Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Leaving the best job I'll ever have

Today is a memory I'll cherrish for a very long time. Jon Shearer stood up after our weekly company devotional to let everyone know I'd be transitioning to work on my company full time, starting next week. After a round of applause, Dave Ramsey also honored me with his congratulations and I must say, it felt really good. I have a very deep respect for Jon and Dave.

People talk about changing the nation, but Dave Ramsey and the Lampo Group are actually doing it. Over 4.5 million listeners tune in to his radio show, calling often to let him know how much his input has impacted their lives, saved their marriages and brought hope to their families. Dave reads their letters at staff meeting and I've met some of them face to face working live events. With Town Hall for Hope in 2009 and The Great Recovery in 2011, Dave Ramsey and the Lampo Group are engaging culture, bringing positive change to the nation.

So how could I possibly consider leaving? Working at Lampo since November 2007 has been like getting a master's degree in business and leadership. Great men and women have poured into my life, demonstrating passionate servant leadership on a daily basis. I've learned how to lead a team and be a team member, how to work with other departments, serve others and get it done. The friendships I've made have been with some of the most passionate, hard-working, excellent people I'll ever know. I couldn't imagine finding a better job because Dave has built a missional culture with a shared purpose. It's not a "J-O-B", it's work that matters.

I'm not just leaving Lampo for another job. I'm leaving out of obedience. I'm not the author of my story and the next chapter has been opened in front of me, requiring my engagement.

In 2005 a friend and I started working on the idea of FoxyCart, an easy to use shopping cart developers could quickly add to their websites. At the time there were few tools available to give web professionals complete control of their checkout experience while not duplicating data or efforts. In June 2007, LLC was born and we started meeting a real need in the marketplace. With a handful of customers paying us a monthly fee, it was financially just a hobby. Today we provide ecommerce for over 1,650 businesses in 20 countries, processing $5M+ in transactions monthly.  We have a team of 8 people with members from Russia, Australia, Pakistan and across the US. It's a real business that needs more from me than Saturdays and 2-5 hours most weeknights. Now with two little ones, my family needs more as well.

My wife, Corinne, is amazing. Literally, she amazes me. She has been so patient with the hours I work, sacrificing right along with me to run every aspect of the household. Weeknights from 6pm to 8pm and Sunday's together as a family are great, but we'd like more. Last year the money was there to make the switch... I had arrived, ready to live every entrepreneur’s dream and be a quitter. But I couldn't pull myself away. God started whispering to me, preparing me. I was listening, praying and waiting. Over the last 18 months, I knew something was brewing inside. I never asked to start FoxyCart, it's just part of my story. I now have a responsibility to the families relying on FoxyCart's success and to my story to give it my full attention, working normal hours and living the dream of spending quality time at any time with my family and friends.

I'm proud to leave a legacy at Lampo having fulfilled three roles at once including team lead, technical lead and ecommerce developer. Being the technical contact responsible for our store and many of our major marketing campaigns has been a great challenge and rewarding blessing. One of the greatest honors of my life to date has been leading the Web Marketing Developer team made up of Jeremy Shearer, Andrew Kallemeyn and Ron Coffman, or more affactionately known as the WMD's.

It also hasn't been easy. Building our God-given dreams rarely is. Working 55-65 hours a week (40 at Lampo, the rest at home), working through lunches, going to bed at 1am and waking up before 7am day after day catches up to you. There isn't much time left for exercise, sleep, deep friendships and non-work-related fun. I'd keep the marathon going if that's what I was called to do, but I truly believe the timing is right to move on. Over the past few months, it's become clear that we're ready to start living like no one else. A part of me will never leave Lampo and I look forward to having more time to nurture the friendships I have there.

In the school of life, it's time to start my next semester.

Who knows, in ten or so years FoxyCart might be an overnight success.