ELEVEN years in Vegas. Take a minute and think about how much you've done, how much you've changed or how much has happened in 11 years.
Here's a couple of fun facts:
- We were all on Myspace and just barely converting to Facebook
- Instagram wasn't a thing
- Twitter was launched just 8 months prior
- The very first iPhone was released
- Most of us didn't have the iPhone yet and GPS still wasn't really a thing on phones. (I had to buy a $150 bluetooth GPS adaptor to connect to my Samsung Blackjack phone and download a Map app for my drive/move to Vegas)
- Blockbuster and Hollywood Video were still pretty relevant
- Netflix was on the up-and-up, just barely starting limited streaming of a small handful of movies
- Snapchat did not exist
- We still paid for nights & weekends and had calling plans with 500 text messages included. (Real talk: How did we function before unlimited texts and unlimited calling plans?!)
- AOL messenger was still pretty relevant (what was your AOL screen name?)
- I was still in my 20's (good god, that seems like forever ago)
So yeah... Eleven amazing years in Vegas. But the time has come and I'm ready to take on the next chapter in my life: heading home to Arizona.
Someone asked me the other day "why are you moving?" and without hesitation I responded "why should I stay?" I've had an incredible time in Vegas and I've come to absolutely love this city. Real talk... I hated it when I got here. I was counting down the days to get the hell out of here my first year. But in all fairness to Vegas, I also moved here in April 2007 at the beginning of the recession and Vegas was one of the hardest hit markets in the country. It was incredibly difficult to make friends here and I felt like there was a ton of shadiness going on. People were trying to get out from a massive amount of debt and making friends wasn't exactly what people were out to try and do. People were just trying to survive.
I was recruited to Vegas to work for COX Cable. I was hired by my mentor Jeff Myers and my incredible VP at the time, Andrew Simon. I was a nervous 27 year old stepping in to take on my mentor's old job as Marketing Manager. Needless to say I was scared out of my mind. I had big shoes to fill and I never thought I'd be as good as Jeff was, but I wasn't about to let him down. New Job. New City. New Life. That was April 2007.
Can we take a minute to think about how damn hard it is to sell cable and internet to people when you are in the #1 foreclosure market in the country?! You can say we had our work cut out for us. Three super tough years, but I learned more from this incredible team at Cox and we went from zero to hero. One of the best teams I had the pleasure to work with and while we got off to a rocky start, we SLAYED it and brought the Cox Vegas market from the worst performing to the #1 market in the country. #HellYeah
April 2010 I was off to UFC. (Remember: I wrote down UFC as a goal 13 months before it happened!) I lived out my wildest dream doing something I thought I'd spend the rest of my life figuring out HOW to even make it a reality. I traveled the world. I worked with incredible athletes. I lead one of the best social media teams on the planet and came out of the experience with some amazing relationships all over the globe.
After that ride was up, I rolled the dice and went all in on myself. Started my business, ELVN Digital. and wanted to give this entrepreneur thing a shot. Questions that ran through my head: Could I do it? Would I love it? Would I hate it? Would I be good at it? Soooo many questions/uncertainties/unknowns. The toughest part was that all my success and all my failures would be in my hands. (Thankfully I haven't had many failures along this journey, but I've learned a TTTTOOOOOONNNNNNNNNN). It's the toughest job I've had to date and the most rewarding. I've been able to prove to myself that I could do it.
I had a very humbling experience after the October 1st shooting in Las Vegas. In the blink of an eye, you have such a profound appreciation for people and life in general. I realized I had put many things on the back burner for my career; working hard and being successful at my job was #1 above all things. I missed birthdays, weddings, births and just being present in exchange for planes, trains and automobiles. I had a very spiritual awakening during this traumatic event and it made me re-strategize things in my life. I have spent a lot of time meditating, planning and sought out my purpose. I rediscovered my passions and many many many things have been manifested and brought to fruition... hell, here's just a couple of things I was able to accomplish in 365 days.
So what's next?
Anything and everything is possible....I really mean that... I've done it. I have a couple of personal passion projects I'll be working on in this next chapter and look forward to sharing more about them in the future. There are many amazing things on the horizon that I'm super excited about: a new house (of course home renovations are in my future), new Jeep trails, catching up with old friends, spending time with family and making Arizona the new home base for ELVN Digital.
There are not enough words or time for me to express everything I want to. All I can say is thank you for the incredible friendships, talks, camping trips, Jeep runs, laughs, concerts, celebrations, Las Vegas Corgi meet ups and so many more things that have been a part of my story and my journey in Vegas these past last 11 years.
So next week, April 15th will be my last day in Vegas. It's been an amazing chapter in my life. Thank you to all who have been a part of this incredible ride.
See you soon, Arizona. I've missed you.