Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog. My purpose is to connect with people who desire to explore the importance of building a personal brand, regardless of your currently working environment: corporation, small business, direct sales or online marketing/multi-level marketing. In addition to the discussions here, I will provide resources that will help you develop and improve your brand.
Now about me, like many of you, I’m one who finds it difficult to write about myself, but I will do my best to give you some background of my experiences in life and work that have shaped me and defined me to who I am today. It’s not only where you work, but it is who you’ve worked with, where you’ve traveled and lived that helps us continue to “be defined.” Those are the assets that will help you to Build your Brand Now!
I was born in a small town in Iowa, with one sister and three brothers, I was the youngest, and there was an age difference of 14 years with my sister. Even though the age difference we have always been a close family even with the family at times being scattered all over North America.
The seeds of my entrepreneurial spirit and business skills were developed early, starting with my first job at the age of 11 delivering newspapers to dormitories of a local college. While my friends lived on an allowance, I was tasting the early fruits of financial freedom, at least for a pre-teen.
After graduating from The University of Northern Iowa with a major in Music Education and emphasis on Vocal Performance, I moved to California to attend Talbot Graduate School of Theology. My odyssey begins with this transition. While in grad school I worked for a company that franchised janitorial services, started by a young entrepreneur – it was here that my entrepreneurship became alive and began to mature. I met my wife Christy of more than 45 years, and she joined my Odyssey when the opportunity to start the Canadian Sales operation for that company shortly after returning from our honeymoon. What a way to start married life – leaving your network of friends and family and move to a different country. It was exciting, challenging not only with my employment but with married life also. The Canadian Division sold, so my role changed to a training and mentoring position to assist the franchisee in growing their company. We would move to a city to support and build, and I worked myself out of each assignment and on to the next location as we continued to build the company.
After moving five times in four years, my wife and I decided to make a change; location and company, so we moved back to Southern California with the idea of starting a family and buying a home. With this step, I entered the world of a large multi-national corporation where I worked in a marketing and sales position for over eleven years leaving a small but growing entrepreneurial enterprise for the corporate environment. Though the company was one of the largest privately held company’s in the world, the division I worked for was just establishing its distribution channels in the United States. I again was challenged to build something from little or nothing – a problem I have often encountered throughout my career or should I say careers.
After more than 11 years of working on building and growing a distributor network, I found myself without a job. The philosophy of the company had changed, the longevity of employee, no longer valued as one of the key elements of the business. The company changed the sales and marketing positions to entry level, in a two for one move the replacement of long-term employee for two. In the region where I had worked, 13 of the 16 sales reps gone within less than 18 months. One lesson in business that you learn, no one is indispensable – Building your Brand separates you from everyone else and creates value.
Leaving the big corporate world, I had an opportunity to move into self-employment and the mortgage industry. Real Estate and Finance were not an unfamiliar area, so it did not take much time to get up and to function. It was during this period that I began to explore my entrepreneurial spirit again. I experienced success and failure on a regular basis. Continuing to explore new ideas, made contacts and friendships with fellow entrepreneurs, I realized that one thing that I always seemed to be involved in was helping people with finding new systems and ways to do their work better.
For the last ten years, I re-entered the corporate environment working for a software developer in the healthcare. When you work for a small company, you often have unique opportunities to wear many “hats” as the company grows and matures. Working in areas of implementation, support, client relations, marketing and sales, I spent many days at the customer and potential client sites throughout the United States. There were several years where I was on location more than 150 work days each year. Considering there are 220 work days in a year, it was home only on weekends and a few days here and there.
The Odyssey and the story continues