Okay, you read a little about me on the About Me page, but you want to get to know me better. Well, being self-aware is one of the hardest but also most rewarding things I try to do. Am I the person I think I am? It’s not easy to collect my CSAT or NPS score’s from friends, family and coworkers. In fact, they typically ignore my emails asking them to vote ;).
So how does one become more self aware? Between 2003 and 2020 I founded and operated Five Talent Inc. Five Talent was a consulting company focused on architecting, developing and maintaining solutions using cloud technologies. I was the founder, CTO and acting COO of the company for 17 years. In the last couple years we grew to about 50 employees. I started a few other side companies along the way and sold them off but Five Talent was my day-to-day job and my passion. I sold Five Talent in 2020 and became a full time employee at the new company. It wasn’t until then, that I realized that my identity was so wrapped up tightly in Five Talent. Once Five Talent was acquired and I started my job as the CTO at the new company, my role, responsibilities and reputation changed. I truly had an internal breakdown not understanding who I was anymore. It took months of stripping identity away from me to realize who I was at the core. My coworkers, friends and family only knew me as the guy who ran and loved Five Talent. So once that went away, who was I? Before I could redefine who I was to everyone else, I had to figure it out myself. For me, this experience didn’t happen overnight but months of letting go of things that made up my reputation. Things like being a business owner, always being the guy in charge, the guy who could make whatever happen and they guy who had a lot of responsibility managing employees, clients and money. I can’t emphasize this enough, but it was a hard journey to redefine my identity… I finally started figuring out that, who I am is not what I am responsible for, who I am is all about my goals, intentions and actions. I only identified this after I sat down and did OKRs for my personal life. With this revelation, I realized that my new employer would not support me in who I wanted to be. So I took 5 months away from my career to further focus on defining my personal goals, reconnecting with my family and being intentional on how I wanted to define myself. Here are a few things I started jotting down.
My Goals (in priority order):
- To love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul and mind.
- To love everyone else, more than myself
- To be the best husband to Tara
- To be the best father to my kids
- To be a good steward of what He has provided (skills, experiences, resources, relationships)
I hope to go into detail on each one of those goals and how I am pragmatically working towards those goals in a future blog, but to respect your time, I will not go into that detail here but will provide a short list of characteristics I am focusing on (not in priority order):
- Be courageous
- Be transparent
- Be vulnerable
- Be humble
- Be decisive
- Be curious
- Be a good listener
- Be intentional
I have recently accepted a job at Amazon working in their AWS department as a Solutions Architect focusing on performance best practices. I am pretty nervous as I have always been the boss and here I am one of the thousands of employees. I have only had two employers in my life and I didn’t last more than 12 months at those companies because of my personality (mostly a control freak and no tolerance for inefficiencies). I applied and took this new job knowing that it will help me further define my identity, as it is already helping me become more humble and to be a better listener. It will also give me the opportunity to be bolder and more confident in who I want to be and not associate that with my responsibilities.
So after that long ramble, who am I? I am someone who is learning how to be better everyday but is still making a lot of mistakes!