Around the new year, most of us endeavor to summarize things. It's tricky. We speak of dog years and all that goes on in our industry within a single year, often practically bursting at the
seams with activity.
On a personal note, something I don't always mention in public circles is that January also brings my birthday. So, throughout the month, this makes me especially reflective -- combining a new annum with my own new year. Well, it's today: Jan. 24. So, I have a few things to share with you regarding my own dog year(s) of 2010. I put myself out there in business, in shared ventures and in love -- and I almost cannot believe how much has transpired. May the snapshot provide some light and even some entertainment.
Diversified Business Pursuits
This should be a positive. By diversifying one's business pursuits, we push our own thresholds on learning, intensify our degrees of industry contribution and strengthen our networks. Two years ago, I established my company that became the hub of what then became a practically dizzying array of activity. This is primarily because it was built on the premise of collaboration with industry peers and best-of-breed practitioners. During 2010, activity was at its hilt.
Pursuits also included publishing ventures, advising media executives building out new platforms; a suite of very active, working board roles; and of course my ongoing work training or consulting executives on digital marketing and media.
Collaborating on strategy, planning an execution are one thing among a crew of trusted peers; but navigating certain engagement conventions, sharing contracts and scope as well as other drier administrative matters like billing -- another territory entirely.
Further, while my personality and business mind are inclined to shift gears and need a lot of diversity -- there's such a thing as being over-accessed. You know it, I know it, we all know it. Even though I myself was at the switcher -- orchestrating where to zoom my focus -- it created too much pull. This is not good for sanity or sleeping.
Embracing Cross-Platform in My Personal Life
I ventured into broader territory in my personal life last year. In addition to running my business life, doing all the things I love to do, and looking after my puppy Bruce T. Beauchamp -- I, like most people, have been hoping to cross paths with someone to share all this. Mr. Right, if you will. But, in a life of so much exposure and experience -- business and social circles, a friendly neighborhood, a comfort engaging with new people -- I couldn't figure out where he was hiding. I couldn't possibly cross more paths.
So, I added two new platforms, one very old-school and one more current. The agency executive in me was thinking I could benefit from a little client services and technology. I hired an old-school executive matchmaker and also jumped feet-first into online dating.
Working with a short roster of executive matchmakers, all hanging their shingles at a little boutique run by a chief matchmaker, I had an array of dates -- some horrifying and creepy, others quite great. Then one day the firm closed: website down, doors bolted, the whole deal. The head is now being pursued by the Attorney General for fraud. I know -- shocking.
Meanwhile, my foray into online dating was sporadic. Life roared on, and I just tried to go on a few dates every once in a while to keep my heart and mind stirred. Well, I met:
-- A former Olympic athlete who didn't speak and liked to go on endless walks on which we did not talk, because he was "in [his] own head." He fancied himself cerebral. He preferred to send me emails. Very, very long ones, on Facebook, as he did not have a regular email account.
-- A man who loved ballroom dancing, who, within five minutes of meeting, invited me back to his apartment to cook lobster and filet, in the same breath telling me he liked to shoot at deer from his bedroom window -- and then process them for dinner.
-- A songwriter who constantly referenced his doppelganger Christopher Walken as though this were charming.
-- A former state treasurer (of a state other than New York), recently convicted on crack-cocaine trafficking charges, just out of a halfway house and/or rehab and under the care of his very wealthy family. I found out about, well, zero of this on the date. It was later -- during a very fruitful Google session -- that I got the goods.
That last one sent me into dating retirement for a while. Then, on a momentary dip back in, after a breather, the universe brought me goodness within five minutes. Yes, I met him online but I really could have, should have, met him anywhere. Born and raised in the Midwest and now living in New York with a young daughter; a family man with a great social fabric; active and experienced in life; running a charity he established eight years ago -- he was the song of my soul. We'll leave it at that for now. But, let's just say, a certain fearlessness has been a good thing for me.
This morning, I am unfurling my 44th year, wholly focused on my teaching and consulting work for one company, with Bruce T. Beauchamp now one year old and curled at my feet, and a good man, from the Heartland, sharing (and quite possibly baking) my birthday cake with me tonight. After a year of radical exposure and experience -- I embrace the year that feels nothing if not clear