self-worth: Standing on my own

“If you leave The Washington Post, I can’t brag about you.”

Although painful, this comment from someone I love solidified my decision to leave. Struggling with my own self-worth, attaching myself to top brands like Coca-Cola and The Washington Post helped me feel confident.

It’s time to stand on my own.

I leave The Washington Post – my home for almost six years – to start my own company: Curiosity & Connection. My next venture is the manifestation of three areas of passions and expertise – social media, travel, and writing.

Here’s how I’ll spend my time:

Social media consulting (60%)- Inspired by 14+ years in social media, leading digital presence for top brands and award-winning campaigns, I’ll consult on strategy, management, community engagement, content, and branding.

Travel content (30%)- Authoring The Washington Post’s By The Way D.C. guide, I’ll provide content that helps inspire people to explore our city and world. This is my passion.

My social consulting and writing will fund travel content – I want to make travel guides free to all.

Writing (10%)- I’ll continue to serve as The Washington Post’s By The Way D.C. guide, writing for travel and other sections. I’ll also welcome writing for other local and national publications.

Leaving a storied company like The Washington Post is scary, but I’m hopeful that stumbling, learning and growing my own company will lead to freedom. Freedom from the need to attach to a name brand. Freedom to help others connect and cultivate curiosity.

Let the journey begin!

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  1. Love love love this – so proud of you and looking forward to celebrating all of your adventures and accomplishments!

      1. I just came across your instagram a couple of weeks ago. Such comprehensive guides! Excited to follow along!

        1. Yay! So glad they are helpful. Now that I’m doing my own thing, I’ll be doing many more guides. 🙂

  2. Austin,
    I’m so excited for this new adventure for you! You definitely inspire us to be more curious and to seek connection. Can’t wait to see what happens!

  3. I wish you the best of luck on your journey, as you go to your destiny. I discovered you on Instagram and look forward to following your path. 🤩

  4. Congratulations and here’s to exciting opportunities ahead. Looking forward to seeing all that you accomplish.

  5. Cheering you on always! The example you set for the DC community and industry at large is inspiring, and I have no doubt in your ability to help others bring their ideas and passions to life!

  6. Austin, this is exciting!! May many (unseen) doors open for you! And please let me know if you ever plan to include Jakarta in your travels!

  7. As someone also afraid of leaving a “top brand”, thank you for sharing your journey to realizing that you can absolutely stand on your own. It means a lot to me and probably countless others – we appreciate you and can’t wait to keep following your adventures!

    1. Glad it resonates. It makes the move way more scary, but so liberating too. I’ll keep you posted on how it all turns out. 🙂

  8. I’m confident you’ll be successful with God’s guidance. You are using the talents and skills given to you. Grab you passion with gusto!!

  9. Congrats!!! Excited to see you bring your factual touch to even more travel guides 🙂
    Your fan,

  10. I am so tickled pink and giddy for you. I cannot wait to travel with you virtually or run into you in the neighborhood. You have made social just that: social. In an age where there is too much toxic and troll-like, you are a voice of joy imbued with research. Stay curious. Connect away.

    1. Thank you so much for saying that! Your kind words describe my goal with social media. Thanks for saying that. 🙂

  11. Very admirable! Much success to you! All your shares on social media have been of great help to me since I’m new in this area, much gratitude and only best wishes!

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