Something you may not know about me is that I spearheaded the gig economy movement. Yeah, I never really made a big deal about it, I didn’t need the press, but it was me—I did that. If you’ve been reading the pages of this magazine for more than a decade then you might remember that I was the Managing Editor of this very magazine between the years of 2007 and 2011. It was that step from paint store clerk to editor that set off my career in the fishing industry.
If you lost track of me after I left here’s a little synopsis of the things I did in the intervening time. My first real move after leaving was retaining the Connecticut Coast Report here at The Fisherman; that provided some steady income that I knew was coming every month. Then I nailed down a column in Surfcaster’s Journal, more reliable income. That is the beating heart of the successful gig-economy life: reliable income. Within a year of securing my SJ column, I became their editor and content manager as well.
These things together, barely added up to a livable income and my wife is a teacher so it’s not like we were rolling in the dough. Around that base income I wrote for many magazines, inside and outside the fishing industry. I worked as a part-time real estate agent, I worked for Guppy Lures doing woodworking and plug assembly, I helped out a friend of mine cutting down trees and clearing land, I gave seminars, I built more lures, I created websites for Guppy Lures and Couch’s Cedar Works, I edited a book, I took on the Surf Report here at The Fisherman, I wrote blog posts for tackle shops, then I worked, part-time, at The Saltwater Edge for three years.
In addition to all those jobs I stayed at home with my daughter until she was in kindergarten, I wouldn’t trade those years for the world.
My wife and I raised a child, made every mortgage and car payment, paid every bill, ate well, went on vacation, and kept the heat on through all that. Looking back over those 10 years I feel pretty proud of what we were able to do, but I have to say, it was exhausting! And when Toby made the decision to move on from his post here and Mike Caruso called me to see if I might be interested in round two, I saw the opportunity to take all of those things that I do and compress them into one thing. My juggling act would be over and I’d have one main thing to concentrate on. And I took the opportunity.
I have always harbored some regret about my decision to move on from The Fisherman when I did. It just made sense at that time. But the constant creative outlet, the fast-paced deadlines, working with writers and being part of a team of creative anglers, there’s nothing else like that in the world. I feel very fortunate that I’ve been able to make a life and living around the sport that I love and landing back here is just the icing on the cake. The other day, my wife said to me, “How lucky are you to get your dream job, twice?!”
You know, she’s right.