The past year has made for a wild ride. I disconnected from the Matrix when I quit my job in December 2009. This was a move away from a culture of deception and mediocrity. It was also a move into a scary future that I hoped would allow me to live my values more fully while being of some service to a wider world.
As many people who have made this leap know, figuring out things like how to put food on the table, pay a mortgage, children’s tuition, health insurance (or not) – can take away from your entrepreneurial energy as well as put a strain on a marriage.
I’ve lost “friends” who, it seems, only defined me by my professional position and the social status that it temporarily conveyed. Stepping out of a lie allows you to breathe but those first breaths can be painful.
New Friends and Old Friends
I have been fortunate to have gone through several periods of “awakening” and this run at freedom is one of those times. I have been able to affirm the value of some people who have been close to me and learn from the fear and weakness of others who maybe once were. I’ve had a self-taught Masters-level education in online media and marketing, discovered inspiration in the blogosphere and rediscovered it in person. The education my children are receiving as Mommy and Daddy work from home has also been priceless. This run we’re making has as much to do with their future freedom as it does with their parents’ declaration of independence.
Social Media Muses
Some of the muses from the blogosphere who have kept me going are (in no particular order):
- Danielle Laporte of White Hot Truth; she is irreverent and motivational. She provides an excellent model of how social media can be used to promote freedom, creativity and caring;
- Chris Brogan - he’s one of the gurus of social media and incites a lot of passion – most of it positive. What I know is that his book “Trust Agents” was my first guide to this world and that this guy with thousands of followers took the time to answer my introductory “tweet.”
- Johnny B. Truant, one of the cool guys in the space. He got my Boomer Ronin site up while answering my newbie concerns in an incredibly responsive, patient, and educational manner. He also introduced us to a wonderful guy who redesigned the site for our girls school in India;
- Dave Navarro ,who puts out some of the best products I have found for people who are trying to figure out how to do business on the internet;
- Justin Lukasavige, whose podcast I listen to religiously. He talks about coaching and does it with unabashed enthusiasm.
- John Carlton – this guy is one of the giants in sales copywriting. I have a couple of his products and I’m saving up to attend one of his live events. If I have the discipline to follow his materials, I’ll be a lot better off a lot faster. I will also follow his advice to teach my children the copywriting skills that will put them in a better position than some of the learnings they will receive in the “academy”;
- Lev Natan of The Empowerment Connection; we’ve only connected online but I really like what I see on his site and I look forward to a possible collaboration in 2011.
Now for the people I interact with offline:
- Karen Best – My Princeton classmate and co-manger (and who carried me for 4 yrs.!) during my student job at Princeton; a courageous parent and entrepreneur;
- Ian Cameron – friends since we were 18. Me from Harlem, him from Mt. Desert Island in Maine. He’s a fly-fishing guide who does that Frank Sinatra ”My Way” thing better than anyone I know;
- Carl Kissin – a classmate from Collegiate who I’ve recently reconnected with during his production of “Date of a Lifetime.” You saw it coming more than three decades ago – he really is a comedy genius;
- Adam Walinsky – among other things, he worked with Bobby Kennedy and has done more than anyone in modern times to get police to do their work in a better way. He is a major inspiration for me as I tilt at windmills. I’m honored that he has brought me in to play some small role in re-creating the Baltimore Police Department under its visionary Commissioner;
- Yaromil Olivares -go read her excellent post today at Boomer Ronin. She too decided that being surrounded by dishonesty, fecklessness, and lassitude was too high a price to pay for an impressive title and paycheck. Her courage is only matched by her sense of purpose and her creativity. We’re going to do great things together in our business. She is also a Creativity Coach who you should check out for your individual growth;
- Bernadette Hageman -my wife – the person who shapes my craziness into something productive. She runs the house, takes care of our disparate band of children, runs the foundation that supports dozens of girls in India in their education and and their lives, handles the administrative duties for my growing “empire,” renovates the space for our new personal training facility, provides more value to my sister as her friend than I do to my sister as a brother, finds time to provide motherly advice to a number of “Millenials” and she still finds the time to love me even though she didn’t exactly sign on for this current tour of duty.
Tony (“Dino”) – I knew him as a little boy and he’s grown into an incredible man. He’s a protector of society. For more than two decades he has been one of those who stands between us and the wolves. As if that were not enough, he has been forced to “speak truth to power” in another bureaucracy that eats its best;
So, “Thank You” to my new social media friends and much love to all the people above and others, who let me know that this tribe is possible and necessary.
For people new to this blog and for those returning who haven’t already done so, subscribe using the blue and white form down and to the right or with the cool “Pop-up.” We’re pretty smart, we care, and we always like making new friends.