Upon reflection, I realize 2018 was the year of creating my own independent life, something I started in 2017 after my divorce but developed more last year.
I met a crew that would become my closest friends, we started climbing together and friendships grew from there. James & Cara moved into my apartment building so life pretty much became like a Friends episode.
Takeaway: Make more friends outside entrepreneurship circles
2. Moving to Austin in November 2018
Left NYC and moved to Austin, Texas. It’s only been a few months but I love it. I was feeling stagnant and now I feel much more creative, probably due to a more quiet environment and having more space / less clutter.
Once you hire the work isn't over as now you need to create or breed a culture that supports the people so they can do their best work.
Creating a remote culture is even harder as there’s a lack of an everyday tangible connection to the team.
As co-founder of BestSelf Co, a young bootstrapped company we knew that we weren’t going to be able to contend with other big companies on salaries, benefits or cool office space when we were building out our team.
Given this, how do you motivate people to do their best work?
You make work more than just collecting a paycheck.
I made it another year! This will be my 4th annual review, and you can read 2016, 2015 and 2014 if you're curious. I do these as a way to stop, process and reflect the previous year to figure out what went well, what didn’t and how best to move forward in 2018.
Disclaimer: I write reviews mainly for myself to learn from, to show people what’s possible in a year and also to hopefully help people learn from my mistakes.
Spoiler alert: 2017 was the hardest year of my life
This review will probably be my most in-depth and revealing as it was a hectic year. In fact, typically I discuss the things that went well before what didn't go well… but much of the year was shaped by the unexpected.
In the past 18 months, BestSelf Co has gone from a 2 person operation of myself and Allen, to a full team of people. In fact, we just celebrated our third team member being with us for over a year.
Between contractors, part-time and full-time people, we have around 16 people who play some role in the team, between customer support, marketing, development, and design.
… Getting there has not been easy.
In this post I’ll cover:
1. How NOT to hire someone
2. How to define a job role
3. How to create an automated application process that only brings qualified candidates (and saves you tons of time and energy)
4. The system we used for hiring that finally worked! 5. The tools we use that make boring paperwork easy
Have you ever wished you could go back to high school knowing everything you do now? Well I kinda got to do that…
Recently I was invited back to give a talk at my old high school and share my journey since I left in 2005. The purpose was to impart any “wisdom” I had for some of the older students during Friday assembly.
*Cue the awkward high school picture*
(I'm not sure what was more tragic, my hair, the hairband or those eyebrows…)
I asked on Facebook what people wished they had known back when they were between 16 – 18 years old. I got some great responses from people…
There were a bunch of awesome responses, you can see the whole post here.
3 Myths I believed at School:
Myth: You have to know what you want to do for the rest of your life
Truth: Many of the jobs that exist now didn't exist 10 years ago. Same as many jobs that exist now won't exist in 10 years.