Each year, Newfangled closes for the last week of December. This time off allows all of us to step away and focus on the non-transactional things in life for a little while before we gear up to do it all again the following year. I’ve come to really value this time–it always seems to replenish my energy and give me a new perspective on who Newfangled is and where we ought to be going.
Last week was no different, but this year I noticed there was a clear theme to my thoughts. I kept coming back to the company Newfangled has become, what I’ve personally learned over the years, and from whom I have learned. I’m so fortunate to work with the wonderfully talented employees and clients that I do. It’s a rare thing to be able to truly enjoy the people with and for whom you work, as I do. Over the past week, though, I’ve realized that there are three people in particular whose voices are always in my head, tweaking my thought processes, and steadying my direction. I thought it would make sense to start this year off by specifically naming them and thanking them.
Eric Holter: RedeemingGraceNC.org
“I love my job” was a theme of 2010 for me. I really do, I love my job. And when I think about my job, I think about Eric. Eric founded Newfangled in 1995 and hired me in 2000. Since he decided to start the process of selling Newfangled to me a few years ago, Eric has been absent from the day-to-day operations. He is now officially a minister, and he’s well into starting a new church plant in Durham. Despite his not being in the daily mix, evidence of Eric’s impact on Newfangled is everywhere.
Eric crafted our basic position on information architecture, our approach to SEO, and discovered grayscreen prototyping. He set us on course to focus on being a web development partner for marketing firms. He created our content strategy and our basic philosophy on content strategy when he started writing monthly educational newsletters ten years ago. Eric created Newfangled, and almost all of what we do today is directly derivative of the things he put in place during his 13 years with us. Most everything I know about SEO, Information Architecture, and, most importantly, running a business where people actually enjoy showing up to work each day, I have learned from Eric.
David Baker: ReCourses.com
Since it is so profound, it is hard for me to sum up the effect David Baker has had on Newfangled. I don’t think I’m exaggerating one bit when I say that if it weren’t for David, I’m not sure Newfangled would still be around. His advice on everything relating to managing a successful marketing services firm (which is what I consider our rough classification to be, since we build marketing websites for marketing firms) is nothing short of sage. I know that if I follow the metrics and fundamental philosophies that David espouses, Newfangled will continue to be a wonderfully successful company. Being able to confidently rely on that sort of a foundation brings me invaluable peace of mind.
Blair Enns: WinWithoutPitching.com
Blair Enns is my sales guru. I could listen to Blair talk about his philosophy on selling all day long. Actually, I make a point of doing this at least once or twice a year. I’ve been responsible for new project acquisitions at Newfangled for the past six years now, but I’ve never really considered myself to be a salesman. The world of sales can sometimes seem to be covered in a slimy, disingenuous veneer; Blair and his teachings are free of all that. Blair has shown me how to sell without losing any modicum of my dignity. Using Blair’s methods has made selling a very enriching part of my life that I am proud of, and I always look forward to my next opportunity to practice what he preaches. He’s also a great guy to get a steak with.