While I Was 33


This is a new post style here that I plan to repeat annually on my birthday. I’d like to say it’s meaningful and clever, but it’s mostly because my birthday is in January and I haven’t gotten around to posting my year-in-review post in time, and have thus decided that January 26th is close enough, and actually works better for me because I try not to do much at all the last week of December and first week of January.

So here goes. (If you want to listen to something while reading, check this out: Walk Don’t Walk – Robert Randolph)

While I was 33, I:

  • launched my business full time.
    Duce Enterprises has been a side business for several years, but I finally took the plunge in September to run it full time, quit my job at Insperity, where I’d been for almost eight years, and  enjoy entrepreneurial life. Four months in and I’m happier than I’ve been in years.

  • started a new business.
    In addition to Duce Enterprises, I launched Learning Ninjas, a co-op of learning geeks and specialists with a simple mission: make learning better, more enjoyable, and more accessible to everyone.

  • continued to improve Emergent Radio.
    Judy and I evolved The ToolBar to be a little more dynamic and enjoyed many episodes with wonderful guests. Jason Early joined us with Designing Opinion mid-year. In December, we also added Radio Genius to the mix of shows on the network, and we’re going to be launching another new show in the coming months, as well as bringing back The Overcast. It’s been a learning experience. More importantly, it’s been a lot of fun.

  • learned a lot about Project Tin Can.
    It’s hyped a lot, maybe even over-hyped. But it’s an opportunity I’m excited about. It’s new. It’s different. It’s getting the right people talking, sharing, improving. It’s brought a lot of great designers and developers out of hiding to come up with great new learning experience concepts and products. I’m a big fan of great experiences. Why should learning be anything less than that?

  • started saying “no” more often.
    I figured out I can’t say “yes” to the things I’m truly passionate about if I keep saying “yes” to too many other things. It’s a good practice in focus. I’ll let Seth tell you the rest.

  • attended a life-altering unconference in Sedona.
    Up To All of Us was literally life-changing for me. Ideas, connections, an aura of greatness and true purpose filled this weekend and I will never forget it. Thanks, Aaron, and everyone else who attended.

  • celebrated ten years of marriage.
    I’m a very lucky man. That’s all that needs to be said.

  • made new friends.
    Each year I’m honored to meet some really wonderful people. Last year was no different. Whether virtual or face to face, good friends are important, and I added some this year.

  • renewed my passion for writing.
    It might not have shown on this site, but I really love to write, and this year I’ve had some opportunities to write (some published, some unpublished) about things I’m passionate about, and I look forward to doing more of that while I’m 34.

  • became the father of a teenager.
    My boy turned 13 in December. CRAZY! But I’m not sad about him getting older. Quite the contrary. He’s one of my best friends, is wicked smart, and I look forward to many more adventures with him.

  • drank some wonderful beers.
    Whether it’s fine craft beer or friends who home brew, life’s better when there’s good beer around. I’m on Untappd if you want learn more.

  • participated in DevLearn Motorcycle Mayhem.
    For the second year in a row, I’ve been able to spend a weekend with some of the coolest and smartest people I know, hanging out, listening to good music, riding motorcycles  and seeing some of the most beautiful places on the planet.

  • became the VP of Technology for the Houston Chapter of ASTD.
    I’m honored to have this position and look forward to improving the local chapter and teaching people about web and learning technologies.

  • got smart and migrated all the high-traffic sites I host to WP Engine.
    Seriously have no idea why I waited so long. This is excellent.

  • invested more heavily in Sucuri.
    My clients deserve it and they are amazing, not only in preventing issues, but helping me recover from web security issues. Worth every penny, and then some.

  • participated in more conferences.
    I spoke at five conferences this year, and attended eight. Each time I improve my public speaking and enjoy sharing my experiences, learning from and teaching others.

  • enjoyed life.
    I spent more time with friends and family, and enjoyed the simple things. Enjoy the ride, people.