Life as an Experiment

September 9, 2020, Peter Iliopoulos

I think it’s fair to say that life has been uncomfortable since March 2020. As I’ve watched both strangers and friends grapple with job loss and deep uncertainty, I’ve realized how extremely fortunate I’ve been. This spring, even as I began to realize how the world was changing, I was lucky to have felt secure and valued at my workplace. 

Though a small sacrifice, adjusting to working from home was not without its quirks. I missed the fast paced office life where coworkers would come to my desk with questions and fires to put out. Waking up each day to work out of my 830 square foot house grew monotonous and I even found myself missing the afternoon traffic. Despite this, I felt I was adjusting to my new norm fairly well. 

At the time, I was working as a Customer Success Team Lead in St. Petersburg, Florida. I loved being a leader and was excited by the possibility of moving up through a company at which I felt valued. But as the weeks went on in quarantine, I began to feel less challenged and felt myself slowly checking out. Feeling restless at home didn’t help. I worked for a digital publisher, but I had always had my eye on the tech industry, which was evolving and shaping history despite all odds–moving forward in a way that I felt I wasn’t. 

I started mentoring university students and joining online Tech groups to keep my knowledge and leadership skills fresh. If I feel stagnant, it’s all I can think about. I want to always be uncomfortable and feel like I’m growing. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve daydreamed about selling my house, packing up my life, and moving to a completely different part of the country. I value this trait in myself, because it’s led to most of my personal and professional growth. 

I warmed up to the idea of exploring change. Browsing a digital networking group one day, I noticed a post for a Customer Success Manager role at a growing startup based out of San Francisco. I reached out to the contact (spoiler alert: she became my coworker) and set up a call with her. Before I knew it, I was offered a role. And even while I am staying put and working remotely for this new role, it’s nice to know that I have the option to move across the country one day.

I almost let my fears pass up the opportunity. Friends pushed back with, “Are you sure this is the right move? During a global pandemic?” Thoughts of the years I’d spent growing at my current employer, as well as the risk I was taking, definitely crossed my mind. But, after I set my hesitation aside and spoke more with my future boss and President, I realized that I had an opportunity to start a life experiment. At metadata.io, I would join a team full of sharp people, work and grow at a company that is changing how marketers do their jobs, and finally work in the tech industry. It was a no-brainer. 

Fast forward to today. I’m only one month in with Metadata, but I know this is the best experiment I’ve put on myself in a long time. In one month, I’ve learned so much. While I sometimes miss the feeling of knowing everything about my job, I relish the challenge of starting over and being uncomfortable because I know the great results this feeling can yield. 

And, I quickly learned that Metadata helps our partners do the same thing. While it takes an investment and a bit of learning on their part–something I’m happy to lead them through, just as my coworkers have led me–our customers are getting the most efficient and accurate leads out of their digital marketing. 

I’m surprised that there is no other solution like Metadata. Day in and day out, marketers are tasked with working in different platforms to run countless A/B tests, while also trying to ideate new strategies for the future. Metadata helps marketers stretch themselves to reach new heights. We are changing the world of B2B marketing. 

So, as a human or a marketer, ask yourself if you are experimenting enough. Change up the way you do things, work smarter (not harder), and take a chance on discomfort every once in a while. 

I’m glad I did. 

Peter Iliopoulos

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