03 Jan Thanks To The Mentors of 2012. Let’s Kick Ass in 2013.
2012 was a professionally fantastic year. I carry money and momentum into the new year for the first time in forever. I’m lighter than I’ve been in a decade. I’m stronger than I’ve been in my life. I have miles to go, but I’m happy.
I’ve got a company that’s doing great, and a product that’s starting to do well. I’m happy, I’m productive, and I get to work with the best people in the world. Literally. There is nobody on planet earth I’d rather work with than the people I get to work with every day.
Is that not the best feeling?
I got here because of the help of a ton of great mentors, friends, vendors, clients and even acquaintances. I’m proud of what I get to do. I’m happy that I’ve met everyone here.
Getting here was ugly, messy and bloody. I don’t know any other path. I wish that it took me less time to build the skills and learn the lessons. At least have the skills now, right?
2013 will be another good year. I feel so much that the world is mine this year. I wanted to give some public thanks to the people that let me do it. I love what I’ve gotten to do this year. A lot of it is because of the people that have given me advice these days.
So, I want to thank everyone that helped. And it’s inevitable that I leave more than a couple of people off the list- so apologies in advance. I’m sorry that it took till 2013 to get this out, but it’s important.
The category of one:
Jason Moore: My friend and business partner. I love working with you. I love going to war for you. I love our battles. I love the fact that you care about everything. I love the joy you take in your work, and how hard you work. Before you, I was selling the online equivalent of shitty netbooks to Wal-mart customers. Now, I get to sell rocketships to spacemen. It’s awesome. Quality matters, it’s a real honor to get to work with you every day. I have to improve like crazy to keep up with you. I love the fact that you have my back, and you know I’ll run through walls to make sure you get to be the star -because you are world class. A master in the true sense of the word. This year will be epic, and I can’t wait to double down on what’s working.
Everyone else – in no particular order but ladies first.
Pam Slim- Love. Thanks for that. That word is in my life so much more now. It matters more than a little. I carry love in my heart and in my business and in my life. From the inside out. I’m not full grown yet, but I’m getting better all the time. A talk you gave – probably one of dozens – inspired me to carry that around with me. I was glad to meet you.From that comes the power to be kind and joyful and cheerful and upbeat. I love what I do, I love being able to embrace the word “love.” I’m tougher now than ever because I’m not doing what I do for my own gain, but for the love of it all.
Brad Feld – You epitomize “give before you get.” How many emails do you answer for free? I mean just from me? When I met you in Portland…you inspired me to run. I love running. Love. I asked some unhinged emails and you answered each one with some thought and care. Working on the trailers has been an honor, and I hope to do better.
Rink: Hustle on, hustler. Ups and downs and all that is in between, I love having you in my orbit. I love that you and I are on similar paths, and you’re a year ahead of me in some areas and I can rip you off. I hope for big things from you my friend. I am Japan.
Shawn McGrath: WWSMD? I have the bracelet. I don’t have – on my own – one bit of class, cooth or restraint. I borrow yours and I can live with it. I love the fact that I’ve transcended from the crack-addict transactional sales guy to someone that is able to build something that is a forever company.
Michael Drew – Been a while, man. Been a long road, right? And it was great to quickly reconnect this summer and talk for a few minutes. You’ve been nothing but an inspiration. You say a lot with the questions you ask, and I’m glad that I’ve gotten a few pointed questions over the years from you.
Phil Hodgen- Whale Hunting. Being the best in the world. The notion that all service businesses are roughly the same. Firing customers, pricing out of the market. All things that I’ve learned and done. Right now you and I are intuition guided, and I look forward to being intuition guided, data approved.
Derek Halpern- Yes, you’ve made me money. Yes, you’ve been a great advocate of mine privately and publicly. No, you haven’t asked for anything in return ever (besides the odd retweet.) Yes, if you need anything I’ll have your back.
Ryan Holiday- A lot of what I got to do started with your reading list. Getting the hell over myself, realizing I don’t matter – not one bit, and all that mattes is what I can do how I can be of service to others and what’s next. When we started speaking, I was shocked at how genuinely enthusiastic you are. Thanks for the friendship, referrals, patience. Glad to have you as an ally and an example.
Denis Teplitski: I weigh less than I have in a decade. A decade. I am younger than I was when I turned 30. 5-3-1 FTW, man. It’s great working with you and being coached to be fitter. I can’t wait till I have my strength and have my body built. I don’t always take your advice- a runner has to run, right? But am stronger than at any part in my life. I doubt I’ll ever be as strong as you, but when the zombies come, you’ll be winded first, right?
Jeff Brown: Grampa was right, yo.
Willie Jackson: Between you and Shawn, I have restraint. I love the way you think, the way you see the world. You were one of the earliest real believers in me and what I do. You’ve always had class and grace in every situation. Pew. Pew. Pew.
Nametag Scott: Love the journey. Love getting to call you friend, and I love what you et to do for a living. Your attitude is epic, and your move to NYC is inspiration. Another one of my early strong advocates.
Ryan Hartman- Your goofy transcendence was one of the coolest and most inspiring things to watch this year. I loved seeing it, I loved having both been survivors of the same bizarre circumstance. I hope that you continue to ascend.
Matthew Bellows: You have “who the hell is this guy,” down. Watching you run your company is a useful template for hustlers like me to make something better than what one guy can do. I love having you in my network. or
Jeff Turner- It wasn’t always popular to like me. You kept doing it. You’ve set an outstanding example. You’ve been an advocate, a friend, and given more time than you need to give to me. I’ve looked at your business, your life and seen a great example. You’ve helped me more than you know.
Clay Griffiths - You and Grant have shown me so much of your business via chats and given so much great advice. You’ve listened to me and I’ve learned a lot from our conversations – about what to avoid in the future.
Stu McClaren: The way you carry yourself, your product and your online presence with upbeat effort and focus inspires me every day. I have you as one of the few people on Facebook I see every post of because they are always thoughtful and cheerful. I love the fact that you make what you’ve built about something other than yourself. I was honored to have gotten to work with you almost 2 years ago, and I’m thrilled that the video you made that. You’re more than an idea guy.
Dan Schleifer - the only product guy that actually manned hop left. The. Only. And the smartest one that I met. Both in terms of people skills and chops. Thanks for protecting us from the unhinged marketing idiots when we were still nothing more than a wild unopened flower. Thanks for the referrals, and thanks for exposing my non-chopsticks use. I have corrected that.
Bryan Eisenberg- I believe. In testing. I believe in working to improve, in agility. In getting data. I believe in helping others. And you are another example – I hope to join you in the 100# lost club at some point this year. Fitness is fun. So is being a geek. Grok FTW.
There are more. There are also people that I met in the 2nd half of 2012 that are gonna make the list. I am proud to coach and be coached by everyone above. I also left out some authors that wrote things that moved me this year. Other people that I’m getting to know: Sean Davis, Srinivas Rao, Brett Kelly, Justin McHood, Sean Malarkey & Sonia Simone (on the strength of the “boofy haired Realtors™” remark from 2009 that still pays dividends), Steven Pressfield, Seth Godin and Andy Swan. I am grateful for my parents, and the love and support that they gave me. I’m grateful to Heather and my kids. I’m grateful to Beth and Craig Ewoldt.
I wanted to say “thanks” to everyone for all of this. And to everyone else that touched me this year and in previous years. I’m insanely grateful. All I can say is thanks. I have been given a gift and a chance that I don’t deserve, and that I didn’t earn. All I can do is make the most of it and try my hardest to be worthy.
I hope that you let me know when a big project is launching so I can help you however I am able. If there are introductions, whatever that I can facilitate, let me know. I’m in.
You all know how to reach me, I’m everywhere, and I’m always happy to help. I feel like I’m walking amongst kinfolk and doing the job I get to do is the best honor of my lifetime. Thanks for being part of it, allowing me to do it and letting me help you. More to come.