Last Updated: Nov 21, 2023
On Being a Creator
Whelp… another 365 days have passed. It’s hard to believe that I am now already 38! Where the hell did the time go? Despite traveling 3–4 days out of every week, I’ve barely made a dent in my ever-growing bucket list. What’s more, I am now so inundated with offers (both as a freelance media buyer and as a creator) that I basically live on the constant edge of burnout. Still, looking back at my path and where it’s taken me in the tireless service of Japan, I don’t think that I’d trade it for anything.
For what it’s worth, many moons ago on my 30th birthday I made the decision to become an “influencer.” At the time, I had just launched Spotify into the Japanese market, an ordeal that I barely survived due to the crazy workload involved. My team and I oversaw the big press announcement and also developed all the marketing positioning and messaging that the streaming service would use going forward. It was an arduous task, but one that I am still quite proud of. Unfortunately, client case studies aren’t just something that you can print on the back of a hoodie.
Once I had caught up on sleep, the massive undertaking of the Spotify launch got the gears in my head turning. Wanting to showcase to the world what I knew about marketing, I settled on the idea of putting out content as a means of building my personal brand. As I’ve written elsewhere before, my original plan was to become yet another online marketing guru. You see, there is a dearth of information online about the media landscape in Japan and I reasoned that I could develop my reputation by shining a light into this black abyss.
Almost from the outset, though, I knew something was off with my ploy to become a publicly known marketing maverick and quickly pivoted to something else. At the time, I had just exited being the de facto CMO of my friend’s Airbnb empire in Osaka. Looking to develop a standalone identity for the 500+ listings, we envisioned what we called the Mia Project — an online concierge that would bridge the divide between known and unknown, thereby…