Why I’ve quit my well-paid job for a “start-up” life

For the last four years I have been working for Schaller & Partner. To many the agency’s name might not instantly ring a bell. However it’s one of Germany’s 20 largest owner-managed marketing agencies. When I joined them in 2010 they were doing very well but — having been founded in the 70’s — were shaped by the print era.

A friend who worked for them as a graphics designer introduced me to Dieter Schaller, the owner and CEO who asked me to help them establish a digital expertise. I soon took the lead of a digital department within the agency that supported the individually run business units in delivering amazing digital content to their clients.

It worked extremely well and we quickly had a reputable name in the digital business, developing websites, apps and experiences for renowned international brands such as Bosch, BASF, Michelin and John Deere. I had great colleagues and yes, the job was well paid too.

You could say there was no reason to change anything. Still I decided to do so. Why? Well — as cliqued as it may sound — I realised my heart longed for more. I missed a very specific entrepreneurial spirit and I desired to develop products that in my eyes went beyond short-timed marketing campaigns.

At the same I have been in touch with my friend and former university classmate Oliver on a regular basis. Before I started working for Schaller & Partner he decided to start the digital agency 3spin in Darmstadt which quickly grew to 8 full-time employees.

We always talked a lot about ideas and business. Finally when Oliver asked me if I wanted to work with him to take the company to the next level I agreed — even with the knowledge that in the beginning I would earn less and work for smaller clients than I was used to. But now it is completely up to me to change that.

And even though 3spin has now already been around for 6 years it still has the “start-up” feel to it that I was looking for. The potential to shape something that has a real meaning and an importance to my life while already having a solid base of skilled digital experts to work with.

We plan on shifting 3spin from a sub agency service provider to a design and technology oriented product company that markets its products directly to large corporations. I am very much looking forward to my new challenge. Strategic product and business development at 3spin.

Do you have the desire to change something in your life? I can only encourage you to take a similar step and start your own business or work for a fresh young company that can provide an environment which lets you use your full potential.