CHRIS

One day I decided to walk away from my art director job. 
After a 12-year career, I just didn’t feel like doing it anymore.

Now what?

I decided to do something completely off the wall.

I went into the restaurant industry and learned how to cook professionally.

I loved it. But I also had a family, so I knew cooking wasn’t a long-term solution.

I never wanted to completely turn my back on my primary background as an art director. But now that I had this food knowledge and culinary background, I was hoping that I could somehow merge all of these skill sets.

Career coaches, in my experience, are a bit like bad personal trainers.

They have their own idea of what’s going to work, but they can’t tailor it to fit you. They just want to push you into their own model of success.

But from the first email with Anne, I just got a good vibe.

She made me feel extremely comfortable right away. She was just cool. I got on the phone with her and thought, ‘I like this person! I think this is the person I want to bounce ideas off of.’

She came from the business and could understand creatives—but I also knew she could be a sounding board to help me figure out what to do next.

After looking around at some food marketing agencies, I realized what I really wanted was to create an opportunity for myself.

When we started working together, all I had was the name for a website I wanted to start that would combine everything I loved:
Art, writing, and food.

I figured I’d put up the website, and the traffic would come.

Reluctantly and in response to Anne’s encouragement, I started showing up on Twitter and Facebook. Twitter and Facebook proved invaluable for getting my website rolling. Because Anne stressed the importance of social media, I was able to actually launch this the right way.

By the time I launched, I had already built an audience.


And then the steps came, one by one.
In the meantime, Anne and I had figured out what to do for sustainable employment.

Unfortunately, the summer we started working together, the economy tanked.

At one point, Anne asked me, “If you had to go back to your old gig or what you were doing, could you do that?” I wasn’t sure if bridges were burned. I wasn’t sure if I would do it anymore because I was burnt out.

But I put out calls to some friends, saying, “Hey, I was gone a while and I’m coming back. Do you have an ear to the door? Let me know what’s going on.” And that actually turned into some sustainable work.

It sounds so simple, but I was so focused on my site launch that I wasn’t thinking like that at the time.

But by following Anne’s simple suggestion, things just clicked into place. My site is continuing to grow, and things are going really well now.

I can’t say enough about Anne.

She was instrumental in getting me to where I am now. Whatever success I have with my site is attributed to her. The freelance gigs that I was able to get based on her encouragement is what helped keep me afloat.

I’d recommend her to anybody creative.

Visit Chris’s site