1. 2010 Gave Me Chest Hair

    All joking aside, 2010 has been an incredible year for realization and personal growth for me. From a fairly nerve racking job change, to getting married, the year has been interesting to say the least. Here’s a recap. Buckle up!

    Each year, I like to take some personal stock of my life and experiences through-out the previous months — and attempt to draw some lessons that I can apply to my life going forward… Here are a few that I wanted to share.

    Fear of failure will cripple you.

    At my last job, by end of last year, I was in a bad situation. The job has taking a mental and physical toll on my body and I was almost at my wits end. I had put so much time and effort into helping grow that business, with little-to-no support that the idea of quitting was almost worse than the daily stress that I was living with.

    When the idea of moving to Avelient was broached, I nearly completely dismissed it. Despite the stress of my current job, the idea of leaving something stable for the unknown was downright scary. Fortunately with some good advice, some thinking, the decision became clear.

    I can’t thank my new partners Scott and Mariano enough for the support and opportunities that they afforded me this year. I know I made the right decision in joining them.

    Life is worth sharing.

    Right when I felt that life was getting a little stale, I went and got married. A whole new world was opened for me once I met my wife, and it hasn’t stopped surprising since.

    It’s one thing to experience life as an individual, it’s a whole other deal with you are sharing it with your soul mate.

    Don’t sweat the small stuff.

    I like this phrase, it’s one of my new mantras. I tend to obsess over details in my life. This leads to a lot of extra stress and 9 / 10 times, its unnecessary. I’ll admit that I’m a control freak, I hate things that I don’t control, and when you combine that with a wife, you’ll soon learn to give that up, there are just too many variables.

    The older I get, the more I realize that the idea of having complete control over your life is a losing game. Instead, I’ve learned to live with an attitude of kismat — the idea that there are just some things that are destiny and you won’t be able to change it.

    Sometimes you just gotta say, “suck it up bitch, you can’t control everything“…

    Get out of your own way.

    Sometimes, being a good leader means getting out of the way and letting the talent work their magic. Being a control freak, and having transitioned from a roll of actually doing the work to leading the team doing the work has been a weird transition.

    At first, it took a bit of time, learning how to direct traffic and maintain quality & communication throughout the project, but in the end, I found that sometimes, you just have to let you team work, use their talents, and trust that they’re ready to take the reigns.

    At one particular point, I hired someone for a position that they had the talent for, but not the experience or credentials. I found myself constantly micro managing, worried that they’d say or do the wrong thing. This really screwed us for a week or two. It was tough. However, once I gave him the tools and info he needed, and then let him do his thing, his talent shown through and he’s now one of our most loved program directors with customers.

    Schedule less meetings, do more work.

    Watched a great talk by Jason Fried regarding meetings and how they are mostly just giant distractions for your team, this made me re-think status meetings with my team, instead opting for emails and far less distracting check-ins with the team.

    When we did need to have a meeting, we set them to be as short as possible (typically 15 minutes) and the agenda must be set before the invite went out. If you’ve hired good people, who deliver results, and are talented, there is no reason to treat them like children, turn them loss and let them work!

    Do what you love.

    I feel completely blessed in my current situation, and feel as if I’m leading a charmed life. Not everyone can make a living doing exactly what they love. Several times I was presented with jobs that paid much more than I currently make, they were tempted but in the back of my mind, I had a nagging reminder that I was selling out…

    While the money and attention might be attractive, you can never beat the satisfaction of doing something that you truly love. The rewards that come from that lifestyle can’t be beat. Ever.