Wherever the Journey Takes You
A Chance Encounter
It was on a dirt trail in the middle of Spain talking to someone I had just met. That was when the seed was planted to go into business full-time.
I was on my second pilgrimage on El Camino de Santiago (The Way of St. James) in September 2016 when I had a chance encounter with a man named Adam Wells. He was a friend of someone in my group who we had run into three times in one day in the city of Logroño. That night, we had tapas in the city and Adam shared with us his many Camino experiences. The trail had a significant impact on him spiritually, so much that he decided to dedicate his life to sharing it with others. Adam told us how he had quit his job and founded DiscoverTheCamino.com. At the time, he was in Logroño to learn the language, and began offering guided hikes along the Camino in that particular region of Spain. After sharing tapas that evening, walking the streets of Logroño back to my home that evening, I began to take stock of my life, and what I wanted to dedicate myself to.
After tapas that night with Adam, he joined us on the trail the next day, where I felt drawn to share with him about what I envisioned as a crossroads in my life. Stretching ahead of me was the possibility of going full-time with my freelance work, a path I had begun part-time years ago. To my left was the option to apply and start a new job in marketing or communications. To my right was the possibility of going to graduate school. And behind me was, quite simply, my current life and all that I had waiting for me back home in Virginia. We walked and talked, and Adam assured me that I knew deep down what I needed—that I would know when the time was right. As I said it all aloud to Adam, one thing I did know for sure was that I needed a change sooner rather than later. I continued walking on my path of the Camino, slowly realizing that when I came home I would apply to graduate school but first transition Greg Thompson Media into a full-time endeavor.
A New Path
In the 8 months since that discussion, Greg Thompson Media has truly grown and become a full-time endeavor. I began working from home, then coffeeshops, and then excellent coworking sites (like Work Nimbly and Studio 9), where I met a whole new cast of characters that have lifted me up along this new “way” of running my own business. I have also been blessed with friends, family, and clients, who, through the years, have continually supported me on the journey. It is at this time, that I simply want to thank those people for walking with me and for believing in a vision that all good small businesses deserve good communications and marketing.
Next month, Greg Thompson Media will transition from a home base in Hampton, VA to Nashville, TN. By August, I’ll begin graduate studies at Vanderbilt Divinity School for my Masters in Theological Studies. I cannot wait to encounter a whole new “cast” in my next city, while I look forward to working with the wonderful clients back home and throughout the East Coast. As a full-time student, my work will be largely part-time except on breaks. This has been part of the plan all along, and I have truly been blessed to see it through to this point.
Wherever the Journey Takes You
I’ve displayed the phrase “wherever the journey takes you” on my site since I took this business full-time in November, pairing the words with a pathway stretching ahead into the Spanish countryside. The picture was taken early in my walk along the Camino. I love how clear the path is in this picture with the panoramic view of the countryside stretching far to the left and right. It captures the beauty of the Camino, a path walked on for centuries by pilgrims all going to the same place. Its beauty is in its simplicity and the sights that surround it. As we have all heard, the beauty is in the journey, not the destination.
GregThompsonMedia.com as you see it today is far different from the very first iteration of the site drafted back in February of 2015, but the image of the path remains. Back then, it was simply a portfolio site for my video production work, with a picture of a bridge on the home page. The Crim Dell bridge at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA, was a source of inspiration to me during my undergraduate career. The legend behind the bridge is that to walk over it with another person means that you will be bound to him/her forever. Of course, the legend goes on to say that if said relationship ends, one must be thrown off the bridge by the other. I was always careful about crossing it, and contemplated many times with whom and when I would cross that very bridge.
A motif in my life, I have been mystified by the paths that stretch before me, but reassured by those who walk them alongside me. I am thankful for the chance encounters, the brief friendships, the short-term clients, the long-term clients and, of course, the family members who are always stuck with me. We walk down this path together, for periods short and long, all heading toward the same place.
Thank you for walking with me on this journey, especially as I take this next turn. Know that if your journey shifts, and you need a hand yourself, I’m still here.
- DiscoverTheCamino.com - First, Meet Adam who is currently offering a 1-day workshop from Logroño, Spain entitled, "Camino as a Hero's Journey." Then, if you're unfamiliar with the Camino, you can learn all about it on his site. Whether you're local to Spain or right here in the US, Adam is an excellent practical and spiritual resource for a journey on the Camino.
- Work Nimbly - Coworking in Williamsburg, VA with a weekly Cobbler's Collective where small business owners can share and learn from one another. I could not recommend more highly!
- Studio 9 - Coworking in Hampton, VA in the delightful town of Phoebus just minutes from Historic Fort Monroe.