Making Lemonade … and Content Worth Reading

January 2018

Fueled with a good idea, commitment and fortitude, it is possible to create new and successful opportunities for yourself and others at any stage of your life or career, even in the face of those crippling curve balls life inevitably throws at you. The ability to move quickly when confronted with challenges is more manageable when you’re an experienced problem-solver—a skill that’s honed over toil and time.

In the last days of 2017, I had lunch with a friend to celebrate our part in cofounding a magazine that was first created in my home office 20 years ago. Tim Garon, Sarah Cain Brown and I founded Information Security magazine for ICSA Labs (now an independent division of Verizon), because we believed we could. And, two of us had just been laid off as the publishing company that employed us was sold to a UK-based organization, which moved all editorial and creative positions overseas. Another catalyst for our action was the fact that our trio loved working together, and that was important to us. (The power of a good team should never be undervalued as it can move mountains.)

At lunch, my friend Tim and I talked about all of the positive outcomes of creating Information Security magazine, which made its owner (not us) millions of dollars annually, and, more importantly, the group of people that were brought together by this one project—both those that created it and the community of readers it served. Today, the magazine is still being published, and its legacy lives on.

In 2003, the publication’s original owners sold the asset and Tim moved on to blaze a stellar career at another organization. Sarah answered a calling to be an educator. Like me, a number of the publication’s original staff stayed on with the new owner for many years. Eventually, the new owner hit hard times following a recession and I again was laid off.

At first blush, this layoff was one of my life’s crippling curve balls. At the time, I licked my wounds for a few weeks and then hatched plans to maintain the lifestyle I had afforded myself and my children when gainfully employed. Armed with an eagerness to expand my knowledge and a little desperation, I learned about business and new technologies while freelancing as an art director.

Then, in 2013, I cofounded Twirling Tiger Media with a business partner, Anne Saita. With a mission and the experience to craft better content, we formed a team of creatives with a proven track record to serve our clients by offering audiences valuable content worth reading.

When a life-changing event is initiated by you or other forces, stay agile and keep an open mind to explore new possibilities so that you can move forward with the resiliency needed to succeed. Whether your motivation to reverse course on a bad situation is borne from passion, survival, competitiveness or creativity, use that spark to create fearless momentum and create your lemonade from lemons.