A Year Off The Grid
It’s been 349 days since the last post I wrote, so we have quite a bit of catching up to do.
The sabbatical from writing was a beautiful gift and a necessity even though I thoroughly enjoy the creative process of taking random, abstract ideas and simplifying them into words. My gut tells me that I’ll write more frequently than once a year going forward, but it really comes down to when I can carve out time for writing that feels in alignment. I am super diligent with my time right now, and I haven’t proactively carved out time for writing yet, so we’ll see where this takes me.
Committed to the North Star, Flexible in the Approach
We last left off with Firehawk on the rocks, and David and I pursuing different paths. I felt like I had so much clarity when writing my last post, and of course I had absolutely no idea what was coming. I said,
“My main focus is to help the best people build the best products.”
While that definitely occurred in 2017, I originally thought I would be doing that through a vehicle that looked similar to Firehawk: working with a handful clients to build amazing software products. The universe had some different plans. Who am I to disagree?
I swiftly and silently packed up my bags and left NYC, telling only a dozen or so people before I left. I moved to San Francisco to join an organization that I had been working with over the past 2 years. I was so attracted to their vision and mission that I had no problem moving across the country with a few bags and a vague idea of what my role would be. That decision lead to the greatest year of growth and development in my life.
I joined the organization as the COO and Head of Product and was the only person on an eight team who wasn’t a salesperson or a coach. What that really meant was that I was going to have a metric shit ton on my plate and a never-ending and replenishing list of fires to fight. Game on.
Our small team was bursting at the seams with talent who were focused on providing leadership to badass leaders. Being fully immersed in this environment, my own personal growth was inevitable. As much joy as that brings me, it was equally as valuable to be working with, providing leadership to and receiving leadership from the geniuses on our team. On top of that, we really eat our own cooking. Everything we were experiencing and up-leveling within our organization, we were able to process, package and pass along to our clients. See one, do one. teach one. The best way to learn.
Throughout the year, there we plenty of moments of questioning what the hell I was doing out here, eating our fair share of shit sandwiches and second guessings from family, friends, mentors and the reflection in the mirror. Thank you to the past me for sticking through it all and being unconditionally committed to what we’re building.
Embracing San Francisco
San Francisco is a fascinating place. As much as I love the NY tech scene and everything that has been building there over the years, I always felt that there was this next level happening in the Bay Area. And for the most part, I feel this past year has validated that thinking.
While there’s amazing technology and companies being started all over the world and we’re becoming more and more decentralized everyday, San Francisco has this powerful magnet that attracts crazy, genius types in a higher concentration than any other place I’ve seen. That comes with a lot of positives and negatives, but it’s clear to me that they on the thread of what it could be like to build the future we desire. That excites me.
I’ve also really embraced the West Coast vibes. I’ve made yoga, meditation and network care a core part of my existence. I’m not sure what took me so long to make them a priority, but it’s been life changing. I’m more grounded, connected, aligned, present and tapped in than ever before. At the same time, I’m stronger, leaner, healthier and more energized and flexible than I’ve ever been in my life. Well, flexibility is still a work in progress, but I’ve come a long way from the sloppy walrus technique when I first hit the yoga mats.
My favorite part of San Francisco, coming off of 10+ years in NYC, is actually everything outside of the city itself. It’s amazing how a quick drive in any direction opens up a whole new world of exploration. There’s still so much more to do and see that will keep my adventuring occupied for the foreseeable future. It also helps that I've had the opportunity to live and work in some of the most innovative and creative spaces in San Francisco surrounded by exceptional people.
Where do we go from here?
Well, I’ve committed myself to this path of alignment, so I’m not entirely sure where this year will take me. I could say the exact same thing that I said last year in that “The path forward is crystal clear” but we are well aware of how that turned out.
When I look at the board and all of the puzzle pieces, I have a general idea of how this is going to play out. It feels like it’s a yes, and… Transcend and include. Continue building on the things that have been working so well, and simultaneously stepping up to a whole new level.
Things at Epic Impact are really starting to hit their stride, and it seems absolutely feasible to achieve 2x or even 3x growth this year. David and I have continued to collaborate on some special projects, and I see more opportunity for that this year. There’s also this project / concept that’s been continually knocking on the door and revealing itself to me more and more over time, and I’ve begun to rally the troops around that.
If I could wave my magic wand, this year would be about bringing structure and processes to the things that are working well to make room for leverage and growth all while leaving the door open for the opportunities that want to be birthed. Luckily, I don’t have a magic wand and things are going to unfold exactly as they need to.