When I heard the words, “Your son Charles killed himself,” my life changed forever. I didn’t even know I could change so fast. But it was overnight.
It took me a while to figure out what to do. I have been in advertising and marketing for two decades starting with a small agency for 6 months and then the Martin Agency.
I’ve been in digital marketing since 1995 when Google was a blinking cursor on a black screen.
I have been a co-owner at Impression Marketing since 2010 when I teamed up with Howard Deskin, my amazing business partner. I have always been focused on getting clients results and providing value. Howard’s philosophy was the same which is why he made a great partner.
He kept asking what I wanted to do and waited patiently.
What did I want to do?
Around February 2016 when I started this blog, I started to think that maybe I needed to go in a different direction. Howard thought I might want to as well but we decided to table it and revisit the subject once the fuzz in my head began to clear a little bit.
I wanted to see if the passion for the business would return. And while I still cared about my clients and my employees, I didn’t have the zing that I had before and felt it was time to move to where my heart was.
By May 2016, I figured out my purpose
I couldn’t just bail. I have employees and a business partner. I had thought that mergers between marketing and digital marketing companies was going to be the norm in the coming years and I wanted to make sure we had a good choice of dance partners. At the same time I was thinking this, so was Howard.
By May we were looking to make a move. In June, I went part time (2/3 time) because I went back too fast after my son’s death and I needed it. Suffering the loss of a child by suicide is so complex.
We both knew our employees valued having flexibility since they have families. They needed benefits and more opportunities. And I needed a situation that would allow me to exit with grace.
My business partner spearheaded this effort and we are merging with another company called WebStrategies Inc and I will work 2/3 time through the end of January 2017.
I’m following my heart
Funny how this merger was my dream 5 years ago. But my life has changed and focusing on suicide prevention and mental illness initiatives is the direction I must go in.
I am, by nature, creative, innovative and a writer/speaker. I am by nature, bold and forward thinking. Passionate is probably how I’d describe myself if I had to do it in one word. And I know my shortcomings, too and will look to others to fill those roles when I figure out the direction I go in.
This is a scary yet exciting move.
After investing $275,000 in Charles’ care over 5 years, something I’d do all over again, I don’t have the luxury of “retiring” permanently. I will still need to make a living.
I am not sure how it will all work out but I just have to have faith that it will.
So what’s on the horizon?
- Building the audience for this blog so we can achieve positive change (possibly getting a sponsor)
- Seeing my social media school program come to life which is already happening plus other suicide prevention initiatives under the Charles Aubrey Rogers Fund at Beacon Tree Foundation
- Becoming more involved in Beacon Tree Foundation and American Foundation of Suicide Prevention
- Starting a book on my story
- Securing paid speaking engagements (conferences for example) on:
- My story of suicide loss and how I have found purpose and hope
- Social media marketing for businesses and especially for non-profits
- Personal branding. How do you figure out your personal brand and what are the next steps?
- Women supporting women in business
- Creating an affordable way for non-profits to create content and have a more active social media presence
- Consulting on content (writing) and social media since I have expertise in this
- Proving a concept on marketing that has never been focused on
It’s a lot, I know. The list has at least been pared down from 12!
Here’s to reinventing myself. Deep breath.