Make Room For Many

During the first 40 days of 2022, the 40 days leading up to my 40th birthday, I wrote out a lesson learned in each of the years of my life. It was an exhausting process and one that I am very happy to have completed. The through line that I started to see by the end was enlightening and I hope it inspires more of what I write in the future.

Here are 40 summaries of the 40 blog posts for your consideration.

1/40 - Where you fall in the birth order of your family matters. I am really glad I was the firstborn

2/40 - Understanding what maps of the world we are given by our parents is important in order for us to eventually chart our own course

3/40 - Growing up a big brother with three younger siblings impacts how I see myself in the world and the responsibilities I assume

4/40 - I was born in Omaha but my family moved to Dallas when I was 3 years old. That move and subsequent ones later in life made a huge difference in my trajectory

5/40 - Two of the greatest gifts my parents ever gave me were an overdeveloped sense of self-esteem and a vivid imagination.

6/40 - Running a lemonade stand is the gateway drug of entrepreneurship

7/40 - People do what they are incentivized to do. I started my first bank account with $100 that I’d earned a nickel at a time

8/40 - I won my first invention contest in 1st grade. In hindsight, I used the same model to win that I use now when investing in startups

9/40 - I grew up going all-in on the institutions of the idyllic American dream and later realized how our institutions are no longer relevant to making your way in the world

10/40 - I was a sensitive kid. My Dad used to always say, “if you’re crying it means you haven’t lost touch with your heart. I still think that is true

11/40 - I feel bad for people who grew up without a hometown team to cheer for. I am thankful my parents went all in our family being @rangers fans

12/30 - Composability and adaptability are two of the most important concepts in being a part of making the future. I grew up playing with @Legos, so I got a head start

13/40 - I met my friend Josh when I was in 5th grade. 15 years later he hired me to lead Biz Dev for Gowalla and launched my career in tech. Don’t lose touch with people

14/40 - I worked with Grandpa on his farm in Iowa during harvest one year. He thought I was just a city kid, but I earned his respect a couple of times that week

15/40 - If you read the rules, they tell you how to gain an advantage in the game by telling you where the line between playing aggressively is and cheating. Find that line and dance on it

16/40 - I tricked my parents into homeschooling me starting in 6th grade. It was one of the best decisions ever. Here are the four reasons I loved being homeschooled

17/40 - It took a cute girl complimenting me to make a major change in how I looked going into high school. What part of my identity do I still hold onto longer than necessary?

18/40 - I started saving for my truck when I was 14 and paid cash for it when I turned 16. Here are the 5 reasons it was one of the best purchases of my life

19/40 - A book I read in high school messed me up and  fed into the “purity culture” that took me decades to recover from in my relationships and understanding of sex and attraction

20/40 - When I wanted to learn something that my parents didn’t know how to teach me, they arranged for their friends who did know how to do it to teach me

21/40 - I almost didn't go to college because the company I ran in high school was making over $30k a year. Three people came into my life just at the right time to make sure I joined the @aggienetwork and continued my learning

22/40 - As a homeschooled kid now attending a 48,000 student university, there was one moment and one question that upgraded my whole college experience

23/40 - My landlord my senior year in college used to train the FBI and CEOs on how to profile people on first impressions. He taught me and it been my secret skill that helped me achieve a lot of success in my sales career

24/40 - A backhanded compliment from my accounting professor changed my career trajectory entirely. It was the nicest mean thing anyone has ever said to me

25/40 - I was a professional bus driver in college. One of the legends of the bus barn gave me some amazing advice for my time as a bus driver that I’ve also used throughout my career

26/40 - I became the #1 life insurance salesman in the country amongst my peers my first year out of college. I did it by only focusing on one thing

27/40 - My first boss gave me some advice that I realized later, after my car got repossessed, was some of the worst advice I’ve ever received.

28/40 - My first executive coach told me to dream smaller. His “advice” helped me realize that I was in the wrong career and thinking too small

29/40 - Leaving my first job and moving in with my girlfriend of five years shattered people’s perception of me. It caused me to lose relationships with a lot of friends and some family and showed me the difference between pseudocommunity and true community

30/40 - When I sold private jets, my clients taught me that the truest definition of wealth is the person with the most options. Increasing your optionality is increasing your wealth

31/40 - The longest romantic relationship I have been in is now 12 years. New York City teased me for a long time before I finally updated our relationship status to Official in 2010

32/40 - Over the years, I’ve bootstrapped my network around the world through three franchises: #CoolKids #GoodPeopleGreatDinner #GentlemensDinner - Here’s how

33/40 - I lived on Hustle Standard Time for almost a decade. #HST eventually got the best of me, but I believe that balance is something that we achieve on our way out of it and that season was worth it in the end

34/40 - This was the hardest year of my life. There has never been more sadness and heartache all at the same time but when my world shattered, I was able to see how beautiful the pieces were as I picked each of them up and rebuilt

35/40 - With my world in disarray, there was room for new things to emerge and I discovered the 2nd best way to wake up

36/40 - I’ve wanted to be a dad my whole life. With the tragedy of the prior year, I was in danger of being an old dad and I moved quickly to fix that instead of coming to terms with that deep-rooted narrative that was no longer available to me

37/40 - I helped start an entrepreneurship academy and had over 1,400 students from 49 different countries join us. I discovered the rarest gems of humans in this world of untapped geniuses and know the rest of my life will continue to be built around this theme

38/40 - When the church turned its back on me, I walked away from God. It took a decade for me to acknowledge I wanted my faith to have a bigger part in my life again, but I am still searching for exactly what that means for me

39/40 - After almost two decades of pushing things to the limit, including relationships, finances, and my health, it took a global pandemic to ground me and learn how to sit still.

40/40 - Working with my executive coach and my therapist, I’ve been able to recover from past traumas, silence my inner critic more frequently, remove old stories, and update my map. I am still a work in progress, but I think I am finally finding my voice

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