Why I Left My Big Business Dream Job

I moved to Chicago in March for a dream job. Little did I know that in eight months I would be leaving to start my own marketing consulting business.

After almost a decade working for a smaller yet high profile company that partnered with the NFL and Hall of Fame athletes, I was ready to make a move. The past ten years with the G.R.E.A.T. Grille Group (g3) gave me an amazing opportunity to learn and grow by giving me direct hands-on experience with all facets of marketing both digital and traditional. Like a lot of companies out there, we were shooting in the dark half the time with our marketing efforts, but I was the one at the end of the day setting our strategy and learning from them. Because of these experiences to learn and grow, it gave me the opportunity to take on a dream role at Levy Restaurants.

Levy Restaurants is an industry leader in all sense of the word. It continuously innovates to stay on the forefront of its sector. It owns one of the country’s best restaurants, the michelin-starred Spiaggia and also one of the country’s highest revenue generating restaurants, Fulton’s Crab House in Disney Springs. Leading the marketing department as Senior Manager was truly a dream position. I was able to work with a diverse portfolio of concepts from across the nation and have the resources of a large company that I’ve never had before. Levy provided a full design team, finance, HR department, etc. even a brand new analytics department that helped make sense of “Big Data.” It was everything that I was looking for, so why leave?

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It wasn’t all the red tape or bureaucracy (although there is some at every big company), or the hours (I was working more with g3). I decided to change course because Levy fed a need in me I didn’t even know I craved. Before coming to Chicago, the idea of starting my own company had never really crossed my mind. Sure, I had a couple of side projects I wanted to do more with (my @OhioStFootball twitter account with over 200,000 followers) but doing that full time wasn’t an option. It was the combination of concepts, structure and motivation at Levy that sparked my entrepreneurial fire.

At Levy the marketing department operates similarly to an agency. Each one of the 20+ concepts was a client, all with different needs, locations and challenges. I loved the opportunities where I could meet with new clients and put a strategy in motion to help them achieve their business goals. This was the need for me, the spark.

I’ve always been a person looking for an adventure and new experiences. At Levy, I got a taste of what the continuous challenge of working with new and current clients is all about. Now I am my own boss, working with my own clients from across several industries to achieve their own business goals. This provides me with new experiences every day, challenging myself both creatively and analytically.

I moved to Chicago for a fantastic opportunity, but Big Business opened the door to the dream job that I never knew I wanted.