Monday, April 25, 2011

What I'm Thankful For...

I'm thankful that my brother is growing up into being a solid young man. The coolest thing that I saw from this weekend was in church. He put $5.00 in the collection plate. I know that money is a lousy way to keep score. But thinking back to being 16... I'm not sure if I would have ever been so committed and selfless that I'd have given so much on my own.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I'm Thankful Today

I’m thankful for the chance to learn new things about myself and others every day. The more I’m willing to receive the more I become enriched my experiences. I know that everything is not going to be perfect everyday, but I believe that I’m headed towards something amazingly great. This understanding is all the comfort I need to keep things moving forward.

I’m thankful for Layla becoming my best friend. I’m thankful that she is there everyday and that we are developing a partnership that is mutually beneficial.

I'm Thankful for Perspective...

Imagine that you are 45 and are looking back on your last 15-20 years. Is your work, and life, full of meaning?

Don’t worry about money right now. You can always get a job that pays you plenty of money. Don’t worry about your resume. Don’t worry about “am I positioning myself the right way for something five years from now.” I know way too many 45 year olds who have plenty of money, have done all the right career things, yet are unhappy with where they are in life, where they live, and what they do. Don’t be that guy or gal.

Start by choosing the place you want to make a life. If it’s Boulder, figure out how to stay here. If it’s New York, there’s an easy United flight that gets you there in under four hours – take it the day after you graduate. San Francisco? That flight is only two hours long. Just go and figure it out when you get there. Don’t talk about “I’m going to live there some day” – go get in the middle of wherever it is that you want to build a life. Oh, and Boise is a pretty cool place, as is Austin, Seattle, Miami, DC, and at least 95 other cities in the United States.

Next, choose a domain that you want to dedicate your life to. If you’ve dreamed of being an investment banker or consultant to Fortune 1000 companies since you were 10, then Goldman Sachs or McKinsey is looking for you. If you want to be an entrepreneur, working at an investment bank or consulting firm for a while is pointless. Be an entrepreneur starting now. Pick that domain that turns you on the most – start at a high level (e.g. software, Internet, clean tech) but then pick a thing that you really care about and a set of problems you want to solve. If you aren’t technical, go find a technical co-founder right now – there are hundreds of them on this campus. Get your ass out of your chair and just get started.

Finally, make sure you are living your life. You are young and hopefully have plenty of time on this planet. But don’t wait because you never know when the lights are going to go out.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What I'm Thankful For Today

A challenged is to find something (new) to be thankful for everyday.

Today I am thankful that in spite of all my insecurities and desire to do better I have found some level of success to date, while positioning myself to be an asset to others.

In the last two weeks I had two different people reach out to me from Indiana about providing perspective on my experience of being black in corporate america. Though it is ironic, given that I often question whether I am pursuing the right path, I feel good that my perspective is valued enough that people think to reach out to me for help. I must be doing something right... even if I know that I can do better.