What I Learned Working for The Original Infusionsoft Ninja
I was a mom. Still am, but in context, I was a mom who had raised two children, started two part-time businesses (more on that in another post), volunteered for every possible thing I could at my kids’ schools, for their teams, dance clubs, etc. I organized events, managed projects–I was the proverbial “president of everything.” I didn’t want my kids to be raised by a nanny like many of my friends’ kids, so we tightened the belt so I could be a stay-at-home mom. And almost overnight, my little ones grew from potty training to independence, one soon leaving the nest for college, the other deep into driver’s training.
What stared me in the face at that time was scary: Cars, insurance, college tuition and all of the things kids do that require funding. Geesh, just thinking about that time gives me the shivers.
Needless to say, it was time for me to get a job.
I mean, I had skills. I had a journalism degree (advertising emphasis) from one of the top journalism schools in the country (Go Aztecs!). I minored in graphic design. Plus, being a MOM is a job. I knew stuff. I thought, I’m educated and smart. I have experience from my pre-motherhood marketing career and from running my own two businesses. Surely I can get a job in the marketing world again.
So I put my resume together and refined it for every job listing that popped up. With excitement, I sent it out–day after day. I sent emails to everyone I knew, hoping for a referral for a job opportunity.
And all I heard were crickets–for months.
On paper, I had a 17-year experience gap. One glance at my resume by potential employers, and in the circular file it went. Marketing had changed since the days of placing ads in newspapers, and my online marketing experience was a bit rusty.
Then one day, a friend of mine posted a freelance writing opportunity on Facebook, and I jumped on it.
She hooked me up with an interview since she worked for the agency, and I got a freelance copywriting job. Little did I know, this job would have me working for one of the most well-known figures in the Infusionsoft world, Tyler Garns.
He was “The Original Infusionsoft Ninja.”
And, as I write the word ninja, I mean, this guy was and still is the most insane Infusionsoft ninja alive. He had worked as VP of marketing FOR Infusionsoft for years and actually managed their Infusionsoft account, and the automation campaigns he put together were literally insane. That’s the only word I can come up with to describe the guy’s skills.
And he ended up hiring me full-time.
I’d held marketing and public relations management roles years ago, packed with responsibility. I’d worked as a copy editor for clients like CNN, MSNBC and Fox News, and the radio show, Kilmeade and Friends. So the idea of being a marketing coordinator didn’t blow me away, but it was what was available and a fantastic opportunity to get back in the game and learn more about the online world of marketing. So, I took the job.
Tyler and I continued getting to know each other–even sharing an office at one point. And probably the most important thing I learned about Tyler in very short order was the kind of person he was. Not only was he one of the most maverick marketers on the planet, he was kind, patient, gentle, & understanding to the point where I thought, this guy can’t be for real.
But I soon realized that Tyler was 100% for real.
Day by day, I learned from him. And day by day, he blessed me with his patience, allowing me to learn, make mistakes, perform and prove myself again in the workplace. And all the while, he never lost his cool, not ever.
Not that I expected it, but I’d never met anyone as even keel as Tyler. In the years that I worked for him, I never heard him even raise his voice, not EVER. And he never spoke negatively about anyone. He defended even his biggest competitors. “They’re good people, and they’re good at what they do,” he’d say.
We did some awesome marketing together. And I know that probably sounds so dorky to the average person, but I geek out on marketing. I had a blast at Box Out Marketing. I continued to learn, and he promoted me to marketing manager to work all of our campaigns, promotions and events. I got to plan the very first SuccessCon after ICON had been retired. 🙂 (Oooh, that was stressful, but what an awesome event.)
Tyler taught me that it’s important to have core values. We’d recite them every day.
He taught me that in marketing, if you’re not uncomfortably ahead of the pack, you’re not in a good spot. Always be out front and a little uncomfortable, and take risks that you know will pay off.
He taught me the skills of a great marketer–to “always be optimizing.”
He taught me, not by talking the talk, but by walking the walk, that it’s important in business and in life to be kind, patient, forgiving, transparent and forthright–things that aren’t always easy, but were part of his soul. If I ever felt unsure about something in my job, he taught me to believe in my skills.
He taught me to believe in myself.
So, if you’re reading this, Tyler–thanks. I’ve told you many times how much I appreciate you and the opportunity you gave me. I can almost hear your voice when my demons creep out, saying: “Believe in yourself. You got this.”
So I’m dedicating my very first post on this blog to you. (Awww. I know, cheese balls.)
I’m on my own now, TG. Here I go. 😉