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WHAT? YOU’RE MOVING TO SPAIN?!

This is what I expect everyone’s reaction to be, which is probably why I haven’t told many of you face-to-face yet. Let’s be honest, it’s completely knocking the needle on the record player of our typical conversation about the status of your project or business goals. It’s not what you’re expecting to hear when we talk.

I’ve built your website. I’ve helped you grow your business. We still host and update your website on a regular basis, or more likely, we meet face-to-face for the occasional coffee, lunch or fun business strategy session. We talk on the phone whenever we want.

I love it, believe me. I love it all.

So it’s really hard for me to say in one single sentence, the following words…

“I’m moving to Valencia, Spain, but NOTHING IS GOING TO CHANGE.”

Right?

Well, let me explain. Two of our four full time employees (myself and Kate) are moving to Valencia, Spain with our 8 year old Max and 6 year old Samantha (who will be seven when we move) in August of 2018.

Chris, Kevin, Chance and Bailey will still be based physically in Nashville, TN, while Joe, Kate and myself are remote. The business will continue to have a presence locally and willingness to support local organizations.

The main questions I’m sure you’re asking yourself right now…

1. WHY?

First Short Answer: #LifeGoals (We’ve always wanted to do something like this). #YOLO

Real Answer: So here’s the scoop on why all this is happening. My amazing wife and more recently co-worker and teammate at Data Driven Design - Kate Hickey - ahem, I mean the extremely talented Kate Hickey - and I have been married for almost 13 years. On our honeymoon, we took three weeks off (freaking unheard of for me – especially at the time – I was working for the NBA Detroit Pistons and WNBA Detroit Shock and Year-Round Hoops wasn’t just our tagline, it was for real. No time off. Ever. On our three-week honeymoon, we went to Sydney, Australia for two weeks, and to the north island of New Zealand for another week. On this amazing trip, we talked at length about how many different places we might want to live someday, dreaming about South America (Kate is fluent in Spanish since growing up in the Texas / Mexico border town of Laredo), Spain and even Puerto Rico.

I can remember even thinking that the NBA was hosting an event in Puerto Rico that upcoming year (always thinking about how to make a job work with real life goals).

The dream was just a dream, because in 2005, it was pretty much unheard of to have a job that didn’t require you to be in an office or in the physical presence of a customer or client every day.

Since building Data Driven Design into a business that – let’s be honest – does NOT need to have the overhead of a physical office space, NOR do you (clients) REALLY CARE where we are when you’re doing business with us – as long as we get the job done and provide a first-class strategy, deliverables and do it with excellent customer service, professionalism – and FUN, of course.

Get it?

Second Short Answer: Because we can. 🙂
2. WHY DO YOU THINK NOTHING WILL CHANGE?

First Short Answer: I’m still Paul Hickey, and she’s still Kate Hickey. We will continue to schedule times that work best for you.

Real Answer: Data Driven Design is different because all of our teammates have three things in common:

  • Accountability (we care deeply about you and your business, and we have the work ethic to efficiently turn our caring into extreme productivity)
  • Skill (we are practitioners. We are the ones who actually do the work)
  • Communication (yes, there’s a seven-hour time difference from Nashville to Spain), but it’s 2018. Business is done easily and seamlessly with companies, large and small, in all different time zones throughout the globe.

Second Short Answer: We still love what we do. We’re just doing it from a different location on the World Map. Data Driven Design is still a Tennessee LLC with a physical presence.

3. What if…?

  • You’re used to meeting with me face-to-face?

No problem. I plan on using Facetime, Zoom.us, Google Hangouts, or your preferred method of communication.

  • You need to meet face-to-face in person?

Come on, I know I’m good looking but I’m not THAT good looking, am I? Look, if you absolutely need me there, and it’s mission critical, you have my word we’ll figure it out.

But, keep in mind that Chris and Bailey can scoot right over to your office for face-to-face meetings and they can facilitate my presence on a video conference to put us all in the same room.

Eventually, I plan to book us all a GoToMeeting style VR (Virtual Reality) conference room we can check in to together to see each other and hopefully even feel like we’re in the same room!

Keep in mind that 75%-95% of our work is sold, kicked off, completed successfully, or ongoing and thriving, without ever having met face-to-face.

  • You want to hire me for a speaking appearance or workshop?

We’ll definitely figure something out. Keep me on your radar. I have ideas on how to make this work.

  • You can’t get a hold of me?

Impossible. (Phone, Email, Facetime, Google Hangout, Text, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat).

Note: the internet is faster in Spain than it is in my office in Tennessee. Mobile service providers Vodafone and Movistar are light-speed compared to my wretched Sprint and AT&T experiences in Tennessee.

  • You want to keep up with us and our adventures because you miss us? 🙂

My Instagram stories @datadrivendesign and my Snap stories (datadrivendude) will document our journey, and Kate’s @hickeys_everywhere on Insta is phenomenal.

Oh, and I post on LinkedIn and Facebook every five minutes, remember?

Seriously though, while this blog is lighthearted, I don’t take any of your business or trust lightly. It will be as protected and loved from our new home as Kate, Max and Samantha will be.

You have my word.

Thanks to you all for your support, business, teamwork and friendship.

This is only the beginning.

Sincerely,

Paul

Paul Hickey has created and grown businesses via digital strategy and internet marketing for more than 10 years. His sweet spot is using analytics to design and build websites and grow the audience and revenue of businesses via SEO/Blogging, Google Adwords, Bing Ads, Facebook and Instagram Ads, Social Media Content Marketing and Email Marketing. The part that he’s most passionate about is quantifying next marketing actions based on real data.

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