Big Meeting Today

On October 1st, 2005, I decided to resign my corporate job. It was a hard decision, but I had to. Sixteen years of corporate life was starting to take it’s toll on my physically and emotionally. I had to step out into this new adventure, this new journey of life. If I had stayed, I would have done well, corporately, but I would have died inside.

I worked another month for Nokia, and then stepped out on my own. We prepared ourselves financially, by getting completely out of debt.

So, with no debt to hold us back, and a world of opportunity ahead, we stepped, not cautiously, but boldly. We didn’t even really have any projects that we were depending on for income. In fact, we had two projects waiting for us, but one cancelled and the other put on hold. It was like God was given me a two-month vacation, or what I call a two-month, corporate wind-down. It was nice. Weird, but nice.

Now, here we are today about to pitch a marketing proposal to a large company here in the metroplex. We’re going in to pitch them on why MorrisonPond should be their marketing agency for 2006. It’s very exciting, but we really feel that we have a very appealing and affordable offering. And, we truly believe in what we are doing!

• It’s not about provision.
• It’s not about building a portfolio.
• It’s about helping them grow and build their business, and we really believe we can.

When I started at Nokia in 1999, I did buy into the notion that I would make a difference there. After six years, it just seemed so futile. After the first four years, I calculated how much money they had spent on me and my business development projects (what I was hired to do). I estimated about a million dollars–salary, benefits, trials, travels, projects, events, etc. For four years, Nokia spent a million dollars on just me, and the projects they assigned me to do. Yet, I never sold a single product, never launched a new business, never made them any money. A million dollar risk investment.

Don’t get me wrong–these were good ideas. But, take a good idea, and try to run it through the corporate machine, with all of its red tape and corporate processes, and good ideas get pushed aside or restricted too much to grow. I do commend Nokia on investing so much money for a risk. That’s very commendable for any business. But, when you invest that kind of money, don’t limit the creativity with corporate red tape. Let it grow.

I think about another idea I had while working there. There was a corporate process for sharing new ideas called the Venture program. I thought, “Cool, I’ll share this new idea with them through this corporate process.” So, I filled out the paperwork and submitted the idea. After a review, I promptly received my Venture coffee mug and a nice rejection letter that my idea would not be funded.

A year later, a smaller, different group saw the idea and thought, “Wow, we need to patent this now.” So, they started the patent process. As the idea grew, they decided it needed international patents as well. The idea continued to grow. Later, entire programs were setup to fund this idea within the company, and now it’s being implemented as part of their entire product portfolio. I just have to laugh, because corporate processes kept this idea from launching a year earlier, and even then, it was limited at best.

Why do I share this? Because I lost the coffee mug.

That’s corporate America for you.

So, I decided that I was tired of working ten times as hard to make one thing happen. I was ready to plant new seeds, my own seeds…

– seeds that were not limited to one industry
– seeds that were more creative in nature
– seeds that I get to manage and launch
– seeds that I feel called to plant.

So today, there’s a new seed, a new idea, a new potential customer, not limited by a corporate process, but by my own abilities, my own desires, my own boundaries.

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