When Your New Job Turns Out to Be a Complete Nightmare - with Brendan Hufford (Growth Sprints, ActiveCampaign)
How Brendan came back from rock bottom - and why he can't always be at an eleven.
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“It was day one in the new job, and I was already thinking I’d made a terrible career decision.”
It was January 2020 and Brendan Hufford had just taken a huge pay cut to accept a new job leading a team at a B2B agency with some big-name clients.
On day one, he was told the new company’s insurance wouldn’t cover his dependents (which was pretty stressful for a dad of three with a fourth on the way), and then — in his first leadership meeting — witnessed the owner of the company demand the firing of a team member whose performance was down, saying, “This guy can’t even get his home life together, so he’s not going to be able to hit the numbers here at work.”
Things continued downhill from there.
The team he inherited was largely college students. He was forced to fire them when the owner decided on a whim to eliminate all junior employees.
Then the company lost a bunch of clients.
“Every day, every meeting, I thought I was gonna get fired,” Brendan recalls. “My anxiety was at a fever pitch.”
And then one morning, Brendan woke up with a horrific headache that lasted for three days, turned into blurry vision, and culminated in double vision. When his wife went into labor, he literally had to hold a hand over one eye to drive to the hospital. It would have been funny if it wasn’t so horrific.
“I put the pedal all the way down,” Brendan says. “I treated my body like a poorly maintained race car, and then hit the wall at 300 miles per hour.” The situation threatened not only Brendan’s career, but also his personal relationships and his health.
Happily, Brendan (and his wife and their four kids) all survived this harrowing experience.
Brendan went on to lead teams at two other companies, including ActiveCampaign which he helped grow to $165 million in ARR. Today, he is the proud Founder of Growth Sprints, a SaaS marketing company.
Brendan is still super passionate about his work, but he has learned that you don’t need to be at 11 all the time. You can be at 7 for a season, and still be okay.
In addition to hearing about Brendan’s nightmare gigs, we also talked about:
The importance of broadcasting your wins to the company to help get people on board with your vision
Why developing soft skills is just as — if not more — important than working on hard skills
How moving fast without being thoughtful can get you into hot water
Watch or listen below 👇
Specific things to listen for:
[09:45] Nothing replaces hard work
[13:38] Moving too fast
[15:17] Processing critiques and feedback
[27:38] Balancing how much effort to give
[28:24] Finding work that combines your expertises
[30:13] Avoiding the health risks of overwork
[33:45] Realizing the value of soft skills
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