We’re home at Foxwell Digital HQ after spending three weeks in sunny California meeting with clients, drumming up new biz, and networking with peers and mentors in the social media marketing industry. We planned the trip several months ago, knowing it would be a back-to-back blitz of meetings, events, and long drives but 1,400 rental car miles, 287 tweets, 40 meetings, 28 sushi rolls, 19 podcasts, 7 highway tolls, and 3 In and Out burgers later, we’re reflecting warmly on our west coast spring swing.
We flew to San Francisco in late March and spent a week in the Bay Area meeting with Foxwell Digital clients past and present, friends working at Silicon Valley startups, Andrew’s former co-workers at 3Q Digital, and some friends and family in Sonoma County. We continued the Listening Tour and headed south on Highway 1 to Paso Robles (we needed more wine!), Santa Barbara, and Los Angeles. We were promptly welcomed to the central coast with four days of heavy rain. Everyone we met from waiters to clients repeatedly kept apologizing.
It SERIOUSLY never rains here! We’re SO sorry you’re caught in this horrible weather!
Uhhh we thought California needed the rain? We’re actually just fine, we’re Wisconsinites!
After meeting clients and friends in LA and soaking up as much sun and smog as possible, we headed further south to Orange County and San Diego to attend the 2016 Social Media Marketing World Conference. It’s important to note that this annual gathering consists of 3,500 of the nerdiest, most awkward people on the planet, including yours truly. As Andrew beautifully sums up, we shook a lot of babies and kissed a lot of hands.
Aside from a few blisters and a greater appreciation for our very quiet, tree-lined block of West Lawn Avenue, our California spring swing also left us with a few important reminders about this whole biz/life balance thing:
- We are who we are, and we’re okay with that. We aren’t social media celebrities with tens of thousands of followers, headlining sold out seminars with a huge staff of assistants and account reps. We’re practitioners; we’re the ones doing the gritty work our clients need. That reality always keeps us humble and hungry for the next challenge.
- We’ve purposely kept Foxwell Digital lean and nimble. We’ve said no more than yes because we want each client to be a trusted friend, not just another 1099 when tax time rolls around. We prioritize top-notch service, authentic brand storytelling, and sustainable business growth instead of simply trying to build out a long list of big name clients.
- We make mistakes. We’re still learning and growing, both personally and professionally, every single day. And that learning doesn’t end when Foxwell Digital goes on the road. Sometimes we jump to conclusions about a company or product before learning its true value, other times we wear ourselves thin and try to cram too much in one day. Even though it’s been 2+ years, we’re still getting the hang of being our own bosses. We keep doing our best to focus on love and equitable partnership, client trust, community, creativity, and humility.
And now that we’re home, we’re off to yet another adventure. Fordy is hungry for another 2,500 mile haul down and back to New Orleans to spend time with dear friends, attend our first ever Jazz Fest, and eat as many crawfish and beignets as our stomachs can handle. We’ll also host conference calls from the car, respond to client emails from interstate rest stops, and pop into coffee shops for midday work sessions. We realize it may not be the most traditional 9-to-5 work style, but it’s our biz and our marriage. And we think we’ve got a pretty good thing going so far.
Next up: we’re spending the entire summer working from our front porch with a new, furry Foxwell Digital intern.
More on that next time!