Let’s summit 2018

January 11, 2018 by

It’s a brave new year. I can tell that resolutions are on everyone’s minds by the sudden scarcity of equipment at my gym and the tumbleweeds blowing through Dick’s Drive-In. It’s high time to reflect on the things you achieved in the past year and your vision for 2018. Doing some reflecting of my own, a few moments from 2017 stand out that will set the tone for my new year.

The Cascades

I love mountains: exploring them, scaling them, relying on them as metaphors for professional and personal advancement. They really peak my interest. I set out last summer to summit the highest ice-free routes the Cascade mountains had to offer. It was early September on Mount Shasta as easterly winds of dry smoky air collided with moisture from the southwest to create incessant lightning storms. More than once we were forced to seek shelter while a storm cell passed above. What should have been a 10-hour ascent became a 20-hour ordeal wrought with fluctuating temperatures, horizontal hail bullets and deafening thunder. By late afternoon—well after our supposed turnaround time—we were above 13,900 feet when a thunder clap almost blew our eardrums. Some rocks gave us cover but it became clear our situation would not improve. Less than 200 vertical feet from the summit, with dwindling sunlight and intensifying weather, we turned tail and headed down the mountain. Nothing is quite as humbling as accepting a safe retreat as a greater success than a reckless summit. You bet I’ll be back in 2018.

The Convention

I had the pleasure of traveling with RumbleMonkey to the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) in Boston, to help reorient their brand and recruit new users. PAX is one of the largest gaming conventions in the nation, attended by independent developers, major studios, and full-time eSports athletes. I was tasked with direct marketing duties that quickly expanded to all-around ops as our booth gained popularity. We had to be quick on our feet, handling hardware errors, engaging our growing number of guests, and impressing the correct perception of our brand. It was my first experience on a long-distance marketing build. It was an awesome, exhausting, stressful, and rewarding project that I’m eager to repeat.

The New Gig

I just celebrated my first 3 months as a consultant for 2A. I work with a variety of analytics and project management tools to coordinate data reporting for a major corporation. Right from the start I understood this would be a position that challenged me in a variety of novel and cool ways. Every day I am asked to tackle something new and deliver, and I can do so thanks to the support of my team and the tools made available to me. This is the sort of company that I had heard about and not really encountered before: idealistic yet ambitious, jovial yet dedicated, employee-focused yet hungry for growth.

If 2017 has taught me anything, it’s the value in placing yourself in situations that challenge your temperament, and demand you operate above routine. Escape, if only momentarily, the hyperbolic Monday–through–Friday inconveniences and venture into scenarios of genuine exhaustion and literal risk that demand creative solutions. Then bring those experiences into your life and work. Go to the mountains. Work on a difficult, unfamiliar project. Join a great new team. Go get ’em.