If you’ve been keeping up with my career journey, you’re aware that I’ve maintained a clear boundary between my personal life (centered around my passion for wine) and my professional endeavors throughout the entirety of this blog. Over six years ago, after dedicating 26 years to the world of corporate B2B marketing, I made the decision to embark on a new path by establishing my own consulting firm. This change was meant to allow me to strike a balance between my work commitments and spend more quality time with my family, all while seizing the incredible opportunities to participate in some exciting press trips that come my way.
Back then, my aspiration was to provide consulting services to a diverse range of clients, affording myself the freedom and flexibility that had eluded me during my corporate tenure. I founded Ofenloch Consulting to do just that and you can read more about this phase of my journey in my blog post. However, as fate would have it, just two years later, I found myself accepting a temporary “keep the lights on” position, initially intended to span a mere 90 days. Remarkably, my last day in that role brings me close to completing a four-year cycle (picture above featuring some of those great people).
Many have asked me why I made this decision, and I wish I could provide a simple answer. It all began with the onset of the pandemic, which fundamentally altered how companies could engage with their customers, erasing the essence of personalized interactions. In 2020, COVID-19 had a profound impact on the oil industry, pushing U.S. oil prices into negative territory for the first time. And then there were the people—brilliant minds in the industry — individuals I enjoyed spending time with beyond work. It was a time of remote collaboration, forging connections with people I never had the chance to meet in person, and that played a significant role in my decision.
Instead of simply maintaining the status quo, my focus shifted towards a more strategic approach. I aimed to redefine the role of marketing, transcending the conventional notions of hosting trade shows and social gatherings. My objective was to assemble a team capable of handling any challenge that came our way, ensuring they were well-prepared for whatever lay ahead.
Just last week, I shared the news with the company that I’ll be returning to the realm of consulting, leaving behind a truly talented team led by an exceptional leader. Just before making this announcement, I had the opportunity to go to Houston and meet with a few key individuals who made this decision hard. What’s truly remarkable about my successor is her unique ability to make people feel valued and cherished, in addition to her outstanding marketing skills.
We gathered for at Mutiny Wine Room, and it was the perfect place to celebrate a promotion and bid farewell to some amazing people. I want to extend a shout-out to Mutiny Wine Room – their wine flights were exceptional, the food was superb, and the establishment was expertly managed by a fantastic family. Regrettably, this visit took place before I made my official announcement, which meant I couldn’t offer a proper goodbye to everyone.
This week, I was pleasantly surprised with an engraved wine cask that reads, “We had a barrel of fun together.” It’s a heartwarming reminder that this group truly got me and my love for wine. I’m happy to have spent the last four years with them.
As I eagerly look ahead to the next stages of my journey, it’s evident that it will require a careful balancing act. While the absence of a daily six to seven-hour time difference, as the company is headquartered in Europe, will simplify matters, I still need to ensure that I maintain an equilibrium between my professional responsibilities, family life, and the exciting potential for a wine-related adventure or two. It will be fun to reignite my enthusiasm and actively drive the growth of my consulting business.