Back to Business 2: The Move

by Nate St. Pierre on September 19, 2011

It was Monday morning when I noticed the message come across my Community Manager group on Facebook: an upstart tech company in Los Angeles needed someone who could build community around a new concept. It caught my eye because I had very recently learned that my ex-wife had decided to remain in L.A., where she had moved to be near family while the divorce went through. Since I need to live in the same city as my three kids, I was keeping a lookout for opportunities in the area.

I responded to the message, and it turns out that the woman who sent it was a member of Love Drop, so she already had a good sense of my work style and accomplishments. She sent an email introduction to the founder of the company, and within a couple hours he and I were on Skype together. We chatted for about an hour, and at the end of it he asked if they could fly me out to Santa Monica to come meet the team and interview with the principals. I said I’d be happy to, so we booked a flight for Thursday. I flew out there that morning, spent the afternoon at the office, had dinner with a local friend in the evening, then hit my hotel. I spent Friday morning with the team again, then got on a plane back home. I got the job offer over the weekend, accepted it on Monday, and began packing on Tuesday.

J$ and I had a Love Drop to do in Wichita, Kansas that Saturday, so I asked if he’d like to turn it into a 2,500 mile road trip from Milwaukee to L.A., and he was down for an adventure, as usual. 🙂 You can see a little bit of footage from the fiasco that was loading my U-Haul truck here.

By Thursday everything was packed and loaded, and I was heading to pick up J$ at the Milwaukee airport. On the way I called out west to put a downpayment on the house I’d be renting. I had found what looked to be a great place online, and called the owner a couple of times, gotten a bunch of pictures, etc. I really didn’t want to spend a week or two in L.A. sitting at a hotel with a U-Haul full of stuff, so I just went ahead and locked in a place that looked good. Pretty risky, I know, especially with L.A. prices, but I was okay with it. The guy had been great over the phone, and all the pictures looked good, so I decided to go for it. Everything worked out well, and I was more than happy with the place when I moved in. You can even ask J$ – he can attest. Dude had to lug all my stuff up giant hills and flights of stairs with me, haha . . . not to mention navigate a U-Haul with a towed car through tiny, hilly residential streets.

We drove to Wichita on Friday, did the Love Drop on Saturday, drove to Roswell, New Mexico on Sunday, took some state highways to Phoenix on Monday, and arrived into L.A. on Tuesday. We hit town right at afternoon rush hour (5:00pm) and headed straight to the house, where the property manager was waiting with the paperwork. I signed everything, he left, J$ and I moved all my stuff in, and then we took the U-Haul back late that night and had a celebratory dinner. I’d pulled off the Great Life Switch of 2011 in just two weeks…

So that’s the why and how of this whole L.A. thing. I’m here to stay (at least for a good long while), and now I get to embark on a whole new adventure, which is really exciting for me. I’m cool with changing and adapting all the time. It’s stressful and scary sometimes, yes, but overall I feel that it’s a good thing.

I understand that there’s a lot of risk involved too, but I want to let you know that if you jump full-force into something new, as long as you stay true to who you are and capitalize on the things you do well, usually things turn out okay. If you feel like sharing, I’d love to hear about a time you faced a big life or work challenge, how you handled it, and how it turned out for you. Sometimes events like that end up being one of the best things in our lives…

  • Even though I’m preparing to leave LA I am so excited for you! 

    • Thanks, Jenn! Also, I think it’ll be especially interesting for you to follow along with this series, ha. 😉

  • I left secure corporate america on June 17, okay left is putting it very calmly. More like I give it a big fat Detroit Bird. I started my own freelance business. http://www.creativewordlab.com. Business started off gangbusters then died, I kept at it. Now I have more offers than I have work. Today I worked from 6:30 to 12:30. Now I’m working on my fiction writing. Life is good. Don’t like what you do? Do what you love. The rest will follow. 

    • I never heard it called a “Detroit Bird” before, ha! You know it’s funny, I just read an interview with L.A. Reid, the (I think) president of Island Def Jam Records. He’s the guy behind Mariah Carey, Usher, Rihanna, and Justin Bieber, among many others. 

      He said that the one thing he’s learned in 20+ years in the industry is to keep the lights on and keep working – the talent will eventually walk in the door. Sounded similar to what you said about keeping at it. Good stuff there.

  • I left a well paying job and a lot of good friends back in March because work had taken over and was ruining everyday living for me and my family. I worked at work…I worked at home… and when I wasn’t working, I felt guilty. I missed school events and dinners with the family. I lost sleep and tears escaped my eyes on daily commutes to and from the office.

     I boldly decided to take my life back and remained unemployed for nearly 7 months. In the process, I spent all my savings and then some…and prayed A LOT.

    I just landed a job at a smaller place within walking distance from my house that respects work/life balance by word and action. I am still a “one woman show”, but the work is not overwhelming and impossible. It makes me proud and I am no longer left feeling constantly defeated.

    It was scary to take that leap in this economy, but deep down inside I knew that I deserved to decide my path in life.

    There was this guy named Nate, whom I met at a company retreat who closed his eyes and took a leap of faith. It inspired me to do the same…in a smaller way, but it has made all the difference.  Thank you*

    • Kristine, are you trying to make me cry at work? It’s almost working…

      I’m so glad you were with me at that retreat, and I think it’s amazing (and good) where our lives have ended up 3(?) years later.

      Also, I’m super jealous at the walking distance. I just arrived at my desk after the 1.5 hour commute. Blech. But I’m excited about the work I’m going to do today, so that’s awesome!

  • Peliroo

    My mother is the queen of risk and courage so I learned early that taking chances means you don’t have to regret and say “what if?”  
    Leaving my husband years ago, going into the military, moving to California with child/cats/Uhaul in-tow, and falling in love despite the predicted heartache are all massive risks/life-changes that I have experienced.  Some were good moves, others were “life lessons” but no regrets. 
    I think, now, there is a grand plan to everything so in the end it’s easier to say, “It’s all going to be alright.” whenever the fear arises.

    I like to tell myself, “If you knew, after taking this risk, that everything is eventually going to be just fine for you and everyone concerned, what would you do?”  My answer is always just do it. Do it respectfully, but just do it.

    btw, love the Fresh Prince 🙂

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