My story starts in 2011. The year I graduated college.
I was in my last semester at Sonoma State University. I was one of those young people that aspired to play Major League Baseball. It was my dream.
However, life had a different plan. While I was fortunate enough to play in college, professional baseball was not in my cards.
I found myself needing to shift gears and find a new career path since I was a hop, skip, and a jump away from graduating. Luckily, I had a stellar professor who illuminated a career path that aligned with my interests and skillset: marketing.
Marketing (business in general) became my obsession. I devoured every book, video, and blog post I could get my hands on about the topic. I analyzed keynotes by people like Gary Vaynerchuk, Seth Godin, and Rand Fishkin.
I found a replacement for baseball. Funny enough, business is a lot like a sport.
As fait would have it, I would get my shot at becoming a marketing profession when I join a small tech startup in San Francisco in 2013. For the next 7+ years I would find myself at several early-stage startups sharpening my marketing skills.
At the same time as my marketing career was taking off, I had an interesting experience that would become the foundation of what I do today with Startups Give Back and Changemaker Studios.
Prior to 2013, I was with a large company. This company, like many companies of its size, had a lot of resources (money and people).
However, not one time did we ever give back to our community. No donations. No volunteering. Nothing.
When I left that company and joined the early-stage startup in 2013, my colleagues and I went out and volunteered. It was essentially a “welcome to the team!” type of event. We would do this for every new class of employees that joined the company.
Fast forward a few months after my start date. I was reflecting on my current situation and the previous company I came from. For the life of me, I couldn’t wrap my head around how my current company, which had very limited resources, was able to do more for the community than my previous company, which had plenty of resources.
That one moment in time is what put me on the path of creating Startups Give Back and everything that has come after it.
The rest, as they say, is history.