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Thoughts of Brock Ellison

Live, Laugh and Love. The greatest of these is love.

Loving Your Heroes

December 11th, 2013

We can all think of someone who has influenced our journey called life. Several people in South Africa this past week have been mourning the lost of their greatest leader, Nelson Mandela. In my opinion he will go down as one of the most famous leaders (especially in my lifetime) ranking up there with Harvey Milk and Martin Luther King Jr. as being known as someone who rooted for the people fighting for civil rights, being the voice for the underdog and never giving up on what matters most: this road called life.

Even though the majority of us will never meet someone of that caliber, it doesn’t mean we don’t have a personal individual or group of influential people in our life. For me, one of those people is Chad West. Two years ago I met Chad during a college break when I was in Dallas from Houston. Since I’ve moved back to Dallas we’ve only seen each other twice in two years, but we’ve talked plenty of times. As I see pictures and videos of Mandela, all I can think about is how I would tell the story of the influential people in my life. Chad would definitely be one of those people…

Chad West Office

Not only has he been the one in my corner for small aspects of my life, but also the heavy aspects of life that are difficult to endure on my own. Should I pursue law school? What would be the best route? Or do I stay where I am and save money to build for my future? All these are questions post-graduates find them asking in their mind. Majority of them want to get ahead, and not stay stagnant, with where they are when they start that first job out of college.

As for me, it’s been a constant battle because my family is in Dallas, but my heart is definitely else where. With many people knowing the story of my mom, it’s a challenge to pursue that job outside of Dallas. However, with influential people in our life we seek them for their counsel. They are those people who teach us, “Lead from the back — and let others believe they are in front.” – Mandela.

Today, is Chad’s birthday and I can’t help but think about the impact influential people have in our journey of a lifetime decisions. Chad made it possible for me to play in D.C., was a voice when I needed to make a life decision (because that’s often when I turn to him). One of the quotes I believe he would agree with Mandela is: “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” Now it’s time to get it done, so it will not seem impossible. How will you remember your hero? I know how I will remember mine.

24 – Live Another Day

April 16th, 2014

Ok, maybe I am no Jack Bauer but in 24 hours I’ll be living another day and boarding a plane heading to San Francisco. Within 24 hours I’ll be in the air with a few bags heading to a city that I only dreamed about living in. That doesn’t mean I won’t be working my ass off to survive, but I look forward to the challenges ahead in one of the most difficult cities to live in with my new career. (Plus, I’ll be able to see one of my “career idols” Todd Defren a lot more!)

As I fear the unknown in this new journey, once I get there I will make a new dream board since mine seems to be out of date. Seeing your dreams makes them reality, in my opinion, and achieving them is a priceless emotion. I do look forward to road trips to LA, hearing Andy Grammer in San Francisco and seeing Buster Posey kick ass in a sport we both dearly love. (I once voted for him in a prestigious college award that he won by only a handful of votes. So of course he’s a favorite!) But focusing back on life and “Live Another Day…”

Three things you should never forget (IMO):

  1.  Cherish those who you hold dear to your heart. You never know when a life changing event will occur.
  2. Take chances, no matter how scared shit-less you may be. (Like I am right now.) Don’t allow fear of questioning yourself about any opportunity; if you want it go and get it – also, don’t let age EVER be a factor because you can change your circumstance no matter what.
  3. Love every moment like it was your last. What I’m realizing right now, is that this opportunity “fell in my lap” when one door closed. By no means was it the “right timing,” but nothing in life is that perfect timing. (Ok, well maybe having my truck totaled was perfecting timing with one of those moments when life is like “Here’s Your Sign…”)

Embrace every journey you get and LIVE YOUR LIFE! My next post will be miles high in the sky, or maybe once I land in San Francisco. Dallas family and friends, it’s not goodbye but always see you later!

One Week Away – Looking Back

April 10th, 2014

Time flies when you’re having fun… So the saying goes. But what is it like when you’re having so many emotions about moving to a new city? Your family is proud, but nervous for you at the same time. Looking back all I realize is a question that my old Vice President, Wayne Irwin asked me about two years ago: “Where do you want to be in three years?” Without hesitation I told him two cities (San Francisco or New York City), along with still being able to use my public relations background.

Looking back on one of the last, and most powerful papers, I wrote in college one quote came to mind about this journey:

“The roots of successful decisions often lie in obscure places… The truly great decisions happen. They arise from spur-of-the-moment phone calls…” – Stuart Crainer.

Being able to look back and believe that I made, what I hope to be, a successful decision from a spur-of-the-moment phone call is lingering in my mind. Yesterday I had my exit interview with my current boss and someone who will always be a friend. He told me that some of my great characteristics are my ambition, ability to accomplish any given task and being an inspiration to the office by looking at a dream board to make my dreams come true. Many in the office told him: “If Brock can do it; they can too!” (I’m a firm believer that by seeing your dreams, you can make them reality — You can create your dream board here.)

Many of you know that in January, I got asked to turn in an application to one of the most well known SEO platforms known to man, Conductor. As my vendor rep, Katherine (Kat), rode in my truck going to get my boss a bottle of wine she encouraged me to spread my wings and fly. (Even though several of my close friends Stephanie, Ohland and Bridger were already telling me to.) Her words finally sank in from the seed the other three told me for months! Despite not getting the job in NYC, that trip lead to getting a phone call from my friend Steve in San Francisco telling me to come visit.

At the time all I thought it would be was a fun get-a-way after one door closed in NYC… Oh and not to forget it gave me a chance to meet someone on my dream board, Todd Defren. If you don’t know he’s an industry leader in the PR field and Stephanie’s boss… But back to San Francisco’s get-a-way, little did I know Steve was testing me for a job opportunity that he offered when I left. The realization of my new career is still sinking in, and I’m eager to take on the new roles and responsibilities in a city I look forward to living in.

Now with less than a week to finish my tasks at Online Performance Marketing, to say my “see you later” to home town friends, get in some doctor appointments and to figure out what clothes are going to make it into those suitcases has me noticing that time is truly ticking… Any suggestions for moving 1,600 miles is greatly appreciated!

 

Living in San Francisco Will Be My Reality

March 26th, 2014

Yes, the title says it all. As many of you know I have been flying to different cities with a mission to expand my career, and begin a way of life that I could only dream of while in my college years. During the week of March 16, 2014 that dream became reality as I verbally took a job in San Francisco.

On April 17, I will be moving to the “City by the Bay” to expand my marketing career in the relocation, real estate and special events industry in the heart of the Castro. Being raised in a small town of Rowlett, Texas this opportunity only comes once in a lifetime. I had to take a chance and move 1,600 miles across the country to make a change, and breakaway.

As far as the specifics of the new job, you can keep reading below! :)

Office Environment = Priceless

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My office is located at the bottom of a three story building property in the Castro, right across from the Human Right Campaign (HRC). This HRC location is where Harvey Milk’s “Castro Camera” was located during the beginning of the LGBT movement. So every day I will be able to look right across the street and see where the entire movement began.

But back to the career aspect, inside the building I will be able to sync my MacBook to the lovely Apple TV so work will get accomplished! The hard decision will be deciding if I want to work at a table or sit on the couch…

Inside the Office

Also, we have a school-size chalkboard! I will likely be tempted to throw chalk at Steve, who will be my boss, when he makes me angry. (However, I don’t see that happening because he’d let the “outside” cat in the office which wouldn’t be a fair match because of my allergies!)

Inside the Office 2

From the third story balcony, you can over look the city and see the famous Castro theater. The fresh air is liberating, and will provide plenty of relief during a busy week that I know will happen. Heck, even some days I could see myself working on the balcony just to focus, and take it all in.

Office Rooftop

Rooftop 2

Rooftop

In regard to leaving Dallas, my family, friends, my current boss and previous co-workers have all known this is my dream city. As I still try to grasp my mind around what reality has in store for me, I want to thank my family for always being supportive. Especially after they didn’t know I was going to San Francisco with the prospect of a job!!!

One of the hardest emails was telling my coach, Steve Darby (AKA: Roomie – when we went to D.C.) and the rest of the “second family,” my BoomCats softball team. They might not know it, but I look up to each and every one of them.

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In addition my current “family and roommates” Ryan and Roger. They have been my motivation in helping me to travel to all these places. Seeing Ryan advance in his DJ career, taking chances in his advancement is honestly breath taking. Then Roger, none of these trips would have been possible if it wasn’t for him taking me to and from the airport. Caring for me like I was his own son, but motivating me along the way to do what’s best for my life.

Other people that have been like family are Chip, Lyle, Dwayne and Ellis that have been there to help me make this life changing decision. (Sadly I don’t have pictures with them or they would be up here too!) Each of them have been inspirations in getting me to where I need to get to at this point in my life.

Lastly, two special people in my life that would make me give myself all the credit, instead of thanking them, is Steven Ohland and Stephanie Chan. Or should I say, #Stevanie #Chanland? These two have ALWAYS encouraged me to burst my bubble and break out of my shell. Now that I finally did they gave me all the credit. They’re my emotional clutch, and that’s a very tough task! For almost four years Ohland has been in my life with hours, probably even days worth of phone calls to this point in our life. This last trip we talked at Harvey’s (a bar in the Castro) about how I was going into seminary when we first started talking back in 2010, but now I’ve dived into marketing and done rather well at it. We’ve laughed, cried and most importantly he’s the one that got me drinking riesling on my first wine tasting, but on this past trip we were at Napa I’ve found my niche for piñot noir.

Below are two highly influential friends in my life that I mentioned above. The first is Ohland and the second is Chan.

Ohland Picture

Chan Picture
Anyways, here’s to me leaping and taking that chance both of them pushed me to do for my own growth. Loving myself, taking a chance and doing “me” regardless of what others think… Now it’s time to close the laptop and leave the Starbucks where this entire blogging started over two years ago when I moved back home from Houston!

Government Shutdown – Or is the Bigger Question Reaching the Debt Ceiling?

October 7th, 2013

As many people huff and puff about the government shutdown, do they not realize that the bigger discussion is around the corner? In about ten days we will hit the debt ceiling; and we all know what happened last time. We had a major financial crash, that was nearly on the verge of surpassing The Great Depression.

After being a week into a government shutdown, which isn’t the concerning factor, but not having a government to discuss a debt ceiling crisis should be more of a topic. Our government going into default is a bigger tipping point than the government shutdown will ever fathom to be. Yet it plays a factor, it’s not the bigger question.

With both sides not being able to come to an agreement on budget standards, we the people, are left with people in D.C. debating what and what shouldn’t be standard policy. Having neither side consider the future of Americans, and what seems to be the young workforce (30 and under), I believe it’s time for my generation to take charge.

John Boehner’s flawed conservative thoughts are too much, but Obama’s “I will not merge” philosophy is hideous. As Boehner acts like he’s the president, that he wishes he only could be, (and thank God he’s not) our government continues to stay stagnant because of his ignorance. Even Obama is willing to work on the Affordable Care Act, which I agree should be changed in some aspects. However, I don’t like the fact some Americans desire to make it illegal for an abortion, but at the same time won’t guarantee newborns health care from birth. I believe that’s beyond the brink of stupidity, and anyone who differs from that opinion please let me know why…

Back to the bigger picture though, the debt ceiling, which will probably hit a day before my 26th birthday, I look forward to a day where I can retire. As a young American, I believe that our country is in deep shit if the government doesn’t move forward in raising the debt ceiling, but first must overcome the government shutdown.

Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew estimates by October 17 we will hit the debt ceiling with only $30 billion on hand, but will have bills that go beyond $60 billion. Sadly, I believe our government will see it’s first government shutdown while experiencing a financial crisis because the Democrats and Republicans can’t come to an agreement. The bad part is, I find myself asking why I can’t coin my political view as democratic or republican, but rather it’s “topics.” With all that said, I’m eager to see what President Obama will do with the 14th amendment at hand. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see…

Kudos to One of my Best Friends – Stephanie Chan

September 29th, 2013

Over the past two years since I’ve moved back to Dallas there is one amazing lady who I can see opening up our own firm together. She’s an inspiration, a motivation and more importantly one friend that where we pick up the phone the conversation starts right where we finished. On Monday, September 30, 2013 she’ll be departing to her dream job at SHIFT Communications.

For the past year and a half we talk on the phone every morning, to catch up on life. Sometimes our story can be best explained by episodes of GLEE – and her being Rachel and I am her Kurt. Now that she’s finally made it to NYC, I’ve got a year to meet her there or else I’ll be in trouble. (Our story goes a little bit like this one…) Luckily for me I know I’ll get to see her soon in NYC for that dream of mine witnessing the ball drop in New York City!

Even though I have only known her for a little over a year I feel like she’s been in it my entire life. She’s basically the sister I never had an always wanted, or better put if I was a straight man she would be my wife. I’m so glad she came to visit me on the Friday before she left, with a special trip to my office. Now it’s time for me to make a special trip to see her in NYC!