s mind. Now, having a personal brand that incorporates what you do professionally but isn’t married to your professional life is more important than ever. Companies change. People change. Markets and economies change. Life changes. If you aren’t doing at least a little work to ensure that you exist outside of your work, then the day will come when your work will vanish – and you’ll have that much more trouble getting resettled. Invest at least a little time in yourself and your reputation now to provide for unforeseen contingencies later.

I’m eager and excited about the fresh starts ahead. There’s so much opportunity, so many different ways we can make a difference together. I’m ever thankful and grateful for everyone who subscribes to this blog, who listens to Marketing Over Coffee, who has stayed in touch on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn over the years. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year will bring.


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  • http://www.paulrjmuller.com PaulRjMuller

    Best of luck Chris. I can imagine you at being anything but fantastically successful at whatever you choose to do.

  • http://chelpixie.com chelpixie

    Looking forward to seeing where you end up going. I have no doubt that it'll be exciting and challenging for you :)

  • http://chelpixie.com/ Chel Wolverton

    Looking forward to seeing where you end up going. I have no doubt that it'll be exciting and challenging for you :)

  • http://twosix2.com/blog Neil

    I echo Pixie's thoughts – and I'm not sure the world is ready for your mind to be 100% focused on your passions. It's truly a scary thought, in the best possible way. I have no doubt that you will be successful in whatever you put your freakishly intelligent mind to.

  • http://uptownuncorked.com geechee_girl

    I'm excited to see where this leads for you :) You never do anything that isn't worth paying attention to when it comes to work.

  • http://uptownuncorked.com geechee_girl

    I'm excited to see where this leads for you :) You never do anything that isn't worth paying attention to when it comes to work.

  • http://www.paulrjmuller.com PaulRjMuller

    Best of luck Chris. I can imagine you at being anything but fantastically successful at whatever you choose to do.

  • http://chelpixie.com/ Chel Wolverton

    Looking forward to seeing where you end up going. I have no doubt that it'll be exciting and challenging for you :)

  • http://twosix2.com/blog Neil

    I echo Pixie's thoughts – and I'm not sure the world is ready for your mind to be 100% focused on your passions. It's truly a scary thought, in the best possible way. I have no doubt that you will be successful in whatever you put your freakishly intelligent mind to.

  • http://uptownuncorked.com geechee_girl

    I'm excited to see where this leads for you :) You never do anything that isn't worth paying attention to when it comes to work.

  • http://www.bigpictureweb.com jlbraaten

    Best of luck, Chris. II'm sure you'll have no problems finding that next opportunity.

  • http://www.bigpictureweb.com jlbraaten

    Best of luck, Chris. II'm sure you'll have no problems finding that next opportunity.

  • turnergreene

    A great future awaits you I'm sure. Your columns have been an inspiration on my job search and for life in general. And the recipes are tasty. Best of luck.

  • http://wordswillsaveme.wordpress.com Teresa Basich

    Mr. Penn! Congratulations! I, for one, think you provide one of the freshest and most easily engaging voices in this space, and I'm looking forward to seeing where you go next. Enjoy the journey!

  • http://wordswillsaveme.wordpress.com Teresa Basich

    Mr. Penn! Congratulations! I, for one, think you provide one of the freshest and most easily engaging voices in this space, and I'm looking forward to seeing where you go next. Enjoy the journey!

  • @RaynaNyc

    Chris, it sounds like an exciting time for you (no matter what brought it about). I believe change is good and necessary (personally and professionally). It's a safe bet that a lot of good things will be coming your way and I doubt you're one to sit idle. But if i could share one piece of personal advice I discovered for myself? Not too long ago, I left a company I was with for 9 years (where did the time go). I knew I was eager to pursue so many other things in the digital space, but found it was important for me to take a bit of time to decompress, access all that I accomplished and just breathe (yeah, clearing your PC –personal cache– is a good thing too). It's amazing how many times your perspective may evolve on what is the next best move for you, just like in marketing, testing is very good. Best of luck and I look forward to following your journey.

  • http://doughaslam.com doughaslam

    Best of luck Chris! As someone in a similar boat, I know this is actually a good year to be out there with social media experience.

    Fascinating stuff about the personal brand. I agree that entwined personal/professional brands are necessary or preferable. I wonder if you;ll be posting more about how the current un-tangling is coming along.

  • http://doughaslam.com doughaslam

    Best of luck Chris! As someone in a similar boat, I know this is actually a good year to be out there with social media experience.

    Fascinating stuff about the personal brand. I agree that entwined personal/professional brands are necessary or preferable. I wonder if you;ll be posting more about how the current un-tangling is coming along.

  • http://www.bigpictureweb.com jlbraaten

    Best of luck, Chris. II'm sure you'll have no problems finding that next opportunity.

  • turnergreene

    A great future awaits you I'm sure. Your columns have been an inspiration on my job search and for life in general. And the recipes are tasty. Best of luck.

  • http://wordswillsaveme.wordpress.com Teresa Basich

    Mr. Penn! Congratulations! I, for one, think you provide one of the freshest and most easily engaging voices in this space, and I'm looking forward to seeing where you go next. Enjoy the journey!

  • @RaynaNyc

    Chris, it sounds like an exciting time for you (no matter what brought it about). I believe change is good and necessary (personally and professionally). It's a safe bet that a lot of good things will be coming your way and I doubt you're one to sit idle. But if i could share one piece of personal advice I discovered for myself? Not too long ago, I left a company I was with for 9 years (where did the time go). I knew I was eager to pursue so many other things in the digital space, but found it was important for me to take a bit of time to decompress, access all that I accomplished and just breathe (yeah, clearing your PC –personal cache– is a good thing too). It's amazing how many times your perspective may evolve on what is the next best move for you, just like in marketing, testing is very good. Best of luck and I look forward to following your journey.

  • http://doughaslam.com doughaslam

    Best of luck Chris! As someone in a similar boat, I know this is actually a good year to be out there with social media experience.

    Fascinating stuff about the personal brand. I agree that entwined personal/professional brands are necessary or preferable. I wonder if you;ll be posting more about how the current un-tangling is coming along.

  • http://www.car-hire-malaga-airport.com/ Sam

    I found your second point really relates to me and when I left my last job. Work is such a huge part of everyone's life. Where there is a change, it can be harder to adjust than you may intitially realize.

  • http://www.car-hire-malaga-airport.com/ Sam

    I found your second point really relates to me and when I left my last job. Work is such a huge part of everyone's life. Where there is a change, it can be harder to adjust than you may intitially realize.

  • http://twitter.com/maryli22 Mary Li

    Can I have your coffee roasting techniques? Unless by that you meant MOC, then I have them already. Best of luck but you probably don't need it.

  • http://twitter.com/maryli22 Mary Li

    Can I have your coffee roasting techniques? Unless by that you meant MOC, then I have them already. Best of luck but you probably don't need it.

  • http://www.car-hire-malaga-airport.com/ Sam

    I found your second point really relates to me and when I left my last job. Work is such a huge part of everyone's life. Where there is a change, it can be harder to adjust than you may intitially realize.

  • http://twitter.com/maryli22 Mary Li

    Can I have your coffee roasting techniques? Unless by that you meant MOC, then I have them already. Best of luck but you probably don't need it.

  • http://www.ChristopherSPenn.com Christopher S. Penn

    Six minutes is about how long it takes in my roaster for a decent city roast. I recommend Sweet Maria's for green coffee beans.

  • http://www.ChristopherSPenn.com Christopher S. Penn

    Six minutes is about how long it takes in my roaster for a decent city roast. I recommend Sweet Maria's for green coffee beans.

  • http://www.ChristopherSPenn.com Christopher S. Penn

    Six minutes is about how long it takes in my roaster for a decent city roast. I recommend Sweet Maria's for green coffee beans.

  • http://twitter.com/chris2x Chris Christensen

    Today was my last day at the day job I have worked for 13.5 years so I can relate. Best of luck in whatever the future holds.

  • http://twitter.com/chris2x Chris Christensen

    Today was my last day at the day job I have worked for 13.5 years so I can relate. Best of luck in whatever the future holds.

  • http://twitter.com/chris2x Chris Christensen

    Today was my last day at the day job I have worked for 13.5 years so I can relate. Best of luck in whatever the future holds.

  • http://www.conversationagent.com ConversationAgent

    my 2010 goal as it relates to you and your work is to be so helpful that I get to brag about being on your friends' list here ;)

    If there is someone in my network who can develop new projects successfully, that's you. And I'm mindful of the fact that nothing we do happens in a vacuum. As your plans gel, you know where to find me.

  • http://www.conversationagent.com ConversationAgent

    my 2010 goal as it relates to you and your work is to be so helpful that I get to brag about being on your friends' list here ;)

    If there is someone in my network who can develop new projects successfully, that's you. And I'm mindful of the fact that nothing we do happens in a vacuum. As your plans gel, you know where to find me.

  • http://www.conversationagent.com ConversationAgent

    my 2010 goal as it relates to you and your work is to be so helpful that I get to brag about being on your friends' list here ;)

    If there is someone in my network who can develop new projects successfully, that's you. And I'm mindful of the fact that nothing we do happens in a vacuum. As your plans gel, you know where to find me.

  • http://coolmarketingstuff.com charlessipe

    Just heard the news on Media Hacks. As a loyal listener of Marketing Over Coffee, I know you will crush it! in whatever you choose to do next.

  • http://coolmarketingstuff.com charlessipe

    Just heard the news on Media Hacks. As a loyal listener of Marketing Over Coffee, I know you will crush it! in whatever you choose to do next.

  • http://coolmarketingstuff.com charlessipe

    Just heard the news on Media Hacks. As a loyal listener of Marketing Over Coffee, I know you will crush it! in whatever you choose to do next.

  • Pingback: More traffic is not the answer : Christopher S. Penn's Awaken Your Superhero()

  • http://www.hallme.com/blog/author/amanda/ Amanda O'Brien

    Congratulations Chris. Sounds like this decision wasn't an easy one but I think everyone is confident it is the right one. I look forward to what we will see from you in the future!

  • http://www.hallme.com/blog/author/amanda/ Amanda O'Brien

    Congratulations Chris. Sounds like this decision wasn't an easy one but I think everyone is confident it is the right one. I look forward to what we will see from you in the future!

  • http://www.hallme.com/blog/author/amanda/ Amanda O'Brien

    Congratulations Chris. Sounds like this decision wasn't an easy one but I think everyone is confident it is the right one. I look forward to what we will see from you in the future!

  • http://soloprpro.com KellyeCrane

    I've been thinking about what amazing opportunities await you ever since I received your email — I'm confident your situation will launch you on to even bigger and better things! I wanted to thank you for turning your circumstances into a learning opportunity for us all with this post. Even independent consultants (like me) can get too entrenched with their clients' social media efforts — this is an excellent reminder.

  • http://soloprpro.com KellyeCrane

    I've been thinking about what amazing opportunities await you ever since I received your email — I'm confident your situation will launch you on to even bigger and better things! I wanted to thank you for turning your circumstances into a learning opportunity for us all with this post. Even independent consultants (like me) can get too entrenched with their clients' social media efforts — this is an excellent reminder.

  • http://soloprpro.com KellyeCrane

    I've been thinking about what amazing opportunities await you ever since I received your email — I'm confident your situation will launch you on to even bigger and better things! I wanted to thank you for turning your circumstances into a learning opportunity for us all with this post. Even independent consultants (like me) can get too entrenched with their clients' social media efforts — this is an excellent reminder.

  • Steve Penn

    Best of luck, Chris!

  • Steve Penn

    Best of luck, Chris!

  • Steve Penn

    Best of luck, Chris!

  • Steve Penn

    Best of luck, Chris!