Writer | Marketer | Creative

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What Happens When You Spend a Year Just Learning


Today was a pretty cool day. I had an epiphany of sorts. I realized something that isn't grand or groundbreaking or some other g-word, but that's super important for me and my development as a professional.

Myself and our director of sales - James - met with a company who's basically a live podcast (that of course is recorded and shared later). We were kind of their guinea pigs for some new equipment they wanted to test out. We talked and hung out with them for a bit. Then James and I did a ~20min. podcast.

I absolutely loved the podcast! We talked about a few basics of content marketing. How Text Request has used it, where we started from (not as experts), what do others trying to do it properly need to know, etc.

It was great! It was simple. James and I made a good team. And I really enjoyed being able to share what expertise I have to help others grow. I really enjoyed adding value. But the podcast wasn't the epiphany.

The epiphany was that I've come far enough along in the year or so since starting at Text Request that I actually can offer value! I've done enough, tried and failed enough, read enough, and learned enough that I can give real world, practical advice to others trying to do the same thing. It feels really arrogant to say, but for all intents and purposes I've become an expert in the digital/social world. That's amazing to me.

Sure, there's still a ton more for me to learn. I'm not an expert like Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey are experts. I'm an expert in that I have the knowledge and the practical application enough to be a reference or consultant for others trying to boost their own brands.

I'm going to keep learning and learning - I'll never know everything! But this really is a great feeling, particularly because of the relatively short amount of time it's taken.

I got involved in the digital marketing and social media spheres, I believe, in February or March of 2015. I thought I knew a few things at the time. Truthfully I knew nothing. But I've been working for a startup where the only option is to try and try again.

So in trying and trying, in reading everything I could get my hands on, I began to become an expert of sorts. It's amazing what can happen in a year! This encourages me, but probably for a different reason than you'd expect.

I've grown tremendously in the last year. I'm not necessarily better than anyone. It's not like others can't do the exact same thing. We all have the chance to do what I've done. Really, you could probably do it better!

I know there's a lot of mistakes I've made that could've been avoided if I'd just done a little bit of reading ahead of time, or bothered to ask someone more experienced. But this milestone gets me excited.

What's going to happen next year? I've already done what could be considered the hardest part - overcoming the learning curve. Now I can get into the nitty gritty, and really hone my skills to build my company's brand as well as my own.

Everything can be an opportunity. I'm really grateful that I took the opportunity and chose to work at a broke startup. It's forced me to learn and get better, and to do it so much faster than I'd ever thought I could. I definitely wouldn't be where I am now if I spent the last year at a typical 9-5 instead of constantly having to learn.

This brings me a lot of hope. Hope for myself to continue to improve, and hope for others in similar situations to be able to mold themselves into whatever they want to be! I feel like I've grown leaps and bounds over the last year. I know I have a long way to go. And I'm really excited to see where things go from here!