February 7, 2020
This is part of a weekly journal I'm keeping about my day job running marketing at Inntopia.
During the last week or two a handful of friends were surprised to learned that I am no longer on the Senior Team at Inntopia.
They were even more surprised to learn that it was my idea.
One of the best things I’ve learned in my life is that there are some things I just don’t need. Or, at the least, don’t need to do. Perhaps it’s why we get along so well, but Kim (my wife) feels the exact same way about most, if not all, of them.
- We don’t need more than one car to get around.
- We don’t need anything more than a small home to be happy.
- We don’t need an steady supply of new clothes to look nice.
- We don’t need to stay in fancy hotels to sleep comfortably.
- We don’t need to go to Europe to enjoy a vacation.
- We don’t have to spend money to enjoy doing things together.
We were content with our simple, carefree life we first got married and that really hasn’t changed as our income and savings have increased.
During my tenure as SVP Marketing and then SVP Strategy, I learned a ton – especially about myself. And so, I’ve added a few more items to my list of “don’t needs”:
- I don’t need a fancy title to feel successful.
- I don’t need direct reports to feel like I matter.
- I don’t ever want to travel enough to earn status.
- I don’t like directing as much as I like doing.
When I looked around at what the company needed and held it up side-by-side with those lessons, it was hard to ignore how aligned they were. So during my last meeting with the Senior Team, I proposed that I take 50% of my time to contribute to the marketing team again.
Soon after, that became 100%.
This is not common. I’ve never known anyone who wanted a “demotion” so I’m not sure how this usually goes. But as I’ve reflected on this transition, I keep coming to a simple and kinda profound realization.
If it weren’t for my simple lifestyle, I wouldn’t have had a choice.
A lot of folks keep climbing the ladder to keep up with their expanding spending habits. And, sometimes (not always), that life-direction (and some social pressure) means they’ll steadily move from less stressful jobs they enjoy to more stressful roles they may not. But because their lifestyle has kept pace with their climb up the ladder, they have no choice but to stay where they are or keep climbing.
I am sincerely grateful I didn’t have to to that. And given how much I’m enjoying my return to the front lines? I’m glad I didn’t.