This year has been a wild ride.
As I look back on it, I’d like to share what i’ve learned and put it into a bite size form so that it might serve you.
Here are the top 5 things I learned in 2014.
1. Growth is tied to serving others.
I’ve grown more in 2014 than any other year of my life, and it’s not even close.
This growth is undoubtedly the result of my attempts to serve others.
MoGraph Mentor is designed to serve our students. The pressure and excitement of spending a countless amount of hours thinking about these people has grown me in ways I never could have predicted.
This blog is an attempt to serve readers. That’s why i’ve challenged myself to make every post actionable and easy to consume (list posts, etc..).
I’m thinking about others and what they need; and in the process I’m growing.
It makes me want to continue down this path in a big way. I want to keep thinking about students, readers, consumer, humans with everything I do.
I want to focus on building things that are useful and impactful for others.
And in this process, I’ll continue to grow.
2. Life is very, very short, Don’t wait.
I lost my dad this year and it has been a big wake-up call.
Looking at my fathers dead body has transformed my reality.
It made me realize that every second is precious. Every moment we have of life and warmth is an opportunity.
And these moments are limited. In the big picture, we are all going to be dead very soon.
So don’t wait. Every moment matters.
Every second we waste is gone forever and when our final moments come, there is no amount of bargaining or pleading that will buy us more time.
If there is something you want to build, say or do; do it right now.
Yes, right freaking now. Do not wait!!
3. Start with outcomes, then figure out the rest.
When I started working on MoGraph Mentor in the spring of 2013, I had no idea what I was doing.
The first iteration of the concept is wildly different from what we ended up bringing to the marketplace.
And this process was incredibly instructive.
I had an outcome in mind, “To build an educational alternative to Art & Design School for aspiring Motion Designers.”
With my focus on this outcome I began working through iterations of MoGraph Mentor month after month until we figured out the details.
It taught me to start with an outcome and then figure it out. You don’t have to have it all figured to move forward, you just need a vision of outcomes and then that informs your decisions along the way.
4. If you step out with an honest effort, you’ll be met with kindness and support.
One of the reasons I didn’t build MoGraph Mentor earlier was fear.
What will people say? I’m not qualified to do this. People will think I’m a hack.
After finally silencing those voices in my head, I found out that all that fear was totally irrational.
Sure some people probably think I’m a hack, but they’ve largely kept that to themselves. While the vocal supporters are far more numerous than I could have ever imagined.
Every step of the way, talented and kind people met me with, “how can I help?”
It has taught me that the fear doesn’t matter. Sure there might be some haters, but who cares.
Anyone who hates on stuff is wasting their time not building and shaping the world. They have no skin in the game.
So if you have a concept or dream and fear is holding you back, cast it off.
I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how the world responds to makers and doers.
You’ll be met with more kindness and support than you probably thought possible.
5. Building your own things will change your life.
Being a freelancer I already knew I was never going to work for someone again. Now as an entrepreneur I’m certain I will never do anything but build and organize.
Building new things gives you a different perspective about the world.
Suddenly you see how difficult it is to please others and bring value.
It has changed my view on politics, business and life in general.
I wouldn’t say I was a hater at any point in my life, but now I am squarely opposed to putting negativity into the world.
Being critical of businesses or governments is pointless.
If you see a problem, start solving it or shut-up. Voicing what your against doesn’t change the world. Tell us what you’re for. Bring, or support, solutions.
Followers talk about problems, leaders discuss solutions.
Building has taught me that the world isn’t set in stone. Life is not just here happening to us, we can affect it.
I did this video a while back which calls upon these words from Steve Jobs.
This year has changed my life in a number of ways.
Next year is going to bring new challenges and opportunities and I’m excited to meet them head on.
The best is yet to come.