I would like to announce that We Grow Media is itself growing, and welcome our newest employee: Andy Blank to the team. And just to clear things up right up front:
- With Andy joining the team, we now are a “team.” Before, it was just me.
- Yes, Andy is my brother. More on why I think that is a huge bonus, below.
His role is Operations Manager, and has a strong retail background? Wait – WHAT?! Why would I bring someone with retail experience into my company, which is focused solely on helping publishers and writers? Well, Andy spent 9 years at Disney, 5 years at Target, and then another 5+ years before that in retail management positions at large chains such as Staples. His experience, by any measure, is impressive. Just for starters, here are three things he will bring to We Grow Media:
- The knowledge and implementation to create a great brand. Both Disney and Target are legendary for their branding – the consistency of an experience that truly meets the needs of their audience.
- The ability to serve customers better than anyone else. Again, his experience at Disney and Target means that he will bring an amazing level of customer service to We Grow Media. Have you ever walked into a Disney Store or theme park and not smiled? Have you ever walked into a Target and not found it to be a bright, pleasant experience? These are the standards by which I am holding my company.
- A backbone for creating a sustainable and growing business. Throughout Andy’s 20 year career in retail, he has been tasked with meeting aggressive expectations about sales and business growth. He has managed very large stores in crowded markets, and helped to open new locations. He knows how to look at a business and implement a strategy that meets business expectations and leads to growth. He will be helping me to manage my existing business, and develop new ways to be of assistance to publishers and writers.
The funny thing is, Andy is so much more than that. He is a real down-to-earth nice guy. He always has a smile, is very giving, and cares deeply for helping others.
We originally began speaking about working together a year ago. We went through lots of scenarios and really talked a lot about the future – of what we both want from life, and how we can achieve that. Last Fall, we began a series of experiments to see how well he would fit into the business. For months, I looped him into projects, gave him some responsibility, and was blown away by how good of a fit it was.
With publishing being in such a huge state of flux, I think there is incredible value in bringing in outside perspectives. Yes, there needs to be total and complete respect for the history of publishing, and the many ways that the world of writers and publishers are indeed unique from other industries.
But… I want to be a part of building a vibrant future for writers and publishers. And I am convinced that Andy’s experience will be a core part of that.
To be honest, it also feels really good to have a family member be the first person I bring into the business. I work with many writers who take my courses. We forge strong relationships as we work together, and it does begin to feel like they are family. I am helping them meet challenges and move towards their goals. Bringing Andy into We Grow Media extends that sensibility – that I have 100% trust in him, that I can share anything with him and know that he will only extend its value. That we can be honest at every stage, and not worry. And you know what: it is nice to talk to my brother every day.
I am excited about the future of We Grow Media, and how bringing Andy on board provides more resources to work with those who truly inspire me: writers and publishers.
You can connect with Andy in the following places: