Monday, June 27, 2016

Welcome to My World

Hello readers and welcome to my world.

If you stick around, you are about to follow me, a 23 year-old barely experienced journalist lead a national marketing campaign for a soon-to-be best selling self-empowerment book and author.
I am starting what is going to be my first (non-assigned) continuous blog to document my successes (and likely failures) on this unfamiliar journey and hopefully to get some insight from more experienced people as to whether or not I am making the right decisions.
I am also hoping that my documentation can help others start and excel at doing things that they are unfamiliar with (specifically marketing a brand).
I also think it's going to be a fun ride and I would like to take you along with me.

Okay, so now a little back ground. This is where I struggle in blogs... I never know how much info to give, so here's your TL; DR: I got to where I am by working tons of jobs which taught me what I didn't want to do, by talking too much (most of the time), and by following my gut.
This is me:
Summer Slevin, June 2015
When this picture was taken, I was on a cross country road trip that I took by myself for two months after my college graduation (follow the hashtag #SummersEpicJourney to get a glimpse).

Prior to my road trip, I had worked many, many jobs while going to school. At 23 I have been a: cashier, hostess, barista, knife saleswoman, receptionist, personal, executive and research assistant (to three CEOs and one journalist), a cleaning lady (short lived), a debt collector (even shorter lived), an game master, a store manager and marketing director (for an escape room facility), and am currently an executive assistant to CEO and Marketing and Development Director for an author of a (formerly mentioned) soon-to-be-published self-empowerment book (currently) titled Words That Work.
I also interned at an NPR affiliate, a college radio station, a Red Cross, a YWCA, and with a sex sociologist. I've volunteered at an organic farm, soup kitchens and shelters, and at Habitat. I have also traveled to Ghana, Africa on a service trip. Two weeks ago I drove to Joshua Tree California to attend Contact in the Desert, a huge alien convention (follow #SummersEpicJourney2).
Here's what my business card looks like:
Summer's business card. Just kidding, that would be ridiculous. 
So all of this to say that I have done quite a bit of things just to figure out what exactly I don't want to do.

Here's what I do want to do: Change the world. 
Here's how I want to do it: Empowering women.

I know, it's a pretty massive and vague goal, but hey, it's less broad than what I started with (ie. I don't know).

A few months ago I was feeling particularly overwhelmed by life problems (ie. my thought patterns went something like this: "How am I going to pay student loans? I need to figure out how to make money while doing something I love. What do I want to be when I grow up? OMG I am grown up, Holy crap... I still have no idea what I want to do when I grow up!" etc, etc). So when I posted an entirely too bleak status on Facebook, a friend recommended I watch a commencement speech by Neil Gaiman called "Do Good Art". As someone that worked at a book store for three years, of course I have heard of him but I had never read any of his books. I decided to check it out anyway and I was blown away. Here's a link for you if you're curious: After watching this speech, I watched it again, then sent it to friends and decided to change my perspective.
I may not be at my end goal, but I am moving towards my mountain.
Then I got addicted to watching commencement speeches and Ted Talks and went to the library to start renting self-help audio books. And my perspective started changing.

Just a week later, I started becoming ridiculously optimistic. I told my therapist, "I feel like something big is going to happen... I don't know what it will be but whenever I feel this way, something big happens."
And oh boy, was I right.

That same day, I got a call from Joshua Tree Resort accepting my application to volunteer at Contact in the Desert. Disclaimer: No, I'm not a huge conspiracy theorist, but I do believe that aliens exists and as a born-journalist 3,000+ alien believers of varying intensity sounds like an amazing story.
Then a friend texts me, asking if I am looking to change my career path. I wasn't really, but I have learned to trust my gut and my gut was curious.

That very next day, I was sitting in front of a enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and infectious woman named Mary Shores. Immediately I wanted in on what she was throwing down. Mary was the founder and CEO of a debt collection agency in my town. As a (very, very brief) former debt collector, myself to say that I was cautious would be an understatement. But as she spoke about their means of collection, through empowerment of their debtors and as she told me about the book that she was getting published, a self-empowerment guide, I was pulled in.
I told her that I wanted the job before she even offered it. I spend the next few days preparing a 5 page position proposal, researching Mary and gathering up feedback for the sample chapter she sent me.
I was offered the job immediately and gave my three month notice to my current employer. I knew that it would not be an easy transition, as I had been a large part of Brainstorm Escapes. I had been hired on before the store had even opened and with the help of my friend and colleague, we opened a successful escape room facility. I handled the advertising, social media, and networking, Cassandra created the rooms and some of the advertisements, and we both ran the store. Have I mentioned that we are both in our early 20s and pretty much inexperienced? Yeah, it has been an adventure and a huge learning experience. But after just 9 months at Brainstorm, I knew that this new position was one step closer to my mountain.
So I made the leap.

The next couple of months were full of restructuring of Brainstorm, revising of Mary's manuscript, and then (after 0 days off, I might add), I took my second solo cross country road trip. And it was epic.
I would like to say that I came back passionate and refreshed, but that's not exactly the truth. I came back exhausted and ready for a break. But I met amazing people and had a phenomenal time (we can save that blog for another day, just follow the hashtag).

So here we are, at the end of June. My last day at Brainstorm is July 15th and after that point, I start full time marketing a soon-to-be best selling book, which will be published on August 22, 2017.

Currently, I am researching other marketing timelines.

Here are my goals:

  • Have timeline written, and goals and milestones outlined by July 1, 2016
  • Hire an intern and create a solid team foundation by August 1, 2016
  • Have brand completely created by September 30, 2016
  • Revamp social media and website by October 31, 2016
  • Attend 15 seminars, networking meetings, conventions by December 31, 2016
  • Have 5 speaking gigs arranged by December 31, 2016
  • Have 5 radio/tv appearances arranged by February 28, 2017
  • Have a forward written by a well-known self-help author by March 31, 2017
  • Gain 5,000 followers on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Instagram by July 2017 
  • Have 1,000 books on pre-order by August 22, 2017
  • Have a Ted Talk arranged by September 30, 2017
  • Have 15 speaking gigs arranged by December 31, 2017
  • Have 5 retreat seminars arranged by December 31, 2017
  • Sell 450,000 books by December 31, 2017 (yes, big goal, I know!)
  • Gain 500,000 followers by July 2018 on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Instagram
I'm sure there will be more goals added to this list, but I want to think realistically, you know. ;)

Check out Mary's current website and social media (they need work, I know: 

Feedback is appreciated!

Thanks for reading, everyone!
Stay tuned for more updates.