At the time, this was the peak of the rave scene. It was where creative outcasts and misfits created their own society. I can see that it was a landmark period for Brent; that for the first time, he felt he was home. “It was a big part of me learning how to love, take risks, and opened up my willingness to accept everything. It was huge for me of making me who I am today. It was one of the most impactful times in my life.”
Soon, Brent was helping to put on club nights and raves. But in 1996, MTV brought electronic music mainstream. Brent’s once beloved, peaceful and niche society was no longer. So, he went in the opposite direction.
When one door closes
After getting an extremely high score on the ASVAB test, Brent joined the military to become a meteorologist. In his spare time, Brent would teach himself how to code making his own websites on Geocities and AngelFire.
Eventually, Brent travels brought him back to the U.S. where he applied for a web developer job with a startup.
He studied long nights to learn the ins and outs of web development and even taught himself a few buzzwords about SEO.
I could tell by the tone in his voice, as he relived this time in his life, that he had been determined to do whatever it took to get the job. “I nailed it,” Brent told friends after the interview.
He didn’t get the job. It was devastating.
But Brent dusted himself off, and soon after he received an offer to be a store manager for Boston Market. It wasn’t exciting, but it was a solid opportunity with advancement potential.
The day before he was to sign the employment agreement, an agency called. They wanted to hire him as their lead SEO Manager. Brent immediately accepted. Brent admits with amusement, “I accepted a job in SEO, and I really had no idea what SEO was.”
Brent immediately went online to get a crash course in SEO. He stumbled across Webmaster Radio. He tried to consume as much information as he could while on his 40 minute morning commute. “What’s 301?” “What’s cloaking?”
Before long, he was managing SEO strategy for 100+ websites.