I’m a first time entrepreneur, having cofounded a niche publishing company. For more than eight years, I have been among those most responsible for the organization’s longterm strategy. For most of those years, I played the role of public face, among the first to serve very nearly all the roles we now have. We have a team of more than 20 and invoiced for nearly $1.7 million in 2016, all of which I feel responsible for supporting and growing.
But only today did I take on the title of CEO.
No one had ever held the title at our organization before. In an era championing entrepreneurship and fetishizing the young and the innovative, we are quick to anoint untested first time founders as chief executives. How many one person or four person companies do you know with a first-time CEO? It’s meant to offer clarity and it’s a great resume line. I am going to tell you why I think that’s a mistake. It’s also why it took me eight years to feel comfortable calling myself an organization’s CEO.
Continue reading Why it took 8 years for me to become CEO of my own company
For all the meaningful sources of life lessons I received as a kid, from my parents to religion, and the many shades of the Golden Rule, I was still a sports-crazed boy growing up in the 1990s.
That means I internalized a lot of advice from athletes, whether or not they actually ever said them (sports quotes are full of apocryphal and fictitious claims). I was amused recently to think of a handful of very-90s-era memories I have about lessons from North American sports legends. In addition to being stuck in time, this collection is funny because I am so far from a knowledgeable sports fan today.
So these are corny for all sorts of reasons. Yet I do find myself thinking of these even today.
Continue reading 4 lessons from sports stars that stuck with me as a kid
My friend Edwin Warfield included me in his citybizlist CEO interview series.
Watch the full interview here. Get the full transcript of my interview here.
Find a clip below.
I first visited the Pen and Pencil Club in January 2009, as a spunky, 23-year-old. After visiting frequently, I finally became an official member of the country’s oldest surviving open daily press club in early 2012.
Then, in 2013 I ran and was elected to the club’s board of governors, with some encouragement from then club President Chris Brennan, a celebrated politics reporter and columnist who worked hard to grow the kind of members in the club. I was growing a reputation with Technical.ly and an active local organizer of the Online News Association.
I was proud. I learned a lot, and I put a lot of effort into being a board member. Next week, rather than run for a fifth term, I am stepping down. Here I share some of what I accomplished during the last four years.
Continue reading What I accomplished as a Pen and Pencil Club governor
More than a year ago, I got married. It’s fun and challenging and rewarding. I’ve learned a ton — even before the big day. One of the great challenges of any marriage is how two people merge their finances.
I wanted to share some of what I’ve learned over the last two years.
Continue reading Getting married? here’s some advice on handling joint finances
After six years of regularly hosting an every-other-month, themed storytelling event among friends called Story Shuffle, I’ll be sharing my favorite stories over the next six months in a weekly podcast format.
From more than 200 recorded stories told at one of 36 live events held in houses and apartments, I am launching this as a project to learn more about podcasting and to give this storytelling event of mine a final goodbye. I’m billing this podcast as a ‘first draft’ storytelling series, as people regularly told their stories for the first time. It was authentic and fun and earnest. It’s something I want to see more of online.
So subscribe on iTunes or on your podcatcher of choice (or on the Story Shuffle website). Let me know if you can’t find it somewhere you want it.
Below I shared a few notes of what I already learned, though I know I’ll have plenty more lessons after the project is over.
Continue reading Subscribe to my new weekly Story Shuffle podcast project
For as long as I remember, I was proud of being someone whose default response was YES. It was the right mind frame for my teens and 20s. But I turned 30 last year. And I now I want to get better at the other side of that spectrum: saying no.
So I made it one of my 2017 resolutions: to say NO more often. Though I hope to do lots with that perspective, it will come down to focusing my attention.
This is my pledge to myself that I will say no, that I will limit what I do and agree to so that I only focus on what I can do well. That means I will have to say no to things I care about.
One of the clearest ways I’m doing that is by dropping and limiting my existing extra curricular activities, while being far choosier about any I add. Understand: this does not mean I don’t have interest in these or other issues. This means I’m focusing on what I can provide unique value to and fits me now.
I’m aiming to take this more into my day job (so I don’t let my office get as cluttered and messy as it was in the header photo from early 2015) but for the first clearest way to show my progress, I wanted to share what I’ve already set in motion.
Continue reading This will be my first year of saying no
Each year I look back to review what I’ve done.
For the last several years, I’ve kept my professional resolutions here and my personal ones elsewhere. Here, I aim to do something of a look back on myself and share it with you all.
Continue reading What I accomplished professionally in 2016
Not long after my 30th birthday early this year, I had what might be called a commonly American experience. I noticed I had suddenly gained a bunch weight — going from weighing something like 190 lbs, where I had been for years, to 220 in what felt like just a couple months. I also just felt worse.
That puzzled me — my diet hadn’t changed much, I was still (somewhat?) active, with basketball and bicycle commuting and frequent walks. What went wrong? I had been a skinny kid my entire life: why would I gain weight? …This wasn’t entirely because I turned 30, right? (Oh my were my friends amused by this).
It took me more than two months to figure out the pretty straightforward answer and the rest of this year to do something about it.
Continue reading I turned 30 and fell out of shape. Here’s what I did about it