I’ve hinted a few times here and on Twitter that some big change was coming. So it did. After 11 years with the Coca-Cola company, I resigned from my position as Market Unit Director, Field Service. I gave notice on June 13, and my last day was Friday, July 6.
I am going to partner with my lovely wife, Jamie Mason, in the real estate sales and staging business, as well as spend more time on our personal investment portfolio.
I am very proud of my accomplishments in the corporate world. For nearly 20 years, I added value to what is now Farmers Insurance, ADP, what is now a part of Northrop Grumman, and Coca-Cola. Coke does business differently because of work I did to develop new, more meaningful, measures of customer satisfaction. I was also part of the team that developed capability of our service network for Coca-Cola Freestyle.
But during the last 18 months, there was a great deal of change, both within the company and in my personal life. The company purchased the largest bottler, and created Coca-Cola Refreshments. As part of that integration, I got a new job (a promotion) that I considered a developmental opportunity to get me where I wanted to really be. After 18 months in the new organization, however, I decided that what I thought I wanted… well, I didn’t. I didn’t want to move to Atlanta, and I didn’t want to do what I always thought I wanted to do. It happens. The culture of the new company was also a significant change; and I didn’t feel like I fit in any more.
This isn’t a bad thing. It’s got nothing to do with Coke, which is a great company. It has everything to do with me figuring out what I want to be when I grow up.
So, instead of adding value to corporations (which is noble), I want to add value to individuals; I want to keep the value closer, so I can really experience it. I want to engage with people, not on conference calls or meetings, but in living rooms or over meals.
I also needed to regain control of my life. I was working too much and had completely lost the work/life balance that Gen Xers find so important. I need to lift. I need to cook. I need to blog, to write. I need to enjoy life. My weeks had become 50-70 hours Monday-Friday working, leaving only time to eat and sleep during the week. Then on the weekend, I would need one full day to do nothing, then by 5PM on Sunday, my head would be back to work, thinking about what I needed to do Monday. (Assuming I didn’t have to work on the weekend, something that happened pretty regularly).
In my new life, what day it is doesn’t matter. There will still be hard work. I will still hustle. But I won’t get stressed out on Sunday night because I have to go to work on Monday.
I’ll post more on how I was able to walk away from the corporate world, and some of the challenges my wife and I may face as entrepreneurs. I’ll also be back to regular posts about whatever strikes me as interesting, everything from sports to politics to food and wine. And the training log will return as well (I’m taking Monday and Tuesday of this week as days to do nothing; tomorrow I’m going to go to the gym.)
I will also be back at The Grand Crew to get some action going there as well.
I’m really looking forward to living again.
July 10th, 2012 at 11:09 am
Congrats Paul!! I truly wish you the best of luck. I know all too well what you have been going through. My issue is that I still love my job, but sacrifice that balance all the time. We really do need to get together and catch up. We live too close to let the distance really an excuse.
Hope to talk to you soon.
July 10th, 2012 at 6:14 pm
Well, I certainly should have more flexibiity now! We actually took a ride out to Madonna Manor this weekend – we were at a friend’s house near Hess Rd. Talked to the folks who bought my parents’ house.