I’ve always heard that you never hear the bullet that hits you. And although I never want to find out if that saying is true, I have confirmed a corollary to it: “You never feel the pink slip that hits you.”
After one year and four months of working to bring New Media technologies into the Fortune 1000 company where I’ve worked for eight years, I have failed. Last Wednesday, at 11:00 in the morning, my boss telephoned to say that the company no longer needs a New Media Evangelist.
I won’t lie to you, it was a shock. For the past week, I’ve been wondering what exactly happened. What could I have done differently to prove the value of this stuff? What could I have done differently to clearly articulate the vision that I saw for my company — one that included better communications with customers, more influence over the industry, and ultimately better returns for our investors?
For the first few days, I wallowed in self-pity. During the next couple, I transitioned to wallowing in self-doubt. And then something amazing happened. I started speaking with friends and family. And although my ego was still battered and bruised, the passion that I have for this stuff shined through. I found myself explaining why New Media is important. I could hear the excitement in my voice as I listed reason after reason why corporations need to question fundamental assumptions about the way they communicate. The revelation was powerful. I LOVE HELPING PEOPLE UNDERSTAND THIS STUFF.
I’m not ready to declare myself healed yet. I’ve still got some bruises and this old body doesn’t heal as quickly as it used to. But I do declare that my mourning period is over. A new chapter of my life is starting. I’ve gone back to work.
Yesterday, for the first time, I printed out partial chapters of a book that I’ve been pecking at sporadically since last December. Today, I began organizing it, identifying its holes, and putting together a plan for finishing it. As I delved into the project, I focussed on some mistakes that I made in my last job, the things that I had learned, and the things I would change if I were to do it all over again. All of those thoughts are now incorporated into the book plan.
And I’ve made another decision. I’ve decided to offer these experiences to customers. Today marks the beginning of a brand new company: RonAmok Communications. Over the next few weeks, I’ll clarify the products and services that I’m offering, so keep checking this space.
And lastly, New Media is nothing without conversation. As a blogger, I look to you, my readers, as my board of advisors. As I hone my message, as I share ideas from the book, I’m expecting you to keep me on the straight and narrow:-)
That’s about it. A new direction for your New Media Evangelist. As with any journey, there is excitement mixed with uncertainty. I don’t know what this journey has in store for me, but I do know that I’m about to learn a lot. And as usual, I’ll be sure to pass these lessons along to you.