Creating and maintaining a blog—even a professional one for a company like Veritas—requires authenticity and the ability to connect with people in a deeply personal way. I have to admit that putting myself out there like this is not easy for me and doesn’t come naturally (see #3 below!).
Finding and sharing your voice online is incredibly challenging in today’s attention economy. With everyone vying for your attention I feel a lot of responsibility in not wasting your time or bombarding you with cheesy and over-the-top marketing fodder. The last thing I want is to do is generate more useless noise.
Finding and sharing your voice online is incredibly challenging in today’s attention economy.
So, if this is going to work, you need to know a bit more about who I really am—behind the emails and website, the blog posts and projects we may work on together.
Without further adieu, ten things you probably don’t know about me:
1. I love to run. I started running in high school doing short loops around my neighborhood. I continued in college and have only gotten more serious in the last couple of years. In short running is good for me. It’s one of the few ways I have found to relieve stress and be outside.
Thanks to Strava I track all of my runs and am able to see my progress, set goals and be more consistent running. I ran the Bellingham Bay half marathon in 2012 and plan to do the full marathon this year! If you’re on Strava you can follow me here:
2. I broke both of my arms in 6th grade—at the same time. I wish it were an epic story or some hardcore mountain biking jump gone wrong. Nope—I fell out of a bunk bed and landed on both of my arms. Full arm casts for 4 weeks and half arm casts for another 4. Yep, this is one of the more embarrassing stories of my life!
3. I’m a textbook introvert (INTJ). Yes, most nights I’d rather be out hiking in the quiet and reflecting on life rather than hanging out with a large group of friends at a party. I prefer one-on-one conversations over coffee or a pint where I can listen and not be distracted. Of course, when needed I can go to the networking events and galas and have a good time—I just need about 48 hours afterward to recover!
One of the best speakers I’ve heard on introversion is Susan Cain. If you haven’t seen it check out her awesome TED Talk or read her book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. Though I sometimes wish I were more extroverted I need only remind myself that I share the same personality type as Elon Musk, Jane Austin, C.S. Lewis, and yes, Arnold Schwarzenegger—what could be better?
Fun fact: my wife Nicole and I are almost complete opposites (you know exactly how I mean if you know her). We seem to help each other stretch out of our respective comfort zones every day.
4. I was a total band geek in high school. I played clarinet in concert and marching band and baritone sax in jazz band. My senior year of high school I also got to wear an awesome giant white fluffy hat as I co-led the marching band as drum major.
5. I’m an Eagle Scout. The Boy Scouts of America was an important part of my growing up and taught me a lot of the skills and values I have today. In 2005 I was the third generation in my family to be awarded the rank of Eagle Scout—the capstone achievement for the program.
6. I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety off and on over the last 15 years. I debated on whether or not I should include this point in this post. In the end I decided that I wanted to be apart of breaking down the stigma that so often surrounds mental illness in our culture. It helps me to talk about my experience with others who have similar struggles. If you struggle with depression or anxiety know you are not alone and I’d love to talk with you about your journey.
7. I made my first movie in 2004, Gone Astray. Shot on a Sony Handycam on MiniDV tape some friends and I spent three days crafting this film for the Guerrilla Film Project. We had 72 hours to complete the film and somehow incorporate the props oatmeal and a lottery ticket within the theme of “lost and found.” We tied for 2nd place in the judge’s category. The next year we took first place with our submission, Due Payment. Yes, I acted in both of them.
8. I played hockey, once. Going to college in Canada meant being exposed to hockey. One of the pinnacle moments for American students at Trinity Western University is the chance to play for the U.S. in the CAN/AM hockey game. Yes, there are tryouts for this game but the bar is set low—intentionally low. The game pits the U.S. men, many for whom this is their first time on ice, against the Canadian women. Most of the women grew up playing the game in their backyard ponds.
Students turn out in droves with faces painted and loud cheering to support their teams. The women skate circles around the men, who are fumbling around trying to stay upright. There were also some pretty questionable calls by the referees who seemed to favor the women on the ice… In the end we lost the good fight.
9. I lived in Oklahoma for 9 years, before moving to Washington in 1997. I was born in Tulsa, OK. I grew up in Stillwater, OK—home of Pistol Pete and the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Despite the lack of trees, mountains and oceans I have many fond memories of the state (and I still wish Washington had fireflies and real thunderstorms). We still make the trek down to visit family every once and awhile.
10. My wife Nicole and I have a wonderful Golden Retriever named Sadie. If you’ve known us at all in the last year you probably have seen some part of the saga of Sadie growing since she was 7 weeks old. She’s a total drama queen and a wonderful addition to our family. Her hobbies include obsessing over water, trying to prevent me from leaving for work in the mornings, cuddling with Nicole and I on the couch (literally dog piling) and rolling in horse manure.
This video was taken after she was spayed last summer:
There you have it! Hopefully you feel like you know me a bit better now. Again, I want this blog to be a place of learning and discussion—but I also want it to be about connecting with you. Much of the work we do at Veritas is centered around building relationships and adding humanity to your brand and company—hopefully the authenticity I’ve shared here will promote this type of connection.
Thank you for being invested in me and in Veritas. Did you enjoy this? Do you relate to anything I’ve posted here? If so I’d love to hear from you! Join the discussion below or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.