I recently had the opportunity to answer a question for an INC magazine article (link below) about my significant other’s role, in my success. The question called for an answer with 100 words or less but when I started writing, I realized I couldn’t stop. I couldn’t say everything that I
wanted needed to say in just a few words or few paragraphs…
I’ve had lots of accomplishments in my life. At 24 years old, I own a social media marketing agency called Boogie (team of 9), I recently founded a printing startup by the name of PrettySimpl, I started teaching (Interactive Design) at the University at Albany this semester, I’ve had tons of press mentions this year and I’m in the process of writing my first book entitled I wasn’t born here: Social Media in English.
I could go on and on about the things that I’ve accomplished in life, but none of these accomplishments would be possible, if it wasn’t for you.
We both attended the University at Albany. When I met you, I was a sophomore studying information science and you were a freshman studying communications. Back then Boogie Graphics (now known as Boogie) was just an idea.
I started out as a freelance graphic designer, working for on-campus organizations, and then decided to expand my services to the local small businesses around the area. I realized it was time for me to create a website for my business and build a stronger, more professionnal online presence.
Writing was never my thing, nor was it something that I could do very well (hence the I wasn’t born here). I always asked my friends to help me write copy for my websites (I didn’t know what the word copy actually meant). Most of the time, they’d write my bio or about us page but somehow it never felt right. They never really grasped the message that I was trying to communicate with my company. Therefore, I’d end up writing it myself (Oh boy).
This all changed when I met you, Dahcia Lyons.
You were one of the most beautiful and talented
writers communicators that I’ve ever met. Your ability to step outside of yourself and see the world through anyone else’s eye, made you the most understanding and the realest person I’ve ever met. With those qualities… you were the PERFECT person to help me write the copy for my new website :)
In the beginning, you wrote a few things here and there but soon, you became the main person writing, representing, and responding on behalf of the company. You literally became our Chief Communications Officer, before any of us even knew what that was.
As the company grew, I started offering web design and marketing services. You were right here with me through it all. From doing my homework assignments for me, while I designed brochures for clients, to attending class for me when I had an important meeting to attend, and even to helping me write up my presentation when I was selected as a Student Entrepreneur of the Year Nominee (GSEA).
I picked up a bad habit of always working and forgetting to give myself the basic things that human beings need to stay healthy (food, rest, sunlight, etc). I went hours without eating since I was so focused on my work and as soon as you found out, you made sure that never happened ever again.
You’d even get to class late (or sometimes skip class) to make sure you took care of me (cook, clean, etc).
Again, I could never have done any of this without you.
Shortly after my graduation, I took a big step and opened up an office. You were one of the people who convinced me that the office was the right choice, that it was the smart choice. When I couldn’t afford to hire a construction company to fix up the place, you stayed up with me (& other friends) until 4AM at times, building walls, ripping and putting down carpet, painting, etc… even though you had class the next day.
And… through it all, you still found ways to feed me and help me with the things that I didn’t ‘have the time’ to do.
Four months later, the office was all set up and I decided to hire a few interns. You came to the office almost every day after work to help me manage staff, finish work and continue growing the company. I mean you did pick up a few skills over the years; strategizing, consulting, designing, wire-framing, coding, etc. Lastly, in June 2013, you passed up a job opportunity (working for the government) to join us full time, as our VP of social strategy.
I’ve grown a lot over the years and a lot of it has to do with our relationship. I learned to be a better man, I learned to be a better friend, I learned to be a better businessman, I learned to WRITE better (although it’s been so difficult writing this right next to you and not being able to ask you… “What’s another word for ‘selected’ or how do you spell professional—hence the extra ‘N’ that I purposely left above).
You mean the world to me and together, we will take over this world one day (corny). I am so excited for what’s to come in the future; marriage, big houses, little ‘Jaccia’ or ‘Dacques’ (If you ever call my kids these names…)
God put us on this earth to be there for each other. He knew I would need someone like you in my life, just like he knew you need someone like me (I’m not too bad of a catch either).
I want to thank you for being there and always being here (you would probably tell me that this sentence needs to be clearer).
You didn’t realize it but I’ve been asking you to marry me all week:
1. Singing Jagged Edge – Let’s Get Married to you almost everyday.
3. I even asked you through our living room TV (Apple TV Screen saver)
But since you didn’t catch any of them, here goes…
Dahcia Lyons, from the day I met you, I knew that you were the person God put on this earth for me. You've been with me from the very beginning, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you creating great products and disagreeing agreeing on social media campaign ideas.
I am sick and tired of calling you my girlfriend.
Dahcia Lyons, make the happiest man in the entire world...
Photos + Videos coming soon.