Levi Nelson has lived his entire life in Lancaster County – and he has no plans of moving anytime soon.
It’s the place he grew up, where he learned, met his wife, works and is raising his kids. It’s also the place where his story has taken shape. In small bits and pieces Levi has learned what he likes, what he’s good at and why all of that matters.
He’s learned to be content, and that’s no small thing for a 28-year-old to claim.
Growing up, Levi said he was always tinkering with something tech-related. In high school it was programs like Photoshop and After Effects. He and his friends would goof around with the programs, until he realized he was actually pretty good at coming up with creative solutions. He’d never actually considered himself creative, because he couldn’t draw or paint, but the computer gave him the tools to express himself creatively.
Fast forward 5+ years and Levi is graduating from UNL with a Marketing degree and starting a job at Anderson Auto Group.
He described his job as being the one-man, in-house ad agency. Levi was responsible for anything under the marketing umbrella, including media buying, filming commercials and managing the budget. He learned a lot and really put his degree to work.
After leaving Anderson, he had a short stint as the Creative Director at Reliant Studios before doing freelance work full time.
Doing freelance work gave Levi the freedom to pursue projects that he loved. He built websites, shot videos and worked his creativity into every project he touched. He was constantly reading up on the latest gear and digging into more technical aspects of coding than ever before. The challenge of creating something useful was addictive and he loved finding the best solutions for his clients.
But as he did more work, his client list grew and the amount of work became overwhelming. Levi had a decision to make – he either needed to hire someone to help him or cut back on the number of projects he took on. He also had a third option – quit freelancing – which was exactly what he did.
Levi said he wanted to move out of advertising work and start building products, so he joined the best digital product company in town – Hudl.
He was launched into the world of product design where he was surrounded by experts and submerged in the startup scene. Soon he was one of the growing number of young people around town sporting a bright colored Hudl shirt and sneakers, and it was a perfect spot for him to grow in his skills.
Less than two years later, Levi took another risk with a new startup and joined the team at Travefy, a company that makes group and corporate travel simple.
It’s been a good move for him, and it’s made him appreciate the unique atmosphere that working in a startup brings. He’s part of a team that’s full of humble experts who are passionate about solving problems and maximizing their combined skills.
But Levi’s story isn’t just about work. It’s about doing things well.
Working at two local startups has made Levi think about starting his own business. He’s a self-described pessimist who sees problem after problem and he started to wonder if it was wrong for him to be solving ‘first world problems’ when there were bigger problems in the world. He’s consistently asking himself how to fix so many of the problems he sees.
But here’s the thing, Levi said he won’t be starting a company anytime soon.
He’s not lazy or lacking in ideas, but it’s just not the right time.
Levi said he’s seen how much time and energy it takes to get a company up and running. And for him, this is just the wrong season in his life.
Right now he’s working on being a trusted employee, an available husband and a good dad. That might sound simple or humble, but over the past few years Levi said he’s learned how to be content in where he’s at in life. He’s learned how to prioritize and not get ahead of himself.
He’s a guy who works hard and digs into his community. He invites his neighbors over, plays with his kids and also loves reading up on the latest coding techniques out there.
Just because he isn’t starting the next Hudl doesn’t mean his story is any less important. Levi gets that, and it shows.
His story is about living in the now, focusing on the present and doing what matters most in the simple and everyday moments.