Welcome. I put this site together to combine what used to be multiple sites into one site. It's where you'll find information about me, where I share blog writings, and also serves as information hub regarding what I'm up to, business or otherwise. Feel free to choose a menu item above, or simply keep scrolling.
I started my own business in the early 2000s. The timing was far more accidental than anything else. Once the dot com bubble busted, I had the choice of starting my own company, or enjoy unemployment. The latter wasn't a viable option at the time, so I started a web design and internet strategy consulting firm. In short, we worked with over a 100 start ups and a couple dozen existing companies to help them make better decisions online. Whether it was building stores, registration systems, branding & marketing, custom software development, or just a fresh new website, I've seen it all. Now, I know that's not true (the "all" part), but that's what it feels like. I've worked with fashion companies, John Deere dealerships, Swarovski jewelry, fork lift sales, call center management, retail electricity providers, fitness gyms, furniture companies, restaurants, and most anything in between. Oh, and churches. Lots and lots of churches. Many thousands of them. Around 2004 I created a donor management software product for churches to help them accept donations online (it was a new concept back then). I'm not involved in the daily operations of that product anymore, but it still currently serves over 20,000 churches. I sold that software product in 2012, and remain a partner in the parent company to this day. While my head isn't in online technology all day like it was for so many years, I still keep my ears open to interesting opportunities in that space. These days, I have ownership stakes in several different companies where I'm active in some, and passive in others. It's a nice balance.
I've always been a fan of investing, even long before I was actually investing. I think I wanted to learn ahead of time for the if & when "someday" kind of thing. I remember in 2003 I underwent all kinds of professional training to educate myself on stock market operations - stocks, options, bonds, etc. For many years I was very active. I was buying & selling stocks at near warp speed. Running puts, calls, covered calls, straddles, essentially putting everything I learned to use. Of course much of this activity was after what I call the "valley year", 2006, a year when it seemed I had a cumulative net worth of maybe $10. These days it's a little different. I invest in private companies when the fit is right, and leave the public market to professionals. Some years ago I got tired of having to watch and pay attention to daily market movements. It was exhausting, time consuming, and stressful. I now find that small business private investing is a much better fit and far more interesting to me.
Music has been a part of my life since elementary school. Early childhood piano lessons taught me very quickly that what I really wanted to do was play drums. It was a fairly normal path for any young musician - I was in drum lessons, band, drum line, and even a few terrible rock bands growing up. I picked up guitar when I was 15, and haven't put it down since. More bands, church worship teams, and even some studio gigs in between. I'll never forget the first time I played guitar for actual money. I played three songs for someone else's album. To this day it's the best money I've ever made. To do something you truly love AND get paid for it is without question the holy grail of work. Too many people are focused on "making it", striking it rich, or retiring early. Forget about all that. Find something you love to do, and keep doing it. It doesn't get any better than that... money or not. These days I enjoy writing & playing music in my home studio and at church on the weekends. The music industry is kind of broken. Who knows if I can fix it, but why not dream big?
I always wanted to fly. When I was a kid I jumped off a a 4ft ledge with cardboard wings strapped to my arms. Fortunately, it didn't work. Part of the beauty of life is that you learn from successes, but you learn more from failures. And I have no shortage of failures to draw lessons from. Thankfully, I fly real planes now. I got my pilot's license years ago, and continue to train & tack on extra ratings so I can be all that I can be. What can I say... I'm a child of Top Gun. I can fly aerobatics for fun, or fly my family anywhere we need to go. It's a privilege that I'm extremely thankful for. I love the utility of it, and I love the views on a pretty day. It can be overcast, grey, and gloomy on the ground... but breathtakingly beautiful just 50 feet above the clouds. Flying is magical, and there's nothing like it.
I've always considered myself an amateur photographer, but the fact that some of my photos have been published and I've been paid accordingly technically makes me a professional. But by no means am I a professional photographer in the sense of what you probably think that word means. I just like taking photos of cool stuff or neat locations. In fact, nearly every picture on this site is one of mine. I'm mostly a landscape guy, and I tend to blend photography with travel. Living in Dallas, TX, I don't often look around and see anything all that stunning. But I've gotten to travel to some pretty amazing places, and seen some cool things while flying, so it's those moments when I might be clicking away. Some of my photos are for sale on ShutterStock, other wise, I just shoot for fun and home décor.
I tend to travel for pleasure, as opposed to business. For the 2 years I worked for KPMG and Scient ('99-01'-ish) I traveled a lot, near 100%. That taught me early that I won't be making a habit of traveling for business. I didn't enjoy that kind of travel. Fortunately, starting my own business early on trimmed that business travel down to 0%. So for the most part I've always traveled for fun and vacation, whether it's just Katie & I, our family, or with close friends. While I've been to several places across Europe & Asia, and hit most of the hot spots in the USA, most of my travel is repetitive trips to Colorado, the Cayman Islands, and Hawaii. Chances are, if you're going somewhere I frequent, I have a lot of recommendations on where to stay, what to do, and where to eat. I treasure our family vacations. It's where the expanse of God's creation comes to life, routines are broken, and where life long memories are made.