I travel a lot. Nothing exotic, but I end up in the DC metro area and surrounding areas about as much as I’m home. I get asked pretty regularly if I grew up in the south — (something I can really only attribute to a slight southern drawl on that way I pronounce certain words.) When I answer no, the Q&A game of “where I’m from” always starts. I always try the “Western Maryland” answer which works 0.00% of the time. After that, you have to move on to the “have you ever been to Deep Creek Lake” question. Which works about 98% of the time, while the remaining 2% say “no, but I’ve heard a lot about it.”
Growing up in such a small town is something I’ve had mixed feelings (mostly negative) about for as long as I can remember. I’m constantly surrounded by people who view the world in a mostly polar opposite way than I do, and I don’t only mean in a political sense. While some are political, everything from civil rights and human rights, all the way to things like climate change and economics — my views here are definitely the outliers. It’s not until starting my business and being away so much that I started to take a different look at this place I call home. I’m a firm believer that home isn’t a place, it’s a feeling — and in the last 2 years the only place I ever seemed to get that feeling is right here at the lake — with my wife, and number of poodles that’s best left uncounted. Home is that comfort and warmth you get when you’re exactly where you want to be and surrounded by who you love. For years I didn’t feel that way here. I had a typical 9-5 and hated pretty much everything. I spent most of my time counting down the days until the weekend, and then spent the weekends dreading Monday. It’s a mindset that I look back at now and get upset with myself. I had no purpose and no drive to do anything meaningful. I’ve came to the realization that you live ONE time. Life is short. Life is fast. I don’t really understand how I ever forgot that or what more I need to be motivated to wake up everyday and kick ass.
I get asked pretty often if I could go back in time would I skip college and start my media business right away? It’s a question I can’t say I haven’t asked myself before, I mean in essence I’m a filmmaker and content creator holding a bachelor’s degree in economics. There is really no direct correlation to my education and the career I have now, other than the business aspects that carried over and aided in starting a business. I guess there is that right of passage that I get to say to people “look. there it is. I have a degree. I’m smart.” and again that’s sometimes how that almost $40,ooo piece of paper hanging on my office wall makes me feel… like I spent 5 years in college just to prove I could make it out alive and walk across the stage. To answer that lingering question of “what would you do differently” my answer — nothing. Regret is quite possibly one of the worst things in life and I think everything that happens makes you the person you are. Regret is something I do everything in my power to avoid and instead look at everything — good and bad as a learning experience. Regret is something none of us have time for. You can see it in someones eyes, you can almost feel it. I constantly remind myself that I won’t always be young and that time is something that moves regardless of how we feel or what we do. I never want to look back when I’m old and say “man I should have done that.” I want to flip through old photos and watch all my old videos and remember how awesome all of this really was.
2016 was my first year as a full-time entrepreneur. No steady paychecks and no safety nets — just a kid who took a bet on himself and got lucky. If this last year has taught me anything I can sum it up in one famous quote:
“Dreams only come true if you have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney
and Happy Holidays.