Volunteering helped me break out of the cycle of venting about my employer and resulted in me building my company.

Wil Reynolds
4 min readMay 6, 2024

In the last few weeks, I have flown to Akron Ohio (we now have 10+ people in Ohio) and San Diego (we have about 8 people there too, and an office).

If I’m being honest I miss having a bigger team there because we located in a tougher part of the city (at the time) and I felt we could be a part of helping something “get better” as a unit. Looking at the photo below reminds me of some of the awesome people we had there, do I miss it, yeah but I’m grateful AF that I had the experience with this big crew, lots of good peeps in this photo.

Team San Diego after our profit share announcement, they did a boat thing :)

At one point in my career, I got great joy from finding people to vent and complain to about the company I worked at. I owe 22 years of running Seer to the out of body experience I had one day where I looked at myself and said…look at you…you can’t wait for the clock to strike 12, and why…because you get 1 hour to talk crap on the company you work for and drag others into that complaint cycle. That was the highlight of my day. That was sad.

Me in a hairnet, somewhere in Akron.

I owe volunteering to assisting me to break out of that cycle. It wasn’t until I started volunteering at a children’s hospital was I able to see something greater than my “problems” and I stopped using my time to complain, it was OK that I was at a good company, full of good people, who were doing the best they could, even if that wasn’t right for me anymore. I decided to use my lunch breaks to learn a skill, sharpen my saw on search, do some non profit SEO work. Eventually when the timing was right, I quit, all those lunches that used to be spent complaining, were now used to do pro-bono work and some of my own client work, and sure enough when I left, the charities I was helping with digital marketing, showed up, referred me clients. Peter Madden at AgileCat said…this guy is pretty good and referred me to at least 3 clients, and that was the foundation of what got built today.

It started by looking at myself in the mirror, getting a broader perspective on life, which lead me to the decision that complaining and venting about my employer was a waste of time, which lead me to doing pro bono work to stay sharp, which lead me to starting Seer full time. I still to this day put in time, real time to keep that spirit of volunteering alive with the team.

Me, back in a hairnet, this time 2 weeks later in San Diego.

A lot of good can come from volunteering and broadening your perspective in tough times. I had never worked in a food bank, never visited one, yet I saw the people in one recently and how much love goes into the people who work there, the chefs who teach people how to make multiple meals with the same ingredients, the dieticians who work with teams on how to manage diebetes or other health issues at a diet level, the workers at the food pantry, who set up the shelves and what not to feel like a grocery store, because just giving people food is a good start, but giving them the dignity of choosing food and filling their carts matters so much too.

These last 2 weeks have further broadened my perspective and made me a better human, I got closer to my teams, whom I miss dearly connecting with at volunteer events and I also got to continue to broaden my perspective which I think helps me manage any kinds of tough times.

Lastly, this shit comes at a cost…kids were at home and Nora was having to manage the household solo, doing these things have costs and I have to always make sure I am keeping those in check too.



Wil Reynolds

Serial Underdog @seerinteractive doing SEO, Marketing, & Stuff, I am whatever you say I am.