Why I Spent the Last Year in San Francisco
Towards the end of 2016, I was approached with an opportunity to move to San Francisco to work with an organization who had brought me so much value in the past. I said no. I was happy and content with life in New York City, but even in that moment, I knew that one day that answer would be a yes.
It didn't take long for that decision to flip. In April 2017, I packed all of my essential belongings into 2.5 bags, and I was moving across the country with no return trip in sight. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, none of us really did, and I wasn't exactly sure what I'd be doing out there. The only thing I knew was that something was pulling me to the west coast to do some work with this team.
Changing a No to a Yes
There was a trend taking place at Firehawk. We had unconsciously made this shift to work with entrepreneurs and companies who were making an impact in the world. We had build our fair share of products that now sit on the shelf collecting dust - it's a sad and sobering part of the game when working with companies who start with just an idea and a vision. It wasn't just the collecting dust that was causing this shift though.
We wanted to see our software out there in the world doing amazing things. As a general trend and overarching theme, most of the software I've seen being built over the past 5+ years isn't actually moving us forward as a society. Our technology today is being used to distract us from the real world and serve us ads while doing so. From my work with this organization, I discovered how important it was to me to build products that solve the biggest problems in the world.
When this offered rolled in to build amazing products with this team in San Francisco, we all knew it was only a matter of time before I'd step up and answer the calling. I had been a client of this organization for 18 months at that point as part of their experimental group of amazing entrepreneurs and leaders who shared similar values, beliefs and vision for the future. Those 18 months of learning and personal growth were one of the best investments I've ever made in myself.
Witnessing first hand the impact this organization had on me, I knew what was possible here. There was an opportunity to co-create products that would generate massive ripples in the lives of so many others. I knew this to be true because that's what it had done for me. Once I was able to fully connect to this, the answer was a clear yes.
Start with the Selfish Stuff First
Over the course of my first year in San Francisco, my own personal growth has gone through an exponential upleveling. I've been immersed in an environment that has called me to such a higher standard of leadership, alignment and embodiment. It feels like everything that I've ever learned was just helping me prepare for the challenges of this past year. I don't even recognize the version of me that got on that plane in April a little over a year ago.
I have been committed to this path of alignment towards building these products that serve humanity and towards becoming the version of myself who can show up powerfully to meet this epic calling. This commitment has lead me down a wild path of discovery. One of the biggest transformations for me is how much I value my own energy and presence. I've greatly reduced energy draining activities and people from my life. I've made massive shifts to my diet and very rarely drink alcohol anymore. I've established a daily meditation practice and now practice yoga several times a week (where previously I had tried yoga a few times in my life). I receive a special type of chiropractic care focused on spinal alignment at least once a week. I've spent entire weekends immersed in unique trainings and experiences for everything from EFT, to receiving plant medicine, to discovery weekends where I would spend days at a time by myself out in nature. It's been intense and challenged everything that I thought I knew.
I've also had so much fun along the way. I've been able to travel with some of the most badass humans on the planet to share amazing experiences I never thought possible. Over the past year alone, I was able to experience:
- a 36 hour solo camping, silent meditation trip in the Mojave Desert which was abandoned after 24 hours because a freak snowstorm in April caused us to have to evacuate the mountain
- an immersion at a horse ranch in Marin where I got to learn leadership from these majestic horses and deepen my practice
- sleeping in a yurt next to a creek at Mount Shasta (one of the 7 sacred mountains on Earth) and building a dam boulder by boulder so Buddha had a place to watch over the flowing water
- co-creating the most non-traditional leadership meetings imaginable including my favorite meeting which took place in the tree
- hiking up an active volcano in Guatemala, explore Mayan ruins and kayak on the magnificent Lake Atitlán surrounded by 3 volcanos
- sleeping in an artist's castle in the Scottish countryside and exploring some of the the fascinating history of London and Scotland
I cherish these experiences so deeply. It's even more magical to know that these experiences were shared with groups of truley incredible people as we individually and collectively worked on developing ourselves and each other.
Now Back to the Ripples
If the last year only included the wonderful self-growth and experiences mentioned above, it would be one hell of a year, but it wouldn't have been fulfilling. What makes the last year so special is the impact we've had on the couple of hundred of people who have been a part of these experiences.
Helping build the products to support and enhance theses transformational experiences has been such a joy. Sometimes a pain in my ass. Often times ridiculously challenging. But mostly amazing :)
Every time I watch these videos from Janine, Ian, Sam, Bryan and one of our recent Immersions, it gives me chills. I am reminded of how powerful this stuff is. These people are all leaders in the marketplace. Helping them uplevel and being a tiny part of their journey feels like we are creating ripples that are creating ripples. They are taking what they learn with us and leading their people with love, joy and abundance. Ian's transformational journey alone this past year has been so inspiring as he went from a middle of the pack account executive to closing one of the largest deals in Salesforce's history and became their top salesperson last year in the process.
These are the people I want to build products for -- people who are so dedicated to their own journey of personal development and also so committed to the impact and legacy of the work that they are doing. It's exciting to both provide leadership to them and receive leadership from them.
Where Do We Go From Here
It's been strangely difficult for me to write about this journey even though I've written so transparently in the past. I feel humbled by these experiences and grateful to be on this path. I don't post about these things on social media because it doesn't feel authentic, but it feels important to share these things now though. I want more people to join me on this journey. I'm so glad that my friend shared this sacred community with me back in 2015 and want to make sure I do the same for others.
I'm excited to be hosting an immersive weekend in NYC in July with some truly epic people. It's another opportunity for me to help serve and be served by some of the most abundant leaders I've ever met. There's room for a few more people, so drop me message if you want more info.
We also have two amazing products in the oven that will be birthed this fall. One will help serve people on their own journeys in part by creating amazing experiences through technology modeled after my own transformation these past several years. The other is a political app where I've had the wonderful opportunity to partner with two passionate entrepreneurs who want to help fix our political system, because that shit is broken.
I'll also be traveling to Hawaii for a wedding and shenanigans with some of my favorite humans and then going to Michigan for a product innovation weekend / music festival. Pretty much everything I do these days serves multiple contexts and these two trips are going to be both a tremendous amount of fun and an experience to serve the community.
Ultimately, I'm going to continue to follow the path of alignment. It's the cause of so much uncertainty in my life right now, but the best kind of uncertainty. I know that when I really listen, the universe has my back.