***LONG POST ALERT BUT WORTH THE READ***
Laughing as I look at this memory (picture above) because it was borderline prophetic.
Eight years ago, I found myself on Donald Miller‘s website as an advertisement. He was running Storyline Conferences (before StoryBrand was a thing for businesses), and I was a wandering, aimless, millennial. I had a college degree, even some master-level work, but I was struggling to find my way. Over-qualified for some work and under-qualified for others. My wife and I had 2 kids, our 3rd was on the way, and I was making less than $40K per year working at a factory, questioning every day of my existence. I went to his conference and learned a ton about living a life on purpose. Before I knew it, I had a plot, an ambition, and was embracing conflict to become a better character. I was also following Michael Hyatt, reading his blog, listening to his podcast, and learning how to live my Best Year Ever.
Some of you know the story. I won’t rehash all of it here. But I’m very thankful to have met Chandler Bolt soon after that journey started. He gave me a chance in his start-up, and here we are almost 7 years later.
I’ve planned my life. I’ve found clarity. I’ve defeated confusion.
–Donald Miller and Storyline helped me take the first steps.
–Michael Hyatt helped me set up personal goals and the best year ever, year after year.
–Chandler and Self-Publishing School have helped me continue the journey of professional growth and self-development.
I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on 2021. The word of the year was ADVENTURE. Man, was it ever! And before I dive into it, here’s the disclaimer: I don’t share all of this to brag, but rather to show you what’s possible when you live on purpose, when you create a story for yourself and your family that’s worth living into.
Here are a few of the big wins / highlights / accomplishments:
–My wife Hannah Redden published her first book, “Me and Jesus Covered in Pee.”
–We added 15 animals to our mini-ranch (Now we have 1 horse, 2 ponies, 2 pet rats, 2 mini-goats, 3 dogs, 8 chickens). Maybe the partridge in the pear tree comes next year?!
–We personally put in 10 acres of fence and built stalls in our barn.
–Our kids participated in activities they love: figure skating, hockey, basketball, and horse riding.
–Sevaeh was invited for a virtual school visit to show off her book to old classmates in Ohio.
–We enrolled in counseling as individuals to keep working on our whole selves.
–We remodeled a bathroom and basement, bought a truck and trailer, bought a 4-wheeler, and have had a grand ol’ time!
–Hiked 100 times.
–Wrote 72 blog posts on what I’ve been learning in the Bible.
–Invested a good amount in the market and saw solid returns.
–Spoke at Author Advantage Live.
–In business, at SPS, we launched 2 new products that have been huge drivers of growth and success for our clients.
–Met one of my life-long mentors, Rob Bell, in a Writing Session and got to collaborate on book #5.
–Published my book #5, “On The John: A Devotional for Dads.“
–Completed 4 Masterclasses and read roughly 50 books.
My friends, you can accomplish a lot in a year. And 2022 can be even better than that.
Plan your life. Find clarity. Defeat confusion.
I’m living proof that you can do it too.