Let’s get Savvy | Leadership with Erin Gordon
I am going to be direct. You haven’t gotten what you want in life until you embrace the unknown and do so with courage, veracity and absolute conviction. This doesn’t have anything to do with what lies ahead of you but more about you personally at the moment and what you’re made of. As the second’s tick by you realize that there is only one thing to do and that is to completely step into who you are at full tilt or you’ll remain in the repeating cycle of life.
When I started down the path of creating Gravity I had a very clear vision as to what it stood for and what it would take to bring it to fruition. I also knew the dedication it would take to see it take form with the undeniable variable of time always playing a factor in the growth of this new business. I was torn as to another aspect of my career path going back and forth with the notion of starting another creative firm. I had muddled around with various directions I could go yet there wasn’t still a fog around the next steps.
Enter Erin Gordon.
I had arrived back in Jacksonville only two years before I had the opportunity to meet Erin. Through various connections, I was introduced to her at a Savvy Outsourcing Freelancer get together she had organized held at Aardwolf Brewery in San Marco. This began our professional relationship where I would eventually become a resource to her business. From personally owning a creative agency myself I was intrigued by her business model as it just made the utmost sense. It was a gap in the creative industry that needed filling yet through all my experience working in some of the top creative cities, it was being pioneered in my home town. It was inspiring to see.
Erin had presented me the opportunity to work with her as a supporting freelancer and immediately I was beyond impressed with how the company and her operated. There was a sophistication with her ability to navigate the project, client and freelancer with unapologetic strength. I’m not one to result to platitudes yet I feel a simple way to explain it is with the words of Bruce Lee “be like water…” which translates into one of the most powerful forms we can take. It reminds us to stay nimble and fluid through tough terrain but when needed it has the ability and power to break through anything. I firmly want to get across just how rare this ability and talent is in the creative industry. I have led various teams in Miami, California and New York and even in these thriving cities, you would be hard-pressed to find an entrepreneur in this space that not only understood the process but could take the helm as an industry leader.
Time for a pint.
Let’s fast forward 9 months. Gravity has just launched and I am on the hunt to interview industry thought leaders and other professionals I know of or have heard of that operate with the courage and conviction it takes to be a true leader. Erin was at the top of my list so the obvious next task was to reach out and grab a pint.
Here we sit at Aardwolf. It’s actually quite poetic that we find ourselves sharing a pint at the place it all started with Savvy on the cusp of its next evolutionary growth cycle. I entered into the day and meeting with the intent to gain a deeper understanding of Erin as an entrepreneur and hear more about her journey. I was left with more than just that though. I was met with an internal challenge and a reminder of what it really takes to succeed at anything.
As I mentioned, I was in what appeared to be an ambiguous time for my personal career path as a brand strategist, designer, and developer. One of the traits I absolutely adore and respect about Erin Gordon is her uncanny ability to call it how she sees it. She saw something about me and called it right out. It’s important you understand something right now. I have only met 2 other people that were able to meet me on a level of unabashed clarity that were able to offer me guidance. One of these leaders was the mentor I had through college and the other was the President of Soka Gakkai Buddhist organization, a world-renown leader. I only reference my personal experiences in this article to reinforce the sheer gravity of the impact Erin has yet to make in the world, the industry and those around her. We need more leaders like her that are self-aware, tactful and bring a new vision to a trade that is thousands of years old.
Erin went on to share with me what lays at the cobblestone pathway of Savvy Outsourcing which will certainly turn to red carpets. It wasn’t the business opportunities and growth that got my attention fo this article but the growth that was taking place in her for that to even be a possibility.
Gordon knew what she had to do and she knew that for the next stage of her growth and that of Savvy Outsourcing it would take just a decision to commit to fully stepping into the next stage. With all the guidance she has accrued from her very own mentors, she already knew the answer to what she needed to do. You could see it in her eyes. There was this moment of disbelief of how it all came to be while simultaneously another glimmer of get the F out of my way, I got this.
The trap that so many willingly walk into is the trap of avoidance. We see what is next and despite it not being what we envisioned we are left with the thought of “holy shit how did I even get here and this is not what I ever imagined it turning into”. We avoid taking the leap forward out of fear, comfort or simply because we know just how much more we must deliver when that light changes green and our chucks change gears.
In a brief moment, I saw my own hesitations to move forward because I knew it meant stepping up to another level I was afraid to commit to. It was a fear of there is no going back once that commitment is acted on. I knew much like Erin Gordon, there is no going back when you have the desire to succeed and especially with a brand experience as vital she offers.
My personal mentions in this story isn’t to take away from Erin and this showcase. The experiences I have had working with Erin and the precious moments I have been able to learn more about her should be an example of allowing yourself to be inspired. I am able to sit and watch her harness her own power with her not realizing just how much she is inspiring others, especially me. The actions you have can unwittingly affect those around you. A leader pushes forward not for the recognition but because it’s just who they are.
Erin is the leader that inspires those by doing the one thing most people will never do in their lifetime, seizing the day. It takes courage to embrace your destiny and she has inspired me to do the same as she leads the way in an industry desperate for something Savvy.