I’m a successful business owner and entrepreneur. For the last decade, I have been a CEO, boot-strapping a professional services company into a multi-million dollar enterprise. I don’t write these details to boast in any way; a lot of my success is pure luck. No, I just want to let people know I’m a business professional who takes his position seriously. So it may come as a surprise for some that for the last 35 years, I’ve also been a secret tabletop role-playing gamer.
While I’m not big on New Year resolutions; it is an excellent time to reflect and think about the year that was. When I began this blog last April, I didn’t know how it would evolve. I have a lot of varied interests, most of which don’t overlap, so it is hard to build a blog around them. As the CEO of a multi-million dollar company, I have an exciting work life, but it is also chaotic and stressful. I wanted a blog separate from all that turmoil, concentrated on more positive features. While I like to travel, outside an outstanding trip to Spain, I curtailed my normal travel schedule to deal with issues anchoring me close to home. And hovering over all those elements of my life was a persistent and pervasive fog of depression and anxiety which dominated much of my year.
I’ve been in love with technology all my life.
For most of my professional career, I’ve held positions in the technical field. Beginning as a programmer and database administrator, I moved up the ranks to leadership positions where I defined corporate technology strategy. I am the poster child for a “techie”. But as I sit here drafting this blog post, I am writing it by hand into a paper notebook using a fountain pen. Somewhere in the last few years, my love affair with technology has waned. We needed time apart. Here’s why.
I haven’t been writing a lot the last few weeks. With my job, this time of year is tough. I have to prepare my business for end-of-year taxes, so I get to huddle with the company bean-counters a lot the past few weeks. My partners and I also review the year and decide about bonuses, distributions, and next year’s budgets. Throw in the obligatory holiday events, vendor meetings and even personal holiday duties, I’ve had little time to write.
“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” —Colin Powell
I’ve failed at nearly everything I’ve ever done in my life. My first marriage collapsed. I started multiple business ventures which never got off the ground. I failed friends and family, college and technical certification exams, blown several job interviews. Hell, I even muffed a driving test once. Looking back, at all my life’s significant milestones, I often failed the first time. And failure taught me everything I know.
When I first started this blog 7 months ago, I had a simple goal. I wanted to learn how to write again. Over the years I’d noticed my writing had turned banal and repetitive. Most of what I wrote was for work, but even then I saw no reason I shouldn’t be able to make my prose cleaner and concise.