Life Changing Decisions

While the “meaning of life” may be ever elusive – there are goals to meet in life, that fit one’s internal desires & needs. I have been one of those people who does not settle into complacency at work. Needing challenges, and forward momentum in life keep my mind busy.

In my youth, working in restaurants, I started as a dishwasher. Rather than sit around when it was slow, I would observe the line cooks in action. Eventually, they began to ask me to help with minor tasks, adding fries, making salads, dishing soup, expediting orders to the servers. Before long, I was done washing dishes, and had my spot on the line. If they needed someone to fill in during the day, doing prep work, working anywhere in the kitchen, I did it. I love to learn new skills. Once learned, I savor honing my new skill set to be as good as I can get.

On my off time, I played with computers, both hardware and software. Teaching myself the basics of HTML coding, graphic creation, photo manipulation, and so forth, I filled the hours I was not in hot kitchens learning new skills.

That affinity for graphics and coding lead to a job offer at a local web design firm. Starting out doing minor updates, I worked my way up to creating sites for clients as large as Las Vegas’ Terrible Herbst corporation, in their oil, gaming, and motorsports businesses. Sales, marketing, and customer service skills were picked up, and nurtured while working with this small firm.

When it came time to leave for more stability, with benefits, I spent my days timing how long it took to shoot photo presentations of cars at different client lots. Being that I received a percentage of the work I billed, there was no sense in slacking off. Next thing you know, my co-worker and I were working before dawn, to after dusk, shooting as many billable photos as possible each day. My bonus checks were getting to be larger than my pay checks. Things were great!

I was then approached to start traveling, and help set up our satellite employees. That turned into a full-time job as the National Data Collection Manager for the company. I had over 30 employees, in 12 states reporting to me. Traveling across the country for weeks at a time was a blast. I was able to see so much of the countryside, on their dime, what a perk!

From there, they asked me to move inside & become a sales & support team member. Hungry for knowledge, I jumped at the chance. Once I was trained, and started working my client list, my boss walked to my desk, handed me a book by Perry Marshal, and told me I had a new role in the company. I was to read the book & learn about Google AdWords.

Diving into Perry’s book, I picked up a lot about SEM strategy, as well as a philosophy of how to configure my thought process behind the campaigns. It has been invaluable knowledge, ever since I read it.

From there, I was given the opportunity to pick my role at the company. I opted for the one position I had not held before, so I could further my quest for knowledge. Becoming one of the IT Administrators, learning server management, additional desktop diagnostic/repair techniques, while assisting staff in all departments with their challenges. It was great!

All good things must come to an end, and my time there was not to continue. With the down economy, it took me a scary long time to acquire gainful employment again. Thirteen long months worth of hustling every dime I could with side projects, to help my wife and I stay current on every single bill. It was extremely stressful, but very rewarding to see not a single bill was ever missed, or even late.

During a trip to Texas, to help a friend trailer his rally car to the transportation hub that would finish its journey at WRC Mexico, he asked if I would be interested in taking his job at Subaru of Las Vegas. Of course I jumped at the opportunity, as I knew the General Manager from my time at my previous job, we bought dozens of cars from him & I owned two Subarus already.

After an interview with my predecessor, and the GM, we agreed to terms, and thus my time at Subaru of Las Vegas began. Starting out as a marketing facilitator, helping at events, taking photos of inventory, and building my value at the dealership felt great.

In time, my plate became more, and more full. Tasks were added, responsibilities grew, I felt like a responsible adult again, being a productive member of society. Within a few years, I was offered a new position at the store, adding even more to my plate. Taking over our Internet Sales Department, in addition to our marketing efforts was a great way to make use of my skill set & desire to improve both myself, and the store.

That brings us to current times. Earlier this year, I had a call to help our corporate marketing specialist get his car started. While helping jump start his car, we discussed a few things. One of which, was his gauging my interest to take on a different role within the auto group, if a position was to become open.

Since then, that position has come into existence. Discussing the position, its requirements, location, responsibilities, and duties, I had a major decision to make. Do I stay at Subaru of Las Vegas, my home for over five years, and continue to grow this amazing brand, and store in the Las Vegas valley; or do I uproot my family, move to Northern Idaho, and help three struggling stores thrive?

The sleepless nights were aplenty during the tumultuous decision making time. In the end, I had too many factors in the, “be an adult & make the move” column, so I will be relocating in just under three weeks.

Either way, I would have the second-guessing my decision. What if I stayed, and could have helped those stores succeed? What if I left, and could have stayed comfortable at Subaru? Both have their good and bad points. In the end, I opted for the challenge of helping under-performing stores, in a different climate, with a different culture than Las Vegas.

Here’s to hoping I made the right decision.

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