Hello, sweet friends! This post begins a journey that we’ll be on together – exploring what it’s like to be an entrepreneur and a full time employee at Google.
Before we begin, it’s important that you know the backstory.
A little more than nine years ago, I took my first client. We worked together and had a great time and I realized that “this marketing thing” could be a really profitable side hustle. That’s all it was ever meant to be.
I side hustled through the rest of high school, through undergrad, while working on my master’s, and while working a corporate job. Then, in 2016, I was laid off twice in one year. Instead of gambling on the corporate world some more, I went “full time”—and in some ways, I thought I’d achieved the ultimate pinnacle of success. Doesn’t every entrepreneur want to go “full time”?
Here’s the thing:
We live in a world that demands perfection.
Chases ultimate success. Thirsts for that next tier of recognition. Once I achieved full-time entrepreneurship and thought I’d made it big, the next steps in the ladder appeared, like when you’re playing Candy Crush and the cloud cover lifts and you can see the next 20 levels. I started speaking at conferences, garnering all the press coverage, and upleveling my service offerings. The bar continued to rise.
I’m the girl who’s seen the world, gotten a tattoo or twenty, survived being broken, and is living her best life. Shouldn’t that be enough?
I’ve been to more countries than I’ve spent years on this earth. At 24, I’ve been a part of amazing campaigns that have had profound impact not only on the marketplace but also on individual human lives. I’ve collaborated with talented people and created and some of the coolest projects.
And yet, the bar still continues to rise. We live in a world that no longer honors strife. We’re expected to put our best face on, never share the mess, and never share what’s going on. We put out beautiful content on a daily basis, but we never really talk about our struggles. What keeps us up at night.
The one thing people who know me well have always appreciated about me is my willingness to share the mess. Getting caught in foreign countries, narrowly missing terrorist attacks, surviving child abuse, a year of shitty first dates. As a reader of this column, in a way, you’ll get to be here for it all.
I started last year as a digital nomad, intent on traveling to 50+ cities by the time the year was over. As the year began and the end of Q1 approached, it seemed I was on track to do just that. I flew on more planes in the first quarter of that year than I think I’d ever been on in a full year before that. Throughout the year, I continued to travel and passionately explore the world, and then in late July, an unexpected opportunity fell into my lap. I found myself the accidental interviewee at this little tech company called Google. After three rounds of grueling interviews, I accepted a job offer and officially started on September 18th, nearly a year to the day after my second layoff in 2016.
On that day, I re-entered the corporate world unafraid. I finally began to honor the fact that I have always straddled that line. I acknowledged that my skills are best utilized when I am willing to be both entrepreneur and corporate employee. This is a scary journey. I don’t know what’s going to happen on the other side. I had spent the past nine years building a business, and all of 2017 building it full time, and then stepped back into that “side hustler” space and said yes to the corporate world again.
As you read this column, I’m now well into my time at “the big G” (as my Granny so lovingly calls it) and, while this may have been an unconventional choice for someone having such an incredibly adventurous year, I am beyond grateful that I made the decision to step back into the corporate world. Never have I been so excited to get up every day and go to work, nor have I ever been challenged so much in a role. Google truly is the corporate version of “the happiest place on earth.” My coworkers and I joke that “every day that our badge still works is a good day,” but it’s so true. There’s so much experimentation happening here, I am learning far more about marketing than I ever have.
I stand before you and proudly say “I work at Google,” a sentence I never thought I’d say. Together, we’re going to unpack the experience here and uncover the lessons to be learned from building a business and working at Google. Working at Google has taught me that no matter your skill set, and no matter your core talents, there is a place that needs the unique blend you bring to the table. You might just have to be patient until you find it.
See you next time.
I am currently an employee at Google, Inc. However, this column, all it’s contents, and all the contents of all outbound links (i.e. social media accounts, etc.) are my personal opinions and do not reflect the opinions of Google, Inc., it’s parent company, or any of it’s subsidiaries.