By Joe Pulizzi published October 29, 2017

A Content Marketing Love Letter

content-marketing-love-letter

Almost eight years ago to the day was one of the worst days of my life.

The business I had started 2.5 years earlier was on its last leg. It wasn’t just that we weren’t making money, but we were losing enough money that I started to question whether our family would have enough to pay certain bills.

The downtrend was apparent, but on this day … nail met coffin.

This was the day that one of our biggest clients, the one we delivered our best results to and was the most revered of all our case studies, decided not to renew our service (we provided qualified leads for content agencies).

I called the client, received the “official” word, and hung up the phone. In a daze, I walked out of my home office, and then wandered outside and into the yard.

I can’t remember how long I was back there … it could have been five minutes or five hours. I could hear my two boys (then 8 and 6) laughing from inside the house. I think they had just come home from school.

What would I do? What would we do?

It’s a strange feeling when you feel deeply sorry for yourself. Maybe you’ve felt it before … failure that rolls onto you like the ocean waves. Slowly, it overtakes you.

Looking back on it now, it all seems so silly. I mean, this is the definition of a first-world problem. Sure, it wasn’t nice, but it wasn’t the end of the world … except that’s exactly what it felt like.

I guessed I’d just go back and get a “real” job, which was fine except for the fact that I was unmanageable. I left an executive position 2.5 years earlier, put the shingle out, and vowed I’d never do it again. And here I was, considering going back to the corporate world.

A few days went by. I promised myself I wouldn’t make any decisions while in an emotional state.

That week I received an email from one of our blog subscribers. She worked at a fairly large B2B company. She said she absolutely loved the blog and felt like she found her calling around content marketing. She’d been doing content marketing for years but called it something else. She was glad there was a name for it now. Regardless, she wanted to implement a strategy and process in her company, and wanted to know if I could help.

“That’s nice,” I thought … a consulting gig would help.

Then, for whatever reason, I started going through all the emails I’d received from subscribers over the years. The content marketing blog I started in April 2007 was really taking off, and the audience was anything but shy.

The @cmicontent blog I started in April 2007 was taking off & the audience anything but shy. @JoePulizzi Click To Tweet

And there it was … email after email, the audience telling me what they would buy. While I was so busy trying to perfect a failing product, the answers were right in front of me.

“Joe, our marketing department needs ongoing content marketing training. Does anyone do that?”

“Joe, why isn’t there a content marketing conference? I’d like to meet people who are going through the same challenges that I am.”

“Joe, is there any benchmark research on how marketers are using and succeeding with content marketing? I need to get buy-in from my boss.”

“I like AdAge and B2B magazine, but they never talk about content creation and distribution issues. Are there any media companies that focus on this? If so, I’d like to subscribe my team.”

The proverbial lightbulb had been switched to the “on” position.

Birth of Content Marketing Institute

Next to my computer was a cocktail napkin (I still can’t recall why). On that napkin, I wrote something to the effect of this:

In three years, we will run the leading online destination for content marketing, the leading content marketing magazine, and the largest content marketing event on the planet.

Just over six months later, in May 2010, Content Marketing Institute was born. The concept took off immediately. People came to the site. Social sharing was off the hook. It was hard to believe it was working.

In May 2010, @cmicontent was born. The concept took off, says @JoePulizzi. Click To Tweet

Michele Linn bought into the vision and took over editorial. Robert Rose, always open to a disruptive idea, assisted with the vision and agreed to run consulting and training. Pam Kozelka, my wife and co-founder of CMI, took over all the operations so I could sell, speak, scale, and write. Joseph Kalinowski brought his design chops.

Chief Content Officer (CCO) magazine launched in January 2011. Clare McDermott, who for whatever reason agreed to edit the magazine, took charge of the brand with Angela Vannucci who became the project director.

I called Kelley Whetsell, event director extraordinaire, and explained to her the vision for Content Marketing World. She reserved a small space at the Renaissance Hotel in Cleveland, Ohio, based for 100 to 150 people. I honestly didn’t know if we could attract 100 people to Cleveland for a small content marketing conference.

I didn’t know if 100 people would show up for a #contentmarketing conference. 660 people did. @JoePulizzi Click To Tweet

Just a few months later, 660 people showed up at the conference and we were bursting at the hotel’s seams.

Cathy McPhillips came on to run marketing. Lisa Beets agreed to run our annual research. Peter Loibl agreed to come over from Crain’s to run sales. Laura Kozak formalized a process for the website. Jodi Harris came on to help Michele with the blog and our content projects. Mo Wagner brought her social media savvy. Amanda Subler generated more buzz around content marketing than we could possibly imagine.

As we scaled, we added more talent, but even better human beings like Kim Borden, Karen Schopp, Lisa Dougherty, Krissy Leskovec, Dave Anthony, John Hanson, Wally Koval, Ann Gynn, Marcia Riefer-Johnston, and many others.

content-marketing-institute-team-photo-2016

By the fall of 2012, just two years after the worst day of my professional career, we had achieved our “cocktail-napkin” mission, and indeed built the leading online destination for content marketing, the largest magazine property, and the largest in-person content marketing event in the world. 

It’s the community

I love the CMI team. They are family to me and always will be.

But I tell you this story because, to put it simply, CMI exists because of you.

CMI would not be “a thing” without you … your feedback, your honesty, your ability to challenge the status quo.

When I teach people about what it takes to build an audience, I don’t think of an audience as a nameless, faceless crowd. I think of Andrew Davis, Jay Acunzo, Ann Handley, Ardath Albee, Jay Baer, Arnie Kuenn, Ahava Leibtag, Jesper Laursen, Kazuo Watanabe, Pam Didner, Pamela Muldoon, and so many others.

When I teach people about building an audience, I don’t think of it as a nameless, faceless crowd. @JoePulizzi Click To Tweet

I think of the time Andy Crestodina stalked me at Content Marketing World 2012 to hand me a printout of his Content Chemistry book (I still have it, Andy).

I think of Carmen Hill and how she always willingly spends her birthday at CMWorld every year.

joe-pulizzi-carmen-hill-content-marketing-world-birthday

I think of Marcus Sheridan, an incredibly raw and talented speaker that we gave 20 minutes to in 2011 … who became our keynote in 2012 and went on to affect so many people around the world in such a positive way.

I think of amazing moments like Pam and I crying behind the curtain before I went out on stage for CMWorld 2011, and how two days later three delegates came to me crying and disappointed for having to listen to that vulgar Kevin Smith performance (yes, that happened). And I’ll never forget seeing Amanda Todorovich’s face when she received Content Marketer of the Year, presented by her two beautiful daughters.

content-marketer-of-the-year-award-2016

Content marketing has become a real, professional practice … maybe the most important practice in marketing, because you had the strength and courage to seek out a better way to communicate. You believed that marketing, as we knew it, was broken and there was (is) a better way.

Being witness to this and being able to serve you has been a wonderful and humbling experience. It’s a gift … one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever received. I don’t know if I’m deserving of it, but I will accept it nonetheless.

My journey

You are smart, so you’ve probably seen where this is heading (if you didn’t already scroll to this part of the story).

Starting Jan. 1, I will be ending my active role in CMI operations. On that exact date, I’ll be taking a 30-day, internet-free sabbatical and spending every possible second with my family. After that, I’ll be taking some very special (bucket list) trips with members of my family and will be working on some non-marketing writing projects (and other shenanigans). I’ll also be increasing my involvement in our nonprofit organization, Orange Effect Foundation, and will continue to raise money for children who desperately need speech therapy and technology equipment to help them communicate more effectively.

I’ve been given a very rare gift in that I can step away and focus on some things that I may have been neglecting over the past few years. As Alexander Hamilton says in the musical Hamilton, “I am not throwing away my shot.” My plan is to truly lean in to this and see where the journey leads me.

Some community members may not know this, but CMI was acquired in June 2016 by UBM, one of the most successful event and media companies in the world. UBM saw amazing value in the business, and CMI found a wonderful home. The partnership with UBM is the reason I have the opportunity to take some time off. Hopefully you’ve noticed that there haven’t been any changes to the CMI team operations or the way we interact with the community. UBM has done a great job in continuing in the spirit that Pam, I, and the rest of the team started so many years ago.

So, while I, of course, will be at Content Marketing World in 2018, I’ll be moving away from my other duties, including the podcast. I can do this because, to be honest, I have complete faith in you, the community, and the CMI team. I’m excited to see what you do next, and how our very important mission continues to evolve.

I have complete faith in the community & the @cmicontent team. I’m excited to see what's next. @JoePulizzi Click To Tweet

It’s never been a more exciting time to be a marketing professional. We are the ones who will define the future business models, not just for marketing, but for our entire organizations. Building loyal and trusted audiences through the delivery of truly valuable information is the key to making this happen.

Although I won’t be active at CMI, I won’t be gone. I’m here for any one of you with anything you need, just like I always have been. You just might not be seeing my avatar as much on the site.

If you have any questions, please leave them below and I will answer as promptly as possible.

With love and content,

Joe

“Patience, persistence, and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.” – Napoleon Hill

Want to see Joe’s motivational words from Content Marketing World 2017 and learn from hundreds of presenters? Sign up for CMWorld’s video on demand.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

Author: Joe Pulizzi

Joe Pulizzi is the Founder of Content Marketing Institute, a UBM company, the leading education and training organization for content marketing, which includes the largest in-person content marketing event in the world, Content Marketing World. Joe is the winner of the 2014 John Caldwell Lifetime Achievement Award from the Content Council. Joe’s the author of five books, including his latest, Killing Marketing. His third book, Epic Content Marketing was named one of “Five Must Read Business Books of 2013” by Fortune Magazine. If you ever see Joe in person, he’ll be wearing orange. Follow him on Twitter @JoePulizzi.

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  • heidicohen

    Joe–

    What a moving letter to the #CMWorld community from your heart.

    You, Pam and the rest of the CMI team have given so much to marketers around the world.

    I love your transparency in showing us all how we can become stronger by overcoming the worst points in our careers and our lives. Because when they occur, they can throw us into inaction and despair. Instead we should see where we need to let the light in.

    Thank you and Pam and Michele for you inviting me to be part of this amazing journey and I wish you the best in the next phrase of your life.

    I look forward to seeing your next act as well as CMI’s next phase.

    All my best,
    Heidi

    Heidi Cohen
    Actionable Marketing Guide

    • http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks so much Heidi!

  • CLopez

    Very inspiring Joe! All the very best with your future endeavors 🙂

  • http://www.jimmacleod.com JimMacLeod

    Joe,
    Best of luck on the new adventure. Your insights will be missed, but I’m looking forward to seeing where your journey takes you next.

    FWIW, I didn’t foresee the twist this post was going to take.

    Thanks for everything (past and future),
    -Jim

    • http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Joe Pulizzi

      Ha…I thought I was telegraphing it.

  • Mike Myers

    Good for you, Joe! You’ve done so much for so many and now is the time for you. Please keep us posted on your next adventure, as I’m sure there will be one, and just let me know how I can help. Congrats!

    • http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Joe Pulizzi

      Absolutely sir…I’m sure I’ll be seeing you soon. Go Bucs!

  • JoanMcKenna

    No one deserves the break more.

    All the best with your foundation and family time.

    Since you’ve given so much to marketers and journalists, please let us know how we can help The Orange Effect Foundation.

    Joan

    • http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Joe Pulizzi

      Definitely Joan…keep spreading the word on OEF. There is such an incredible need to fill.

  • Drew McLellan

    Bravo Joe — on having the insight to see where you needed to go next, the courage to take that huge leap off the cliff and the humanity to create a community rather than a marketplace. You’ve created a road map for us all to keep in mind as we carve out our our space to help, teach and tell our stories. I am sure wherever you lend your talent/heart — they will benefit and we’ll get to learn by cheering you on and watching!

    Drew

    • http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks for all the support Drew. Means a lot!

  • http://www.TheSocialMediaHat.com/ Mike Allton

    Love this, Joe! Can’t wait to see what you have in store next.

  • http://www.erikaheald.com/ Erika Heald

    So happy for you Joe. Thank you so much for everything you’ve done with building CMI over the years. Without you, I’d never have found my tribe.

    So much love to you and Pam and the rest of the team.

    P.S. I hope to see you and Robert when you are in SF next month!

    • http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Joe Pulizzi

      Me doth thinks you giveth me too much credit…but yes, see you very soon.

  • Scott Aughtmon

    Even though CMI will continue to run smoothly, I’ll miss knowing that you’re behind it all. Thanks for creating CMI. I’ve enjoyed getting the chance to write for you on and off over the years. Take care, Joe! Enjoy your time off!

    • http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Joe Pulizzi

      I will definitely miss it too my friend…but I’m thankful the CMI team will continue to push the ball forward.

  • http://martinlieberman.com Martin Lieberman

    It’s ironic, I suppose, but words can’t describe the debt of gratitude content marketers (like myself) owe you for rallying the troops, sharing your insights, and building this community that I’m so proud to be a part of. Thank you thank you thank you. I know you’re not stepping away 100%, but you will definitely be missed.

    • http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Joe Pulizzi

      You’ve been there from the beginning Martin. Can’t thank you enough.

  • http://www.verticalmeasures.com/ Arnie Kuenn

    Love it Joe. And I picture you too when I think of Content Marketing. I think Pam and you already know how thrilled Andi and I are for the both of you. All the best my friend.

    • http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Joe Pulizzi

      You’ve always been so supportive my friend. My best to Andi as well.

  • http://www.artillerymarketing.com Douglas Burdett

    Joe, I’m so happy for you, Pam and your boys – congratulations and thanks for everything!

    • http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Joe Pulizzi

      So appreciative Douglas!

  • http://twitter.com/toddwheatland Todd Wheatland

    You’ve had a huge impact on my professional and personal lives Joe – thanks for the memories and look forward to seeing your impact in new areas. After a decent break, of course.

    • http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Joe Pulizzi

      Yes indeed! Thank you sir.

  • http://www.contentmarketing.dk/ Joakim Ditlev

    Joe, thanks for all the inspiration and support during the years. Best of luck to you, Pam and the Orange Effect Foundation!
    But 1 month off the web – you’re never gonna last 😀

    • http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Joe Pulizzi

      🙂 It’s going to happen!

  • https://firstword.co.uk FirstWord London

    Have to say, the CMI has done some amazing research over time. It’s always been a real go to in terms of proving why we do this thing called content marketing.

    • http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks so much…and we will continue to do so. Appreciate the support.

  • https://chillcontent.com/ carmenhill

    Wow, it’s so hard to imagine CMI without you, Joe! I’m beyond flattered to be included in your lovely farewell letter. There are few people who have truly had such a significant impact on an entire industry. Content may be This Old Marketing, but you gave it modern wings and inspired thousands of people to embrace it as a growth strategy. Hugs, warm wishes, and huge congratulations to you and Pam!

    • http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Joe Pulizzi

      You are too kind…hugs right back at ya!

  • http://contentmarketinglatam.com Fernando Labastida

    So sad to see you go, Joe…but so excited for you too! You’re one of the people I admire most in the world, so this sabbatical couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

    Sooo, when you were recruiting all those people to help you out at the beginning (“Michele Linn bought into the vision and took over editorial…”), did you pay them at first, or did they put in sweat equity with the hope of building something big? Asking for a friend…

    • http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Joe Pulizzi

      Oh, I had a lot of mentors that helped along the way, but the CMI team was all paid for their work (I am legally required to say this ;). What I wasn’t expecting was the amount of sheer passion they all brought with them…and now have some of the greatest friends in the world.

      • http://contentmarketinglatam.com Fernando Labastida

        That’s fantastic Joe…and great seeing you in Chicago laat month!!

  • http://unthinkable.fm Jay Acunzo

    Joe, you’ve created something special, my friend. Thanks for working tirelessly to give what we do a community, a name, and, well, a color scheme 😉

    Above all, thanks for setting an example for entrepreneurs and content marketers everywhere that you can be generous and kind and succeed in business.

    You deserve a victory lap, but if I know you, it’ll be more like taking a quick knee before sprinting in some exciting new direction. Just let me know where I should point this bullhorn I’m holding 🙂

    • http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Joe Pulizzi

      Love you brother!

  • Kazuo Watanabe

    I am feeling as if a big shining star disappears. But at the same time I can see a sky full of stars you ignited. May the Force be with you!

    • http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Joe Pulizzi

      You have always been so supportive. By the way, the Empire picture is hanging proudly in my living room. Thanks again my friend!

  • http://www.bernieborges.com BernieBorges

    Joe, you have made a significant contribution to the industry and to many lives. You deserve the opportunity to enter a new chapter. I have no doubt you’ll continue to make a difference. It’s in your DNA. Thanks for being you!

    • http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Joe Pulizzi

      And you as well sir…proud to call you my friend.

  • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

    Hey Joe, delighted that you have the opportunity to step back and take some time out to enjoy what you, Pam and the team achieved. One of the reasons I love Content Marketing World is that I get a chance to catch up with you all every year. Such an amazing group of people.

    I am disappointed that our dance off at CMW this year was not captured on video. I’m sure we’ll get that opportunity again!

    Enjoy the next part of the journey and see you in Ireland for a pint!!

    • http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Joe Pulizzi

      The dance off was EPIC, but I’m glad there was no video because you were clearly the winner. Congrats on the launch of your new product and please keep me posted with how I can help.

      • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

        Thanks Joe!

  • Adam P. Newton

    Joe – My life and career would literally not be the same without the work that you & CMI do on a daily basis. Thanks for your vision, wit, intelligence, vision, and amazing energy for this thing we call content marketing.

    I hope you enjoy your month with your family, and I’m very excited to see what the future holds for you.

    • http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Joe Pulizzi

      Thank you Adam…you’ve always been so supportive and I truly appreciate it.

  • http://www.chris-moody.com/blog Chris Moody

    The color orange is rejoicing somewhere.

    Congrats, Joe! You’ve done so many amazing things to help marketers around the world, and I’m sure that will continue. I’ll always remember the Compendium / CMW party. 🙂

    Enjoy the time with the family, sir!

    • http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks Chris…who could ever forget that party!

  • http://www.onlinemarketingcoach.com/ Mike Murray

    Thanks for everything you’ve done for the community and for me personally. You’re an inspiration and a grand example on so many levels. Your warmth and sincerity are unmistakable. They provide a strong foundation for your vision, leadership and dedication to family. I wish you well as you experience the journey and the joys that will surely come with it.

    • http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Joe Pulizzi

      Thank you Mike…you are a key part of our success. They never would have “found” us without you.

  • http://www.commencia.com/ Mike Hale

    Congrats Joe! It was great to get a chance to meet and chat with you a bit in Denver a few years ago and Content Marketing World is one of the best conferences I’ve been to. Also enjoyed the podcast, so while I’ll miss it congrats on everything you’ve accomplished (so far!)

    • http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks for that Mike!

  • http://www.annhandley.com Ann Handley

    Joe: So much love back to you. Thank you sincerely for all you’ve done to advance marketing, and I’m grateful for all you’ve done for me personally, as well. You are a true leader, and a great friend.

    All my best to you and enjoy your sabbatical — and I can’t wait to see what you do next. Or, to paraphrase Hamilton for a second time in your honor: “There’s a million things you haven’t done… just you wait.” <3

    • http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Joe Pulizzi

      OMG you quoted Hamilton back to me. You just keep getting better Handley!

  • Aaron Dun

    What a great goodbye note Joe! Congrats on the epic run, not everyone gets to say they helped create a movement, and you and your team’s legacy will live on a long time! I always appreciated our conversations, and the energy you brought to everything you did. The long list of comments here are a testament to how much you will be missed! Enjoy the family time, what a blessing that will be.

    • http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Joe Pulizzi

      You’ve always been so supportive Aaron…we had some epic conversations along the way.

  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ jaybaer

    So fired up for you, and thrilled to have been able to witness this.

    • http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Joe Pulizzi

      Did someone say beer? Thanks brother!

  • http://www.theidgroup.co.uk/ Mark Masters

    As a chapter ends, look forward to picking it up again in the same font.

    Thanks for setting something up that has provided guidance and a belief that we can make a difference when we believe in something. A huge achievement and enjoy breathing it all in.

    Thanks for giving me the opportunity to come to the US, from a man that had never travelled beyond Europe!

    • http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Joe Pulizzi

      Keep doing your thing Mark…love the direction you’re headed.

  • http://www.jonathancrossfield.com Kimota

    Of course, you could never stand still. On to the next stage of awesome, new empires to build, new goals to achieve. Congrats on everything you’ve achieved so far (and thanks for providing opportunities for so many of us along the way).

    • http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks Jonathan…appreciate all the support. Well, hopefully I can hold off for a bit…I’d like to see what it’s like.

  • Sonya Bradley

    Say it ain’t so, Joe 😉 Congratulations on taking that next step. I tell everyone it was “Get Content Get Customers” that changed it all for me. You’re my content marketing hero. You should know that your invite to me to present at this year’s CMW came at a time when I really needed the boost as I was having doubts about what I was doing. I can’t thank you enough for that opportunity. Good luck in wherever that road takes you. Orange forever!

    • http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Joe Pulizzi

      You better keep me posted! I mean it.

  • http://www.propelgrowth.com Candyce Edelen

    Joe, it’s an honor to know you. Congratulations on getting to this point. I hope you truly do take that full month of Internet sabbatical. I can’t wait to see what you decide to do next!

    • http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Joe Pulizzi

      Will definitely keep in touch.

  • http://b2b-marketing.pl/ Igor Bielobradek

    Joe, thank you so much for everything I got from you, without your inspiration and guidance I wouldn’t be here. I feel like chapter of this fascinating book I am reading is concluding, but I am secretly hoping for more 😉
    I keep my fingers crossed for whatever you’re up to, and there’s no way I am not seeing you at CMW 2018!

    • http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Joe Pulizzi

      Definitely see you there!

  • http://www.trendr.com/ Peter Davison

    Glad I finally got to meet you in person last spring! Very interesting focus you have around special needs and technology. Might be an excuse to have another chat 🙂 Peter

    • http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks Peter…keep spreading the word on OEF.

  • Bob West

    Congratulations, Joe, and best of luck to you going forward. CMI stands as an amazing accomplishment for you, Pam and the CMI team. Best wishes for your next adventure.

    • http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks Bob…talk soon!

  • http://www.vinishgarg.com/ Vinish Garg

    Congratulations Joe. I found CMI in early 2012 via a post/mention by Scott Abel and there was no looking back. Every now and then, I share CMI posts as a reference in my contacts and community.

    CMI is gold as a reference and you deserve a break. I hope that you resurface with another gold mine, at the right time. Wish you good luck!

  • https://www.imbloggingtips.com Vishwajeet Kumar

    Hello Joe,

    Congratulations, You have really done a great job with CMI. I am regular reader of the blog and each and every article on this blog help me to learn something new everyday. Its also help me to produce quality content and help me to grow my blog. Thanks for making this awesome website.

  • http://www.evasanagustin.com/ Eva Sanagustin

    I’ve read your post with a smile on my face: I also have memories of those days… I remember the first time I’d hear “content marketing”, it was from you. It changed my life and I could not be more greatful for that.
    All the best, Joe. You deserve it for be an inspiration for lots of people! Greetings from Barcelona.

    • http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Joe Pulizzi

      So nice of you Eva…take care in Barcelona…we’ve been keeping an eye on things from here.

      • http://www.evasanagustin.com/ Eva Sanagustin

        Thanks Joe 🙂

  • René Power

    All the more reason to make the trip in 2018 from the UK Joe. Best of luck. Literally a bright light for all of us.

    • http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Joe Pulizzi

      Hope to see you there Rene!

  • Scott

    Congratulations, Joe. It’s so great to read your story. Looking forward to see where you pop up next, since there’s no chance you can stay away for too long. At least your orange wardrobe will still be relevant with your foundation work. Enjoy your well-deserved ‘retirement’. -Scott

    • http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks Scott…really appreciate it.

  • Susan Mitchell

    You probably don’t recall, but we met in the summer of 2008 at a Penn State ISBM event where Martha Rogers (1-1 Marketing) spoke. It’s been great watching and benefiting from your work all these years! Enjoy your sabbatical.

    • http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Joe Pulizzi

      Wow…I DO remember that. Hard to believe it’s been almost a decade. Thanks so much for the kind note.

  • Candace Chapman

    Thanks for everything, Joe. You will continue to be an inspiration to content marketers and orange lovers everywhere!

    • http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Joe Pulizzi

      OrangeRules

  • http://www.brandpoint.com Scott Severson

    Joe- Congratulations on your success and best wishes on your next adventure.

    One of the things that I love about my job is we get to help companies have a more direct relationship with their customers through the power of great content.

    Content marketing is a space that I think is incredibly interesting, and helping other companies get better results is very meaningful work for me and our team at Brandpoint.

    Through your writing and your platform at CMI you’ve inspiring my thinking and helped Brandpoint become a better Content Marketing Agency. Thank you for your vision and hard work to make it a reality.

    – Scott

    • http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks my friend!

  • Connie Moore

    What a great blog post. Congratulations and best wishes on your sabbatical and the non-profit initiative.

  • Colleen Weston

    Joe: Congratulations on all you and the team have accomplished. I feel very privileged to have been at that first CMWorld and beam with pride each year I have watched it grow. You have built an amazing community for marketers to share their challenges, struggles, fears along with their proudest moments and look to others for insight and guidance. I have made some of the best connections-personally and professionally-through this group and can’t imagine my career without CMI and you playing a critical role. It is truly an end of an amazing era, but, as a member of this community, promise we will not only keep it going, but grow it beyond what it is today. Thank you and congratulations for all you have done! Enjoy your time with your family, as, we know, life moves too fast and those moments with the ones we love are really what matters.

    • http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Joe Pulizzi

      You are so sweet Colleen…what a great note. Means a lot.

  • Brad Entwistle

    Congrats Joe! You’ve truly made “a dent in the universe!” The entire team at imageseven have benefited from you being a path-finder, but it won’t be the same without you leading the way. Go well. Phil 4:13

    • http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Joe Pulizzi

      …all things are possible

  • http://www.demandgenreport.com Sal LoSauro

    congrats Joe!

  • Juntae DeLane

    You’re a legend, Joe! Thanks for all that you’ve done in the industry. I look forward to following you through your next journey.

  • http://www.timwasher.com/ Tim Washer
    • http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Joe Pulizzi

      Yes!

  • Titien Ahmad

    Thanks for helping to define my true calling, Joe! I went to the 2013 CMI and was relieved to find a home for the idea I’ve been brewing in my head. Our content marketing agency is now 4 years old and I hope to see you in 2018!

    • http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Joe Pulizzi

      Love it Titien! Yes, will definitely see you at CMW18.

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Great story Joe! Wishing you continued success on your next Journey

    • http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks Michael!

  • http://www.velocitypartners.co.uk/our-blog/ Doug Kessler

    Deep respect.

  • http://sociallysmashing.com/ Nicole Jolie

    Wow. This makes me feel like there’s hope for me. 🙂 such a great story.

    • http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks so much Nicole!

  • Jason Schemmel

    Joe, you’ve accomplished so much with this venture! You’ve built a cult following, brought together a community of professionals, and showed off the color orange in ways I never knew possible (seriously, who knew an orange tux & shoes would look so good).

    You have also positively impacted the lives of those around you and that speaks volumes to what you and Pam have done at CMI. Thank you for all that you have done. I feel most fortunate to be a small part of it and I eagerly look forward to your next venture =)

    • http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks my friend. Means a lot!

  • David Sadler-Smith

    Hey Joe… I’ve been listening to the podcast in the UK for many years during my commute. I’ve fallen in and out of love with many podcasts during that period… except that is for “this ole marketing” I’ve never missed an episode. You, Robert and CMI have shaped a lot of my thinking and I regularly reflect your insights against my own ideas to great effect. But whilst I owe you a debt of gratitude for sharing so much of your time in my car… my feelings about this news are conflicted. I feel like the guy who has just got home only to find a suitcase at the foot of the stairs and his wife standing there writing a “Dear John” letter. I’m just wondering what is it that I have done to make you leave… I know when we are in the car together I am prone to the occasional outburst of expletives. And yes on occasions, during our disagreements, I hit the steering wheel with my fist… but its because I care… and in fact more often than not it is Robert that is causing me to shout out. As a divorcee I know it’s no use falling to the floor and grabbing you by the ankles and begging you to stay, especially from this distance. But I will say if it doesn’t work out I will take you back and I promise never to mention what you did to me and the pain that you caused. What am going to do on Tuesday 2 Jan 2018. My life has changed forever… just as it did all those years ago when i found you.

    Thanks
    David

    • http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Joe Pulizzi

      Wow David…this one is a keeper. So appreciate all your support. I’m not going away forever, just for a while to re-calibrate.

      But in the meantime, I need you to take the baton and run with it.

  • http://about.me/aarondbooth Aaron Booth

    Joe – As you wrote in my tattered, note filled copy of Content, INC., “You inspire me!” – I say ditto. All the best in your next journey of a new chapter in your life. – Aaron

    • http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Joe Pulizzi

      🙂
      Thanks Aaron!

  • KarenSwim

    Joe, I have relied on CMI since the beginning, as a trusted source of information and insights. Thank you for all that you have done over the years. I could not be happier for you!