Focus on what is important, everything will improve

As I start every new year, just like everyone else I come up with a few resolutions I’d like to really work on and hopefully have some progress on. I feel like it’s really important to set small goals/quick wins and build upon them, to hopefully reach and achieve larger goals. Over the past few years, I’ve made these changes and they’ve made big impacts on my life. Some impacts come in the personal forms of eating better and being more active, which had led to me losing 60 pounds over 4 years. This was huge for me because it helped me also achieve personal goals of career growth, personal branding, speaking at conferences, etc. But all of these have really helped me really understand me and who I am.

I am a very passionate and emotionally charged individual that gets massive amounts of fulfillment in what I do daily — work or play.

For the last couple years, I tried to make a point not to get involved in drama and involve myself in things that were overly negative and did not help my life in a positive way. The reason I wanted to get away from this is that it did not bring me any fulfillment. I wasn’t happier because of it, in fact, I think it made me a more angry and negative person – never a good thing. After achieving all I could at Myspace and moving on to greener pastures, I really made an effort to achieve this goal.

The first step was getting back to being more entrepreneurial and not being at big companies, because much like sitting in a box all day doing dev work, being at larger companies the likes of Yahoo! and Myspace really stressed me out. I didn’t want to spend any more time worrying about political issues or CYA, again, it brought me no fulfillment. I knew I enjoyed my work and getting things done and seeing goals hit make me happy, so I needed to be in a business that allowed that. More specifically, I needed to take a REAL challenge in running my own. I made the choice of joining Science as an Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) to build out a business I had helped create and increasing revenue at my online marketing consultancy, Visible Factors.

Within a month, I noticed I was already happier. I had good clients, I was working on things that mattered, and trying to solve real problems. Within a few months, I was already in the trenches of growing out a consulting business and made major progress and built a team for the business I was looking to build. By the end of the year, I have a consulting company that has 5x’ed revenue through existing clients and new projects, a startup with funding, a great product, a team of eight, and a plan to grow quickly.

I actually had lunch with a friend today and it made me realize all of this. I started to think about it while driving. We achieved so much in the short periods of time and it was out of positivity and great work ethic, the two things I’ve prided myself on. I’ve cut out the people that don’t execute and create negativity, I have learned to say “No!” (shout out to Greg Boser), and, oh ya, I’ve cut out the negativity.

This has allowed me to focus on the things that bring me great joy: family, friends, and building/growing companies. I’ve decided that this will continue to be a personal motto of mine in my life – “Focus on what is important”

I don’t have the time to deal with drama, difficult personalities, negativity, etc. and anything that brings that, I’m going to make sure I cut that out. I’m going to do this for myself, but, more importantly, for my team. I like building a culture around positivity, execution and work ethic (I’ll get into work ethic another time). Being around those that care about you in the same way that you care about others can really affect your daily well being. I’ve learned about the people I care about and choose to spend time with them. I’ve learned about the personalities I like to work with and will continue to work with those. I’ve learned a lot about myself and continue to learn a lot about what it takes to build and grow a business. I definitely don’t have the answers and I damn sure make mistakes, we all do, I am learning and adjusting daily. But again, I know I will only focus on what is important.

What are you changing this year? What are you focusing on? What is important to you?

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