The older I get the more I realize I function better and am less grumpy if I have a plan well ahead of time and allow that plan to work itself out in my brain. For those that have known me since I was a teenager, this is a fundamental shift. I grew up very disorganized. I constantly lost coats, lunch boxes and pretty much anything that wasn’t attached to me permanently.
Around the time I got married, I experienced a shift in my attitude about work, patterns, and started to become more mature. I attribute this partly to my wonderful bride who encouraged and continues to encourage me to be a better man. I also attribute it, in part, to graduating from school. I always hated school. I love learning, but always struggled with busy work (i.e. homework) and sitting quietly through lectures. I did very well on tests, papers and presentations, but terribly on homework. Graduating from college and beginning to work was a dream come true (even though I had been working in some capacity from a very early age).
Fast forward to 2017 and I have begun to plan an entire year’s worth of travel between December and January. Secretly, I’ve even started planning 2018’s schedule, but don’t tell anyone. I’m hitting four events this year. That’s actually an increase by one for me over previous years but since each event is planned in advance it feels much less stressful.
I traveled extensively as a teenager and early in college. I’ve visited most of Latin America and many of the United States. However, as I’ve grown older I’ve also started becoming more and more of a homebody. In fact, I barely traveled the first few years of my marriage and it took work trips to bust me out of that! So this year I’ll be expanding to four trips and would love to see you at one of them! I’m excited about each of these trips as two of them are completely new to me and have been on my wishlist for years and two are events that I have immensely enjoyed in the past and am excited to visit again.
I’m also planning on brining my wife and possibly my kids on a few of these as I believe that they would enjoy them and people like Katie Richards, Lindsey Miller, Cate DeRosia, and more have all reached out and said that my wife should come or have just been generally encouraging to the women in our community. Each of you has been so welcoming without having even met the much better Pritchett. I sincerely hope that she gets to meet each of you and that she becomes friends with you as you and your families have become with me!
After leaving Dallas a few years ago where I had my first WordCamp experience in both attending (technically Austin, but it’s all Texas, right?) and my first two years of co-organizing (I blame Carrie Dils for this), WCATL and the awesome organizers there welcomed me in and put on a fabulous camp. Seriously, I loved this camp and it’s different vibe from WCDFW. I met some long time friends from online and got to see old friends. I don’t live in Atlanta anymore, but I’m still close enough for a short drive down for this camp. Can’t wait.
This year I’m giving equal time to WordCamps and WordPress-centric events outside the Foundation. Pressnomics gets rave reviews every year and has been on my list since the original event. Well, I finally bought tickets and am going to be in Arizona come April! I really am excited to meet some of the awesome business owners that hit PN as well as spend some time growing my business, getting new ideas and I’ll even get to hang out with the owners of my day job Chris Wallace and Brad Miller (plus I’ll be meeting Brad for the first time in real life. 🙂 )
San Francisco was on my list until it became WordCamp US. Sadly, the first year fell during a bad time for our family to be traveling and last year I had tickets but needed to cancel last minute as we ended up moving during December. But the next two years WCUS is in Nashville, just a stone’s throw from my new hometown of Chattanooga. I’m very excited for this camp as I’ve never been to one this large and I’m excited to meet new people, experience the largest WordCamp out there and parTAY!
I got the fabulous opportunity to be invited to join Chris Lema and so many other wonderful people in Cabo for 5 days of growth, community and business building in November in 2016. This event changed my life as well as my business. I’m STILL going through my notebooks from the event in January and coming up with new ways of implementing the things I learned there. Because it is such a focused event, it’s limited in the number of people that can go. So being an alum, there are only so many spots open for those that have gone before. So I’m very hopeful I’ll be invited back, but don’t want to take up spots for those that haven’t experienced this awesome event. But if I’m invited, I’m hoping to take my wife and I on an extraordinary trip to grow out business, relax, drink, and grow new and old friendships with fabulous people in our industry.
So, will I be seeing you in 2017? If so, leave a comment, tweet at me or drop me a line in my contact form. I’d love to meet you, say hello, grab a drink or catch up.