According to LinkedIn, I've now been leading Localeur for three years. That's incredible, but here's something I'm certain LinkedIn won't tell you...
You could try your hardest and best to draw a straight line from my first business at 11 cutting grass for neighbors or my Pizza Hut job at 15 to Localeur today, but it's pretty much impossible because I'm the only person who can do that given my experiential knowledge of the unique role each of my jobs has had and of the impacts of each of the people listed below along with so many others.
Yep, I started my first business at 11 years old, cutting grass for neighbors then I started my next business selling bubble gum to classmates in 7th grade. In high school, I worked for Pizza Hut for three-plus years at night when I wasn't at school or band or track practice. In college, I spent four years working for UT-Athletics with so many truly phenomenal people including Lindsey and Todd and under Christine and others and another couple with the Office of Public Affairs under Don and interning at places like Public Strategies with Hannah and Danner and Jeff before moving to D.C. to work as a speechwriter for the post-Katrina FEMA and a communications and government relations aide at one of the leading public affairs firms in the country with clients like the Beijing Olympics where I got to work with folks like Richard and Joe and Sally among so many other amazing folks.
Seven years ago this week, I moved back to Austin and was the very first Austin-based employee for a brand new social media agency co-founded by a former college professor Jeff working with Bob and Grant before setting out on my own with clients like FedEx and Deep Eddy Vodka and Lustre Pearl where I first met Scranton. I later launched a pop-up sneaker boutique and a brick-and-mortar location at City Hall then co-created the official fashion part of SXSW with folks like Niraj and Brad and Cristina and advised ESPN X Games with talented guys like Daniel and so many others. Then I got a gig as director of operations at Bazaarvoice working under Brett and Heather and with Scott, Matt, Lisa and eventually met Chase who is my partner in Localeur.
Every single day, I think back to the experiences and lessons I've had to learn to position me to do what I do today as the CEO of Localeur; something I truly love doing each day even during the shitty days. The people who have helped me get to this point professionally, the people who've taken me under their wing or given me advice, are some of the most brilliant, skilled and fun people in the world and the even though Localeur has a small team today, I consider myself so extremely fortunate to wake up each day and get to lead them - even if over phone or email - on this journey of solving a real problem.
I know my story is so far from finished, and we're still in the early innings of this startup, reaching our potential and fulfilling our purpose, but damnit if today isn't one of those days where something as silly and minuscule as a LinkedIn notification can just brighten up my day/week/month and remind me how far I've come as a person, and how far Localeur has traveled thus far.
Three years of leading Localeur as its earnest and grateful CEO is nothing to sneeze at, especially when making payroll, keeping our website live, getting new users and securing investors was never ever promised, always earned.
I write all this to say that experiences do matter, and I'm so thankful to have had all the unique and unforgettable ones that have brought me to this day.