So… What Now?

Wednesday, August 30th, was a day like any other. Until it wasn’t.

I learned that morning that my boss (he hates when I call him that) was being let go. It didn’t feel good. I’m the kind of person who develops relationships with my colleagues, and I’ve got a solid corps of people I’ve worked with over the years who I consider to be friends. He’s one of those. I had opportunities to leave the company over the 4+ years I was there—recruiters always find my contact info—but I stayed, in part, because he was my boss, and I got to work with a small team of amazingly talented and brilliant individuals across various marketing competencies.

After I found out about his dismissal, I was tasked with removing him from various systems. It was painful, but I did my part and removed him. As soon as that was complete, I got my own invitation to an HR call. Uh oh.

Later that afternoon, I found myself without a job. So did 90% of the marketing team. Access to Hubspot and WordPress went away in an instant. Health insurance was no longer accessible. There weren’t any thank yous for everything we’ve done. Just “your position has been eliminated” or “you have been deemed redundant.” Like, what does that even mean?

And just like that, the whole team was ripped from each other. Ripped from all the hard work we put in over the years. It hurt a lot at the moment. It still does.

But really, what now?

There’s a time to grieve such a loss. But when it comes to work and our livelihoods, I think we can mourn AND think about what could be next. To that end, we’ve found a support group in each other. We share job openings, offer referrals, and tell dad jokes. It’s kind of amazing. We laugh and cry with each other, and hopefully, soon, we’ll start celebrating each other’s successes.

So, as the initial shock wears off, I’m starting to think about what I want to do next. Truly, I’ve done a lot in my recent positions. Everything from being a marketing team of one to working with a full team of a couple dozen + outsourced agency work. I’ve built websites from the ground up, done keyword research, set up CRM automations, built reports and dashboards, written emails, posted to Facebook, produced podcasts and live streams… I could go on and on and on…

But I had a moment the other day when someone asked me what my ideal job description would look like. What follows is the result of that exercise.

Open Position

[Senior Manager OR Director] of [Digital Marketing OR Marketing Automation OR Marketing Operations]

The Opportunity

I’m looking to be a go-to resource for all things [digital marketing / martech]. I want to apply my experience and knowledge to help [Your Organization Here] improve processes and ultimately build sales pipeline.

My favorite acronyms are CMS, CRM, MAP, SEO, PPC, and CRO. More on that below…


I often like to get my hands dirty, but I also know when to admit a lack of mastery regarding the wide breadth of digital marketing tactics.

Content Management System (CMS)

I’m a fan of WordPress because it’s portable, extensible via a huge library of plugins, and highly customizable. I also understand that many other CMS platforms are just as capable, and I am more than willing to work within whatever confines may exist. Will I be your primary web developer, regardless of the platform? No, that’s not my world anymore. Can I work with a developer or a team of developers, whether it’s internal or external, though? A thousand times, yes. As a former web dev, I am more than comfortable managing web projects – be it initial scoping or ongoing enhancements. I can speak the language and even jump in to get my hands dirty with minor updates.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Marketing Automation Platform (MAP)

What are we working with? Hubspot? Salesforce? Marketo? Some combination of those, or something else entirely? Regardless, they make up the backbone of any go-to-market team—marketing and sales data from contacts to deals to customers—it drives everything we do.

Where do I fit in? I’ve built simple Hubspot setups. I’ve migrated large instances between Marketo / Salesforce / Hubspot to right-size GTM ops for the organization’s needs. I’ve built workflows, connected native integrations, glued together not-so-native integrations with Zapier, helped define pipeline stages, built nurture flows, scheduled and monitored social media, and much more. I’m willing and able to do as much or as little of the above as needed. Depending on an organization’s maturity, a decent-sized team will likely handle various aspects of it all.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

I’ve often thought of SEO as a bit of black magic. Truthfully, it’s not as nefarious as that. Gone are the days of keyword stuffing and underground link exchanges. What really matters is valuable content. SEO starts with research. Thankfully, there are a lot of tools for that. But then, it becomes a strategy. What needs to be written, with what keywords, and linked to what internal + external resources? And don’t think I forgot about technical SEO. Google Search Console is your friend when it comes to that. Is the sitemap correct? Are heading tags and meta titles + descriptions used correctly? What about structured data? Now, you wouldn’t want to hire me as your only resource for SEO. However, I can manage an SEO agency or work closely with an internal resource on prioritization and coordination with content producers.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

Ads are a vital part of any digital marketing strategy. From brand awareness (display, social), filling the funnel (search campaigns), initial conversions (retargeting), and nurturing / air-cover (more retargeting, just a different segment), you should be using ads strategically to serve your team’s needs across the board.

With few exceptions, this is a heavy lift requiring a lot of coordination. You have to stay on brand. You need to get the messaging right with the product marketing team. You need to take sales needs into account. You must leverage your CRM and analytics platforms to segment and target the right audiences at the right times. I’ve done some of all of the above.

Best case scenario: there’s a resource (internal headcount or an external agency) to help execute in the various platforms (Google, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Meta), and I’m the guy to help coordinate all the key players to ensure we have everything we need to run a successful program.

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)

I know this can be specifically defined to focus on website optimization, but the way I look at it, this is an interdisciplinary tactic that blends together all of the above acronyms to optimize conversions throughout the customer acquisition process.

  • Are we getting as many ICP (there’s another one, ideal customer profile) impressions as we can for our budget?
  • Are we driving enough clicks on ads or social posts?
  • Do those website visits or on-platform forms become known contacts at a high enough rate?
  • Are we nurturing enough leads into MQLs through all the various follow-up touchpoints?

I love working with analytics, running tests, and making data-driven decisions to optimize everything.


I have a degree in computer science and a master’s in business administration. As a developer, I built websites and designed databases from the ground up to improve and digitize processes of all sorts. As a marketer, I’ve been an independent consultant. I’ve worked with agencies. I’ve worked as a part of an in-house team.


A short list of things I’ve accomplished over the last decade:

  • I built an ad destination for McDonald’s
  • I worked with a small team to establish regional branding and a social media following in the hundreds of thousands (on a shoestring budget) for Bud Light
  • As a leader in a software startup, I nurtured and helped develop new business with PepsiCo
  • As the sole marketer in the company, I created end-to-end ABM programs at a kiosk startup and at a boutique services agency
  • (Last but not least) I built a world-class martech stack at an up-and-coming analytics company

What’s next?

So, yeah. It’s kind of a lot. I know.

My point, though – let’s discuss your needs and see if I fit. 🤜💥🤛

…and if you’re in the market for executive level marketing leadership, content writers, project managers, email marketers, field marketers, partner marketers, regional marketing experts—I probably have someone to send your way! 😉

I’m excited to find out what’s next… for all of us!

Well. 2020 Happened.

It’s been a heck of a year, hasn’t it? Despite the obvious bad taste this year will leave in our collective mouths, we are thankful for so much as a family.

We spent time with loved ones.

Celebrating a victory at the local Packer bar in Boise

My parents spent Christmas + New Year’s in our tiny downtown Boise apartment. Later in January, I got to head to New Orleans to run around like an idiot with friends ahead of Jared’s wedding.

We traveled to Hawaii the next month to be a part of Danny and Kaia’s wedding. As nice as it was, it’s near impossible to spend good quality time together in the midst of something like a wedding. It was a nice introduction to her side of the family, though, and we can’t wait to spend more time on Oahu in the future!

We then made our way to spend some time in Phoenix for the previously mentioned Robinovitz wedding. We got to see all the guys (and their wives) from The Steel Cage, and we even managed to squeeze in a trail race the morning before the ceremony!

And then we all went into lockdown.

Before we traveled back in February, we managed to find a house we loved in Northwest Boise, and finalized all the details in between those trips.

By the time we got back, we were ready to move into our new home—and the timing could not have been more perfect.

Laura would continue working with patients at the clinic, but my office ceased to exist. Our CEO took steps to ensure we wouldn’t have to lay people off for the sake of cutting corners, and I’m so appreciative for that. Our team has learned how to work better together remotely as the months have gone on, and it’s amazing how well things can work through Teams and Zoom and all that other stuff.

For our home life, rather than being stuck in a little apartment, we had a house to spread out in. And when we weren’t working, we had projects to work on—yard work, painting, online shopping for furniture, etc.

When we weren’t working on the house, we were out running in the nearby foothills or riding bikes along the river. Things were starting to suck all around us, but we found a happy place together.

By July, we were excited to be able to road trip up to Coeur d’Alene (I still can’t spell it without looking it up) and we spent some time camping with Laura’s parents. It was a nice little break from stay-at-home life.

Not long after that came the moment that would change our lives forever.

Baby Schlag is on the way!

We took our time getting the word out to our family and to friends, and technically we never followed up with part two of that announcement. So, in case you haven’t yet heard – we’re having a girl!

We found out the Friday before Thanksgiving, and though I thought I wouldn’t be allowed to attend any of the OGBYN appointments—they called the day before to let me know I could see the ultrasound and find out so much about our soon-to-be new member of the family.

I know Laura is already in love with the girl who is yet to see the world, and I’m ecstatic to be a girl dad soon. We’re in full swing of buying furniture for the baby’s room, reading books, and putting together lists.

Stay at Home Christmas

This year will undoubtedly be the weirdest and loneliest Christmas we’ve ever had, but we’re making the most of it.

We have each other. We have Sawyer. We have a baby on the way.

We’ll talk to our families and open presents over video calls.

We’ll watch the new Pixar movie and probably the new Wonder Woman, too.

We’ll go snowshoeing and embrace the Winter Wonderland that is the hills and mountains of Idaho.

And with an early April due date coming up, we’ll never be quite so alone again.

Here’s to leaving behind the dumpster fire that was 2020 and moving into the new year. It won’t all get better on January 1 (or January 20, for that matter—but let’s all have a drink that day and raise a toast, regardless 🍻).

But seriously, things are looking up. And we can’t wait to have visitors in the near future. We missed out on having a housewarming party, so we’ve got some catching up to do!

Much Love,

Josh, Laura, Sawyer, and ???

Race Report: Across the Years 2018-2019

So, uh. I ran 100 miles last week. More specifically, I did it within 24 hours, and all I got was this lousy (awesome) belt buckle. I toed the line with a couple dozen other like-minded (read: crazy) folks on New Year’s Eve at 9 am. I didn’t stop moving until New Year’s Day at 8:55 am. This is my story.

A year ago, my (now) wife and I signed up to run Across the Years. What’s that? – you may ask… It’s a timed race, meaning that you sign up for a block of 24 hours, 48 hours, 72 hours, or SIX DAYS and you run (or walk or hobble or whatever you need to do) as much or as little as you’d like during that time. It’s a one-mile loop that runs through the outer concourse of Camelback Ranch’s baseball practice fields. Normally, crowds gather here in March to watch the White Sox and the Dodgers – but for a week in December / January each year – a bunch of lunatics like me come out to test ourselves.

In the 2017-2018 version of the race, I got up to 50 miles and called it quits. That wasn’t really the plan, but I took a break which ended up lasting probably half an hour, and I just couldn’t muster up the will to get back out there. Besides, I just wanted to hit the 50-mile mark so that I’d have a little more self-confidence before running the Black Canyon 100K in February.

This year, though? My goal was to run 100 miles in one go. My wife will tell you, though – I didn’t have much of a game plan. She’d probably also tell you that I didn’t train enough. She knew I could do it, but I don’t think she was as confident as I was when I started that New Year’s Eve.

I’m glad she was there, though. If she had any doubts, she didn’t let them show. She ran with me every so often (as allowed) and it was nice to chat a little bit in between podcasts, music, and audiobooks that otherwise kept me company. Things would get rough at times, but her smile along with encouraging words from other friends at various times of the day (and night) were all I needed to keep my feet moving.

As the clock drew closer to midnight, I started calculating how much time I’d be killing at the start/finish line to countdown the new year with Laura and take a quick swig of champagne. As soon as we did that, we were back on the course to keep moving ahead of the crowd. I say crowd because they let spectators take a lap after midnight just for kicks. I loved seeing so many people on the course with me, but I didn’t want to get stuck among the herd. I had a pace to keep and the clock was ticking.

To start the whole thing, my pace was somewhere in the ballpark of 10-11 minute miles. That’s an easy run. My marathon pace is probably closer to 9-minute miles, for reference. As time went on, it got closer to a 14-minute average. Some loops took 18 minutes. Some were in the 12 range. It really just depended on how I was feeling at any given moment or whether I was eating or needed a bathroom break… By the time midnight had come and gone I calculated in my head that I’d need to keep up a 14:30 average over the remaining 30+ miles. Easy enough, right?

Well, that number pretty much dictated the rest of the race for me. I kept to it so much so that things really came down to the wire in the last hour. A little buffer would be nice, right? Also, I determined that I’d hit 100 miles halfway through one of my laps. Remember when I said it was a 1-mile course? Well, it’s more like 1.05 or something. I asked a friend if the tracker at the halfway point would count, and on my next lap they confirmed that I’d need to finish the entire lap before 9am – something I considered but didn’t really take into account with my lap pace. He shouted at me as I passed through and realized I had a little over 15 minutes to complete another lap. That’s within my average pace up to that point, but it lit a fire in me. I pushed as hard as I could to not come in under the gun, and as I stated at the top of this report – I finished with 5 minutes to spare.

It was one of the most difficult accomplishments of my lifetime, and I’m already looking back on it with pride.

Photo by Chris Worden

One thing I didn’t think too much about was recovery. I was so focused on what I’d need to do to knock out 100 miles that I didn’t take into account just how long it would take before I’d be back to normal again.

After I was done running, I could finally stop moving. I could finally sit. I barely stopped and stood still for 24 hours and didn’t sit at all in that amount of time. After nearly an hour of sitting in front of a portable heater (during which time my body temperature and heart rate dropped a LOT) I somehow made it to my feet and slowly waddled to the car. Oh, how I would get used to waddling for the next 36 hours…

We got home late morning on New Year’s Day. After a warm bath (an underrated luxury) and a quick bite to eat, it was off to sleep (finally!).

My body temperature rose again as inflammation set in everywhere and my heart rate settled into an elevated state that it wouldn’t return from until January 3rd. I’ve experienced an elevated heart rate after a tough 50K, but it never lasted more than half a day or so. This was nuts. I just kept resting and eating during that time, and once I could stand without using my arms as leverage I started walking again as much as I could muster. One thing I’ve learned from my wife the physical therapist is that active recovery is a key to rehabilitation.

I’m slightly obsessed with my Garmin. Heart rate, sleep tracking, all that jazz.

We’re about a week out now, and I’m not in any rush to get back to regular training, though it’ll come soon. I don’t know what my next race might be, but I now know that I CAN run 100 miles. I can do whatever I set my mind to.

Game on.