I’m leaving El Toro, but I’m taking a piece of it with me.
When I first started at El Toro, I was right out of college. I had very little work experience, but I was eager to learn. Through my group of friends I was able to land an interview at El Toro. That was over two years ago. I’ve learned a lot, made some great memories and have received some of the most invaluable experience that I could have ever asked for.
When I told management that I was leaving, they weren’t upset or let down. They were ecstatic that I had found a new role where I could grow even further and continue to hone my skills. No, they didn’t look forward to me leaving, just as it’s bittersweet for me to go, but they celebrated my decision because we all knew that it was time for me to grow my skillset and move onto a new opportunity. The one thing they asked before I left was for a quick blog post about my experiences the past two years.
Whenever I write, I look towards a good quote to help me find inspiration. As I was reading through some of my favorite quotes, it got me thinking back to all of the great quotes that have come out of El Toro. Some of them wise, some funny and some that I can’t share over our blog. I have put together a few of those quotes (some from El Toro and some not) that highlight El Toro’s unique culture and shed light on all that this great group of people have spent their time teaching me during my tenure here.
“Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.” – Jillian Michaels
Whether it was giving me the freedom to make mistakes, having me write this blog post (cough cough) or any other number of situations that I did not expect to be thrown into – El Toro put me in situations that I was not 100% comfortable with and it’s very hard to argue that that is not a good thing.
“The biggest risk is not taking any risk…in a world that is changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” – Mark Zuckerburg
Different forms of this message have been repeated to me many times by many different coworkers at El Toro, but I don’t think anything exemplifies it better then how El Toro came to be. El Toro began with three guys in a basement. Four and a half years later, they employ 70 people in one of the coolest office spaces in Louisville. Amazing what hard work and taking a chance can accomplish!
“Don’t mess it up.” – El Toro
Now this quote I can accredit to El Toro. Although mostly used in jest, I do believe that there is some wisdom here. In our career and every other aspect of our lives, there are all sorts of factors that we can allow to mess with our performance. However, if we focus on the results that we want to achieve then all of those issues will take care of themselves. If you’re not getting done what you need to get done, then persist until you get it done. If I had to boil down what I have learned from El Toro into one lesson – this would be it.
As I write this post, I’m thinking about my next opportunity how it wouldn’t have been possible without the lessons and experiences I gained over my two and a half years at El Toro. I’m departing El Toro to join another team at a fast growth SAAS Company in Denver. Although I am very excited for my next opportunity (and getting to move to Denver), I can’t help but feel sad to be leaving here. I can’t imagine a better first job to prepare me for what comes next in my professional pursuits. With fast growth comes some chaos and the necessity for a group of people to come together and make sense of that chaos. Seeing this process play out at El Toro was a big reason that I am choosing to work in yet another fast growth environment. Thanks for the lessons, the laughs, and the memories!
- - Neil Borgman