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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Bleed Through

Last year I closed the doors on Acoustic Aquarium Inc. and reentered the job market--not an easy transition, but a necessary one. As I look back fondly over the last two decades a new clarity and perspective emerges. What I once considered the daily grid, now appears as a rich series of relationships, experiences and accomplishments.

During those years I represented over a hundred different manufacturers, and sold close to 100 million dollars in AV gear. Everything from inexpensive music accessories to high end PRS, G&L, and Brian Moore guitars. From cassettes and 24 track analog machines, to cutting edge hard disk DAW’s. From selling simple FX pedals to Lexicon 960Ls. From outfitting small project studios to selling large venue DSP like Sound Web & Media Matrix into facilities like the Salt Palace and the United States House & Senate. From sound systems in bedrooms to boardrooms, from garage bands to theaters, from podcasters to worldwide broadcasters. I sold everything from inexpensive PA’s in school classrooms to quarter million line arrays in venues like the LDS Conference Center, Brigham Young University, and the Polynesian Cultural Center in Hawaii.

My work took me to places all over the US, and exotic places like Vienna, Salzburg, Prague, and Germany. I received extensive training from the best minds in the biz. I’ve strategized with colleagues and CEOs on products and marketing. I’ve met and traveled with recording artist and audio legends. At the time, it didn’t seem glamorous--I was just doing my job. But now, as I look back and think, I can’t believe I did the things that I did.

Among the dozens of awards received for sales and marketing efforts, one award is especially close to my heart--Numark’s Best Individual Field Rep in 2006. Being singled out and extolled in front of peers is a great honor. But the greatest surprise was that my efforts in this small little corner of the world were recognized at all. I remember picking up manufacturer’s at the airport and visiting dealers in one state, then at the end of the day dropping them off at the airport again, and traveling all night in my car to pick them up the next morning in another state to visit more dealers. That was also the year I launched my most aggressive email campaign, replete with custom graphics. I created over 350 email flyers in that year alone.

But of all the things I miss, are the faces and relationships built during those years, and the privilege of working many days from my home office surrounded by my family.

As in the winds of magnetic tape, each year bleeds through onto my memory--faint whispers, affects, and circumstances that print themselves onto life. A full year has wound itself around me since shutting down my business--partially obscuring my past endeavors. But the print-through of smiles, voices, and relationships come through the strongest. Trophies gather dust, commissions are spent, sales goals are but pinnacles fading in the distance, but the people. . . the people that touched my life endure.

Now, as fate and good fortune would have it, no sooner did I finish the text above when I got a call and an invitation to work within the circle of one of my favorite clients--Performance Audio. But this time I am an exclusive part of their winning team, to help get their new Orem store up an running. As I embark on this adventure, it’s already very exciting for me--I thoroughly enjoy my new job and old comrades. It appears there are a few remaining winds on this reel.

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