Pope Phoenix Digital Mercenary

The Return of the Merc

For the last 10 years, I’ve worked in corporate America as a creative. I started this journey at BET as a Senior Digital Designer, then transitioned to ESSENCE where I became the Digital Art Director for the social department. The last leg of the journey landed me at IBM as an Associate Creative Director where I managed social teams, created campaigns, and all sorts of internal and external videos. 

As I walk away from the comfort of the siren song of corporate consistency and return to a realm I existed in long ago I try to remember the ways of old.

“I want to do dope shit.”

At my core, I am a Digital Mercenary. I am the guy you call in to complete the thing that others couldn’t. My motto was “If I can’t do it, I can learn it, or find someone who can.” At this stage of my career, I’m not sure if that still resonates like it did. The fire and passion I have for the work is still there, it burns differently than it once did. The flame is different, brighter, yet familiar. 

My goal is always to do the best I possibly can while flexing my skills in the way that only I can. This line of thinking has always been fueled by my passion and now it's fueled by helping others improve, seeing their talents grow, and watching their businesses expand, as opposed to me just being dope. Which was always my goal. 

During my interview for IBM, my future manager asked me something along the lines of “What do you hope to achieve if you get this job?” My answer was the same answer I gave to anyone, from anywhere, who asked me this: “I want to do dope shit.” That’s always the goal. What else would it be? That job provided me the opportunity to see and be a part of some cool shit. Also some monotonous shit. The benefit was its consistency and financial stability.

Staring down the road into the unknown I bear the weight of the leader of my clan, wondering how we make the next winter. Battling excitement and uncertainty while remaining optimistic. Knowing it will work out while also not knowing how or when. It is scary and anyone who tells you it's not is engagement farming or lying to themselves while also praying it works out in their favor. 

There’s no need to lie to myself, my circle is too strong and they would call me out in a heartbeat. Truthfully though, I started writing this entry for people to read and hopefully, some combination of my words would help somebody get through a similar situation. Surprisingly, the person I was writing it for was me! 

This session was necessary to remind myself that I’ve faced adversity many times over throughout my life and career. This will be another adversarial event that will expand the tapestry of my story. It's tougher than I thought and I’m not 100% ok but I will be. One thing I do know for sure, as I started on this new phase of my career people keep asking if I’m back…

John Wick announcing he’s back and returning to the game.


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