I now work as the Director of Media Relations at a company called Patriot Software.
We do payroll and accounting in the cloud.
We focus on helping small business owners, and we provide stellar service for a very inexpensive price………….
Yeah, I know… It’s the not so epic conclusion to a life that’s yielded 4 books, a movie deal, years in the Big Leagues, and a run on national television. I am officially a working stiff. Some folks on Twitter even tell me I’ve sold out, trading in a life of talking about my “love of the game” for a cubicle, working for the man. Heck, even the CEO looked at me like I was nuts for applying.
The good and bad news: there is such a thing as life after baseball. It’s not always the glamorous, ride off into the sunset experience people think, mostly because of their hyper-exposure to headlines about young pitchers signing for untold millions. Sometimes it’s more like a desk job, where you hope you’ll gain some great experience and be valued for more than just your momentary twinkle in a passing limelight.
Sometimes it’s pretty humbling. I can’t overstate that as, when you’re trained to be a champion, it can be tough on your ego to leave what you perceive to be the domain they are meant to exist in. Lots of players wrestle with the weight of this psychological restructuring, and it can be the source more pain and self destruction than you can imagine.
Suffice to say, it’s a big change. One that makes me do a lot of soul searching about who I was and who I’m going to be. Identity and occupation… will I ever be free of this haunting concept?
Yet, this has been coming for a while now. I’m almost done with my MBA, and this job is simply the next step in domesticating me for real-world living. Ironically, I’ve always wanted to work with software.
Payroll and accounting software? Well, uh, yeah, some parts of it are pretty darn boring. I always thought I’d be project managing for some sweeping, fantasy-style video game, or steering a team of developers through an Agile transition so we could bring you the new great iOS tap-stravaganza. But here I am, Director of Media Relations at Patriot Software, a position that keeps me more on the networking side of the operation than the digital, and, frankly, it’s pretty great.
The folks I work with are very cool- and not just because they’re reading this. The office is open, transparent, energetic. The possibility to make an impact is high. The pace is never boring. It’s not exactly striking out the side in a packed Yankee stadium — but, the coffee is fresh, the donuts are plentiful, and meeting with investors while sculpting statements for media consumption atop hunting down the perfect advertising agency is a different kind of intense.
I could go on, but, I think you get the jist. There are good jobs and there are bad jobs, and this, my friends, is a good job so far as having to work for a living goes. I mean, it’s a job that lets me keep a finger on the pulse of the baseball world while cutting my teeth in this one. That’s rare.
It’s also a job that, if you’re a savvy developer looking for a good home, you should apply for, because we’re hiring and pay well.
There is one other aspect of this is I want to express. Patriot Software is in Ohio, in my hometown of Canton.
I have a chip on my shoulder about where I come from. I wanted to get out of this town for a long time just to prove I could. When I was a kid, in a smaller town, playing for smaller amaetur teams who had smaller budgets, I was told I was in the wrong part of the world to have a shot at my dream of pro baseball. I was told small, cold weather locations in depressed areas are a ticket to nowhere. All the real athletes were coming from the warm areas, where you could play sports year round, for leagues that scouts had their own kids in.
I ended up going to Kent State and it was more of the same, even after we won 4 rings in 4 years. Even after I got drafted to play proball.
I feel that here, now, just on a different level. A profitable company rising from the ashes of an old steel town, where jobs are cut up and sent overseas and schools are losing funding as a result. People aren’t supposed to do big things, and yet, here we are, profitable, scalable, on the precipice of big.
Good things come out of unlikely places. I did. If you’ve read my stories you know I’m all about that stuff.
I could see this being worse if we made a bad product, but lucky for me, and that chip on my shoulder that pushed me to do so much, we don’t. We make a good product. So good, in fact, I find myself in meetings with investors touting bankrolls that make David Price’s new deal look like something they’d keep in their piggy bank for rainy days. The upside is crazy good and… a little terrifying. If all goes the way projections seem to indicate, we’ll be sprinting to keep pace.
I’m still very much a player, a competitor, an achiever. I’m still trying to do big things, just in a new league, on a different roster, playing a different position.
Oh… and If you need a good cloud-based payroll solution, come talk to me.