Colorado Conversations An Interview With Myself

An Interview With Myself
15th, 2019
Keyhole - Digital Marketing Agency - Joe Dudeck
Joe Dudeck
President + Founder
Categories: Company Culture
15th, 2019
Keyhole - Digital Marketing Agency - Joe Dudeck
Joe Dudeck
President + Founder
Categories: Company Culture
A conversation on building my marketing agency in Colorado Springs

In 2015, I started holding conversations with entrepreneurs, exploring the plot twists that led them to start their businesses. And now, on the cusp of moving my family and building my marketing agency in Colorado Springs, I felt that interviewing myself in the same manner might be a cathartic way of processing all the current plot twists playing out in my life.

And who knows? Maybe you too might find something helpful in this rather vulnerable dialogue with myself.

How did this plot twist to Colorado come about?

It really all started back in 2000 when Lindsay and I went there on our honeymoon. We stayed in Dillon — the same town where we’re going to stay when we first get out there in April. (See the view we had from our honeymoon suite above.) She and I fell in love with the whole landscape immediately, and according to Lindsay, I told her right then that we were going to move to Colorado at some point. So I guess that’s where the dream officially began, nearly 19 years ago.

From there, it just stayed in the back of our minds while we lived in Chicago and Indianapolis. Of course, we returned many, many times over the years to ski, hang out with family, or self-heal in the mountains — with each trip further strengthening the dream of moving out there one day.

And then, in the summer of 2017, our family took a trip to Texas, where Lindsay and I both felt a nudge that we weren’t supposed to be in Indiana much longer. Where would we go? We didn’t know, but it just felt like our roots were starting to get displaced. And then, not long after returning from our trip, Lindsay’s boss came back from sabbatical to share his vision of expanding his company from Indianapolis to Denver and to ask if there were any takers on starting up the new office out West. Lindsay volunteered us all to go!

Obviously, from there we spent a lot of time talking and praying about whether this was really the best thing for a lot of reasons — we have a pre-schooler, my clientele, our parents live nearby, we were both born and raised in Indiana, etc., etc., etc. It definitely took months of contemplation before we eventually decided that now was the time. We were supposed to be there and not here.

So all that to say, it’s been a pretty long, slow developing plot twist with lots of turns along the way, but we know it’s time to start this new chapter in our lives. And that doesn’t mean we’re saying goodbye to our past — because it’s a part of who we are and who we’re going to take with us — but we do, for sure, see this as a new orientation for our story. We’re cutting a new path. This move won’t just be a small shift to our family narrative, but it will take our futures in a whole new direction. And it will take Quinn down a new path for where he may go in the world and what he may make of his life.

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Why are you doing this?

I still wrestle with this question, even now when we’re just a couple weeks from moving out there. It’s one of those things that I thought would’ve been fully resolved by now, but it still hits me in the middle of the night — wondering why and if this really is the right thing to do. I mean, there are a lot of things that don’t line up. We have great friends here. We have a great house and love our neighborhood. Quinn would go to school just 200 yards away from our house. Our parents live fairly close.

But for us, as I said earlier, we just felt Indiana wasn’t supposed to be our final spot. And it seemed like now was the time for the dream to become a reality. But we also knew that running after your dreams isn’t always the best decision. I mean, I still have a dream of playing football for Notre Dame, but I’m not going to drop everything to run after that. And so we’re not going simply because it’s been our dream. But more because it seemed like a calling (though I don’t love that term) to a new spot. We just believe that we’re supposed to be in this area for reasons not yet known. And that if we wait until it all makes sense, then we may miss out on the purposes behind it all. We believe they’ll come out eventually.

I will say too that we’ve talked for a few years about starting some sort of respite or retreat center where we can give people an opportunity to not just temporarily disconnect from the busyness of life, but instead create a new way of living with balance. A place to start the process of finding new things to run after in their lives other than putting more money in their 401k, taking yet another trip to Disney, or going to never-ending sporting events for their kids. And we do think that Colorado might be a great landscape for such a business venture when the time comes. So we’re just curious to see how that may unfold as time goes on. (Don’t worry, not right away. My focus is solely on establishing my marketing agency in Colorado Springs.)

Moving with my family and marketing firm to Colorado Springs

Any life lessons learned in Indiana that you’ll be taking to Colorado with you?

I think the most obvious experience that comes to mind was our long journey of infertility and adoption that started right after we moved back to Indiana in 2006. I think those 10 years really prepared us for this next stage of life and taught us there can be comfort in the uncomfortable stages of life.

During those years of waiting to be parents, there was always so much unpredictability that it taught us how to release the need for control or certainty. And so even now, as we’re packing up our house and moving to a city where we don’t even have a house yet, we’re able to find peace in that hope that things will turn out well in the end.

And so I think those lessons of learning to pursue our own desires with open hands and living in the expectation that things will likely go off course from time to time, have helped us to live with greater endurance and faith throughout the process.

What are your biggest fears surrounding the move?

Oh man, these are all around me at times. I know Lindsay has many more than I do. But for me, I think there’s a fear that I may not see my parents again after we leave Indiana, or even that Quinn might not remember his grandparents very well because we left here at such a young age for him. And there are fears of saying goodbye to friends we may or may not see again and fears that relationships formed and forged here in Indiana may not stand the test of time with our address change.

And there are also financial fears that we won’t be able to make ends meet or that business budgets we could maintain in Indiana may not be as feasible there, while trying to grow a marketing agency in Colorado Springs. And candidly, fears that my current clients in Indiana — who have all stated their intention to continue to work with me — might eventually decide to find a more local resource for the marketing needs. The whole out of sight out of mind thing.

But I do try to speak truth into each of these fears or release them through some sort of spiritual practice like prayers, meditations, or yoga so that I don’t continue to hold them in my body. Truthfully, I’m not great at acknowledging and releasing them, but I have found some of these exercises to help me be more honest about the fears, emotions, and burdens I might be carrying.

What are you most looking forward to out there?

It’s hard to not get excited about the 300+ days of sunshine in Colorado. That’s definitely something we’re looking forward to embracing. Plus, growing up in South Bend — where we got a ton of lake-effect snow each winter — I grew up a huge fan of the white stuff and can’t wait to see even more out there. And, of course, there are those Colorado Rocky Mountain highs.

For Lindsay‘s health, it’ll be far easier for her to find the food and functional health support she needs. And it’ll be great just to be around a new group of people who look at the world through a different set of eyes and hold a different set of traditions. Except for four years spent in the South during college, most of my worldview has been informed by the culture of the Midwest. It will be enlightening to see how others bring their disparate expectations and approaches to life. And for Quinn — being just five years old right now — I look forward to seeing how his life will be transformed and impacted through a new landscape of people, places, and practices.

And, of course, I can’t wait to continue to build my marketing agency in Colorado Springs, meet new clients and connect with new types of businesses out there, helping them tell their own stories.

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