The decision to join the IMPACT team was, at first glance, just a change in the company on my business cards.
8 months later and I’m more convinced than ever this decision is and was more strategic, deep, and meaningful than I could have ever known at the time or even fully understand today.
Right now, I’m sitting in the Charlotte airport, waiting for my connecting flight back home to Michigan. I spent my flight from Hartford to Charlotte circling between reading Multipliers by Liz Wiseman, sleeping, and thinking.
It’s a common activity for me to think about my team. My job. My boss. My leaders. My place at IMPACT. But, today’s flight had me wondering into the space of IMPACT’s place in MY life.
As I’m watching the minutes tick down to boarding...7 minutes, I immediately think of 7 things I now have because IMPACT chose me and I said yes.
#1 - Safety
This might seem strange to see on this list, but it’s the thing I felt most this week and in the 8 months I’ve called IMPACT my work home.
Sometimes, growth demands that you take a step that you’re not totally sure of, or make well-informed, educated decisions that might not work.
It requires saying, doing, thinking, and believing things that are new.
Growth only happens in places of vulnerability. Vulnerability, when intended to be used purposefully, must happen in a place of safety.
I know that I am responsible for the decisions I make; The words I say, and the thoughts I think, but I also know that I will not always be right.
Here at IMPACT, that is okay.
I am free to learn, expand, grow, challenge, and even fail - it’s all okay.
It’s okay, because I have the resources, books, mentors, and training to only make decisions that come from a place of betterment.
#2 - Support
A huge part of feeling safe at IMPACT has come from the support I’ve been given.
I am a remote employee and I work full-time from a home office in Michigan.
I have never worked more than a few days in the same state as the rest of my team and while this can obviously create room for impediments (as we say in Scrum), I’m proud to say that remote working at IMPACT is as awesome as it could be.
I have access to my boss, my leader, my mentors with the send of a simple , “I need help” message.
Having trips like the one I am on right now helps fulfill my need to see and look in the eyes of the people who I lead and who are leading me.
I can pick up on the subtle raise of the eyebrow, the beginning of a smile, and the tone of the room. I am able to plug in, fill myself with IMPACT, and return home to work in my best place.
#3 - Resources
Yesterday, I walked out of the IMPACT office with 8 books in tow.
Add this to the five I took my last trip and the four I’ve ordered from Amazon.
Being at IMPACT isn’t just about having access to a free library of books, but man, do those help.
With the send of an email, I can be connected with David Meerman Scott, Marcus Sheridan, George B Thomas, or Franco Valentino.
I’ve been introduced to (and actually get to work with) some of the brightest minds in marketing: Kaitlyn, Derrick, Stacy, Iris, Joe, Liz Murphy.
I play in a sandbox with talented, driven, and accomplished marketers, designers, developers, and thought-leaders.
My personal and professional growth so far has come from having access to and leveraging these amazing resources that I may not have had anywhere else.
#4 - Mentors
Reading is great, being guided and provided individual training and mentorship by people who are genuinely dedicated to my (and my team’s) success is even better.
Here are routine, everyday things that happened while I was at IMPACT:
Chris, our COO, spent time with me, discussing how I was doing, what challenges I am facing, and challenged me to define my purpose, my why. He then helped me select the above-mentioned books to consume between now and my next trip back.
When asked, Bob, our CEO, didn’t just give me a 30-second answer about EOS, but shared in one of the books I was taking from IMPACT, the purpose and processes of being a company operating in EOS. He helped take a concept and provide real-life context.
Then, of course, Brie, our Director of Client Services (and one of my co-hosts), was open to having comfortable conversations with me about our jobs, our goals, and our future. I learned more about her as a person and my leader.
#5 - Platforms
I have a lot to say. Just ask my team.
Here at IMPACT, I’ve been given platforms to not only grow, but to share what I’ve learned with a broader audience than my personal network.
The biggest platform so far has been a show -- MarketHer.
MarketHer was developed during a team outing with my co-hosts Angela & Brie.
We learned that we are all obsessed with creating space for women in creative careers to feel understood. Each of our lives is unique and different, but there struggles and triumphs we all experience and it’s those commonalities that bond us.
Through this show, I’ve been challenged to explore my opinion on a wide-variety of topics.
To begin to outline myself, my character, my persona.
To speak slower, to think faster.
To listen and not speak.
Every time someone tells me they’ve watched an episode of MarketHer, my heart flips. It’s exciting, terrifying, and amazing. Simply amazing.
#6 - Friends
I have one friend who used to be a co-worker and I’ve worked with well over 100+ people in the past five years.
Finding co-workers is easy. Finding co-workers who become friends is rare.
But, it hasn’t been rare for me here at IMPACT.
Even though I work remotely, even though I lead and work in a pod (a group of strategists, a developer, & a designer), I have relationships with 98% of the staff at IMPACT.
I walk in the door to the office after traveling since 6 AM to be greeted with warm, genuine hugs. (We have great huggers at IMPACT).
Wednesday evening’s dinner was accompanied by a deep and fulfilling conversation about creativity with Kyle Bento. Though he isn’t on my delivery team,I connected with another co-worker.
My family received emails, gifts, calls, and well-wishes from people I don’t work with every day when our home flooded from Hurricanes Harvey & Irma and we had to evacuate.
My co-workers know my children’s names and ask about them. They’ve met them virtually and listen to my stories of their silliness.
I spent last night enjoying hot chocolate and watching It’s a Wonderful Life by the fire with Kaitlyn - prompting me to say wholeheartedly, “I am living my best life.”
#7 - Myself
This is where I might cry.
My life has been hard, harder than most know. I don’t lead with or even share most of my past and the challenges I’ve faced because I never want to be defined by them, but those challenges still create personal hurdles for me today. They create emotional hooks, roadblocks, and vision changes that I fight every single day, buthere at IMPACT, I didn’t just get a robust, full, colorful career, I’ve been given all the tools, resources, space, mentors, and time to unpack 30-years of unpleasant and difficult things.
Every day, I learn something I don’t just apply to our clients and my team, but to myself --To my heart and soul.
I am a more whole, full, content, challenged, complete person today sitting at gate E20 waiting for my flight than I was the day I signed my offer letter from IMPACT.
The Time of My Life
I know all of this isn’t just because of IMPACT. I have friends and family who love me fiercely and help me hold myself together - but I would be lying if I didn’t say that the past 8 months have been some of the best of my life and a lot of that credit is to due to the people I call co-workers.
Thank you, IMPACT. I love you.
Now, it’s time to board.
About Britt Schwartz
Britt is proud to serve as a Strategist here at IMPACT, in which she, completely unbiased, believes to be the best POD ever. With her experience in consulting companies ranging from funded start-ups and SMBs to enterprise global brands on digital and inbound strategy, Britt believes marketing is more than just numbers and Mad Men style creative - it's both. When not working on helping IMPACT fulfill its vision, you can find her teaching her children the ways of the Force and the history of Middle Earth.