Dreams Don’t Reach Themselves People: Here I Go

It’s been a crazy few months for me.

The big things: I’ve been heads down prepping for a launch I’ve been working on for a year, I have put in my month notice at SEOmoz, I’m a few weeks out from launching my ISITaYES shopping app, I’ve been working away on my advisory board responsibilities for Attendly, I’ve had a close friend tell me she is moving to another state, I’ve been speaking at conferences, teaching at startup incubators in town, and my boyfriend has been down in the Valley for weeks on end investing in his startup’s crazy awesome trajectory of growth.

And you know what? I am on fire. In the best possible way.

I kept saying for weeks I was so tired, and I honestly wasn’t sleeping that well, but then I just had a few very clear moments. I’m not that tired. I have an energy that I haven’t felt in a while. I am having big ideas, dancing my dance, and grooving the creative wave late into the night. It’s pretty freaking fantastic actually. I’ve had the most amazing moments. The sort of moments that are rare. The big moments. The life-changing ones.

It was a few of these moments that led me to put in my notice at one of the top startups in Seattle. SEOmoz has been an amazing adventure for me. I’m sure Ill write more on this later, but I simply could not have been luckier to have met with Rand back in Capitol Hill 3 years ago and convince him over cupcakes to take a chance on me.

I’m proud of the impact I’ve had on the SEOmoz team, culture, and community. I only hope they all know how much I have learned from them, and how honored I am to have been a part of that ride. But tis the time…new adventure time.

What new adventure? I’m not 100% sure yet to be honest. I have some great opportunities to work with brilliant people, and I’m still considering others. I am going to take the next few weeks to really ponder what I want from it all. It will likely be an early stage to mid-stage venture with passionate people doing something I can really get behind…much like SEOmoz was for me a few years ago.

I can’t help it. I love to build companies. I love to build brands. And I love to build communities.

Part of me has been embarrassed to admit it until recently but my dream is to keep building up amazing companies, and leave a real impact on this world. I want to leave a real impact on this world. There I said it. Cheesy but true. I want to do it over and over again until I have nothing left to give. That’s my dream. And dreams don’t reach themselves people.

Some days you have got to throw caution to the wind. Jump so far out of your comfort zone you barely recognize yourself. But there you will be, and you will be smiling. I am sure of it. I’m living it.

I have another month at SEOmoz where we are going to launch something [really big] that I’ve poured my soul into (along with 100+ other people), and then I will cheers some champagne, and move on…to do it all over again.

I’ll make sure to update my blog with the next venture when its ready to share, along with all the news around ISITaYES as it launches, and probably a few posts from Vermont where I am going to unwind with the family for a few weeks after this launch. It will be nice to drink a beer with my brothers at the lake and maybe — just maybe — not have my phone on, check my email, or tweet about the lastest Google update. #whoa

A good friend of mine just wrote a brilliant post about reaching your dreams and the work that goes into knowing what that looks like. It’s hard work. But it’s worth putting the time in. I have never been as clear as I am right now on what my dream looks like.

Perhaps even more importantly, I have never been so ready to bet on myself to get after it. I hope you feel the same way about you and your dream. Because you are amazing, and there is something you were born to do.   Dreams you were born to dream, and dreams don’t reach themselves. Truth.

50 Comments
  • http://www.scottcowley.com/ Scott Cowley

    You’re an inspiring figure in an industry constantly in need of positivity, energy, and vision. Way to make a difference! Looking forward to your next point of impact.

  • http://www.MelCarson.com Mel Carson

    Jolly good luck lady! Having many choices is the best feeling. Take your time and I’m sure whatever you turn your hand to next, it will be Delightful!

  • http://twitter.com/thelostagency David Iwanow

    Congrats on the jump, you are awesome and i’m sure you will smash it out

  • http://www.quantifire.net/blog Will

    Good luck!

  • http://searchmarketingwisdom.com alanbleiweiss

    Joanna, have I expressed lately how much you just totally rock? Your path, and that you share it’s unfoldment, are precious gems and you offer so much hope, so much inspiration to others. It’s just really outstanding to be able to watch from the outside…

  • http://www.caitlinmuir.com Caitlin Muir

    This is beautiful, Joanna. You are an inspiration to all of us!

  • http://twitter.com/lookadoo Dana Lookadoo

    Dreams don’t reach themselves… That’s profound. You are amazing, and I believe that whatever you touch, Joanna, will turn gold. Stay true, Pony Boy! ;-)

  • Joanna Lord

    thanks Alan. Your support over the years has helped so much. No way anyone in our industry (or ever really) can take chances without support systems, so thank YOU for all the good vibes over the years :)

  • Joanna Lord

    Thanks Mel! Ill keep you posted. Its pretty exciting for sure. eeeeek!

  • http://twitter.com/crashdev Chris DeVore

    Great post, Joanna — super-excited to see where you land next (and wherever it is I’m 100% confident you’ll make amazing things happen there). Go like hell.

  • Joanna Lord

    thanks Chris! Its an amazing startup city to be a part of, I feel super lucky. I’m also excited to see where I land next. #imready #letsdothis

  • http://twitter.com/selenavidya Selena Narayanasamy

    I admire this. And the cheesy factor is absolutely obsolete from your statement about wanting to make a real impact in the world. When you feel it, and it nips at you day in and day out, that’s when you know it’s time to follow your heart. I remember the exact time and place I was when I felt that same feeling about knowing something bigger and truly impactful is waiting. It’s wonderful, and so overwhelmingly awesome at times, but it’s hard to know when it’s the right moment to take the leap. And you’re brave enough to do it. So excited to see what there is in store for you! :)

  • http://www.isoosi.com/ Carlos Fernandes

    Congratulations Joanna… dreams are tomorrows actions for someone like you :)
    Onward and upwards! Wishing you the very best.

  • Lynsey Little

    Another truly inspirational post Joanna! I really admire you. Congratulations on everything you’ve achieved at Moz and best of luck for the next adventure!

  • http://twitter.com/TimDineen Tim Dineen

    Congrats Joanna! No need to say good luck… you’ll pick the best right move for you and will keep building on the dream!

  • http://twitter.com/ArnieK Arnie Kuenn

    Best of luck Joanna! We only get one go at this life – make the most of it.

  • http://www.timothy-carter.com/ Timothy Carter

    I know you’ll forever be missed there at SEOMoz, but following your heart and dreams is what we should all be doing! Congratulations Joanna. I know whatever you do and wherever you land, you will have a major impact! Continued success in chasing those dreams! :) Stay awesome my friend.

  • http://www.jonathoncolman.org/ Jonathon Colman

    Woohoo! Congrats on your journey, Joanna – looking forward to seeing what you build next. Keep that fire burning!

  • http://twitter.com/dr_pete Dr. Peter J. Meyers

    Best of luck with everything, Joanna! I think we’re living in a time and industry where change is just part of our DNA, and we all have to see where life takes us. We’d be cheating ourselves and the people around us if we did anything less. Just don’t forget to keep us posted.

  • http://twitter.com/mona Mona Nomura

    Inspiring post, I can feel your energy! Many congrats to you all around!!

  • http://www.willcritchlow.com Will Critchlow

    I can’t wait to see what’s next. Good luck. Great title as well. Love it.

  • http://www.halfbrown.com/ halfbrown

    Congratulations and best wishes for both of your upcoming launches. :)

  • http://www.monicawright.com Monica Wright

    Congrats and good luck! Cheers on keeping moving forward!

  • http://twitter.com/seoJesseo Jesse Landry

    Wow Joanna this is crazy/awesome! (crazy is awesome, for the record.) Very cool I will look forward to seeing what happens next for you. I’m only sad I won’t get to fulfill my dream of joining you @ SEOmoz one day :) See you at the next Stewart event! (milo can’t wait) — until then…

  • http://katemats.com/ kate matsudaira

    You are amazing and you are going to change the world – you were born to shine.

  • http://seandillonsmith.com/ Sean Smith

    Gave me some chills reading this! I love seeing that sort of ambition! I feel the same way you do about wanting to make a real, direct impact in the world. We all have to find our avenues to go down in that process and it seems you have found yours! Looking forward to what comes of ISITaYES, it sounds like a really cool idea to me! Also looking forward to that new big thing from SEOmoz! Best of luck though I doubt you will need it ;D

  • http://twitter.com/AkvileHarlow Akvile Harlow

    Wow, what an inspiring and exciting post, Joanna! Congratulations on all of the thrilling changes in your life and the projects you’ve worked so tirelessly on! Excited to see what you do and where you go next :)

  • http://twitter.com/SEOAware SEO Aware – Melissa

    I am happy for you. You are an amazing women that breathes life and energy into every room you enter. I hope everything works out perfectly for you and I know that no matter where you go or what you do you will always end up on top.

    (Men better not take that last comment and turn into something nasty or I will smack them ;)

  • http://twitter.com/TracyMallette Tracy Mallette

    Wow! Congrats on taking a leap of faith to fulfill your dreams. Wherever you end up, you’ll be awesome!

  • http://twitter.com/denverish Christy Correll

    Way to #SayYestoLife, Joanna!

  • http://moz.com/Rand Rand Fishkin

    Thanks for the amazing contributions you’ve made at Moz, and for sticking with us through this big launch. I’m both excited for and jealous of wherever you land next. And I hope we can help make those stock options mighty valuable :-)

  • http://twitter.com/fthead9 Toren Ajk

    Congrats and good luck with your app! It’s great to see people reaching for their dreams. It will be a crazy ride but I’m sure you will end up getting there.

  • beebow

    Many congratulations and best wishes of luck in the future to you, Ms. Joanna. Thank you for sharing your inspirational thoughts here :)

  • Ariel Francoeur

    Thanks for sharing this Joanna! Following your dream is work, and can be fearful, but always worth it.

  • thogenhaven

    Congrats, Joanna (or I guess that will be more suitable when you find out what exactly you’ll be doing :) – but looking forward to see what company you’ll help build next!

  • http://www.amplify-interactive.com/ Ben Lloyd

    Well that’s big stuff Joanna. I think you know I’ve always been a fan. I will say that when I’ve done similar things – it’s always panned out. I’m sure the Moz will miss you but I’ll be looking forward to what’s next.

  • Joanna Lord

    thanks Rand! You’ve been an amazing mentor to me, and I am so thankful for my time at SEOmoz. I have no doubt the team in place will do brilliant things, I can’t wait to cheers from the sidelines!

  • Joanna Lord

    as were you lady. as.were.you. :)

  • Joanna Lord

    thanks Ben! I’ll be down in Portland a bit before I leave Moz, so lets grab a beer!

  • Joanna Lord

    thanks for listening to me ramble. I can’t wait to catch up in person in a few weeks :)

  • Joanna Lord

    thanks Sean! I like the idea too. I’m hoping people dig it, its been a crazy learning experience just getting it built and shipped! Can’t wait to see it in the wild :)

  • Joanna Lord

    Miiiiiilllllllllloooooooooooooooooooo! I miss you guys! looking forward to catching up soon!

  • Joanna Lord

    why thank you ;) hopefully we catch up at an event sooner rather than later, maybe MozCon? :)

  • http://www.amplify-interactive.com/ Ben Lloyd

    Just give me a heads up and I’m all yours. I’m walking distance to mozlandia and I drink with a few of the Moz peeps pretty often. Wait – does that sound bad? You know what I mean. :)

  • http://www.willcritchlow.com Will Critchlow

    Yep – I’ll be there…

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.laratro Joe Laratro

    “I want to leave a real impact on this world” – That line really hits home with me! I remember as a kid driving with both of my Grandfathers and listening to them say I built that building or I worked on that building. I can show my boys what they did. While I know we are making an impact on the online world in many amazing ways, I do envy builders and developers that can make their mark on the landscape. I will be corny for a moment, when I look at my two young boys today, I feel like that is real impact on this world – (hint hint make sure Family is part of your dreams too). Great post and best wishes for everything you do.

  • Ryan Kent

    Joanna,I am incredibly happy for you but I am also shocked by this news. It is amazing how Rand remains so incredibly upbeat in the face of what any other employer would likely consider a devastating blow. If you worked for me and turned in your resignation, I would seriously lock myself in a room and cry for hours!

    Your impact on the SEOmoz community has been tremendous. I have seen your presentation at MozCon, your WBFs,blog articles and even the playful pics of you sharing coffee with your bulldog :)

    You are an amazing person and will surely be an asset to whatever organization you join. I hope you get the chance to fulfill your dreams of finishing your PhD and teach.

    Best wishes!

  • emcgillivray

    There isn’t anything more amazing or a more noble cause than following your dreams. Best of luck on your next adventure. We’ll miss you a lot, but I’m sure wherever you end up, you’ll make it crazy pants amazing. :)

  • http://twitter.com/webconnoisseur Dustin Woodard

    I’ve been hiding under a rock and just saw this news. Congrats & excited to see what you do next!

  • http://twitter.com/johnjordan John Jordan

    Congrats and good luck! :)