When I graduated from college in 1999, I assumed a career in media lay before me. Passionate about leveraging media for good and wholesome entertainment, I spent a large portion of my time in school trying to “get ahead” in the industry. I worked as a sound technician for nearly all four years, helped in the production of several television shows, and produced three independent CDs, two of which sold through nationwide distributors. I left school confident in my mission – to be in the world but not of the world. My sandbox – Media.
After a couple of “less-than-bill-paying” job offers and one month into my post-graduate life, I realized it was going to be nearly impossible to support my soon-to-be wife, never mind a family, in a young TV or Radio career. Spurred by this realization I took a job at a high-tech advertising agency developing websites. Within three months I joined a software firm that was developing a product to simplify website development and deployment. This was my first step into the tech industry and I have never looked back. Something just felt right about this new direction.
Had I been originally mistaken about my calling? Did I betray my passion? Was I wrong to leave Media behind?
The transformation currently underway in media is revolutionary. Digital advancement now allows consumers to interact and be much more selective with a wider range of content. The traditional focus on content has been surpassed by a focus on an autonomous and deliberate audience. Traditional media and content publishers – the newspaper, magazine, TV, and radio companies I originally pursued for jobs – are now forced to redefine their entire business model or risk becoming entirely irrelevant.
For me this is exciting. Life has brought me back full circle. The media industry has collided headfirst into the technology sector, and I have been fortunate enough to be right in the middle of the explosion. The revolution has created an opportunity for Three Pillar Global to work and speak with some of the strongest media brands in the US – PBS, Time, News Corp, and Gannett, just to name a few.
So, no, to answer those questions, I don’t feel as though I was mistaken about my calling, disloyal to my passion, or wrong to leave Media. I just happened to be a little bit ahead of my time. So, if you’re concerned that you have been disloyal to your passion or you’ve taken a wrong turn, don’t look back. Keep moving forward. Trust your gut. You just might find that you, too, are a few steps ahead of your time.