I’ve kept this story a secret for the last three years. Only my closest friends have heard it and today I want to welcome you into the trusted circle.
Today, on the 3rd anniversary of founding Three Ears Media, I want to tell you the story of why I started this company.
Of course, we’re going to celebrate, and that part is way down at the bottom of this post. If you’re feeling supportive but not ready for story time, jump down there.
For so long, I’ve assumed that this story would make people think I was dramatic or the kind of person who just up and quit their job. That’s not me at all. I stayed well past the point where it was good for me into full-on torture and self-destruction in my last corporate roles. They left scars on me that will influence my life. Those scars are why I want to be brave and tell you this story.
To be clear, I don’t recommend this path. There are far fewer life-altering approaches you can take to a new job.
It started when my mom ripped all of the tendons in her hands. My mother couldn’t use either hand and needed surgery on both, so I moved in for two weeks to help. I worked from 9 to 6, then went into caregiver mode until nine the next day. Caregiving was enough to break me. We never slept through the night. Everyone was frustrated. It was a lot to take on, in addition to a demanding creative job.
About 12 days into my stay, I got a call from my manager. I knew from the moment it started that nothing good would happen. Technically I guess I was wrong about the nothing good.
They started to scream. “Maybe you should reconsider your career path. You are not a writer,” they said with disgust. The second I pressed end call, I sobbed. I was exhausted mentally and physically. I was also mad. I am a writer.
Next, I stomped into the living room as my mom watched TV. “I don’t care what you say,” I said. “I’m quitting this job and I’m starting my own company. Fuck this.”
“No you’re not,” she said before listing all the reasons people stay in “good” jobs – insurance, pay, remote, etc. I rejected every reason she offered because nothing could stop me. I knew one thing was worth more than any check I would cash: I never had to listen to some small, harsh, jerk of a human tell me I was unworthy so I could cash my check.
Two weeks later, I stood on the stage at SourceCon in Las Vegas and told that room full of people that I was launching a company. It would be called Three Ears Media, named after two dogs with four ears.
It’s a Celebration! 3 Ways You Can Celebrate With Me
Every day I’m so grateful to live inside a case study and build the company I want to work at. I know I get these days by the grace of God (or whatever you want to call it) and people who carry me.
That’s why today is as much about celebrating three years as it is taking a minute to say thank you.
Today, I’ll use the hashtag #3EarsThankYou to shout out people I admire and respect on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. If you want to celebrate with me, use the hashtag. Every time it’s used today, I’ll be donating $1 to a charity I love – Point of Pride. They work to benefit people in need through gender-affirming support programs that empower them to live more authentically. They also advocate for health care reform and the national adoption of inclusive health care policies that protect and serve our community.
I love a discount, too. If you want to support Three Ears and have had your eye on our services, here’s a way you can save some money in the process.
33% off these services for the next 12 hours with code 3EarsThankYou.
—> Use it to rewrite a hard to fill or high volume job post with me live. Buy one now.
—> Use it to rewrite your LinkedIn profile (or buy one to give to a friend looking for a job) Buy one now.
—> Buy the course Buy one now.
No matter what, know that I appreciate you. Thank you for showing up, sharing, and being a part of what Three Ears Media has become and is becoming.
You’re stuck with me now.
Katrina Kibben is the Founder and Principal Consultant of Three Ears Media. For most of Katrina’s career, she has been a marketer living in a recruiter’s world – listening to both sides of the talent equation to understand the real issues and find solutions for engaging and hiring better people. Today, she uses her technical marketing know-how and way with words to help both established and emerging brands develop and deliver content that fuels smart recruitment marketing that makes the right people apply.
Katrina has written for Monster.com, HR.com, RecruitingDaily and many other digital publications. She is a recognized leader in recruiting and employer branding who speaks regularly at conferences around the world.