The Partner Experience Weekly: Finding Balance as a Creator (Pivot!)

The Partner Experience Weekly: Finding Balance as a Creator (Pivot!)

Aaron Howerton 5 min

I unexpectedly lost my job last October.

It was a shock as I’d only ever seen these things happen and had never been sucked into one myself. I’m in Ops... who lays off the only person handling a group’s ops needs? (Yes, that’s a rhetorical question, as we now know at least one company that took this route).

Honestly though, I still really like the team, both in RevOps and on the Partnership side, and I really believe in the product’s capabilities and value.

Something in me pushed me forward in this strange experience.

I immediately started writing and built a five-part series for LinkedIn all about PartnerOps. I also pushed more deeply into Partnership Leaders, no longer having professional constraints holding me at bay.

It was my first real foray into intentional content creation, and the results still continue to surprise me.

A week after writing my series, I pushed all that into a new podcast. Several months, and multiple branding attempts later, PartnerOps Partner is a real boy.

These efforts eventually led to my current state:

  • Weekly articles on LinkedIn and the amazing people over at PartnerHacker (Read it all here).
  • Hosting weekly, member-only office hours for Partnership Leaders, where I met new people and help clear a path for forward movement alongside other ops professionals.
  • Weekly drops on the podcast covering all the above.
  • My first advisory gig with the amazing team at Fluincy where I’m truly excited to see how our efforts will improve core sales rhythms for building stronger partner relationships.
  • Panelist roles for Magentrix (PaaS) and Pronto.
  • Much deeper connections and feedback loops with multiple CEOs/Founders across a variety of partner tech.
  • Upcoming involvement in conferences for Catalyst and Mopsapalozza.
  • 1-2 (or more) new connection meetings every single week with Partnership professionals literally all over the world.

Oh...and we can’t forget the actual, paying, full-time gig at Atlassian that started in December and has been running strong since. I had a fun ride with interviews — hear about all that here — and moral of the story is that #networking wins pretty much every time.

And now, we arrive at the inflection point.

Reaching an inflection point

Creating is a big commitment in time - several hours a week on the low end - and there comes a time when you have to make a critical decision about your next steps. Do you keep moving in the same direction or pursue new avenues and opportunities?

I’ve reached an inflection point and come to the conclusion that it’s time to pivot.

Apparently, I say this a lot at home....

Creating content has been a very unexpectedly life-giving effort for me, personally, and I still feel humbled every time I learn someone has found any value from it. It’s helped me navigate a difficult period and provides continual value while I try to settle into my role at Atlassian.

It’s been an ongoing teacher and a chance to reflect on what I hear from others in the community. It’s clearly opened doors I’ve been knocking on for years, and I’m convinced the value will continue to yield unexpected results.

It’s been a labor of love without a clear end goal — the effort for the sake of creating, learning, and contributing — and it’s all come together in the past few weeks to reveal a new direction. To achieve that direction, however, something has to give.

Taking a break (here’s what’s coming...)

Taking advantage of the opportunities I see means I have to redistribute my most valuable resource - time. My job expects about 40 hours a week, and my wife and kids seem to keep wanting to hang out so that means my weekly creator rhythm needs to be more flexible.

Let’s consider it a ’summer break,’ or maybe a sabbatical of sorts, with some really specific goals.

What kind of goals? I’m so glad you didn’t ask....

  • The Podcast. I truly love doing this and will continue weekly drops. Tune in for updates, ideas, and reflections on my effort to manage a ’personal brand’ tied to ’Partner Operations.’ Also, I’ll be working on bringing in...
  • Interviews! I’ve got a deep list of people I want to drag into a call specifically tied to Partner Operations and Partner Tech. This includes Founders, CEOs, Partnership Leaders, and Ops professionals. No more just listening to me drone on for 10 minutes!
  • Masterclass on Partner Operations. Open to all with discounts for members at Partnership Leaders. More details to come as this gets more form, but it’s coming together quickly and acts as the central point of inflection for this shift.
  • Clarified service offerings. Multiple, ongoing conversations have demonstrated a need in the market for Guides, Consulting, and Delivery services specifically tailored around getting CRMs ready for Partnership teams.
  • Community. I want to drive more intentional effort around community and connection for those within the PartnerOps community. Think monthly social connections, recurring touchpoints, etc.
  • Structured Content. A restructured approach centered around consistently delivering solution-oriented content.

The wrap-up

The content created will continue to live on here and with the team at PartnerHacker, and where possible, I’ll drop new pieces relevant to my current pursuits.

I’ve appreciated, deeply, every minute you’ve given over to my ramblings and ideas.

Until next time — good luck partnering!

Prefer to listen? Check out the podcast version of this article here.

Aaron Howerton 5 min

The Partner Experience Weekly: Finding Balance as a Creator (Pivot!)

Finding balance as a partnership content creator, and when to pivot.

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