Landed On My Feet

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Back a few months ago, I announced my departure from b5media. At that time, I really didn’t know what I would end up doing. At the time, I figured I’d land on my feet doing something similar (Director of Technologyish) or maybe dip my toes in PR. Lord knows I wanted to get out of technology. No doubt I’ll be back in technology at some point in my life, but I really needed a break from it and wanted to explore other career paths.

Well, two months went by and when I left b5media, I quickly picked up with Lijit where, instead of dipping my feet in PR or continuing on the technology track, I found myself learning the ropes of Business Development.

Never been here. Never done that.

In typical Aaron fashion, I thought I could storm in and prove all the critics wrong. Wrong. I figured I could identify a bunch of high profile sites and, bam, I’d prove my mettle.

Wrong.

Don’t get me wrong, I did a fine job. I managed a few quick wins and set about on bigger targets. Time went by and the wins got farther apart.

Okay, I began realizing this was a marathon, not a sprint. I had to adjust.

Adjustment ongoing, however I’ve shown enough promise at this very new role for me that last week I traveled out to Lijit World Headquarters in Boulder, Colorado – a place once described as 50 square miles surrounded by reality – and met the entire team. In addition to a pleasant few days in the mountains and thin air, I was pleased to walk away with a full-time gig. Business Development Manager.

Scary title. I even now own a Boulder phone number. Fascinating.

Interestingly, I’ve learned a few thing about Biz Dev as it relates to other, more familiar roles.

  1. The key to BizDev is more about relationships and less about sales.
  2. Pitching doesn’t work. Talking does.
  3. BizDev is a war fought with a pistol, not a machine gun. (via Micah)
  4. Strategic wins are sometimes bigger than Big wins.

I’m sure there are other things that I’ll continue to learn about BizDev as time goes on. Love to hear your thoughts on this kind of role. Tell me what I need to learn.

Comments

  1. says

    Hi Aaron

    Good to hear that there’s a valid escape route from IT :)

    I’ll be following along with interest as you learn your new role.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Andrew

  2. says

    Aaron,

    Potential and the drive to achieve that potential is a wonderful thing. I often say that great companies are built on failure, and that goes for great people as well.

    Each failure teaches us something that we can collect, and use to make each success larger.

    You are off to a great start. SJKIU!

  3. says

    Hey Aaron,

    Glad to hear that you’ve got a cool role to reprise your time at b5media! Yes, BizDev is a different beast, but there are a lot of similarities. The key is knowing your product and believing in it. Then it’s just a matter of talking about it… Truthfully and honestly.

    All the best!

    Joe

  4. says

    Congratulations on the new full-time gig with Lijit. I’m sure you’ll become as valuable and integral to them as you were to b5media. Now, if you can just get them to allow multiple site installs under one login with separate stats that would be great!

  5. says

    Micah- thanks for giving me the shot. WTF does SJKIU mean? :)

    Joe- Thanks for the encouragement. Keeping my seat warm at b5? :)

    Jason- Trust me, I’ve raised this one already. You actually can have the same code from the same account on different sites. The only difference is, we can’t separate the stats. If you use Google Analytics or something, you can keep your stats separate that way and still use the same code. Our stats are roughly equal to GA. Of course, we’d prefer you use our stats but there are legitimate reasons why you might not. :)

  6. says

    Wow, actually that makes a boat load of sense. Well done to you and Lijit for figuring that out, I’d have never thought of that, but between your technical and communications/marketing experience, I can totally picture you helping customers come up with solutions (even if they aren’t your own, which is ultimately the best kind of BD appoach, ask David Crow!)…

    Awesome and cograts!

  7. says

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  8. says

    Hey Congrats! You get to eat again!

    You’ll do well in this role. It’s perfect for you and the chance to learn is what keeps it exciting….

    Enjoy the ride!

  9. says

    Congratulations! You are now #1 on Google for SJKIU! (Use your power for good, not evil.)

    I think you are on the right track with how you define business development. I hate taking sales calls. I love talking about what opportunities my organization could take advantage of, if we had the right resources in place.

  10. says

    Hey congrats on the new job, Aaron! It’s been so fun watching your career as it morphs into better and more exciting things.