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Marketing Guru on Turning Adversity Into Career Success

Episode overview

Success doesn’t come easy but we believe that’s a good thing! What you learn on the path to success is an integral part of embracing your true potential. 

In episode 3 of finding career zen, host Pete Newsome invites special guest Rebecca Gill to share her story on how she became a successful owner of a digital marketing agency and an alpaca farm.  

Rebecca didn’t have an easy childhood but that never stopped her from working hard to pursue her career goals. At just eleven years old, she began working at a local store and learned quickly how to be self-sufficient. 

After college, Rebecca found a passion for software and search engine optimization. Eventually burnt out from corporate life, she decided to create her own digital marketing business. Having made a name for herself in previous roles, Rebecca’s ability to get pages ranked on google drew clients in quickly. Even though she branched out on her own in the middle of a recession, Rebecca’s undeniable skills had her making over six figures in no time. 

How did these experiences shape Rebecca’s future and what advice does she have for people in similar situations? Tune in to listen to this inspiring story of overcoming adversity and finding career zen.

Tips for a successful life and career

Embrace being uncomfortable

Most of the time, being uncomfortable is necessary to grow and evolve. Achievements usually require encountering a few failures and frustrations along the way.

Take ownership and accountability for your own success

How well you can take the things you learn and then apply them to situations is very powerful. You cannot wait around for someone to hand you success.

Confidence is key

You have to be confident in yourself and know what you don’t want to do, don’t like to do, and aren’t willing to do.

Find the balance

Money gives you options but your happiness is just as important. You may have to sacrifice things while you’re young to set yourself up for the things you want later in life. Find your balance and what makes you happy.

Be introspective

Don’t discount your future for today. Success happens for everyone at different times and in different ways. Know where you want to end up and then work your way to get there.

Find something you want to wake up and do

Whether there is money involved or not, find something you are willing to immerse yourself in and sacrifice time doing. You spend a huge portion of your life working, make sure it’s something you are passionate about.

Additional resources

About Pete Newsome

Pete Newsome headshot

Pete Newsome is the President and founder of zengig, which he created after spending two decades in staffing and recruiting. He’s also the founder of 4 Corner Resources, the nationally acclaimed and award-winning staffing and recruiting firm he started out of a home office in 2005. Pete’s primary mission back then was the same as it is today: to do business in a personal way; with a commitment to zengig becoming the most comprehensive source of expert advice, tools, and resources for career growth and happiness. When he’s not in the office or spending time with his family of six, you can find Pete sharing his career knowledge and expertise through public speaking, writing, and as the host of the Finding Career Zen & Hire Calling podcasts.

Transcript

Pete Newsome  00:16
Welcome to the finding career zen podcast. I’m your host Pete Newsome, and my guest today is Rebecca Gill. 

Pete Newsome  00:22
Rebecca began her career as an accountant, but transitioned to technology sales and marketing executive to entrepreneur as the founder of a successful digital marketing agency, to international speaker, and now to alpaca farmer. Needless to say, Rebecca Gill is one of a kind. 

Pete Newsome  00:38
During her career, she supported organizations of all sizes from those with a specialized niche to the fortune 500. Her work has been recognized by GoDaddy, H refs, HubSpot, Wired Magazine, and many other top brands. 

Pete Newsome  00:52
Currently, Rebecca balances her time between taking on select clients as a highly sought after SEO consultant while running a physical and online retail store selling all things alpaca, to being a wife, a mom, and of course actually having to take care of those 50 alpacas. 

Pete Newsome  01:08
So with all that said, Rebecca, how in the heck did you have time to do this today?

Rebecca Gill  01:12
You just got to make priorities, and I almost had to bump you for babies coming in alpaca land. But the good news is I didn’t have to, so here we are today.

Pete Newsome  01:16
So you mentioned that to me the other day, you did give me a warning that at any given moment, you may have to disappear to take care of birthing an alpaca or two or three? I think, right? 

Rebecca Gill  01:32
Correct. Three are currently due on the farm, yes.

Pete Newsome  01:35
Wonderful. 

Pete Newsome  01:36
Well, I want to talk about how you actually got there. But before that, and before we even get to the success you’ve had throughout your career, I do want to just spend a couple of minutes on what you know, I understand from previous conversations to be what anyone would consider to be humble beginnings.

Pete Newsome  01:55
You did not have the easiest of paths to success, and a fairytale ending was far from a given. So do you mind spending a few minutes on that?

Rebecca Gill  02:04
No, not at all. 

Rebecca Gill  02:05
Yeah, so I grew up in northern Michigan, my early childhood years were spent with my parents. My mom had multiple sclerosis, and also had multiple personalities, she was a little mentally unbalanced. At age 11, I proactively became a ward of the state and moved in with my grandparents and my aunt at different times, I lived between them and started, you know, kind of a much different path. 

Rebecca Gill  02:35
It was like my very first pivot in life. But it taught me a lot of things, you know, when you grew up on public assistance, and you grew up in a small town, with just a lot of kind of chaos around you. You learn to be very self sufficient, and you learn to be a hard worker and to rely on yourself. 

Rebecca Gill  02:51
I say that, but it was also definitely a village that raised me in my little small town, and my graduation class of like, 100, there were lots and lots of people who suddenly were making efforts to help me along the way, whether it was giving me a part time job at 11, Ben Franklin, or helping me fill out, you know, free lunch program applications or even financial aid forms for college. 

Rebecca Gill  03:17
So because I didn’t really have parents to do that kind of stuff for me. And it became everybody else’s parents and the town that were kind of just, you know, scooped me up and helped me along the way, which was amazing.

Pete Newsome  03:28
So clearly, those experiences shaped who you’ve become. But when you’re looking back, a lot of people in that situation, you’re going to go in one of two ways, you’re going to go down the wrong path because everything on the path to success is very sharply uphill. So that’s a much harder path. 

Pete Newsome  03:52
What enabled you to go down there?

Pete Newsome  03:55
I mean, I’m sure you’ve thought about it over the years looking back, do you? Was there anything that comes to mind? Was it just, you know, intestinal fortitude who you are? Are there other influences that you can point to?

Rebecca Gill  04:08
I’ve always said that everything good in me came from my grandmother. I think she laid the groundwork for that, even though she didn’t have a ton of time to allocate to raising me. She did teach me fundamentals of life just doesn’t happen for you. 

Rebecca Gill  04:25
Like, if you want something, you need to work hard for it. I mean, she would tell me stories about when she grew up, she was a teenager in the Depression. Her mother looked at her and said, “You know, I can’t afford to feed you. So you have one of two options, go find a job or go get married,” and she married my grandfather, who she never loved and was married to him for like 50 years. 

Rebecca Gill  04:49
But like those were the kind of lessons that she was very frank with me about and just kind of knowing like the world in which I was living, you know, I was already kind of an adult in a child’s body. 

Rebecca Gill  05:00
She treated me like that and just, you know, it was like, no one’s going to hand you anything, like, go work for it, you know, make your own opportunities and don’t expect the world to just hand you things on a silver platter, because it’s never going to happen, you won’t be happy. 

Rebecca Gill  05:13
That was what she taught me. I took that, you know, kind of forward with me. But I will tell you, it’s like early childhood jobs, like at McDonald’s taught me a lot too of just, you know, if you want to, if you want something and you want good in your life, you got to work hard to get it. 

Rebecca Gill  05:29
I feel like that is been fundamentally, you know, part of my core sense, you know, being 11 or 12, or whatever the years were when I started actually working.

Pete Newsome  05:38
So 11 years old, you said you proactively made the decision to leave? 

Rebecca Gill  05:44
Yes. 

Pete Newsome  05:45
I’m thinking of my kids when they were 11. They certainly weren’t in that mode or mindset, and I’m not sure they would even know where to begin. So that’s terrifying to think about.

Rebecca Gill  05:59
When I say proactively, I was having, like, literally a breakdown at my house when I was 11. I just was mentally decomposing. I went up for Christmas with my grandparents to my aunt’s house, when it came time for me to leave, I was breaking down again. And they said, you know, you can stay. 

Rebecca Gill  06:22
So I called home on Christmas morning and told my parents, I wasn’t coming home. My parents were like, “Oh, yes, you are.” And I was like, oh, no, I’m not. And I wasn’t. And then it went from there, where I had to literally go to court sit in front of my dad inside the courtroom and say, I don’t want to live with you, I don’t want to come home. Like it’s not a good environment for me. 

Rebecca Gill  06:44
I’m making the choice to stay up here. Whether whoever I live with, that’s my choice. It’s like a sense of survival, right? Like, I knew I couldn’t go back. I knew it was very chaotic. My parents were also, by the way, in a cult, when I was young. 

Rebecca Gill  07:00
My mom was very embedded in the cult, and there was just so much chaos that it was feel like you can’t survive in that environment, or force with everything yet you can go into a new one that seems at the time healthier, and it was.

Pete Newsome  07:16
So the odds, I want to say they were stacked against you early on. 

Pete Newsome  07:22
But there’s something to be said, as I’ve heard others speak of their success, and the adversity that they had to deal with, I think, you know, while you wouldn’t wish this upon anyone, and you wouldn’t wish this for yourself, to some degree, it has to have shaped you for the better as life has gone on. 

Pete Newsome  07:41
It certainly prepared you for life in a harsh way, but an effective way.

Rebecca Gill  07:46
Oh absolutely.

Rebecca Gill  07:48
I’ve tried to like I would never want this for my own two children. But I’ve also taken what I’ve learned, and taught that to them, right? 

Rebecca Gill  07:56
Like, don’t expect, I’m not handing you everything, here’s the scope of your college fund, here’s the scope of what your expectations are, you know, and so that they can transfer a little bit of that over to help them without having them gonna go through the angst that I did. 

Rebecca Gill  08:15
I wouldn’t wish it on anybody. But I also looking back and feel very fortunate that I had those early experiences because it helped prepare me for my life I have today, which is really good.

Pete Newsome  08:26
Yeah, I think how you’re socialized, you know, without your choice is a huge factor, right? There’s what you have potential to become, but also what your environment has helped dictate, or hurt. 

Pete Newsome  08:42
In some cases, how much of that has been a factor on your parenting, where I think it’s a somewhat common theme, to be inclined to give your kids the life that you wanted and didn’t get to have, but also struggling with the thought that may not be what’s best for them in the long term.

Pete Newsome  09:04
Has that been a battle you’ve had to fight with yourself as a parent?

Rebecca Gill  09:11
As my kids are growing up, everybody was a helicopter parent, and it was that don’t you know, don’t fall into that trap because you don’t want your kids like you know, to have that I want them to be self sufficient. I want them if I were to disappear at any point, to be physically and mentally capable of going forward and not feeling shattered.

Rebecca Gill  09:32
If I was a helicopter parent, they wouldn’t have those you know that ability nor would they have the skill sets that they need when they leave the house and go on to college or have a job and so those were kind of like the boundaries that we set you know, I made sure they had all of that security all of you know, warn place to live and food on your plate and things that I worried about as a kid, but then also refuse to helicopter parent them. 

Rebecca Gill  09:56
To this day I say that.

Rebecca Gill  09:58
My son said to me one day recently, he’s 16. He’s like, “Did you sign up for driver’s training?” No, I did not. If you’re old enough and mature enough to drive, you’re old enough and mature enough to sign yourself up for driver’s training. 

Rebecca Gill  10:11
Those are the things that I do try to kind of push forward from my childhood, because I want them to be self sufficient and successful and happy with their ability to care for themselves in all, you know, in all ways.

Pete Newsome  10:24
You keyed on a word that I’ve been thinking about a lot. As I’ve started this new podcast, and talking with people who are either on the road to being successful or have already achieved success, is happiness, right? 

Pete Newsome  10:40
Like, it means something different to every person. But that sort of is the ultimate goal, I think.

Pete Newsome  10:47
As you’re talking, I’m thinking of a quote that I don’t know if it was attributed to Confucius, or it was just a Chinese, saying that’s been around, and no one really is sure where it originated. But I’ve thought about it a lot as a parent, and I don’t know that I’ve always followed this advice. But it’s, “The goal should be to prepare your child for the path, not the path for the child.” 

Pete Newsome  11:10
It’s such a perfect way to describe helicopter parenting. We both probably have many, many examples we could point to of where we’ve seen it, and the harm that it can do overtime.

Rebecca Gill  11:19
Oh, absolutely. 

Rebecca Gill  11:21
Even to this day, like last weekend, and I haven’t told you this, I had a mom come in with two children to my farm store wanting me to hire her kids. And it was helicopter parent the entire time. And I just kind of looked at her and I’m thinking to myself, your kids can’t even speak because you’re speaking for them. How am I supposed to hire them? 

Rebecca Gill  11:39
I mean, you know, and that’s it. And I’m the anti of that, you know, and I have a industry friend. And she said she had a very similar childhood in mind. 

Rebecca Gill  11:49
She said her kids would have referred to her as the UFO. Because she came in and swooped in, she was the unidentified flying object, they’re like, wait a minute, who is that because she also same as me wanted her kids to be sufficient and, you know, feel secure and be able to man for themselves take care of themselves, even though we can be there to help them.

Rebecca Gill  12:11
You know, it’s, it’s easy to kind of that decision of setting them up for success and happiness, and not reliant, not making their happiness and their success relying on somebody else. I think that’s the biggest thing. You know, we want our children to be happy. But I want them to be able to forge that themselves and find their own happiness, as opposed to me kind of shoving it down their throat. 

Pete Newsome  12:33
Well I think, I don’t know that you could be genuinely happy without some sense of accomplishment along the way, and knowing that you’ve achieved it for yourself.

Pete Newsome  12:42
If we look at so many examples of the most successful people out there having kids that are just absolute train wrecks, you know, sometimes very publicly, it sort of all ties in together is that you can hand someone everything, but it’s not going to buy happiness, right? It really does need to be achieved. 

Pete Newsome  13:02
So let’s go back to your 11 year old job, what was that? What did you do?

Rebecca Gill  13:07
So the family across from my aunt, in my little dinky town, were the wealthiest people in town, and they own multiple stores. And the dad was also a lawyer in town, from the bank board and everything. Well, one of their stores was a Ben Franklin. When the daughters which were my friends would have, like family in town, or could not work in the store. I was paid, I think $2 an hour to go work with the mom and make sure that nobody stole anything.

Pete Newsome  13:36
You were the enforcer.

Rebecca Gill  13:38
I was the Enforcer. 

Rebecca Gill  13:39
Like just kind of milling around the store. And you know, I mean, and I put things back and, you know, which was great because it gave me money. I didn’t have any money, so it gave me money. And it gave me something to do. And it gave me some purpose. 

Rebecca Gill  13:56
The other thing it did was it showed me that an adult had confidence in me. 

Rebecca Gill  13:59
What carried me had confidence in me, which was really critical at that point in my life. And  I don’t know if she, they have any clue. But I did go back in later years and thank them. 

Rebecca Gill  14:10
I was back in the town, I walked into the store and I was like, “You know what, I just want to thank you for being there for me as a kid.” 

Rebecca Gill  14:20
One of their third cousins, that’s my friend’s cousin was in my graduating class, and in my 20 year reunion, I remember telling him how instrumental his aunt and uncle were in my life and he could not believe it because he didn’t have that relationship with them. I was like, they took care of me in many ways that you know, you just didn’t know.

Pete Newsome  14:40
Wow, good for them, and good for you that you had someone to do that. 

Pete Newsome  14:45
I think you know, kids, as a youth sports coach. Oh, I say that having just coached my last basketball game for my eighth grader who will be now in high school so I’m hanging up the whistle but for years with all my kids, I’ve coached and one of the philosophies I’ve always had is and really has been proven by my own experiences until someone convinces me otherwise, I’ll continue to believe that kids and people generally rise to the bar that’s been set for them. 

Pete Newsome  15:17
So if your expectations are high, in your case, you’re given responsibility at a young age that most people wouldn’t give to someone who was 11, It’s impactful, it’s meaningful, and you may probably, I’m sure you didn’t realize that or acknowledge that feeling at the time, but you probably didn’t want to disappoint them, and that you were going to figure out how to get the job done.

Rebecca Gill  15:38
No, and I’m an introvert. So like, you know, take an 11 year old introvert that is really mentally unstable, and stick them in a store now, and they’re supposed to, you know, go and do things like that. But it took me outside of my comfort level. And, you know, like you’re saying, with coaching, the same in our house with our kids is don’t race to the bottom. 

Rebecca Gill  15:58
Like, I don’t expect you to be the top of the top, but do not set your expectations so that you’re racing to the bottom just because Jimmy is getting a C in Spanish doesn’t mean that that’s your bar right? Move your bar ahead. Find your own level of happiness and comfort, but definitely don’t be pushing that towards the bottom.

Pete Newsome  16:19
Well, when you take all these things into consideration together, happiness, while perhaps the ultimate goal isn’t going to be a given or shouldn’t have to be given along the way, right? You mentioned comfort level? Well, you have to be uncomfortable, a lot of times to evolve and grow and change.

Pete Newsome  16:40
I think this probably goes without saying, but I would expect you would consider a lot of your lessons that you’ve learned where you’ve improved, or successes, if you’ve had, you could probably draw a pretty direct line to a failure or frustration or challenge that you didn’t want, but encountered in order to achieve that evolution.

Rebecca Gill  17:05
Absolutely, especially being a female in tech, or being a female in automotive, which I worked for, for a while, which was a very male dominated environment that, you know, many generations, you know, people were coming. It’s like a legacy you came in because your grandpa worked there, and your dad worked there. And now you’re an intern, and now you’re working there, and here I come in a female off the street, you know, flopping into this job. 

Rebecca Gill  17:30
It’s that is probably one of the biggest challenges I’ve had in my career because I was going against the grain in every single sense of the word, you know, coming into an organization like that. And when I think of challenges, that was one of the biggest ones because I can’t change a culture that is in a Fortune 500 company that’s been there from his existence, it’s just not going to happen.

Pete Newsome  17:54
So let’s talk about that. So you went after school? You majored in accounting?

Rebecca Gill  18:03
Correct. 

Pete Newsome  18:03
You didn’t continue that very long, if at all right? So get into that a little bit in how you ended up in technology sales, and then in marketing. 

Rebecca Gill  18:15
Yes, so my first job out of college was keeping in mind, it was a recession at the time graduating, had student loans, no parents to back me up like there was no family, my grandma had already passed, and my mom had passed, I was on my own. I had to get a job. So I went to Accountemps. And they placed me at this small business, which was a technology company and I was supposed to be like filing papers and things like that for an acquisition that they had done. 

Rebecca Gill  18:42
Then they are desperate. So they added this new ERP software system. And they trained mostly they had this guy named Jeff was another temp trained me how to enter in orders for like sales orders. 

Rebecca Gill  18:54
Three days later, I retrained Jeff on how to do it properly, because apparently, I love software. And I didn’t know it. I mean, I just fell in love with this system. 

Pete Newsome  19:04
I have to interrupt and say that is the most Rebecca Gill thing I think you could possibly do. 

Rebecca Gill  19:09
That I love software? 

Pete Newsome  19:10
No, that you’ve learned it from someone who you then retrained properly three days later. So based on all of our interactions, and working together, I think that your path was pretty set early on. 

Rebecca Gill  19:22
Oh yes. 

Rebecca Gill  19:23
Well, and like you know, the funny thing was, back then they didn’t know any better. They gave me access to the full ERP system, I had access to the general ledger, the setup of the system, and that was 1000 screens. I’m like poking into everything and figuring out what it was. And it was amazing to me how the data went from here to there, and it control this national company. 

Rebecca Gill  19:42
I thought the whole thing was just amazing. And because of that, I fell in love with it. And I ended up being their operations manager. And you know, and working there for over three years until one of their competitors came and tried to lure me away. Because I just fell in love with the software and to me it was truly amazing that, you know, to go from this helpless child who lived in chaos, to all of a sudden with software, I could move things all around the country.

Rebecca Gill  20:11
I could actually be responsible for shutting down Dell computers because they had no barcodes at the end of the production line and everything shut down. I mean, you know, it’s just things like that, that I thought were, or I could be the hero, and make sure the Department of Defense had their barcode so that they could keep bringing business. I mean, it was just, you know, it was amazing to me. And so that was, that was like my first job that I had out of college. 

Rebecca Gill  20:35
I learned a lot there because the constraints that you have with the situation that you’re brought in, like a temp doesn’t mean anything, no one cared about my degree, once I was in there, really, that, you know, my accounting principles and understanding basics of accounting were great. 

Rebecca Gill  20:52
But nobody asked me my GPA, it was really how hard you work. And you know, how well can you take what you’ve learned, and apply it to improve processes and things like that. And that was a really good foundation for the rest of my career.

Pete Newsome  21:07
So two things really jumped out at me just then, one is, once again, you rose to the occasion of being handed a responsibility you probably weren’t qualified for, or certainly, a company with a lot of oversight wouldn’t have granted you that responsibility, and power. 

Pete Newsome  21:26
But also, it wasn’t how you came in. It’s what you did when you got there, which led to your success in that role. And that is such a powerful thing because you figured it out, you took ownership and accountability for your own success, it sounds like, and didn’t wait on anyone to hand it to you.

Rebecca Gill  21:45
No, and I thoroughly enjoyed it too. I mean, I absolutely loved that job for years. I would work 60/70 hours a week, you know, and I got paid overtime. Which was also wonderful, because I could help pay off my student loans, but I truly enjoyed it. 

Rebecca Gill  22:03
Quite frankly, I think I actually love the software more than the job, which is how I ended up going to work for the software company who created, you know, who had created the software that we used.

Pete Newsome  22:12
So you changed jobs, right? You recruited out of that role.

Rebecca Gill  22:17
So the competitor recruited me for a sales position, and I accepted it. I had a non compete at the time, which everyone else in the organization did when they left and they never went after anybody. 

Rebecca Gill  22:33
Well, the company decided to sue me and go after me. So like all of I don’t know what I was 26 or 27 all of a sudden, I was in court with a non compete violation. 

Rebecca Gill  22:43
And when asked, you know, why were they going after me? You know, brand new, I’m young, right? I’m not going to a sales role. I don’t know anything about sales, they said the answer was, “The vendor community really likes you when we consider that to be a threat.”

Pete Newsome  22:57
That’s a compliment.

Rebecca Gill  23:00
But that was a lot of stress. Lesson learned for me never sign one of those again, even though they never enforced it, like don’t ever do that. 

Rebecca Gill  23:08
But my savior was the software company came in and they said, “We’ll make this all go away, you know, your contract with us, says we can’t hire your employees, we’ll hire her away from the competitor takes the non compete issue away, and we’ll make sure we pay her enough that she won’t leave for a while.” And they did. 

Rebecca Gill  23:26
I mean, I doubled my salary overnight. And then I got to work with software that I loved. I stayed there for many years, you know, and just was really, really happy.

Pete Newsome  23:34
So your motivation at the time had nothing to do with financial gain, professional gain, title, anything like that, although you did end up I think with a much greater title as you made that move. But it was really just love of what you’re doing.

Rebecca Gill  23:50
And love for software, which is just you know, I would never have guessed that, you know, that would be part of my life, but it has followed me everywhere. 

Rebecca Gill  23:59
Even in my alpaca, you know, world that software that love for software and ability to jump in has definitely just kind of grown with me.

Pete Newsome  24:07
Well, having worked with you so we didn’t talk about this beginning, but Rebecca and I met about a year and a half ago now. It seems like a lot longer. It really does. 

Rebecca Gill  24:17
I grow on you like fungus. 

Pete Newsome  24:19
No, in the way that, it’s hard for me to stop and acknowledge that we’ve only known each other that long because we’ve done a lot together in that time. 

Pete Newsome  24:30
But Rebecca has been working as a SEO consultant and Guru and mentor and at some times just absolutely the leader of a lot of things that we’re doing in the marketing space. 

Pete Newsome  24:45
When I think of what I would expect to make sense to you in your job that would be attractive and appealing is order. 

Pete Newsome  24:54
You seem to like order and you call us out very quickly, we can tend to be a little scattered and running in different directions. And you’re very insistent that we keep everything centered, not to be distracted.

Rebecca Gill  25:11
So I definitely have OCD in my personality and struggle with it. And I’m a very linear thinker. You know, everything, like you said, has an order, and it has a path and a process that you go through, which is one of the reasons why I’ve always, you know, enjoyed SEO.

Rebecca Gill  25:28
SEO means search engine optimization, it’s both a puzzle, but it’s also a very structured process when it’s done right. You know, that you go through, and then you get to see the results. So, you know, for that person that loves the thrill of the hunt, and sales and things like that, it’s a set, it’s a very satisfying role because you get to work hard, and you get to see your results.

Rebecca Gill  25:51
You may not see your results for two or four months, but you definitely get to see them. And just like going back to the day of, you know, when I could manage that the software in that company and move goods across the country and make an impact, to like Dell computers, I learned with search engine optimization, I could control Google results, that was pretty amazing. 

Rebecca Gill  26:12
For a kid who grew up with so much outside of her control and living in chaos, to wow, I can actually control what shows up on page one of Google. I mean, it was like it, you know, I think that’s probably one of the reasons why graduate to it, or you gravitate to it because it is the sense of control that I’ve always seeked.

Pete Newsome  26:30
Yeah from chaos, you know, it’s the opposite of what was forced upon you. And, you know, it’s manifested perhaps in that way, right, whether conscious or otherwise.

Rebecca Gill  26:43
Yes. 

Pete Newsome  26:43
I really, I think that’s a fascinating thing. And when I think of software, I think of order and objectivity, as opposed to what has been most of my world throughout my career as a salesperson is very subjective, right? 

Pete Newsome  26:58
I mean, it’s, you know, whether it’s unpredictable, or just changes from minute to minute, where you’re in a world that that’s data driven now, and that’s what you’ve taken to.

Rebecca Gill  27:11
Yeah, and you know, even though like you said, it’s predictable, Google changes its algorithm like 12 times a day right now. I mean, it’s completely ludicrous, but you just kind of got to write it out. And, you know, understand that, overall, you do know what’s going on, and then you’re the process doesn’t change.

Rebecca Gill  27:31
I mean, there is still that structure, that no matter what chaos Google throws at you, you’re still going to plug ahead and still going to do it, you know, kind of work through but you’re right, like software, half the time doesn’t work. It is chaotic. 

Rebecca Gill  27:43
But that’s okay.

Pete Newsome  27:44
Well, I guess we kissed a few frogs along the way in our marketing evolution, before we found you, and everyone else was so focused on SEO, in terms of the keywords and what it would generate, where our experience with you has been, well that’s critical, and you are our SEO guru. 

Pete Newsome  28:12
But you’ve always insisted that quality matters more than anything else. And it made that point very, very strongly, which is why it resonated with us, because I cared significantly less about SEO and only about quality in the information that we were providing, given the critical nature of it, careers, jobs, livelihoods. And so it’s been, I think, a really neat combination. 

Pete Newsome  28:34
So your perspective on that is different and unique. I think that’s what makes you so much better than everyone else at what you do. 

Pete Newsome  28:43
Yeah, I mean, you’re probably not surprised to hear that, but everyone else needs to know that too, who’s listening.

Rebecca Gill  28:43
Thank you. 

Pete Newsome  28:50
So you’re having a successful career, working for big companies. How did you make the decision ultimately, to go out on your own? Was there a catalyst that led to that? Was this something you’ve thought about doing for a while?

Rebecca Gill  29:06
No. So you know, like, growing up poor, I wanted health insurance. I wanted a place to live, I wanted, you know, food on my plate. So I would never have gone out on my own. Like, that’s not I stayed at jobs for as long as I could. You know, I just wouldn’t have done that. That’s too much risk for someone who has tried to mitigate risk her entire life. 

Rebecca Gill  29:29
But the situation changed at my job that I loved and I had been with them for, I think like seven or eight years in total.  

Rebecca Gill  29:39
Personnel change and I found myself in a very unhealthy environment. And it was so unhealthy that I one day put myself in the ER for eight hours. And it took them eight hours to stabilize me. I’m a type one diabetic and I was so preoccupied with this distress of what was going on. I mixed up my insulin And if I hadn’t gotten to the ER, right when I went and I waited like 15 more minutes, I probably would not have made it into the ER. 

Rebecca Gill  30:09
But I did, I got there stayed for eight hours. So they could stabilize me and I went home and my husband just looked at me and he was like, we need to change, like, you have got to quit. And unfortunately, it was, again, a recession, he worked in automotive, and automotive was the first hit with that recession. And we were hit really hard in the state of Michigan, we had no idea whether he was going to have a job the next day.

Rebecca Gill  30:33
I remember, there were no jobs. I watched LinkedIn all the time. And there were no jobs on LinkedIn at that, you know, you know, like, you could just see, like, there was one page of job listings for what I would do. And that was it. And I’m like, Oh, my gosh, like, what am I going to do? 

Rebecca Gill  30:44
The only option was to try to go and create my own work. So I did because I mean, I had to leave for my own physical health. So I just started, I created a website, and I started to blog and you know, share on social media, and I remember my husband back then going, how is this going to work? I’m like, I think it’ll work. How is it going to work? I’m like, I’m going to blog. I’m going to use social media. And he just remember looking at me like I was crazy. And I said, No, I think I’m going to do what I would have done. 

Rebecca Gill  31:14
And sure enough, you know, people in my old industry because I didn’t have a noncompete any entry point. Were coming to me and started hiring me. And when I think it was like six months, I was back to a six-figure salary working for myself.

Pete Newsome  31:27
Which is crazy in a number for a number of reasons. 

Pete Newsome  31:32
You did it during the housing market crash, when being in staffing, I can tell you that you’re right. No one was hiring tumbleweeds were blowing by back then. And our phone rang all day, every day. 

Pete Newsome  31:47
Well, first, it rang for a few months, where we cringed every time because we knew it was going to be bad news from a client laying off contractors. And then our phone rang all day with candidates looking for jobs. And it was an awful time to the opposite of the time that we’re in now, quite frankly, where we would just tell people sorry, we have nothing and we see nothing on the horizon. 

Pete Newsome  32:12
Being in technology, in IT staffing, in particular, IT projects get cut first, you know, anything that isn’t mission critical gets put on the backburner. 

Pete Newsome  32:24
So you’re being hired for things that weren’t mission critical at that time, which is crazy to me because it just shows how valuable you know, you were seen for someone who could deliver things for your clients, or what was becoming your, your new clients, I guess, in a time where no one was spending money on anything like that.

Rebecca Gill  32:48
Well, they have seen the success that I had done with the former employer, where they were nowhere to be found in Google. And we were on page one for like everything. And I had competed against Microsoft and Oracle and SAP and beat them on SEO. And, you know, we were showing up in articles and news magazines, and you know, getting awards and things like this, and they wanted that. 

Rebecca Gill  33:08
They figured if I could do it for them, I could do it for somebody else, which is accurate. You can it’s you know, it’s a formula that you just repeat and you tweak, you know, based on the company in the target demographic, but I do feel very fortunate and my husband’s like, I cannot believe like you, somehow you like slipped and fell into this big pile of poo and you came out smelling like roses. 

Rebecca Gill  33:30
But, you know, that was always what his joke was. And, you know, that was back in 2009. And the agency is still going today. And we still have you know, clients and like, I joke with you and say you’ll get rid of me when you’re done with me right? 

Rebecca Gill  33:46
I don’t have a lot of long monthly contracts or go on contracts. It’s month to month. But I’ve had clients you know, for 7-11 years.

Pete Newsome  33:54
Why do you think, so you were successful and are successful at your craft, clearly. But there’s many others who tried to do it. Most aren’t nearly as good. Do you know that? I know that. Why do you think you’re significantly better? What led to your success?

Rebecca Gill  34:14
I think one of the biggest things is I didn’t chase money, right? And you know, when a client’s not a good fit, or I don’t think that I can help them I never take them on. I sit you know if I think the client’s going in the wrong direction. I’ll stand up and tell them no, and I’ll refuse to do something if I know it’s going to jeopardize, you know, the work that they that we’ve done or their goals and their objectives. 

Rebecca Gill  34:37
I think that’s a big thing. And the fact that I’m willing to walk away I have fired clients that wouldn’t listen, that we’re doing things that were damaging. And you know, or just, I’ve departed from people where I said like, this isn’t working. You know, you’re not going to get the return on your investment. 

Rebecca Gill  34:54
Here are the reasons why, it is just like I don’t want your money because I only want people that are going to be happy with the results. And I think that’s a huge difference with the people I compete with, to be able to walk away. 

Rebecca Gill  35:10
And you know, maybe that goes back to when I was 11. And I just walked away from home and you know, on Christmas morning, I don’t know. But it’s why I say I don’t I try to mitigate risk I absolutely do. But I’m also completely okay with taking hard stances when it needs to be done. And that’s whether it’s myself or with clients.

Pete Newsome  35:28
So this podcast is going to be as we do more episodes, and this is early on, but I’m really quickly becoming enamored with the concept of success, how it’s achieved, something I’ve always thought a lot about, but my perspective has changed. 

Pete Newsome  35:45
I mentioned this in the introductory episode that I did, that I really didn’t used to associate with financial success. But that happiness word that came up again, right you just mentioned, it really is an individual thing. And it means something different to everyone. 

Pete Newsome  36:05
But I do think there are some recurring themes that I’m going to encounter that’s my working theory, that’s unfolding right now. And one of them is confidence in being able to know what you don’t want to do, don’t like to do aren’t willing to do as much as what you think you want to do. Because you have to figure that out along the way, too. That’s what you just described in terms of the business that you weren’t willing to take because it wasn’t a good fit.

Rebecca Gill  36:34
Yeah, and I think success and happiness changes over time, right, like what I would have considered to be successful in my 20s, you know, and in my 30s, and in my 40s and in my 50s, where I am now has definitely shifted. You know, you like when you’re in your 20s. or at least for me, I wanted health insurance, I wanted, you know, a solid paycheck, I wanted to feel wanted and needed at my job. I wanted to do a good job, right? 

Rebecca Gill  37:00
As opposed to and then I get into my 30s. And it’s like, okay, now I’ve got kids, I need a job that can be a little bit flexible, and you know, so don’t miss out on everything, you know, there’s, it just kind of shifted.

Rebecca Gill  37:11
Then I get to my 40s and I’m working for myself, heck, man, if I want on Fridays, and take the day off and go up to my cottage for the weekend, I want to be able to do that I want to be able to work from my cottage if I want to for the entire week with my kids.

Rebecca Gill  37:23
You know, and now I’m in my 50s and I work part time in consulting, and I work part time on the farm. That’s happiness for me. Because that’s balance, you know, to the life that I have, it creates a lot of where I’ve always wanted structure that farm life brings in the unknown. 

Rebecca Gill  37:42
As you said, I’ve got three babies coming in, it could pop out at any time. But there’s like a new equilibrium to my life and to the stage of my life. 

Rebecca Gill  37:53
And I think it also my personality is I think it really heads down like I’ve missed client meetings, because I’m heads down on a task, and I totally forget about the call. You know, that’s the way I am. And having like that farm life stops me from doing that. And it creates a little bit more balance where I just, you know, it’s my personally not to have.

Pete Newsome  38:14
Yeah, that’s a tough thing. I mean, has that been an interesting adjustment, where you just have to switch back and forth? 

Pete Newsome  38:23
You know, I think of when I go on vacation if I’m actually on vacation and not and not working. It’s hard for me to get back into that work mode, I think your mind and your body physically, I don’t know, the biology behind it, but I think it’s real. And your life kind of goes back and forth, which I don’t know that most people could do what you’re doing.

Rebecca Gill  38:49
I used to be like you, I used to go on vacation for seven days, and I could be in Jamaica at an all inclusive resort and it would take me two days to settle myself down and just kind of disconnect from work and stop worrying about everybody’s problems. 

Rebecca Gill  39:02

And, you know, I mean, I still have if something happens with a client, I’m up at three o’clock in the morning worrying about it and wanting to go fix it right? Just without question. 

Rebecca Gill  39:12
However, having part time digital and part time analog, what you know, the farm has made that go away. I don’t because I’m not all encompassing, including, you know, thrown into the digital job. I don’t have that issue of disconnecting anymore. 

Rebecca Gill  39:31
And it’s really, it’s gotten very easy for me to bounce back and you know, between the two, which is really important at this stage of my life because that is part of, you know, that’s what I need to be happy. 

Rebecca Gill  39:42
Which like I said is far different than what in my 20s. My 20s I wanted to be all encompassed in my job. I wanted to live and breathe my job because that was security and consistency. It provided consistency that I didn’t have growing and I really liked it. And you know, and I enjoyed it. Now I’m like, No, I don’t really need that anymore, I’m okay.

Pete Newsome  40:05
Well, the security is huge. When you didn’t have it, you’ve achieved it, and you’re able to change your outlook as a result, I think, you know, you’re in a fortunate position to be able to do that, and one that I expect most people, whether they realize it or not, are striving to get there. 

Pete Newsome  40:25
Where money, well, it shouldn’t be the top thing someone chases, it has to be part of the conversation, it has to be relevant because, to me, money represents options. And more money you have, the more options you have, and those who have no money have figured out how to earn enough yet to have those options. It’s tough, it’s a tough life. 

Pete Newsome  40:49
And so when I’m speaking to anyone young about their career, it would be remiss if I didn’t interject that into the conversation because while you may want to go and just be on the beach all day, you know, selling ice cream, you know, from person to person, I don’t know if that’s actually a thing anyone does. 

Pete Newsome  41:11
But you have to be able to make a certain income, eventually, in order to have any kind of options as life goes on. And so the blend of all these things, you just can’t separate them. I’ve learned and so as your career progressed, as your agency achieved success, you’re able to start living the life you want to but you had to work for it, you had to earn it first.

Rebecca Gill  41:37
Oh, absolutely. 

Rebecca Gill  41:38
My husband and I are both right, my husband retired at 47, and I think he was 47 or 48, from automotive, and he works on the farm. And trust me, it’s not a full time job, he’s working on the farm. But you know, that was working hard in our 20s, and our 30s, and our 40s and contributing to our 401 K’s, you know, to making sure that we’ve got savings, and we have good savings for retirement, that’s how we could retire early. 

Rebecca Gill  42:02
You know, it was chasing those promotions at the time. And having that balance between happiness now or I mean, we were happy but you know, sacrificing things early on in life, and making sure that you’ve got yourself set up. So you can do what you want later in life. 

Rebecca Gill  42:19
Other people want to be able to have complete freedoms when their 20s and their 30s. And you know, everybody’s got to find that balance for them and what makes them happy. 

Rebecca Gill  42:28
But I would tell like, you know, listeners to this, especially if you’re young in your career, like, be introspective, know who you are, know what you are now, and you know, what you might want to be later in life. And make sure the decisions that you’re making and the careers that you’re you know, the path that you’re,  putting yourself on are going to support that both now and in the future. 

Rebecca Gill  42:53
And I think that that’s important, and for the love of God start contributing to your 401 K, the very first job like don’t ever do that.

Pete Newsome  43:02
No doubt, compounded interest is a powerful thing. So make sure you’re taking advantage of that. But what you said is so important. 

Pete Newsome  43:13
So I want to reiterate it and make sure I got the main point which is know where you want to end up, right, you know, try to figure that out as soon as possible. And then work to get there because it happens for everyone at different times in different ways. 

Pete Newsome  43:30
But I think if you keep that focus in mind and like you said, lower your time preference, right, don’t discount the future for today. And that is such an important thing that I’ve learned as my life has gone on. Is that yeah, I have to take care of the moment. But I should always be doing that with an eye on tomorrow. Am I taking care of what I want today for today? Or am I taking care of it tomorrow and tomorrow should always be considered in anything you do.

Rebecca Gill  44:01
Absolutely. 

Rebecca Gill  44:01
Like, you know, for us, you know, both my parents are gone. They didn’t ever see anywhere close to like a retirement not even anywhere near it, right? 

Rebecca Gill  44:10
My husband’s father died in his early 50s, he didn’t get to have his retirement, you know? And it’s like, do we want to like work forever and wait until we’re 65 to enjoy retirement and you know, what we consider the golden years? Or do we want to do things now? And you know, having the alpaca farm for us as part of doing it now. 

Rebecca Gill  44:30
You know, we don’t want to like wait forever, you know, for those types of things. We want to incorporate it into our life now. And that was one of the reasons why my husband retired early, we moved out of the city and we moved in the middle of nowhere. 

Pete Newsome  44:43
Now I don’t I don’t know enough how he spends his day but I do know from you, you’re very accessible. When we’re working together, I know you put in lots of hours on digital marketing with your clients that you have now, but it also seems like You are very busy on weekends. You talked about driving out of state with the alpacas. You have you host big events on the farm. So I bet if you added it all up, you work a whole lot more than a full time job today.

Rebecca Gill  45:15
So I mean, I have a retail store that I’m in Friday, Saturday, and Sunday right now, we do tours on the farm. You know, we’ve had like the Big Brothers and Big Sisters and do events for them, you know, things like that, as well as, like you said, go to New York and pick up a bunch of alpacas and bring them back. And we do the for each program for kids and things like that. 

Rebecca Gill  45:36
It does all work, right? But it is also, there’s a difference between doing something that you hate and doing something that you enjoy, you know, and having, like, I enjoy SEO, I enjoy working with clients, I only keep clients I like, you know, I only have clients that I like, I’m clearly I like you, you know, I’m encouraging you to do more and more as opposed to try to, you know, limit you down. 

Pete Newsome  45:59
Well, who doesn’t? Rebecca? 

Rebecca Gill  46:01
Yeah, who doesn’t like you? 

Pete Newsome  46:02
I’ll give you a list later. 

Rebecca Gill  46:05
It’s liking what you do and enjoying what you do. That doesn’t make it seem like I’m working 50 hours a week because even like last night, it’s eight o’clock, I’m printing out labels because we have shared several packages in a day. And it’s the first time I’ve had to do it. And I should have done two weeks ago, you know, but it just needs to get done. But I don’t mind it, because I do enjoy what I do.  

Rebecca Gill  46:27
I’ve made conscious decisions to get to this point in my life and in my career, you know, and just life in general. And it’s okay, like, I don’t mind it. 

Rebecca Gill  46:35
And that, you know, that is like the true sense of happiness, I would say, you know, when you can spend 10 hours a day being busy, and you don’t get to sit down to like eight o’clock at night. And if you look back at your day, and your day is good. That’s a good day to me.

Pete Newsome  46:51
That’s a good day. 

Pete Newsome  46:52
Yeah, I tell my kids and I would tell any young person this that the goal should be to find something you’d wake up and do. Whether there’s money involved or not.

Rebecca Gill  47:02
Yes.

Pete Newsome  47:02
Back to that, because it doesn’t feel like work, it certainly doesn’t feel like a job. And you can just immerse yourself in and that’s how you’re going to be the best at whatever it is you’re doing. Or the best that you can be at that is to wake up thinking about it, go to bed thinking about it, not because you’re worrying. But because you’re enthusiastic. 

Pete Newsome  47:23
And you know, I talked about this, we talked about this all the time, I discovered marketing, only about four years ago after ignoring it for my entire career and ignoring it for the first 13 years with 4 Corner Resources, our staffing company, where our website was five pages, and I would say stupid things like what the heck do you put on a staffing company website, there are so many words to use to describe it. 

Pete Newsome  47:51
Naive to say the least. But I discovered it not even looking for it, but looking to do new things I was spending, and I still do today. How do we improve the business? How do we evolve? How do we do things no one else is doing? How do we serve our clients better? 

Pete Newsome  48:06
And through that constant effort, it took me a long time to end up finally getting to marketing on the list of different things. And I absolutely fell in love with it. And it is the thing I think about it at night in the morning when I’m not with my family or friends. And I wish that feeling for everyone.

Pete Newsome  48:27
Like I want everyone to know what that feels like, specifically my kids. as obscure as it may be right? Whatever it is whether you want to research, you know, people will say things like don’t get don’t major in history, there’s no money in that. Well, who cares? 

Pete Newsome  48:46
If you want to devote your life to reading historical texts or knowing about some, again, maybe obscure part of history and become an expert and know everything about it like me that should be the goal. Worry about how you’re going to make money later. Just try to be the absolute best version of yourself. You can be with something and I think I think things tend to take care of themselves.

Rebecca Gill  49:13
I wish you would have told me that when I was 20 and in college.

Pete Newsome  49:16
Because I did not go that path. 

Pete Newsome  49:19
Well, I wasn’t told that and I don’t think many of us anyone our age was told that you know, we were told to get a job. Right? You didn’t even have to tell you that. It’s out. Yeah, you were. You just knew you had to get a job because you had bills to pay. And I think of that particular phrase now as sort of a demoralizing thing to say to a young person, right? Don’t just get a job. 

Pete Newsome  49:41
Like, find something that you are willing to sacrifice time spent doing other things. So find something that you’re willing to immerse yourself in again, don’t study it, learn it, and just dive into it, whatever it is, and I think that it should be the goal, even if it means living in your car for six months and sweeping floors to pay the bills while you’re working for free somewhere as a volunteer to learn that thing, whatever it is, like, we should all be so lucky to find that. 

Pete Newsome  50:16
And yeah, it took me almost 50 years, right? Yeah, I mean, that’s the word right, which I was so dismissive of, for early on in my career is like my passion, be passionate about things outside of work. Well, sure. But if you can combine the two, that is powerful.

Rebecca Gill  50:31
Well, think about it this way use, like, how many of your hours per week per month per year do you spend at your job? Right? It’s a huge portion of your life, and you want it to be something that you enjoy. 

Rebecca Gill  50:45
I mean, back in college, and in high school, I loved psychology, and I would have loved to have gone into psychology. I still love it today. But I didn’t, because I was worried about having the ability to get a job in the recession. So I became an accountant. I hate accounting. Like, I’m never going to do accounting. I mean, I don’t even do my own taxes, I hire someone to do my taxes, right? Because I hate it. I don’t want to do it too boring for me. 

Rebecca Gill  51:08
I wish back you know if I could go back and talk to myself back then I would have told myself go get that. Go get that psychology degree. And now somehow it’ll work itself out even if you have to wait tables after college till you can find the right job, right? Go do that. And I didn’t. 

Rebecca Gill  51:26
So what do I do? I try to bring psychology into my life, which is in the marketing world that I do with the digital. I use psychology with my alpacas and behavior modification and the sales process and everything else because I didn’t follow what I was passionate about back then. 

Rebecca Gill  51:43
You know, and if you’re like, 20, listening to this, like reevaluate what you truly are passionate about, because like pizza, and you want to be able to proactively with enthusiasm and excitement, think about what you do for work, and how you make money. Because that’s how you will have happiness and how you’re going to be successful. 

Rebecca Gill  52:05
You can’t be successful at something you stickin hate, there’s just no way like, it’s, it’s a grind to go. Like if you know, this is always kind of my rule. Like, if Sunday comes, and I’m dying, because I have to go back to work on Monday. And like I’m dreading every moment until I walk into that office or open up my computer. That’s a problem. 

Rebecca Gill  52:24
Like, nobody should live like that. And if you can make a change, pivot to what you can find, you know what you are passionate about, and spend your time doing that.

Pete Newsome  52:33
And that point you just made? I’m glad you did because I was going to mention it, it’s okay if you hear that statement and don’t know even where to begin. It just is active in your pursuit of finding it, right?

Rebecca Gill  52:50
And open, right? Open to possibilities.

Pete Newsome  52:54
But don’t sit back and wait. If you don’t feel that you’re on the path to where you want to, well, if you don’t know where you want to end up, you have to get out and experience more things and make changes, especially while you’re young. Because as life goes on, and your responsibilities grow, your flexibility is limited. And so that’s why it’s such an important message for young people. 

Pete Newsome  53:17
And too often they get the wrong one, in my opinion, of being told to grow up fast and get a job we want you I’m encouraging responsibility. I’m encouraging accountability. But I’m encouraging as much as anything else exploration of figuring out what will motivate you over time, what is your long term goal? And don’t confuse activity and actions with results.

Pete Newsome  53:42
Results will come if the action is high. I mean, one of my kids right now has expressed to me recently, one of my college students who said, I don’t know what my thing is yet. I’m like, that’s okay, keep fighting. You have time. You’re 20 years old. And I think he said something along the lines of well, yeah, but I don’t want to be 24 and not know. 

Pete Newsome  54:04
Like, why not? Who cares it’s just an age as long as it doesn’t matter, when you find it, all I expect of you is to keep trying and to put forth your best effort. And I’m confident that it’ll come. So it’s a work in progress, you know until it doesn’t need to be anymore. 

Pete Newsome  54:25
So you said something that I was going to ask you so but I’ll rephrase it a little bit. You said, If you could go back and talk to a 20 year old Rebecca, but what if you could, what if you had that time machine? 

Pete Newsome  54:35
That’s a question that I always think of for myself and I like to ask people in interviews, what would you say would you really say given everything you know now, given where you are now, would you really say go pursue psychology? 

Rebecca Gill  54:49
I would.

Pete Newsome  54:49
You would knowing right now, that would take you down a completely different path? You wouldn’t probably be where you are now.

Rebecca Gill  54:57
I absolutely would.

Rebecca Gill  54:58
I mean like I’m a highly sensitive person, I’m a room watcher, right? I can’t help but watch a room and watch everybody’s expressions and process what that means and think about it. And, you know, use that, I’m very empathetic, which is funny, because I used to think I wasn’t, and now I realize I’m to a fault. 

Rebecca Gill  55:18
You know, in various ways, I want to do good for people, right? I want to help people, that’s just part of my, I want to take care of people, it’s part of my nature, you know, whether that’s always been who I am, or my early childhood with the stigma made me, you know, kind of open to that. But all of that leads to like psychology and the fascinate, and I find the brain fascinating. And there’s just so much, I wish I would have done that. 

Rebecca Gill  55:48
And I don’t have regret not doing it. But if I could go back, I would encourage myself to take that path, and give myself that time for that exploration, at least to get the degree, you know, to see if you really did like it and, you know, not just go into something that you really don’t like. 

Rebecca Gill  56:06
And the funniest thing is, you know, back in college, the accounting students and the marketing students were always like, in the same areas of our college, and the marketing kids were the ones that flunked out of the accounting classes. That was like their step down that they took, and the path that they went because it was easier classes. 

Rebecca Gill  56:24
And, you know, I looked back at that, and I was like, I would have probably really enjoyed the marketing classes back then, even though at the time, you know, I kind of look my nose down to them. But knowing now that it intersects with psych or inner intertwines with psychology a lot, I probably would have really, really liked it. And that may have been my path had I allowed myself to explore it, which I didn’t. And I, you know, I wish I would have done that as well.

Pete Newsome  56:47
Maybe except that back then the marketing classes consisted of like how to sell, you know, why the logo on Camel cigarettes is what it is, and how to get people to buy based on.

Rebecca Gill  56:58
It’s a little bit different than what it is today. But I mean, and I can’t go back, and I can’t change what I did, but I can encourage others that I talk to, you know, whether it’s young professionals that want mentoring, or it’s my own children to, you know, really follow what you want to do.

Rebecca Gill  57:15
My 16 year old son is very adamant about going to get in degree and coming back and running the farm. And we keep telling him, you know, we’d love for you to do that. But it’s okay to not do that, too. If you want to go and you know, have a career in the office, or you want to be a welder, or a plumber, or an electrician, like, you know, we don’t care what that is, as long as you find something that you are happy doing, and that you don’t dread to go to work every day.

Pete Newsome  57:40
I think that people who found it and are comfortable with where they are, give that advice more genuinely. So you said, you’re empathetic. And I think you’re genuine, you know, as much as anything else, you are always going to say what you believe and mean. 

Pete Newsome  57:56
And we need more of that, you know, that in the world a lot more. So I think those things are tied together. Because I think by default, that is being empathetic, even if at times it’s saying things that need to be said for someone’s own good, even if they don’t want to hear it at the moment. So I would expect that’s how you parent just knowing.

Rebecca Gill  58:21
It is, right?

Rebecca Gill  58:23
But again, it’s also I think, to be okay with the consequences. 

Rebecca Gill  58:30
I mean, you have to be okay with the consequences to be able to allow yourself to be able to say that, and then some people just don’t have that personality, you know, or that experience that allows them to do it. And I’m thankful that I can because I think it served me well. And I think it served my clients well too.

Pete Newsome  58:45
So you like psychology, I like sociology, that was a course that I took towards the end of my senior year because the kids who flunk out of business school went into marketing, the ones who flunked out of marketing went to social sciences where I was. So I was a poli sci major. 

Pete Newsome  59:01
But the sociology class that I took was fascinating to me. And if I hit the point where I don’t need to work anymore, I will probably go back and pursue potentially an advanced degree there, because I’m so fascinated by that. And one of the things that I think the world needs a lot more of as I think of success and how it’s achieved and how young people can pursue it is don’t be afraid to be vulnerable along the way.

Pete Newsome  59:31
When you mentioned consequences, If you’re going to be truly honest in your words and your messaging, then that takes a level of vulnerability that most people don’t want to display right now. And I think social media has been a big part of that because all we see is how great everything is. 

Pete Newsome  59:49
When day to day life is tough. It’s challenging. It’s frustrating. So you’re at a good place now because you’ve had to climb that mountain. You didn’t just arrive on top of it, where you wouldn’t be necessarily happy or appreciative of what you have.

Rebecca Gill  1:00:06
I’m so thankful that social media was not around as I climbed that mountain. 

Rebecca Gill  1:00:11
I mean, it was hard enough as a kid seeing the other kids that seem to have everything that I didn’t, you know, and then like, you know, coming out of college and those kids that were going to the good jobs already at the, you know, big five accounting firms or big six, whatever it was back then, are parents here, to me those like you just kind of go through your life, we didn’t have as much visibility to the utopia that everybody presents in social media.

Rebecca Gill  1:00:36
My heart like that, that empathetic part of me just feels so bad for today’s youth and those early in their career, who are on all of those social media channels, because that’s what they see. 

Rebecca Gill  1:00:49
And it’s so unrealistic when I say don’t race to the bottom, like, that’s, you know, social media puts you in a place where you want to race to the unrealistic, it doesn’t exist, you know, that image that everybody puts out there, and I wish people would, I don’t want to have a bunch of Debbie downers in social media, but I would wish it was a lot more real. So that everybody who’s using it would see the reality of everyone else’s lives and not just the sugar coated version that, you know, is placed out there. 

Pete Newsome  1:01:21
I mean, you know, go figure, no one’s putting all their failures on social media. As a rule, they’re putting as we know, the phrase goes on their highlight reel. 

Pete Newsome  1:01:31
And for young people, I think it creates that time preference problem, again, that we talked about, where you want instant gratification and you want what others have, and just know that it comes, you can yes, you could get lucky you could beat the odds, you could be that one in a million social media influencer, who gets to live life like Jake Paul and run around and have fun, but don’t if you happen to become that great, but don’t rely on that. 

Pete Newsome  1:02:04
And I would guarantee or I would bet that if someone like, uh, Jake Paul, I’m not sure if you know who that is. He’s a big YouTuber, and he does all kinds of crazy stuff seems like a pretty good guy, too. So I enjoy watching him probably at my age shouldn’t even know who he is. 

Pete Newsome  1:02:22
But I bet that guy outworks everyone else too. You know, I bet he works 24/7. And, you know, we get to see the fun stuff. But, I would have to bet anyone who rises to that level of success. If I knew how to make it easy and quick, I would do it. 

Pete Newsome  1:02:43
It sounds like you, you don’t know how that path would go either right? So with all that said, have you found career zen?

Rebecca Gill  1:02:57
I would say yes. 

Rebecca Gill  1:03:00
And the reason I would say yes is that I don’t think of tomorrow, like, oh, here’s what I want. Like, you know, if I could only have this, if I can only get to this, right? I’m actually like the place in my life where I am happy with what I do, I get to have both sides of my personality, you know, I have the digital world where I can help people. And I can have the puzzle that I want to work on, you know, with SEO and search and that type of thing. And it satisfies that part of my personality. 

Rebecca Gill  1:03:32
But on the other side, I still have the alpaca farm and I get to immerse myself with animals on a daily basis. And we get to just have wonderful people come in that we meet along the way. And I wouldn’t change, I really wouldn’t change much. 

Rebecca Gill  1:03:35
And you know, Pete, if you said to me like Rebecca, you get to change tomorrow. How is tomorrow going to be? It could be anything that you want? How is it going to be different than what you have today? 

Rebecca Gill  1:03:58
I don’t know what that would be. I don’t have a good answer for you, I maybe would have a good employee at the farm that I could, you know, have to do stuff so that I’m not having to be around every weekend. But that would probably be the only change and that doesn’t lead to me being able to say I haven’t found my career zen because I really think that I have.

Pete Newsome  1:04:20
Well, that is admirable. 

Pete Newsome  1:04:23
Yeah, I think for me, that’s enviable, but it should, as much as anything else be motivational to you know, hear a story from someone who had a lot of things stacked against her from an early age and overcame it. With many many years to go, right you’re still young, by my standards for sure. I say that because I think I’m a few months older. 

Pete Newsome  1:04:51
You’ve achieved that happiness, you’ve achieved that career zen, and that’s awesome. And I know you deserve it because you’ve worked so hard for it and being who you are. And what you’ve done is led to that. 

Pete Newsome  1:05:03
So if you don’t mind, I’d love to get a couple of videos of alpacas to share on our show notes because if you’re listening because I’ve seen some pictures and a couple of videos. And we’ll put the information on the website, Cotton Creek Farms. I believe that is, where everyone could find out about the alpacas and go to your store, from there if you want to buy alpaca gifts.

Pete Newsome  1:05:26
This is me Rebecca didn’t know I was going to say that, I love it. I think I would love an alpaca one day myself. I just need to figure out where to keep it. So we’ll get there eventually.

Rebecca Gill  1:05:37
Don’t keep it in your house. 

Pete Newsome  1:05:38
No, but I have a fenced yard, so?

Rebecca Gill  1:05:42
Yeah no.

Pete Newsome  1:05:42
Not in Orlando, Florida?

Rebecca Gill  1:05:46
Yes. Not in Orlando, Florida. And they’re technically livestock and you know, need some land. 

Pete Newsome  1:05:50
All right. When I go to Montana.

Rebecca Gill  1:05:52
They need their own kind of Zen. It’s not Orlando, Florida’s backyard. 

Pete Newsome  1:05:56
No? Alright, well, I’m not you’re a little bit ahead of me. I’m not quite there yet. But I’ll get out in the middle of nowhere soon enough, hopefully. 

Pete Newsome  1:06:04
But thank you so much for doing this. I really enjoyed the conversation. I’ve learned a few things along the way too, that I didn’t know about you. So that’s been awesome. And if anyone has any questions or follow up, you can contact us at questions@zengig.com we’d love to hear from you for future show ideas. But otherwise, have a great rest of your day. And Rebecca thanks so much. 

Rebecca Gill  1:06:27
You are welcome.