It’s been a long road to the get this point. All things considered, probably close to seven years. While we’re excited to get going and face the challenge of building a new business, it unfortunate the last six years ended the way they did. On a positive note, I am personally more motivated than ever. There’s a defined mission with a known, clearly identifiable target. Make that two targets.

I have absolutely no regrets about demanding my former company develop a plan for success although it lead to my dismissal. How can you argue in favor of being mediocre? Lack of vision isn’t needed and risk is to be avoided? Give me a break! We are in the digital marketing space. The only constant is change. If you don’t evolve you die.

In actuality there was no argument. After 6 years of 60-70+ hour weeks, using my personal credit card when needed, offering reductions in compensation, doing whatever job(s) was required and literally sacrificing life and limb (a foot in this case), I was told to leave.

I was set up, stabbed in the back and thrown under the bus. Why? Because I demanded that leadership lead and the management team be held to the same level accountability as the rest of the team. So I learned a lesson: integrity, loyalty and hard work will only get you so far. It was easier to remove the squeaky wheel. This lesson is one I’ll not follow.

After two months of legal wrangling and contemplations about what’s next, one thing did become abundantly clear. I had made a lot of good friends. So THANK YOU friends for your open ears, unbiased feedback, helping evaluate options, encouragement and paying for many cups of coffee and lunches. I owe you!

While enjoying beers in the sun on a great Seattle summer evening a former team member he asked me if I was bitter. Without question, yes! Not so much at being forced out of the company I led (at least in the eyes of employees, clients and partners) but that the opportunity to create something significant wasn’t seized. Such opportunities don’t come around in predictable fashion. You have to recognize them and seize them. I love the phrase, “make your own luck” it’s perfect. A company or individual cannot grow by avoiding risks.

So we’re off! We just received the business license from the City of Seattle yesterday we’re now official. Confluence Digital will be launching. With hard work, great people and a little engineered “luck” we’ll get the job done for clients and enjoy life while doing it.

Eric Layland

Author Eric Layland

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