We had the good fortune of connecting with Martin Ceisel and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Martin, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I write marketing and website content for businesses. Think: blog posts, case studies, web pages, and other marketing collateral. Along the way, I’ve learned the power of iteration. The wave crashes against the bluff, over and over, gradually shaping it (though you don’t see much change occur after a single wave). For me a wave might be a new client, another assignment, feedback good or bad. They keep coming and what’s allowed me to survive is a willingness to persist, learn, and continue iterating.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I take nearly everybody to the Law Street Beach, followed by Bahia Don Bravo for fish tacos. A ballgame at Petco, if the Padres are in town. A hike up to North or South Fortuna for the views. A walk into Balboa Park and drinks at Panama 66. A trip on the ferry from Broadway Pier to Coronado Island, maybe sneak into Little Club for one or two before coming back. Then of course there’s the Little Italy Farmers Market, after which I like to pick up subs from Mona Lisa’s and take them to Bottlecraft Little Italy on the north end. Have to mention Stout House, finally—my favorite bar in the world. Shout out to Mark, Dave, Adrian and the rest of the crew.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
At Illinois Wesleyan University, I started as a football-player-first kinda student. In fact, they wouldn’t have admitted me without football. Somewhere around my sophomore year, I took an intro course to Russian Literature with Marina Balina, a circumspect, tough-but-kind professor. Her teaching style, material, outlook—it all clicked for me right away. So I changed majors and in doing so found myself in nearly every course she offered. One was a more advanced Russian lit course during which we spent a full semester reading, studying, and discussing Tolstoy, more specifically Anna Karenina. I tell people I know that it was through that process that I learned to read—I mean really read and engage with text. Aside from the close and supportive—almost mentorship-like—relationship I was afforded by Professor Balina, that experience corrected my course, if you will. I’m convinced those experiences put me on the trajectory that led me to where I am today, working words, as it were.