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Drive Fast and Take Chances

When I first got my driver’s license I was ready to fly out the door every time I had the chance. There was a 3-speed 1979 Chevy Silverado with my name on it whenever I had enough money to fill the gas tank. Pretty much every time I grabbed my keys to head out the door, my mom would yell from various parts of the house “drive safe and be smart!”

I think she could hear me rolling my eyes.

“Of course I’m going to drive smart. Do you think I’m stupid, Mom?” (For the record I was very much stupid).

I don’t know if it was my sixteen year old arrogance or the fact that I never left the house without hearing the reminder for safety, but after a while I became so tired of it that I’d start answering back with some smartass remark.

“Can you remind me how my seat belt works too, Mom?”

One day I grabbed my keys off the hook and started out the door, fully expecting to hear those words I had heard a thousand times before.

“Drive fast and take chances!” were the words that came from the other room.

It was her way of dealing with an obnoxious teenager, and it worked beautifully.

Checkmate.

Every time I heard it I knew exactly what she was saying, but it didn’t sound like that “lame mom speak” that teenagers are capable of blocking out completely like Charlie Brown’s school teacher. Not to mention the fact that it was incredibly effective.

So why do I bring it up? Because if I had to choose one mantra for 2014, it would be “drive fast and take chances.”

By nature I tend to be a risk-adverse person, which is hilarious when I look back at 2014. I started a new product company, created a new WordPress conference that turned a lot of heads and created a lot of discussion, all while trying to run another growing business and maintain some semblance of patriarchy #ProDad4Life.

It wasn’t easy.

In fact, it was really damn hard.

I laugh as I write about all of this as if it it’s done and over with. Flagship is still in it’s infancy, and LoopConf has a long way to go before we meet our goals there. 2015 is going to be a grind just like 2014 was.

That said, I’m going about things differently this year.

2015 is going to be the year of “Prepare and Conquer.”

So much of what I do on a daily basis is reactionary. I’m responding to an email, rebooting a server, or explaining the details of a project to an employee 72 hours before the deadline. I’m essentially playing firefighter and it’s got to stop.

I have to take control of internal processes, hold meetings with purpose, and plan business growth for the fourth quarter while I’m busy executing our plan for the first quarter. I refuse to fly the “seat of my pants” airline this year. Delta will be just fine.

Here are the areas of life and business where I’m going to require more discipline from myself:

  • Nutrition
  • Meditation
  • Financial Planning
  • Team Communication
  • Family Time

I’ll explain all of these in more detail soon, but for brevity’s sake I’ll just do a quick breakdown for my intention with each area of self-control.

I have to eat better. I feel so much better when I do, and I know it. Not to mention the fact that my long-term health really needs me to treat myself better. The Five Guys that just opened near my house is probably going to suffer. Possibly even call it quits.

Meditation is HARD, but, it’s extremely rewarding at the same time. It may be on a morning walk, or just sitting still, but I need 30 minutes to myself each day to focus on nothing — and everything. At first it’ll probably only be 3-5 minutes, but I’m going to practice every single day until I hit that 30 minute mark.

There are things I’ve been meaning to do in terms of finances for quite a while now, and this year they’ll come to fruition. I have a meeting with a financial planner today to help me get started.

There are days when my team is completely neglected by me. Part of the problem is that I’m super confident in their capabilities and know they’re going to handle things, but that’s not fair to them. This year I’ll be involved with each of my coworkers on a more individual level, so they know I’m fully vested in them, and in our companies as we move ahead.

6pm to 8pm Monday through Friday is family time. Saturday night is date night. If you see me tweeting during these hours, please call me on it. Family dinner, homework, and bedtime stories are going to be part of my daily routine. (Frankly I’m embarrassed that they aren’t already).

I know I’m not going to magically find discipline for these areas where I’ve been lacking just because we turned the calendar page, but I’m making these newly desired habits known to people who are around me every day. If I send this post straight to you and ask you to help me out, I fully expect you to leave a bag of flaming poo on my doorstep if I post a picture of a brisket burrito (OMG THAT’S NOT A THING I’VE EVER HEARD OF BUT I JUST MADE IT UP WHILE I WAS WRITING AND OMG) on Instagram.

I’m so grateful for the support of everyone who helped pull me through 2014. I know I wouldn’t have made it without your help. You know who you are.

Oh, and Mom… I think I’m gonna drive safe and be smart this year…

What’s are your plans for 2015? Drastic changes? Goals for a new habit? Goals to kick an old habit? I’d love hear!

Image courtesy of James Banks on Flickr