I’ve wanted to work with a startup for a couple of years now. I applied for a few positions and watched enviously as companies hired only within “The Valley.” I can’t move cross-country due to my daughter being under eighteen. A few months ago, Dave Peck (yes, of PayPal fame) mentioned he was helping to find a “Social/Community Rockstar” to help build social and community from the ground up for a hot startup. The position could definitely be remote. What the heck? I threw my hat into the ring, certain I’d never even hear back. There are a LOT of people out there who know a little more than I do, and even a small handful who have one or two more years of experience. Imagine my shock and joy when Dave not only recommended to ActMobile that I was their girl – they hired me! My official title is: Director of Social and Community. Sounds awesome, doesn’t it?
There was absolutely zero social presence beyond the securing of a Twitter and Facebook name, so I dove in headfirst, knowing how much I had to do. I have begun building things up on both platforms and started working on Quora and Google+, as well. We are approaching launch day, so it’s crucial to get us to a point where people can find and interact with us.
To anyone not in the know, this may all sound pretty dang simple. “She gets paid to play on Facebook all day? Seriously?!” Uh – well – sort of, yes, I do. It’s definitely not as easy as naysayers think – including my own momma. Bless her soul. She doesn’t understand this stuff beyond sharing funny pictures and stories with family on Facebook. I think she’s still waiting for me to find a “real” job in an office somewhere. No thanks – I left the rat race behind six years ago. I’m never going back. I LIKE working my own hours in my own home while wearing pajama pants and a ponytail. Don’t judge me!
Startup life is freaking HARD, whether you’re in the office with the rest of the team or at home like me. In some ways, I think doing this remotely is more difficult due to having to wait on answers from the guys in other parts of the country before I can proceed with an idea I have. I can’t just walk over to their desk and show them something I’m working on – I have to email/Tweet/Facebook/Skype/call them and explain my vision and goals and then play the waiting game. Don’t get me wrong, John and John are great at answering pretty quickly. Still – it’s just not as immediate as it would be if I were in the same office.
The hours I am working are insane. I put in my four hours a day with Chris Pirillo and LockerGnome as the Social Media Manager. I throw in an hour or two a day doing things for other beloved yet smaller clients, such as Willow Bl00, Johnny Diggz and the rest of the GWOB team. Then we have the startup – we are ramping up for launch, so I’m driving myself crazy making sure things on my side are perfect. I’m putting in about eight hours per day (seven days per week) JUST on their stuff. I know in my heart I could be doing more, but I have to sleep sometime! Yes, you added that right: I’m up to about 14 hours per day right now. At the age of 41. While disabled. Go me! I totally just patted myself on the back and did a little dance in my chair.
Startup life is complicated. It’s scary. It’s time-consuming. It’s frustrating. It’s insane.
It also happens to be freaking AWESOME. I love every minute of this. I am doing something amazing – breathing life into the online aspect of our company on MY terms, using MY ideas and MY initiatives. How cool is that? I get to do this while always keeping in mind that very soon, ActMobile will be a very IMPORTANT name in the startup/tech/mobile world. The traffic we will get will soon skyrocket, of that I am sure. Trust me when I say this is HOT – and I’m so damn excited to be part of it. A year from now, after I’ve hired a few people to work under me, I will be able to look back at this accomplishment and realize that finally – FINALLY! – I’ve made my mark on this industry. I know I’ve gotten to do some cool things with some amazing people in the past few years, but every one of them were helping to prepare me for this. I was meant to do this.
The startup life is definitely the life for me.
Thank you, Dave Peck – I am forever indebted to you for helping this dream become a reality, for believing in me and for mentoring me.