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My First Week at 9 Clouds: A Rewarding Membership

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The first thing I learned as I embarked on my new marketing journey here at 9 Clouds is that Costco is a truly amazing place.

Seriously. There is no place on Earth that could better prepare you for throwing a stellar company retreat or for keeping you fully stocked during a nuclear fallout.

I feel like Costco, in all its greatness, is a perfect metaphor for my first impression of this delightful team of digital marketers. In fact, 9 Clouds and Costco share similar traits of greatness (aside from the decorative lampshades you didn’t need but bought on impulse because they were six for $29.99).

Costco has free samples, sells its items in bulk, and incorporates membership rewards into its daily operation. It’s only my eighth day at 9 Clouds, and I’ve already eaten more free samples of delicious food than I know what to do with, read a bulk of digital marketing information, and participated in a retreat chock-full of rewarding experiences.

Aside from all of these commonalities, the main principle that sets Costco apart from other wholesale retailers is the same principle that seems to separate 9 Clouds from other digital marketing firms: the employees seem to genuinely enjoy their jobs and each other.

A Treat of a Retreat

After two days of mulling through blogs, videos, and documents full of 9 Clouds digital marketing practices, I journeyed with these newly met people to Custer, SD, on a company retreat.

Going into it, I anticipated a trial by fire. Was I going to fit in with this team? Would I be able to make meaningful contributions to their operation? Will they like what I bring to the table?

Every bit of anxiety I had was promptly met with grace.  What had been a mere three days felt as if I had been with this team for months.

To witness a group of people engage each other in a seminar focused on improving the practices of the company — knowing that these were the same individuals who passionately (and hilariously) danced to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” the night before — was truly remarkable.

To have Matt explain why Wendy gifted the team a package of tuna, and how that is somehow paramount to our company culture, was truly remarkable.

To have Allen ardently explain to me why Evernote will improve my day-to-day functions, and how he has a vision for making the processes at 9 Clouds seamless, was truly remarkable.

To put it simply, this retreat put my fears at ease and opened my eyes to the fact that 9 Clouds is a truly remarkable place to work.

Meaning in the Message

Finding my role within the 9 Clouds team is important to me. Upon my arrival, CEO Sarah Carnes and I discussed what drives me.

Whether you have it identified or not, everyone has something that gets their gears turning. We all have something that gives us a reason to try to be better than we were the day before.

Writing always has been, and always will be, a central part of my life. I didn’t quite realize why that was until I watched Simon Sinek’s TED Talk a couple of years ago. In his speech, Sinek explains that the world is not driven by results; it’s driven by purpose.

You don’t buy Coca-Cola because it tastes good. You buy it because Coca-Cola has branded itself as a refreshing accessory to every special moment you share with your friends and family.

I don’t write for the sake of producing content for a digital marketing company. I write because I want to create meaningful messages that inspire others and add value to their lives.

9 Clouds already feels like a natural fit for me. If I’m able to put the purpose for what I do in my work, I will be well-stocked with extraordinary experiences in no time.

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