Guest Post

No Such Thing as an Overnight Success

by Stacey Cost
12/18/2009

In April of this year (2009), the financial services company I worked for declared bankruptcy. It was sad to leave the team I had built and to deconstruct the great work we had done together, but what a time to Find Your Nerve.

As an unemployed person you become the CEO of YOU, and as such I considered the advice in When Growth Stalls. There was a study quoted which points out that "when a company is adrift …the best management style is authoritative," (page 75, Harvard Business Review study by Hay/McBer). So I put my marketing hat on, identified the framework for a plan, and gave myself some serious direction.

Objective: Find a job with a great group of people, in a small town, in a bad economy, in a sparsely populated state with record unemployment.

What marketing person doesn't love a challenge, right?

Product: Stacey Cost, (me)
Place: Santa Fe, New Mexico
Price: interesting opportunity, healthy culture, marketing focus
Promotion: my experience packaged in a way that is factual, appeals to the right audience and results in a 30 minute meeting

I created my own website, a business on Facebook, a channel on YouTube, a profile on LinkedIn and a VisualCV. I dominate Google results for the search "stacey cost." I even created a hard copy pitch kit, like an agency would deliver if soliciting your business.

For seven long months I worked from a desk in a friend's office sending applications into cyberspace, pitch kits to people I thought would be interested, meeting for coffee, and donating time to causes in an effort to both make a difference and good connections.

In November of 2009 I received an offer from High Country Gardens to be VP of Marketing for their online/print catalog operation, as well as retail and nursery storefronts. This is a company who has found its own nerve. It has weathered a bad economy, nurtured a forward looking plan and decided to cultivate talent to grow their business in the years ahead.

It sounded like a company I could get behind.

Some think this new job was, for me, an overnight success — there is no such thing. It was NERVE. I'm glad High Country Gardens has the same personality trait.

Stacey Cost is the VP of Marketing at High Country Gardens and Santa Fe Greenhouses, whose online catalog and retail stores specialize in waterwise ("xeric") plants.

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