Posts Tagged ‘WaterBrook Press’

Blogging for Books – New Site Launched

January 14, 2011

I recently launched a new website through WaterBrook Multnomah called BloggingForBooks.org.

Blogging for Books allows bloggers to request free review copies in exchange for a thoughtful reviews on their blogs, a retailer’s site and on BloggingForBooks.org. Bloggers get free books and can win prizes based on how many times they can get their reviews ranked in the system. In my time as an online product developer, this is the coolest program I have ever built out.

Thanks to Rocket Jones (web development) and Tenfold Collective (design) as well as everyone at WaterBrook and Random House that believed in this project, invested in it and helped to make it a reality.

Colorado Springs Here We Come…Err, Are.

November 24, 2008
Life is full of surprises. An overused phrase—I know—but, in my family’s case surprises are something we’ve learned to get used to.
 
If you know any of my immediate family—my sisters, my parents, me or my wife Kelly—than you know we struggle with anything that looks like business as usual. You see, the Sigfrids clan and its members are not afraid of change (1/3rd of us are afraid of the the “Change We Need”…but that’s a story for another day). Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah – change. Change in the life of any Sigfrids is like…well…the setting sun—you can pretty much count on it every day.
 
Take me for example. I’ve had 22 cars in the past 12 years, I’m on my fourth address in the past eight years and I’ve had 19 jobs since I was 13 years old. What can I say—I like mixing it up. I like rearranging the furniture, painting and repainting rooms in my house, fixing something up only to tear it apart again a year later to try something new.
 
My parents and sisters are probably a little more stable. My older sister knew exactly what she wanted to do before she hit college and finished her degree like every other “normal” college student in four years. My younger sister took a little bit longer to get her degree, but still—she knew what she wanted to do and went after it.
 
Me – I got married two months after my 19th birthday, went to four different colleges and changed career courses more times than the New England Patriots have been to the post season. I don’t know why God wired me this way…but I’m not afraid to try something new.
 
But when it came to where I wanted to live the rest of my life…I was sure that Fort Collins was it. I love the community, our church, our friends and our home. Whether it be biking to Old Town Fort Collins for ice cream and live music in the summer or eating dinner out (I’m pretty sure Fort Collins has more restaurants per capita than any other city in the U.S.) — Kelly and I loved life in Fort Collins.
 
But when things at my job (Penton Media) started getting a little rocky and the economy started to sour I decided it would be best to start looking for “Plan B.”
 
I poked around for marketing jobs and ended up with three interviews in two weeks: One at WaterBrook Multnomah Publishers (out of Colorado Springs), one at Sierra Trading Post (out of Cheyenne, WY) and one back at Group Publishing (Loveland, Colo.). Each job had its unique flavor and in all honesty I thought the job at Group would pan out for sure. But as I began going through the interview process at each company I could tell that God was weeding two out and preparing the soil in the hearts of Kelly and I for the one He wanted for our family.
 
I’ve seen God do some pretty amazing things in my life: Fix blown head gasket problems by removing the head gasket altogether (if you want this story ask me about my $1 Chevy Corsica), bring people into the path of my life at two in the morning (ask me about the drunk driver that hit my house), and provide just what we need exactly when we needed it (if you want to hear this one, remind me of the time I tried taking down my garage door).
 
God’s done amazing things. He did it again with the new job I accepted in October. I saw the opening at WaterBrook on CareerBuilder.com. Now – given that I’ve applied for lots of jobs (remember, I’ve had 19 since the age of 13) I can tell you that CareerBuilder.com is not exactly a hot spot for great jobs. Nonetheless, I saw the position at WaterBrook and decided to go for it. I applied through RandomHouse.com and at the last minute decided that in addition to filling out the application online that I would fax a hard copy directly to the Colorado Springs office.
 
Act of God #1: As it turns out, the hiring manager would get that fax minutes before she left the office to fly out for a conference. My resume made it to the top of her list and caught her attention while she was away from the office.
 
A couple weeks after I had submitted my resume I got an email from the hiring manager at WaterBrook asking me if I would have time to chat about the open position. I called and we set up a time to chat about the position. I remember getting the email in our kitchen on my cell phone and laughing as I read it and told Kelly that a company in the Springs wanted to talk to me about a job.
 
Act of God #2: Now I kind of expected Kelly to raise a red flag after I alerted her to this potential opportunity. In all reality, I expected her to say something like, “Uh uh, no way, no how, don’t even think about it, we’re not moving and if you even think about thinking about it you might as well just start sleeping on the couch now.” Her response was the complete opposite, “Would we move to the Springs? I might be okay with that.”
 
The first phone interview with WaterBrook went really well. I learned more about the position and the more I learned the more intrigued I was. And then there were the benefits…holy cow, the benefits. I lined them up on a spreadsheet against the benefits I was currently enjoying. The benefits at WaterBrook made my benefits at Penton look like some third world Communist run program.
 
Act of God #3: After my phone interview a week went by, then another week. I hadn’t heard anything and quite honestly I was expecting a “thanks but no thanks” letter from WaterBrook. Driving home from work one day I received a call. As the “719” Colorado Springs area code flashed across my phone I knew it was Waterbrook calling. They wanted to bring me in for an in person interview.
 
Later that week, Kelly, Ransom, Lewis and I loaded into the family van and headed for the Springs. I met with several different managers and staff at WaterBrook. The interview went well. I learned more about the position and came to understand that I would basically be given full control over redesigning their web site and handling their online marketing efforts. For a guy like me that is driven by projects that seem overwhelming and given the autonomy and trust to pull off the impossible—this job just kept getting better and better.
 
Act of God #4:As Kelly and I started to pray more and more about the possibility of moving to the Springs, God made it more and more apparent that the job at WaterBrook was on His heart. The other interviews at Sierra Trading Post and Group had come and gone and I had pretty much decided against accepting or pursuing either based on the way the interviews went. On the way home from my second interview with Sierra Trading post I got a call from WaterBrook with an offer. Now, I had it in my mind what it would take for me to accept the position. From a salary perspective to helping with relocation—every single piece of their offer was at or beyond what I needed to make a decision.
 
As Kelly and I prayed over the next two days and talked about the transition timeline and details surrounding (what seemed like) an apparant “yes” decision we began batting around ideas. “Simple” things like renting vs. selling our house. And complex things like managing a hectic October schedule that included: Kelly and I vacationing in Florida for a week, me going to Green Bay for a Packer game, Kelly traveling to St. Louis for a wedding, and me staying in Colorado Springs Tuesdays through Thursdays for up to three months after accepting the position.
 
Act of God #5: Kelly and I decided that God was indeed opening the door for us in Colorado Springs. We decided to sell our house in Fort Collins (which we had just bought 14 months prior) and dive head first into life in Southern Colorado. As we neared the largest hurdle in this whole ordeal I prayed that God would prove to me that His hand was indeed in all of this. I prayed and asked God to sell our house before I started work at WaterBrook. That gave him about 11 days to sell our house. We placed our house on the market and left for vacation in Florida. It was a glorious week that included walks on the beach, driving around in a convertible and watching the stock market tumble amidst a 700 Billion dollar government bail out.  
On our way back to the airport to fly home we got a call from our realtor. We had an offer. We got home the next day, countered their offer and they accepted. God had gotten us a contract in just 10 days. The day after we signed the contract I started work at WaterBrook.
 
I spent the first three weeks at Waterbrook going back and forth from the Springs to Fort Collins. I’d stay in the Homewood Suites three days a week and then work from home Mondays and Fridays. It was a grueling schedule and I’m so thankful that we were able to sell our house and be down in Colorado Springs just four short weeks after starting my new job.
 
We’re renting a nice place in the Gleneagle area—just 5 miles from work (nice on the wallet compared to the 44 mile round trip I was taking each day to get to Penton and back). We’re “church shopping” which feels like scraping 60 grit across my heart due to the fact that we loved our church in Fort Collins so much.
 
Kelly, Ransom, Lewis and I have started new routines: Dinner almost every night, a fire in the wood burning fireplace and reading books before bedtime, and enjoying weekends together as a family. It’s been tough to be away from friends, but we’re trusting God each day and know that He has plans for us in the Springs.
 
Well – I better get going. Until next time…