August 24, 2015
I first heard the name Gerry Crispin in 1998.
I was working for a job board at the time, and our CEO had been hounding the marketing department for weeks about putting our best foot forward for CareerXRoads, a book that, at the time, was the Bible for rating all the online players.
In the days before blogs and social media, publications like CareerXRoads were vital to vendors who wanted to make a splash. A solid review meant instant street cred, while something less than stellar meant another year in purgatory.
The book, as I soon learned, was a product of authors Gerry Crispin and Mark Mehler. The book isn’t published anymore, but digging out old copies from the ’90s remains a fun stroll down Memory Lane.
Fast forward to 2005.
I had just become a solopreneur and birthed a blog that focused on the business of online employment. For someone with no name and no money, blogging was one of the only ways to get attention in a pre-Facebook world. I was fortunate to have a few fans in those early months, but Gerry stood out as the most influential.
One day that year, I checked my voicemail and got this: “Joel, this is Gerry Crispin. Give me a call,” or something like that. I didn’t hear much after “Gerry Crispin,” frankly. For someone like me, a call from Gerry Crispin was akin to God giving me a ring. It must be how a budding filmmaker feels getting a call from Martin Scorcese or Steven Spielberg.
Gerry basically told me he really liked what I was doing and to “keep up the good work.” He probably doesn’t even remember the call, but for an unknown like me, it meant the world. I continue to cherish that moment and feel incredibly grateful that Gerry remains a friend and supporter.
He celebrated a birthday last week. Through all the social media love he received, I couldn’t help but think about my first memories of Gerry, as well as all the lives he has positively impacted over the years … lives he continues to touch, showing no signs of slowing.
Thanks, Gerry. “Keep up the good work.”
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