Adventure.LC

An Adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered

April 6, 2014

Ryan Battles & The Personal Pivot

There are a few, however, who really do like this new direction, some of them moving in this direction themselves. These people are who I count on now for the honest feedback, the encouragement when I really need it, and solid advice. – Ryan Battles

Ryan recently switched professional directions and did us all the favor of writing about it. In a single post he outlines the reason, the strategy, stays true to his roots, and pulls off the whole thing with genuine authenticity. 

I’ve been contemplating something similar for myself, especially now that I’m a partner at Bold. It’s time for some new things. I hope I can pull it off as well as Ryan does. 

If you’re thinking about making a big change, head over to Ryan’s blog and subscribe. Follow Ryan on Twitter while you’re at it. We’re cheering you on! 

February 22, 2014

Love Coffee Shelf

My awesome wife made me a “Love Coffee” shelf to help organize the space where I make coffee everyday. She didn’t buy it, she made it. I love that about her. 

If you look closely at the photo you’ll see a “Hello World” painting with a mug of steaming hot coffee. She painted that too. My wife knows me and love me very well. It’s embarrassingly good around these parts. 

February 6, 2014

“Hello, Bold!”

I’ve joined Bold. Why? I’m glad you asked!

In the year since leaving EllisLab I’ve had a lot of options, offers, and career opportunities. But I’m not looking for a career.

Making a pro/con list based on professional growth, business opportunity, raw salary potential, blah, blah, blah… if those were my top priorities I’d still be at my old job following a well defined career path with incredible people I love and respect to this day. But I didn’t want a “career path.” So what do I want?

I want life and I want it to the fullest. At home. At work. Full. I don’t just want it for myself either. I want it for my family, my partners, and our clients.

At 38, I know that to be whole I need to be a partner, an owner, to have authority not conveyed by job title or longevity, but by real equality in the relationship and opportunity. I also know it needs to be with people who will not just be great peers, but people I can do life with.

I’ve secretly kept a short list of people that meet these requirements and ever since reading Noah Stokes interview on the Great Discontent, he’s been on it. I knew of Noah, but I’d never met him.

At the 2012 ExpressionEngine Conference I invited Noah to breakfast along with Sean Sperte and Michael Rog to talk about living out their faith in their professional lives. I cried inside after that conversation because I knew I wasn’t doing that. In that same conversation I also learned that Noah is the real deal, an authentic man who doesn’t hide the bad or is “fake humble” about the good. And by the way, so are Sean and Michael.

I left that table knowing I’d made the right decision to leave EllisLab but having no idea what was next for me.

Eight months later I wrote an off the cuff email to Noah and Garrett offering to consult with them about FRNVT for free. They accepted and that’s when I discovered that Garrett St. John is just as solid as Noah.

A month later Garrett called and asked if I’d help them plan Bold’s future as part of a freelance contract. Ninety days later they offered me a partnership in Bold.

It was an incredibly easy decision. I said yes before discussing terms, compensation, etc… I want to wake up and live life with these men, to do our best work not for the sake of the craft, but for the sake of the people the work impacts. If we do that successfully, I know the hard work that growing an agency requires will happen too.

I learned an incredible amount over ten years with EllisLab but the lesson that is absolutely the most important is this. Who you start with defines you, what you do, and how you grow professionally and personally. With EllisLab I lucked out (I call it blessed). I started with Rick Ellis, who is just an amazing man. I could not have asked for a better start. This time I get to choose with wisdom and experience on my side and that is also an incredible blessing.

I am honored that Noah and Garrett have given me the opportunity to define our collective futures, to shape each other, our work, and the our lives ahead.

I’ll be writing about the ups and downs of all of this as we go. Here’s to 2014, here’s to being BOLD.

Leslie
Partner, Bold

ps – It also helps that Noah works for only $15 an hour. You thought he was joking, but Garrett & I took him seriously. You guys, the margins are massive.

January 30, 2014

Critical Hit or Miss? Dungeons & Dragons + Yoga

Artist Scott Wayne Indiana wanted to add “narrative” to his yoga class. His solution was to create a D&D inspired narrative for his Yoga class using various yoga poses like “The Warrior” and “Sword One” to drive the action. Each student received a character sheet and a 10-sided die to help set the mood.

Scott’s goal wasn’t to play an actual game but rather to keep the mind engaged during class. People are asking Scott on Twitter (@39forks) for more.

If I had to go to a yoga class, it would be this one, though my first task would be to level the dice to D20s.

January 17, 2014

To Discount or Not to Discount, a Retailer’s Perspective

So the first store on 20% less sales is actually earning 25% more money. Not only that, the store isn’t in danger of losing customers to the Internet or the Big Box stores because discounting was never its draw. Duncan McGeary, Discount versus non-discount.

Duncan is the owner of Pegasus Books, a shop I have to actively avoid because his inventory is so awesome I always, always, always spend way more money there than I intend. Duncan is also very open about how he runs his business and since he’s been successful at running a comic bookish store for 33 years, I pay attention. One day I’ll have a board game, rpg, coffee shop, craft brewery, Japanese Bakery uber store of my own, so I’m taking notes :)

Also, as someone who almost never deals with physical product, I make it a point to read about the process of inventory management and business models from those who do. Why? Well, I don’t manage inventory but I have clients that do. Don’t you?

Nobody is going to hire me as a retail strategist, but if I’m involved in a conversation about retail strategy, I won’t be at ground-zero either and that’s important. Duncan’s single post here isn’t going to get you up to speed, but its as good a starting point as any as he tackles a critical subject… to discount or not to discount?

I find myself thinking, “how can I apply this to my own services? And if I can, should I?” Hopefully it will do the same for you.

January 16, 2014

Emptiness as Opportunity

Do not be ashamed of your emptiness. Instead, view it as the optimal condition for being filled… – Sarah Young, Jesus Calling

My friend Sam Wilson is an artist. This morning we were talking about a personal project of mine. After we got done talking about the technical challenges, he pulled out his sketchbook and opened it. Two empty pages starred me in the face.

“Les, this is how I usually start. I just open my notebook and start sketching.”

My brain said “pay attention!”

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