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New Beginnings (A Repost)

Reflecting on the day my life changed

Hi Business Athlete Nation,

Today I’m sharing a deeply personal post.

It’s a repost of something I published at the start of 2023. And I’m sharing it today because it’s the 3rd anniversary of my New Beginning.

Maybe you’re going through your own New Beginning and need some perspective from a fellow human. I hope this inspires you to keep on showing up, to push through whatever you’re dealing with.

kB


Original Publish Date: January 4, 2023 | Medium

Sometimes you need a new beginning to close off an old yesterday.

Maybe it’s picking up a new book to realize you have yet to close the door on the last one you haven’t finished reading from a year ago. Maybe it’s wanting to start a new show on Netflix but recognizing you need to complete your current series.

Well, today is that new beginning. It’s a new chapter. It’s a new series. It’s a fresh start.

It is also a recognition that I still need to close the door on yesterday. I haven’t finished reading or shared the last chapter of the book. I never watched the last episode.

Where is the closure? How did it end? Before I get into what is next, I still need to say goodbye to what was yesterday.

Hi there, Keith here. The last you heard from me, I was the founder and CEO of the social media agency ICUC and one of the hosts of the Business Athlete Podcast. While I am still and always will be the founder of ICUC, I am no longer the CEO.

After spending the last year and a half with my family, raising my kids, being the best uber dad driver ever, walking my dogs, climbing Mount Pico in the Azores, and creating a relationship with Kenya, Africa, I knew it was time to get back to work. To add some value. To build something again. To no longer be the CEO of my own interests but to build something for everyone else based on what I have learned over the past 15 months.

But before I go into what is next, we still need to complete talking about what is “last.” I haven’t shared that last chapter in my last book.

February 12, 2021

It was February 12th, 2021, when I received that call. ICUC was heading in a different direction, and as difficult as it was to hear, I wasn’t invited.

I was no longer the CEO of the company I created.

While I respected and understood their direction, the call crushed me. I hung up the phone, and I cried.

I cried the next day on my Peloton. I had been a part of something I created “forever” every day, and this morning I woke up with no purpose. No Reason.

I felt lost.

The company, ICUC Moderation Services, which I had started with my good friend Maurice from scratch in the early 2000s and then sold, was no longer a part of my day-to-day routine. The company and the people that changed my life were no longer there. ICUC was no longer part of my identity. It was time to move on.

My personalized ICUC licence plate needed to be changed.

Please don’t mistake me for whining or crying. Certainly, no woe is me going on here. I am forever grateful.

I know how fortunate I was for my career with ICUC, Aegis and Dentsu. I sold ICUC in 2011 and remained CEO for 10 years running the company I founded. I was given the freedom to run the business as if it was my own, yet had the flexibility of a corporate owner behind us supporting us along the way. I had the best of both worlds.

This structure also allowed me to grow as a human being and leader and collectively build ICUC into one of the largest business units for our corporate parent.

I am proud of the accomplishments we had at ICUC. We were disciplined, we were focused, and we were immensely revenue driven. We were a virtual company employing people worldwide before the world discovered remote work during the pandemic.

Thank you

I certainly didn’t achieve success at ICUC on my own. During my journey, I was fortunate enough to work with some incredibly talented people who taught me so much during that time. From my customers to my colleagues,

I am forever grateful for the friendships, the guidance, the support and the kindness.

Many still are employed at ICUC, continuing to lead the company and growing the business. I can only watch from afar as a proud founder at what they do with it next, and I can assure you I am rooting for them every step of the way.

To my other colleagues, I was fortunate to have crossed paths over our time together within the network and the industry; thank you.

To all of you, I salute you with a smile and a warm thought of thanks.

…Thank you… 🙏🏻❤️

Keith

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Live in the Lab with Keith Bilous
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