22 Mar 8 years
When I was deciding what to call my LLC, I had two thoughts. First, I wanted my name in the business name. I’ve spent years building my personal brand, so now was the time to capitalize on it. You can Google “Casie Yoder” (in quotes is best) and all sorts of things going back the better part of a decade pop up. I know people are going to search you to try to get a feel for you and your work, so I knew this was important.
Second, I didn’t want my business name to be too limiting. I played around with “Casie Yoder Public Relations” (too 90s), “Casie Yoder Communications” (too confusing – people might think I’m an IT consultant) and “Casie Yoder Strategies” (too blah). I finally landed on the most straightforward, big tent name I could think of: Casie Yoder Consulting, LLC. Under the consulting banner I can basically do whatever I want, leaving myself the flexibility to pursue anything interesting that comes my way.
What came my way two weeks ago was a long ago dream, one I wasn’t entirely certain I wanted. Janine Brown, the candidate I wrote about a few weeks ago who I was doing some communications work for, had just lost her campaign manager to one of the presidential campaigns – did I want the job?
If you had told me eight years ago that I’d be considering accepting a job as the campaign manager for a crowded state house primary in my hometown, I’d have laughed so hard and long you’d have thought I’d gone crazy. I left Georgia in January 2008 (after an early start to college I took “a year off” that stretched into four, returning to finish my degree at the exact moment my on-time peers were graduating, finally finishing all my credits by December 2007 at what I then thought was an “old” 24) and had zero intention of ever returning for more than a week’s visit. Atlanta was great, but it would always be my hometown, firmly in my rearview mirror.
I was a little baby political organizer in love with Obama. That was it. That was the entire plan. I spent the primary season taking a crash course in campaigning at GW in D.C., during which time I interned for a major civil rights organization and made some lifelong friends, including a few whose weddings I’m going to this summer. By May I had a job offer to go to Wisconsin for the general. (That would be the general election, for you non-political types.) I had no kids, no partner, no obligations – nothing to stop me from going. I knew if I didn’t go leap into the unknown I’d regret it forever.
I went. It was the best decision I ever made.
So here I am, eight years later, and in many ways my life is a funhouse mirror of what it was 8 years ago – no kids, no partner, no (real) obligations. I am living in Atlanta, the place I never intended to move back to. And when the offer to be Janine’s campaign manager came, I’d just wrapped up a couple of work projects, with nothing on the immediate horizon.
What the heck, I thought, I’m about to turn 33; I might not have this chance again.
I said yes.
Me, Janine Brown, and State Sen. Nan Orrock at last night’s Democratic Party of Georgia State Dinner