TL;DR: No one thought I would retire after the sale, and they were right. I’m staying busy…
Each of us has gone through periods of reinventing ourselves professionally, whether the result of a move, a shift to a new industry, an opportunity we just couldn’t pass up, or maybe just out of a need to do something new. 2021 was a big year for me to do some soul searching and reinventing of my own, which really started the month before the new year.
Death and Sale
December of 2020 was a crazy whirlwind of activity and emotion. After a year-long battle with cancer, my mom passed away the day after Christmas bringing with it grief, and as many who have been caregivers can attest, a bit of relief, and guilt, that the battle was over. But it was also the month that our company, Remote Learner, was acquired by Learning Pool, which created a ton of great opportunities for our team and our clients, and which shifted my professional persona from turn-around CEO and majority shareholder, to transitional manager and supporter of the team that would be continuing on within the Learning Pool ecosystem. Sixteen quick months later, that official role is nearing its logical conclusion and the company that I was a key part of will no longer be a significant part of my work life, though I will always be connected to the RL and LP families.
Having turned fifty last year and still in the throes of the pandemic, I had even more reasons to consider what I want to do with the remainder of my professional life. I wanted to ensure that I was still challenged with solving new problems, but also that I carved out a better balance between work and play. One of the key things I figured out is that I want to share more of my thoughts about business and life and topics that I find interesting in hopes of starting or continuing meaningful dialogue with friends, family and colleagues. This post is the start of that journey for me and I’ll share future posts here and elsewhere depending on the nature of the discussion.
As for the great “what’s next?” question, “next” is already happening. I remain in the “dot connecting” business, whether I’m connecting people, ideas, industries, or resources. This is largely in support of the future success of the people and projects that are important to me and our family, and mainly accomplished through the company that De Ann and I started back in 2009, INSIGHT. From a practical matter, sometimes that means starting exciting new businesses like we did with Two Degrees, which you will be hearing more about as we launch in Beta this month. Other times it might be consulting with and supporting the businesses of great people, like Learning Pool, Incentli, Motrain, FMK Agency, and others. And a growing share of time and financial resources are going to support causes that are important to us, including financial literacy through Financial Beginnings, early childhood education through Summit 54, overall health and wellness through Welnis, or restoring coastal ecosystems through Carbonwave.
The days are varied, the schedule is largely my own and the investments of thought, time, energy, and dollars are purpose-driven. But it is an evolution that I look forward to sharing with you in the coming months and years. It is a good life that affords us the luxury of working remotely from Nevada, Playa del Carmen, Mexico, or wherever else we travel, and it is a life for which I am exceptionally grateful. I wish the same for all of you and I look forward to continued collaborations with you amazing individuals.