In the past couple months some events have transpired leading to a really big change in my life.
In February of this year. I was coaching an early Wednesday morning shift at CrossFit 212. Attending the 7:30 am class that day was one of our members who holds an esteemed position in the creative department at an ad agency. We've always had a friendly, casual rapport and he's known since we met that I do stand up. Also, while I'm not sure he's an avid fan, I know he's read some of my blog. After class, he approached me and said, "Do you ever do any writing on the side? Like freelance work?"
His question reeked of opportunity. I perked up as much as I could at 8:30 am running on 5 hours sleep.
"Um, not really but I'm definitely interested and open to it!" I replied.
He proceeded to tell me about a project his team was working on. He said if I wanted to put a couple scripts together and send them his way, he'd be happy to take a look at them. Maybe they'd use them. Maybe they wouldn't. Maybe I'd even get paid. Imagine that. Paid to write words.
So I went to work on those scripts and sent them over. He thought they were funny. He and his cohorts liked them enough that they decided to bring me in as a freelance copywriter. That meant I would come into the office periodically to lend a helping hand to whatever projects needed one. I was beyond thrilled. But I only worked for two days that week. That concluded my employment with them as a freelance copywriter.
Because at the end of that week I received an email from my manager with an interesting question. He asked how I felt about a full-time job.
Hmmm...how did I feel? How did I feel about a full time job; a salaried position as a writer, where I would be appreciated for the fertility of my imagination? An occupation where I could sit and drink coffee and put language on to a page for hours? While it probably doesn't bode well for someone being considered for such a position, I couldn't find the words. Fists were pumped. Hips were thrusted. "Fuck" and "shit" were exclaimed, each followed by their own "yea". After that initial celebration, I emailed back a more measured response like "I'm interested. I'd like to hear more about it."
We had a meeting to talk through the details and an official offer was made, which I accepted. That's the story of how I became a full-time social copywriter for Erwin Penland.
This development was bittersweet though. I feel like I was starting to really find my coaching groove at CrossFit 212. I'd finally gotten used to my schedule and built up some consistent personal training clients that I liked working with but there's no way I could pass up this opportunity. I'm still coaching one night a week to keep my hand in it and because I enjoy it anytime after 10am.
Am I lucky with how all of this played out? So very lucky. I was around the right person at the right time. But I also had the right skills. That's the cool part. I've spent the past 8 years honing my writing through stand up, twitter and these blogs. Without that, this never could have happened for me. The idea that I could parlay years of unpaid dream-chasing into such tangible professional success is incredibly empowering.