If You Do Not Change Direction, You May End Up Where You Are Heading

--title is taken from Lao Tzu

Like many people, I am a big fan of TED. While TED Talks are almost always elegant, they span various topics and fluctuate in complexity. I am a fan of all types of content, but sometimes the simplest notions yield the most meaningful impact. One TED Talk that was particularly impactful for me was given by Google’s Matt Cutts. The talk was playful and accessible. It lacked pretense and on the surface, did not seem incredibly profound—but for some reason the rhythm of Cutts’s talk continued to beat in my head.

…if you really want something badly enough, you can do anything for 30 days

Trying something new every thirty days may not appeal to everyone, but the essence of Cutts’s recommendation should be considered by anyone looking to expand their ability to impact both their immediate surroundings, and the entire world. Living life without taking sufficient time to experience exciting and potentially uncomfortable situations restricts our ability to progress professionally and personally.  Taking chances, falling down and stepping outside of everyday patterns aid in making us more creative, innovative and vibrant. While Cutts did not say these things explicitly, I believe they were implied to some degree—at least, that is what his talk meant to me.

I attempt new things as often as possible. My attempts are not always monumental—I don’t think that Cutts was suggesting they need to be, but once in a while the system needs a major jolt. I recently made a professional move that falls into this category. I accepted an opportunity that is not only exciting; it is a chance to get a different perspective on the industry in which I have chosen to build a career. Since I began in the advertising/marketing industry I have sought an opportunity that would afford me such a perspective. 

On January 2nd 2013, I started my new role as Vice President/Senior Business Leader of Global Digital Marketing for MasterCard. I have the honor of working on a team led by the incredibly respected and accomplished Michael Donnelly. I will be focused on all things social, mobile, local and beyond. For a variety of reasons, this role could not have been a better fit for me.

Since starting at MasterCard, I have been asked numerous times, "why would an entrepreneurial spirited person want to work for a large corporation?" The answer to that query is simple,

I had no specific desire to work at a large corporation. My desire was to work at MasterCard. Had a similar opportunity at another institution been available, I would most likely not have taken it

This realization surfaced during my first visit to Purchase New York (MasterCard’s Worldwide HQ).  I sensed an underlying pulse in the people and spaces I saw. There was a tremendous amount of excitement that, quite frankly, I was not expecting. Without giving any specifics, I can tell you that what I saw on that first visit was big. Ground breaking things were afoot . I wanted in!

As for the role I left behind—Something Massive is an amazing and creative shop. They remain family. Our relationship has not ended, it has merely changed. And as for the Circ.us legacy, that will never die. Thanks to Dr. Swords for building something great with me—it is my belief that our work is cemented in the history of digital creativity.

From an industry facing perspective, I may be a bit quieter over the next 6 months as I learn the inner workings of MasterCard's business and focus on changing the future of payments. Don't worry though, it will not be long before you hear from me some of the great things happening @Mastercard.